DPP says no timetable has been discussed to lift Japan’s food ban

Taipei, December 24 (CNA) The Progressive Democratic Party (DPP) insisted on Friday that no timetable had been discussed to lift the ban on agricultural imports from prefectures affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, following a virtual meeting with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan (PLD).

Taiwan banned food imports from five prefectures in Japan – Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi – following the collapse of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011, triggered by an earthquake and a massive tsunami.

Despite repeated protests from the Japanese government, the restrictions remained in place and a November 2018 referendum saw the Taiwanese electorate overwhelmingly vote to keep the ban.

Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), a lawmaker from the DPP, who attended the virtual meeting with Japan’s LDP, said Taiwan will apply scientific data and use international standards when evaluating the current ban .

Lo, who heads the DPP’s foreign affairs division, said the two sides in the online dialogue had not discussed a timeline for lifting the ban.

Lo and his DPP counterpart Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉), while Masahisa Sato, member of the House of Councilors of Japan, the upper house of the Diet, and Akimasa Ishikawa, member of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Diet, represented the PLD at the meeting.

Sato is the head of the PLD’s foreign affairs division, while Ishikawa is the head of the party’s economic and industrial affairs division.

According to Lo, the meeting was supposed to last an hour, but due to the heated discussions among the participants, the meeting lasted 40 minutes.

Chiu said that Sato was from Fukushima and Ishikawa’s hometown of Ibaraki, the two Japanese lawmakers referred to Taiwan’s current ban on prefecture food products, claiming that Japan’s central government, governments local, parliament and industry have taken the issue very seriously. seriously.

Chiu said his Japanese wife was from Chiba, so he felt the food import ban was a big deal for Japan.

But, echoing Lo, he added that the Taiwan government must ensure food security for its people by applying scientific evidence and international standards before deciding whether or not to lift the ban.

Chiu said the two Japanese participants agreed with the attitude of the Taiwanese side regarding the resolution of the food security issue.

Shortly after the virtual meeting began, Sato held a shakya and Ishikawa an orange, the two fruits of Taiwan, to show their support for Taiwan’s agricultural industry, according to Lo.

Lo said a lot of time was spent discussing Taiwan’s candidacy to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Quoting Sato, Lo said the PLD included support for Taiwan’s candidacy to join the CPTPP in its election platform when the party sought to retain its parliamentary majority in October.

Taiwanese Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王 子 花) said on Thursday that she expected Japan to have played a leading role in the CPTPP, the issue of lifting the ban to import from Taiwan is inevitable.

In Friday’s meeting, Chiu said the two sides talked about cooperation in semiconductor supplies at a time of global chip shortages.

Chiu said that from Taiwan’s point of view, competition from China in the semiconductor industry is increasing, and as a result, the supply chain issue has become a national security issue.

Friday’s meeting was the second two-way virtual dialogue between the DPP and the LDP after a meeting in August this year. The August meeting discussed military and national defense issues.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Ken Wang and Frances Huang)

Final element / ASG

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