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Official Concerned With Radiation-Contaminated Japanese Cars

VLADIVOSTOK — Japanese cars contaminated with radiation in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster are still a concern regarding the importation of such vehicles to Russia, a customs official said Thursday.

According to Russian customs, more than 930 radiation-contaminated vehicles from Japan have been detected at Far Eastern ports since a magnitude-9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami ravaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant in central Japan.

However, the number of contaminated vehicles is declining by the month, a customs official in Vladivostok said, adding that only used vehicles and spare parts were the concern.

While in 2011, in the wake of the accident, an average of 90 contaminated vehicles were detected every three months, by last year that figure was down to 75, and in the first and second quarters of this year it was 59 and 43, respectively, he said.

A representative of the Federal Consumer Protection Service said that it was easier to send such cars back to Japan than to spend money on their decontamination.

Used cars from Japan are popular in Russia, especially in the Far East and Siberia. Almost 150,000 used Japanese vehicles were imported into Russia last year, according to the International Auto Trade Association.

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