A group of Japanese restaurant operators has treated people in Hong Kong to scallops produced in the northernmost Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido in order to promote scallops from Japan.
On Saturday, the organizer of the tasting event gave away 5,000 Hokkaido-produced scallops for free in the Chinese territory.
Exports of the delicacy to mainland China have been tumbling, since Beijing suspended imports of all Japanese marine products in late August.
The Chinese move came after Japan started releasing treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.
Hong Kong, whose trade control system is different from the one used on mainland China, has continued to import seafood from Japan. But it is not importing marine products from Tokyo and nine other prefectures.
Japanese ingredients are popular in Hong Kong. The value of Japanese seafood shipments to the territory amounted to 75.5 billion yen, or about 504 million dollars, last year. That made Hong Kong the second largest export destination for Japanese seafood, after mainland China.
A visitor who tasted a scallop at the event said it was delicious. She said that she will continue to eat Japanese seafood, as she is not so worried about the effects of the release of the treated and diluted water.
Before the treated water is released into the sea, it is diluted to reduce tritium to about one-seventh of the guidance level set by the World Health Organization for drinking water.
The president of the Hong Kong Japanese Restaurant Association, Himuro Toshio, said his organization held the event to help reduce scallop inventories in Hokkaido.
He added that his association will work to make Japanese food products, including scallops, more popular in Hong Kong.