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Japan fully supports Taiwan’s accession to CPTPP: Japanese MP

Liberal Democratic Party MP talks Japan-Taiwan relations and import restrictions

Japanese Diet member Keiji Furuya

Japanese Diet member Keiji Furuya (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japanese Diet member Keiji Furuya voiced Japan's full support for Taiwan’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) during a press conference following the Yushan Forum, a Taiwan-initiated platform for regional cooperation that took place at the Grand Hyatt Taipei on Wednesday (Oct. 9).

Taiwan's strong economy, suitable environment, and membership in both the WTO and APEC make it qualified to join the CPTPP, CNA quotes the legislator as saying. In order to actualize this, Japan will collaborate with other like-minded countries to support Taiwan’s acceptance into the CPTPP in the future, he said.

When asked whether Taiwan’s import restrictions on foods from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown would affect Taiwan’s bid to join the trade agreement, Furuya expressed the disappointment of Japanese MPs over Taiwan’s referendum result from last year. All Japanese eat foods from Fukushima, he stressed, because Japan has scientifically proven they are safe for consumption.

The PM went on to say that this reluctance to import Japanese products is like "a fish bone in the throat" and expressed his hope that Taiwan will try to solve this issue. Nevertheless, he said he does not believe the Japanese government will mix it with other matters, a response that corresponds with a previous statement by the country's representative to Taiwan, Mikio Numata.

Furuya noted that with the Japanese parliament currently in session, MPs are not usually permitted to travel abroad. Nevertheless, about 20 Japanese lawmakers have flown in to the country this week to attend Taiwan's National Day celebrations, which he claims shows the high regard parliamentarians have for Japan-Taiwan relations regardless of party affiliation, according to CNA.