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Taiwan may soon lift import ban on Fukushima food products

Japanese diplomat reveals Taiwan's ban could be lifted by spring at earliest

Food from Fukushima.

Food from Fukushima. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan may soon lift a ban on food products from Fukushima and other Japanese prefectures affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster.

A Jiji Press report said the Taiwanese government hopes to resolve this trade issue with Japan in order to accelerate its admission to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) before China, which submitted an application prior to Taiwan, per CNA.

Many Taiwanese are concerned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, and Chiba prefectures are still contaminated, giving such products the moniker "nuclear food." Taiwan held a referendum on the issue in 2018, which continued the ban on food imports from those places.

However, a Japanese diplomat has said, "Now it's all up to President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) decision," according to Jiji Press. The ban could be lifted in spring at the earliest, they said.

In a Legislative Yuan Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting last month, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that Taiwan has strict food safety regulations and that no radiated food can be imported. The government will protect the health of Taiwanese and check food safety in accordance with international standards and scientific evidence, he said.

When asked whether importing food from Fukushima would guarantee Taiwan’s acceptance to the CPTPP, Wu said that in order to enter the country, food must not be contaminated. Taiwan has been in contact with Japan regarding the issue, but the matter has not been formally discussed and there is no timetable yet, he added.

Updated : 2022-05-20 13:41 GMT+08:00