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Monday, 10 August 2015

Lifting of Japanese food ban to require more time: minister

Taiwan is working toward lifting a ban on food imports from Japanese prefectures affected by the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, but the timeline will depend on further evaluations by health authorities, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.

“I believe we are moving in that direction,” Lin said in response to questions on whether Taiwan is working toward lifting the ban on Japanese products from areas affected by the nuclear disaster.

Since Taiwan tightened regulations on imported Japanese food on May 15, “to date there have been no safety concerns associated with food products imported from Japan,” Lin said.

Lin said the Ministry of Health and Welfare is conducting further assessments and the government is also looking at how other countries have been dealing with the situation.

“Basically, the vast majority of countries are moving toward lifting restrictions, but we still hope that the Ministry of Health and Welfare can give a clear explanation of [the results of] its assessments at an appropriate time,” Lin said.
 Even if the ban is lifted, Lin added, the new regulations implemented in May are to continue.

The new measures require Japanese food product importers to present certificates that show the place of origin of their products and radiation inspection results for certain types of products, such as tea, baby food and aquaculture products.

The new regulations were imposed after it was found in March that products from five restricted areas in Japan had made their way into Taiwan through the use of false labels.

Taiwan currently bans food imports from the Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba, which were affected by a meltdown in March 2011 after Japan was struck by a disastrous earthquake and tsunami.

Source: Taipei Times

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