ROC moving toward easing Japan food rules: Lin
Taiwan is moving toward lifting its current restrictions on Japanese food imports, Foreign Minister David Lin ( ) said yesterday.
Commenting on food safety yesterday, Lin said most countries around the world have already lifted the ban on the import of food produced in the nuclear radiation affected prefectures of Japan.
“We are also moving toward that direction,” Lin noted.
The minister, however, would not say when the ongoing restrictions will be eased.
Lin said that the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW), the government branch responsible for monitoring food safety, will make the decision on when to do so.
Taiwan imposed a ban on the import of food produced in the five nuclear radiation-affected Japanese prefectures following the 2011 nuclear radiation disaster.
Local governments further tight- ened restrictions when products from those prefectures were discovered on shelves in Taiwan earlier this year.
At the behest of the Legislative Yuan, the MHW asked that all imported Japanese food products include more detailed certificates of origin in order to enter Taiwan starting from May 15.
This policy has drawn strong criticism from the Japanese government and Tokyo has repeatedly asked Taiwan to lift the ban as soon as possible.
Lin yesterday said Taiwan has found no food product imported from Japan to be a food safety concern in the country since the government imposed the latest restrictions in May.
Also, Taiwan and Japan have already formed a joint working group, which has held various meetings to make sure all imported Japanese food products are safe, Lin said.
Lin added that the government plans to continue asking that im- ported Japanese food products include more detailed certificates of origin before entering Taiwan even after it ultimately announces lifting the ban.
“We will try to find the balance so that we can make sure imported Japanese food products are safe to eat while at the same time continuing our cooperation with Japan,” he said.
Lin Urges Japan to Maintain
Meanwhile, Lin yesterday called on Japan to work harder to develop friendly relations with other countries in the region as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to deliver his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II later this month.
Noting that Taiwan and Japan currently have cordial relations, Lin, however, urged Japan to understand the significance of the year 2015 to the R.O.C. government.