Food ban not on agenda of Taiwan-Japan trade meeting: source

2017/11/14 20:46:06 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) The issue of Taiwan's ban on food products from five radiation-affected prefectures in Japan will not be on the agenda of an upcoming trade conference in Tokyo between the two sides, an informed source told CNA on Tuesday.

At the 42nd Japan-Taiwan Economic and Trade Conference Nov. 21-22, the delegations from both sides will discuss some 50 to 60 issues in the areas such as economic policy, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and intellectual property rights, according to the source.

However, the issue of Taiwan's current ban on food products from the prefectures of Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi will not be on the table, the source said.

The Taiwanese delegation does not plan to raise the topic as the Taiwan government's stance on the matter remains unchanged, the source said.

Taiwan has banned imports of food products from the five prefectures in Japan, which were contaminated with radiation following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, a catastrophe triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

When the new Democratic Progressive Party government came to power last year, there were talks of possibly lifting the ban on food products from all the prefectures except Fukishima, but the idea was met with strong opposition and was subsequently shelved.

The government has since repeated several times that it will not ease the restrictions until there is definitive evidence that food products from the contaminated areas are safe.

Taiwan and Japan are looking forward to the two-day conference next week in Tokyo as a means of strengthening bilateral economic cooperation, according to a press statement from the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association in Taipei.

(By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu)

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