‘People are scared of Japanese seafood’: Hong Kong restaurants bear brunt of imports ban following Fukushima waste water row
Questions over discharged waste water leave eateries struggling to persuade patrons to returnMainland China, Hong Kong and Macau are the only three economies to impose bans on Japanese seafoodHong Kong environmental issuesLo Hoi-yingPublished: 9:00am, 3 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP
Japanese chef Satoru Mukogawa stood behind the counter of his 100-seat sushi restaurant in Hong Kong on a recent weekday evening, staring into the empty space.
“We only have two reservations tonight,” he said. “People are scared of seafood from Japan.”
Opened in 2007, Sushi Kuu in Central survived two financial crises, the 2019 social unrest and the Covid-19 pandemic. Just as business began picking up earlier this year, a new hurdle appeared in late August.
Mukogawa said business crashed by four-fifths after Japan began discharging treated nuclear waste water from the Fukushima power plant into the ocean.
Putting up a brave front, the food industry veteran said: “Hongkongers move on quickly, you know. Hopefully they will be back again soon.”