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DPP uses Taiwan people’s health as bargaining chip

Taiwan’s Fukushima food ban lifting viewed from mainland China

Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, China’s Taiwan.

February 25, 2022

The Taiwan authorities formally lifted the ban on food imports from Japan’s Fukushima and four other prefectures on Monday. The ban was imposed after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

The island authorities’ move is similar to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s decision in 2021 to lift the restrictions on the import of pork with ractopamine, a feed additive harmful to human health, from the United States. In fact, it is also to please the US that the DPP is opening up the island’s market to food products from Fukushima ignoring the high risk of nuclear contamination.

By ignoring the health concerns about the food products from Fukushima, the DPP is putting Taiwan residents’ health and lives in danger.

After a devastating earthquake-triggered tsunami caused a meltdown of three of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s six nuclear reactors on March 11, 2011, governments around the world imposed restrictions on food imports from five Japanese prefectures-Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba. The Taiwan authorities imposed the ban in late March that year.

Yet since taking power in 2016, the DPP has been trying to lift the ban in exchange for Japan’s support for its “Taiwan independence” agenda. In fact, the DPP has lifted the ban despite a 2018 referendum in which people voted overwhelmingly to continue the ban.

Ironically, the DPP won many Taiwan residents’ support because of its anti-nuclear stance. “Use love to generate electricity” was a slogan the DPP used at the time to lure people to its side. But since coming to power six years ago, the DPP in its bid to split the island from the motherland has reneged on its anti-nuclear promise.

The lifting of the ban on Fukushima food products in a desperate attempt to boost ties with Japan to counter the Chinese mainland is an apt example of the DPP’s subterfuge.

For the same reason, the DPP accepted US conditions and resumed the import of US pork, ignoring the health hazards it poses to Taiwan residents.

The DPP believes compromising food safety to get security guarantee from the US and Japan is very cost-effective. That’s why it used every possible trick to brainwash Taiwan residents and convince them that food products from those five Japanese prefectures are not “food with radioactivity” but “food with blessing”.

Also, the DPP has been claiming that the lifting of the ban will boost Taiwan’s chances of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. In fact, Chen Chi-chung, the official in charge of the island’s agriculture, said that with the withdrawal of the ban, the island’s imports from Japan will increase by a maximum of $70 million a year while Japan’s import of Taiwan’s pineapples-18,000 tons last year and 30,000 tons this year-alone will exceed that amount.

It seems the DPP considers eating nuclear-contaminated food in exchange for exporting pineapples a good deal. The DPP’s arbitrary and anti-people decision is the result of its obscurantist and narrow policies.

Many Taiwan residents still believe in the DPP’s propaganda to the extent of blindly following its diktats even though those diktats are against their well-being and interests. Those people who voted the DPP to power for the second time only to end up eating pork with ractopamine from the US and radiation-exposed food from Fukushima are swallowing their own bitter fruits.

The DPP’s rule is nothing but a reign of terror. A party which uses the health and lives of the people as a bargaining chip in exchange for the support of anti-China forces will become more brazen in its quest to fulfill its narrow benefits. So Taiwan residents who voted for the DPP have to suffer the consequences of their choice.

The author is deputy director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Beijing Union University.

https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202202/25/WS6218136da310cdd39bc88c70.html

February 28, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan partially lifts import bans on Japanese foods

Political expediancy, lies and cover up, propaganda!

Feb. 21, 2022

Taiwan says it has partially lifted import bans on Japanese foods on Monday that have been in force since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

Taiwan had stopped importing all food items from Fukushima and the nearby prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba. The ban excluded alcoholic drinks.

Officials announced earlier this month that they would lift the ban, except for wild bird and animal meat as well as mushrooms from those prefectures.

They said the move was based on global standards and ‘scientific proof’and noted that most countries have eased restrictions.

Taiwanese authorities say they sought feedback from the public about the decision and ‘received only a few objections’.

Food from the five prefectures must still be accompanied by test results for radioactive materials, and all items will be subject to inspections in Taiwan.

All prefectures must also still provide proof of origin.

Officials in Japan say the safety of the food has been scientifically proven and they will continue asking Taiwan to lift all the regulations.

February 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Taiwan officially scraps ban on food from 5 Japanese prefectures

Political expediancy sacrificing people’s health…

Decision to lift ban announced earlier this month as government eyes CPTPP entry

People shop for Japanese seafood in Taiwan

2022/02/21

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The ban on food from parts of Japan affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was formally lifted on Monday (Feb. 21).

The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration promulgated the removal of the ban on Feb. 21 after reviewing public feedback. Three dozen comments were submitted, including 17 in favor of ending the ban and four against, as well as 15 inquiries and suggestions.

The goods in question are from five Japanese prefectures: Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki, and Tochigi. With the scrapping of the ban, which has been in place for a decade, goods from these areas will be subject to risk controls when imported.

Food products that are prohibited from circulating within Japan, such as wildlife meat and mushrooms from those five prefectures, will not be allowed to enter Taiwan. Radiation safety and product origin certificates are required for items deemed to be high-risk, such as tea and aquatic products.

Despite the government’s pledge to implement rigorous border inspections, some believe more needs to be done to ensure food safety. Earlier this month, the New Power Party aired concern about possible traces of strontium-90 in the Japanese imports, as the isotope is not on the radiation watch list, and exposure to it may increase the risk of bone cancer.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4450300

February 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

US lifts post-Fukushima import restrictions on Japan farm products

Suga further tweeted that he had asked for an early removal of the restrictions when he met with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington in April and said the government “needs to continue its efforts in order to have similar import restrictions lifted in other countries and regions as well.” Japanese farm products now cleared for shipping to the United States include rice harvested in Fukushima, bamboo shoots from Iwate and shiitake mushrooms.

This Feb. 13, 2021 photo taken from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

September 22, 2021

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The United States has lifted all of its restrictions on imports of food products from Japan established in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan’s farm ministry said Wednesday.

Under the restrictions, U.S. imports of a total of 100 agricultural products produced in 14 Japanese prefectures including Fukushima had been suspended.

The other 13 prefectures were Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka.

Welcoming the U.S. decision, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday on Twitter, “It is a move that people in the disaster-hit areas have been waiting for, and something that will greatly contribute to the recovery of those places. Japan welcomes this step very much.”

Suga further tweeted that he had asked for an early removal of the restrictions when he met with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington in April and said the government “needs to continue its efforts in order to have similar import restrictions lifted in other countries and regions as well.”

Japanese farm products now cleared for shipping to the United States include rice harvested in Fukushima, bamboo shoots from Iwate and shiitake mushrooms.

“The abolition of U.S. import restrictions will have a great impact on other countries and regions,” a ministry official said.

The European Union also plans to ease import restrictions on Japanese farm and food products on Oct. 10, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries said Tuesday.

According to the ministry, the United States is the third-largest importer of Japanese farm and food products after Hong Kong and China.

Japanese exports of farm products and food to the United States totaled 118.8 billion yen ($1.09 billion) in 2020.

With the United States’ lifting of import restrictions, effective on Tuesday local time, the number of countries and regions imposing such measures on Japanese farm and food products decreased to 14.

In the wake of the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following a massive tsunami caused by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, 55 countries and regions placed restrictions on imports of Japanese farm and food products amid fear of potential contamination with radioactive materials.

Japanese farmers, particularly those in the region close to the Fukushima nuclear plant, have gone to great lengths to regain consumer trust in their products at home and abroad, including compliance with strict safety inspections. Nonetheless, concerns over the quality of such products still linger.

The farm ministry plans to urge the 14 countries and regions including Hong Kong and China to abolish the remaining import restrictions on Japanese products.

Meanwhile, despite the latest U.S. measure, some food products subject to Japan’s own export restrictions cannot be shipped overseas.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210922/p2g/00m/0na/016000c?fbclid=IwAR04IovE4Bvag3h2CpY9uqwyE6Wch3mAn-ZxjJGbAp9u8bLc3yXfKFGDQEE

September 24, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

U.S. lifts post-Fukushima import restrictions on Japan farm products

A trial cultivation of vegetables is carried out in the Nagadoro district of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, in August.

September 22, 2021

Citing ‘robust control measures,’ the United States on Wednesday lifted an import ban on food products from prefectures hit by the earthquake, tsunami and triple meltdown disaster that struck northeastern Japan in 2011.

The ban, which was put in place following the tsunami-triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, affected 100 agricultural, forestry, fishery and food products from 14 prefectures, including rice and shiitake mushrooms produced in Fukushima.

The other 13 prefectures were Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka.

Ten years after the accident, the number of countries and regions that have imposed import restrictions now totals 14, down from the initial 55.

The news was immediately welcomed in Japan, where officials have long insisted that products from the disaster-hit regions are safe to consume.

“This decision has been long-awaited by people in the disaster-stricken areas, and it will be of great help in their recovery efforts.” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga tweeted on Wednesday. “Japan greatly welcomes this decision.”

Suga added that he was “deeply moved” by the U.S. policy change.

“I personally lobbied President (Joe) Biden for the early elimination of the ban during my visit to the United States in April,” Suga added. “The government must continue to work together to eliminate import restrictions in each country and region.”

In announcing the move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cited “extensive analysis of Japan’s robust control measures,” and pointed to 10 years of sampling of food products from Japan.

The decision came after the FDA determined “a very low risk to American consumers from radioactive contaminated foods imported from Japan,” the agency said a statement.

The EU has also decided to relax its related import restrictions next month.

The export value of Japanese agricultural products and food items to the U.S. was ¥118.8 billion in 2020, making it Japan’s third largest export destination after Hong Kong and China, according to the ministry.

“The impact of (the United States’ move) is huge,” an agriculture ministry official said, expressing hope that countries still imposing restrictions will be encouraged to ease or lift them.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/09/22/business/us-lifts-fukushima-import-ban/

September 24, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan to hold referendum on lifting Fukushima food ban in November

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Senior officials of the Kuomintang, Taiwan’s largest opposition party, hold a press conference on Aug. 27, 2018 at their headquarters in Taipei to state their opposition to lifting a ban on food imports from Fukushima and four other Japanese prefectures. The banners read “oppose nuclear food.”
 
August 28, 2018
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s largest opposition party Kuomintang has announced that it has collected some 470,000 signatures supporting a referendum on whether to lift a ban on the import of food products from five Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, imposed after the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster.
The number is far more than the 280,000 legally required to hold a referendum, and it is most likely that one will be held on Nov. 24 in tandem with general local elections.
Taiwan has banned foodstuff from the prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma in the northern and eastern parts of Japan, and the Kuomintang supports the ban.
A national referendum must have a turnout rate of at least 25 percent for the result to be valid, but this hurdle is likely to be cleared if the voting is done alongside the local elections. If voters back the ban, it would be extremely difficult for the administration of Tsai Ing-wen to ignore the outcome and Japan-Taiwan relations would suffer substantially as a result.
Behind the referendum move is a political rivalry between the Kuomintang and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headed by Tsai. The opposition is stepping up attacks on the ruling party in a bid to win the local elections and build political momentum toward the 2020 presidential election.
The Kuomintang has launched a negative PR campaign against food items from Fukushima and the other prefectures because the Tsai administration is positive about lifting the import ban. The opposition called the Japanese products “nuclear food,” meaning contaminated by the nuclear accident, and accused the government of ignoring people’s food safety concerns. A person linked to the DPP lamented that the issue is “being used in a political fight.”
The government of Japan has repeatedly urged Taiwan to lift the import ban, saying the safety of its food items is scientifically proven. However, the Tsai administration is hesitant about rushing a decision on resuming imports as it faces faltering approval rates and the issue could trigger explosive opposition from some voters.

hkokojhh.jpg

August 28, 2018 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment