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Korea not to lift Fukushima seafood import ban for CPTPP entry push: oceans minister

Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan

May 25, 2022

Korea’s oceans minister said Wednesday that the country will not lift a ban on imports of seafood from Japan’s Fukushima area for the sake of winning Japan’s support for the country’s push to join a major free trade agreement.

Seoul decided to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which involves 11 nations, including Japan and Australia, and has been working on due domestic procedures to submit an application.

Japan has been reluctant to agree to Korea’s entry, as it has banned all seafood imports from Japan’s Fukushima regions since 2013 on concerns over radiation levels following the 2011 nuclear power plant meltdown there.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join the CPTPP,” Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan said during a meeting with reporters.

Cho earlier said the issue regarding regulations on fishery products was directly linked to the health and safety of the people so that it was not a matter being discussed under any international customs agreements.

Korea needs unanimous support from the 11 member states to win membership accreditation.

As for the now-expired fisheries agreement between Seoul and Tokyo, the minister vowed efforts to resume negotiations despite stark differences in their stances amid diplomatic rows stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

The bilateral fisheries agreement has not been renewed after expiring in 2016, as the two sides failed to narrow the gap on fishing quotas and other issues.

Officials here have said that Japan’s demand is closely related to Korea’s sovereignty over its easternmost islets of Dokdo in the East Sea.

“Japan has not been very active in resuming talks on the agreement,” Cho said. “We will continue efforts to make progress on the matter and to develop bilateral relations in a future-oriented fashion.” (Yonhap)

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

South Korea to keep import ban on Japan seafood due to Fukushima concern

File photo taken in April 2019 shows seafood at a fishing port in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan.

KYODO NEWS – May 25, 2022

South Korea will maintain an import ban on Japanese seafood from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a minister said Wednesday, denying any plan to lift it in a bid to secure Tokyo’s support to join a regional free trade accord.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join” the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord, Oceans Minister Cho Seung Hwan said during a meeting with reporters, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Japan is one of the leading members of the 11-nation TPP, which also includes Australia, Singapore and Mexico. Consent of all members is required for new membership.

South Korea has been working on domestic procedures to submit an application, Yonhap said.

China and Taiwan are also seeking to join the TPP.

Taiwan in February lifted an import ban on food products from Fukushima and some other Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Amid radiation concerns, South Korea has banned Japanese seafood imports from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Kishida, Johnson Enjoy Popcorn from Fukushima

May 6, 2022

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, enjoyed popcorn from Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, during their meeting in London on Thursday.
At the meeting, Johnson informed Kishida of Britain’s plan to lift by the end of June its import restrictions on food produced in Fukushima and other areas in Japan, which were introduced after the March 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 power station.
According to a statement released by the office of the British prime minister after the two leaders’ meeting, Johnson said he was “pleased” that Britain would soon lift the remaining restrictions on Fukushima food products.
The popcorn Kishida and Johnson tasted was flavored with peach nectar and coconuts, a photograph released by the British prime minister’s office showed. Kishida brought with him the popcorn produced by Hishinuma Farm in the city of Fukushima.
When the two met in Brussels in March this year, they enjoyed Fukushima-produced karinto, or deep-fried Japanese snack made with brown sugar. At that time, Johnson, who called himself a fan of karinto, brought the snack with him.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Thought chlorinated chicken was bad? Fukushima food to be imported as restrictions get lifted

Boris Johnson munched on ‘Fukushima popcorn’ as he met with Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister.

May 6, 2022

Those worried about imported chlorinated chicken from America might want to re-think their priorities after Boris Johnson struck a nuclear agreement with the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida.

From now on, fish and vegetables grown near the old Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan can be freely sold in Britain after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) scrapped a rule on radioactivity levels in produce.

The agency reviewed controls ahead of the Japanese PM’s meeting with Johnson, with the pair sharing some ‘Fukushima popcorn’ to mark the lifting of all of the remaining restrictions.

The FSA said: “Our risk assessment shows that removing the 100 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg) maximum level of radiocaesium for food imported from Japan to the UK would result in a negligible increase in dose and any associated risk to UK consumers.

“Without specific import controls, the emphasis would fall on food businesses to ensure food is safe under General Food Law. However, we would not recommend businesses need to take any precautions beyond their normal due diligence.”

Tesco and Waitrose said they had no immediate plans to introduce the items in store. They are already available in limited quantities at some specialist Japanese grocers.

Downing Street said that the Prime Minister “was pleased Great Britain would soon lift the remaining restrictions on Fukushima”.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

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.

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


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.

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

DPP sacrifices Taiwan people’s interests by lifting ban on Japan‘nuclear food’ for political gain

Deceit and Betrayal

People protest against the lifting of restrictions on US pork containing ractopamine in Taipei on November 22, 2020.

February 13, 2022

The surprise lifting of a ban on importing food from five prefectures in Japan around the site of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has sparked anger in the island of Taiwan.

After being banned for more than a decade, the “nuclear food” as it is known by Taiwan people, will finally be allowed to return to the island’s dinner tables, which is regarded by local media and observers as another betrayal of the public opinion by the DPP authority after the reauthorization of ractopamine-enhanced pork imports from the US.  

Importing toxic food and generously gifting scarce masks to the US in the face of local emergency shortages, the DPP has engaged in countless cunning political calculations against the interests of the Taiwan people, to enhance international visibility or initiate skewed “international cooperation.” 

To pursue its political interests and separatist conspiracy, the DPP goes against the will of people on the island, negatively impacting public health and safety, said Ni Yongjie, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies. “It is messing up Taiwan with fascist-like deeds.” 

Artificial arguments down people’s throats

Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster caused by the massive in 2011, Taiwan’s authorities banned food imports from Fukushima for over a decade. In 2018, the island held an anti-nuclear food referendum where Taiwan people supported the existing ban with 7.79 million votes. 

However, the sudden announcement by the DPP authority to lift the ban is not a change in public opinion in Taiwan. The Japan Times said that island’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, prioritized Japan-related food issues in trying to win Japan’s support for Taiwan’s entry into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

In the face of fierce public protest, Tsai asserted that since 2016, the local authorities have completed six assessment and investigative reports, and enacted strengthening measures on the imported foods monitoring. 

Ironically, local media cited expert analyses as saying that much of the leaked radioactive material is still radioactive. 

The Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party revealed that the DPP intentionally shortened the policy notice period from 60 to 10 days, and only Kaohsiung, Taichung, and New Taipei City presently have radiation inspection equipment, Tsai and the DPP’s alleged commitment has only been lip service.

Some DPP members on January 16 suggested that the food should be referred to as “Fu food” rather than “nuclear food.” “Fu food” may refer to Fukushima food but also means “blessed food” in Chinese, a term likely more acceptable to Taiwan people.

The DPP even released a so-called poll on February 9, indicating that 58.7 percent of the public support the distribution of Fukushima food

The KMT revealed that the “poll” only used “Japanese food” as a substitute, failed to mention the radiation risk associated with such food.

Source: Taiwan Yahoo news poll conducted between February 8 and February 11. Graphic: GT

“It showed DPP’s hand by directly announcing the embrace of ‘nuclear food’ by the end of month,” Ni sighed. “The DPP authority completely forgets about public interests.”

By opening the door to “nuclear food,” the DPP authority rush to improve relations with Japan. The DPP regards Japan as a main ally on the “international stage” that can help with DPP’s secessionist strategy, Ni said.

Put Taiwan people aside

Looking back at Tsai’s recent years in office, the island has been gripped by concerns over food safety and public health.

Taiwan reportedly started importing ractopamine-enhanced pork from the US in January 2021, after the island’s DPP-dominated legislative body approved acts to lift restrictions on such pork.

Ractopamine is banned from food production in at least 160 countries and regions including the European Union. Regardless of the 70 percent dissent by the Taiwan residents, as a local poll showed, the DPP actively paved the way for imports of the controversial pork to appease the US. 

Head of Taiwan’s health authority Chen Shih-chung once said he was willing to “eat ractopamine-enhanced pork for three consecutive months” as importing the pork could enhance Taiwan’s “international status,” though such attempts did nothing to quell public anger. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tsai authority further enraged the Taiwan public by utilizing essential anti-epidemic supplies including medical masks and vaccines to pursue its separatist agenda. 

In March 2020, DPP reportedly signed a “jointly statement” with the US and promised to provide it with 10,000 medical masks per week. A month later, the DPP announced a total of 16 million donated masks globally.

Ironically, the DPP made the promise when the island seriously lacked masks. As Taiwan media reported in February and March of 2020, local residents were only allowed to buy two or three masks each week. There were long queues at the pharmacies at that time.

In May 2021, the DPP authority announced the purchase of 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from local producers Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (MVC) and United BioPharma (UB) at a cost of NT$750-881 ($26.9-31.6) per dose, much more expensive than the vaccine produced by the world’s current major brands including Oxford-AstraZeneca ($4) and Moderna ($15), reported Taipei-based United Daily News in June 2021. Prior to that, DPP had rejected vaccines provided by the Chinese mainland, and turned down private purchases or donations even amid severe vaccine shortages.

According to an exclusive report by Reuters in June 2021, UB-612 vaccine is developed by private US firm COVAXX. Sources told Reuters that Erik Prince, former head of Blackwater, invested in COVAXX in 2020.

Blackwater is known for providing intelligence, training, and security services to the US army and government. After the real entity behind the development of the  UB-612 vaccine was revealed, Taiwan social media platforms were flooded with recriminations about DPP’s lies to the people in the interests of American big business and a possible US-led political alliance.

“The government uses large amount of public money to purchase the [UB-612] vaccine in the name of ‘supporting a Taiwan-developed vaccine; but the fact is, the vaccine is from the US,” Taiwan’s TV commentator Huang Chih-hsien wrote on Facebook in June 2021.  

Taiwan people demonstrate in the streets of Taipei in March 2017 in a rally against nuclear energy. Photo: AFP

The DPP authority have frequently caused public anger due to their traitorous behaviors during the past years, and they are aware of the anger caused, Ni said. “They just don’t care, as long as this separatist party can benefit,” he said.

Sadly, the DPP’s behaviors were paid by the whole of Taiwan, Ni noted. “The consequences of it ignoring food security and public health will be borne by all the residents and their offspring on the island,” he told the Global Times.

February 17, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan lifts Fukushima food ban as it looks to Japan for trade pact support

The island will ease restrictions to allow in produce from five Japanese prefectures more than a decade after the nuclear disaster.

Decision will help smooth the way for Taiwan’s bid to join the CPTPP, Cabinet spokesman says.

Taiwan is relaxing restrictions on Japanese food imports.

8 Feb, 2022

Taiwan will largely lift a ban on some Japanese food imports imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster as it seeks closer cooperation with Tokyo.

Citing the need to join global trade pacts, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the island’s government announced on Tuesday it would conditionally lift the ban on food from Fukushima and four other Japanese prefectures later this month.

“For 11 years, Japan has imposed restrictive measures even more stringent than international standards to reduce the risk in relation to food, leading to more than 40 countries, including the 11 member states of the CPTPP to fully lift the ban on related Japanese food imports,” Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng said.

Lo said many European countries had also relaxed their bans or required radiation-free certificates for the imports.

“All over the world today, only Taiwan and China maintain the ban, and even Hong Kong and Macau have partially lifted the ban,” he said.

Lo said that after years of reviews and consultations with food experts and scientists as well as examination of international standards and practices, the island finally decided to conditionally remove the ban.

Under the plan, food from Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures will be allowed in but aquatic products, tea, and dairy products will require proof that they are radiation-free and have certificates of origin.

General bans on wildlife meats, mushrooms and certain kinds of vegetables will remain in place.

Lo said the removal would help smooth the way for the island’s bid to join the CPTPP, which requires high standards for membership.

“For Taiwan to take part in the world trade and economic system and to join the high-standard CPTPP, we need to meet international criteria and refrain from ignoring scientific proof,” he said, adding Taiwan had discussed the issue many times with Japan and must remove unreasonable obstacles if it wants to join the Asia-Pacific trade body.

But he also stressed that the removal was not part of a deal in exchange for Japan’s support on CPTPP entry, though it would help the island’s bid.

John Deng, Taiwan’s top trade negotiator, said Taiwan applied to join the CPTPP last year and through its overseas representative offices or bilateral trade meetings, it had sought support from the 11 member states – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

He said the CPTPP’s review committee had yet to examine Taiwan’s application because it had been busy with Britain’s membership bid over the past year.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on her Facebook account on Tuesday that her government would not neglect the health concerns of the public and would uphold food safety on the island.

The main opposition party, the Kuomintang, however, blasted the Tsai government for ignoring public opinion that the food products be banned.

The decision comes despite a 2018 referendum that supported the 2011 ban.

Observers said the decision had more to do with the island’s hopes of winning security and military support from Japan to counter growing threats from Beijing.

“Participation in the CPTPP is a reason, but more importantly, Tsai wants to use the measure to befriend Japan so that it will join the United States to help defend Taiwan in the event of a potential cross-strait conflict,” said Wang Kung-yi, director of the Taiwan International Strategic Study Society, a Taipei-based think tank.

He said Tsai had done all she could to seek support from the US.

Wang said Tsai had also tried hard to cement ties with Japan to counter the mainland especially after former Japanese prime minister Abe Shinzo said any mainland Chinese attack against Taiwan, either direct or indirect, would affect Japan’s national security.

Beijing considers Taiwan its territory that must control, by force if necessary. It has warned the US and Japan – which both recognise the mainland diplomatically – against military and official support for the island.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan Lifts Ban on Fukushima Food in Push to Join Trade Bloc

Economic priorities put before people’s health priority by politicians!

February 8, 2022

(Bloomberg) — Taiwan lifted its ban on most food imports from areas around the Fukushima nuclear power plant which melted down in 2011, removing an irritant in the bilateral relationship and making it easier for Japan’s government to support Taiwan joining an Asia-Pacific trade deal.

The decade-old ban on most foods imported from Fukushima and four surrounding prefectures will be lifted from Feb. 18, Taiwan’s government said at a briefing Tuesday. Restrictions will remain on certain food items that carry a greater risk of nuclear radiation, such as mushrooms and the meat of wild animals, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng said at a briefing in Taipei.

“The lifting of the Fukushima ban sends a clear message to the world that Taiwan is willing to follow international standards in order to participate in economic and trade cooperation,” Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng said at the briefing. “This will provide a great push for Taiwan’s efforts to join CPTPP as Singapore and other member countries have expressed their willingness to welcome governments that can accept high standards.”

The government vowed to implement scientific inspections which are more stringent than international standards in an effort to reassure the public the imports will be safe.

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an emailed statement that the government welcomed the move as a first step, but would continue to press for removal of the remaining restrictions.

Domestic Opposition

Taiwan halted imports of food products from Fukushima and surrounding prefectures in 2011 over concerns of radiation contamination after the nuclear disaster triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that year.

The food ban has become a domestic political issue in Taiwan. A majority of voters in a 2018 referendum agreed that it should be kept in place, a position supported by the opposition Kuomintang, which says the government is unable to provide unequivocal science-based guarantees about the safety of food imported from the area.

China, South Korea and Taiwan were the only governments that still ban some or all food imports from Fukushima and surrounding areas, according to Japan’s government.

The decision to lift the ban now could cost President Tsai valuable political capital before key regional elections scheduled for November. The move mirrors a previous decision by Tsai to remove restrictions on imports of pork containing trace amounts of the feed additive ractopamine.

That ban effectively blocked imports of pork from the U.S., which called it the biggest impediment to a bilateral free trade agreement. However after it was lifted, imports of pork from the U.S. fell 86% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to data from Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, as consumers shied away from it.

Push for International Integration

The lifting of the ban is seen as a key step in gaining Japan’s support for Taiwan to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move which could help the island reduce its economic reliance on China. Complicating Taiwan’s bid to join is the fact that China has also applied for entry, leaving member nations with a tough decision between admitting one, both or neither.

Cabinet spokesman Lo was quick to play down hopes of immediate progress in Taiwan’s CPTPP bid however, warning that ending the ban does not necessarily guarantee Taiwan will be accepted into the bloc but rather it is a prerequisite condition for membership. He also said Taipei’s move was not intended to earn Japan’s backing for Taiwan’s entry bid.

Both Taiwan and China are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the World Trade Organization, but Beijing has said that this isn’t a precedent that means that Taipei can also join the CPTPP. The government of the People’s Republic of China views Taiwan is part of its territory, a claim the authorities in Taipei reject. The government of President Tsai Ing-wen is looking to cultivate additional overseas markets to reduce the mainland’s economic leverage.

Those tensions mean a long and politicized application process is likely, with the members divided between nations like Japan, Australia and Canada pushing for Taiwan’s accession, and Southeast Asian countries keen to remain in China’s good graces, making them vulnerable to pressure from Beijing to thwart Taipei’s bid. In an interview with Bloomberg Television in November, Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said there are “political complications” surrounding Taiwan’s bid.

February 9, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s KMT says public health most important when considering Fukushima food imports

KMT Chairman Eric Chu says party gathering data to ‘defend the health of Taiwanese’

Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Saturday (Jan. 15) commented on the issue of importing food products from Fukushima, Japan, saying the party prioritizes the health of Taiwanese.

China Broadcasting Chair Chao Shao-kang (趙少康) recently stated he could not believe the KMT had released a press release saying that “as long as Japan can guarantee the safety of food imported to Taiwan, the KMT will agree to import nuclear food from Japan.” “I almost fainted when I read it,” Chao said.

In response to his remark, Chu said in a media interview that the KMT is “absolutely 100% opposed” to anything that harms the health of Taiwanese and that the party must stand with the public, CNA reported.

He said that if the Democratic Progressive Party is promoting imported Fukushima food products in pursuit of political interests, the KMT will never approve of this.

The KMT Central Committee, KMT-led local governments, and party think tanks will join together to collect scientific evidence and data to “defend the people’s health,” Chu added.

January 19, 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.

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.

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

Israel lifts restrictions on imported Japanese food products

The 15 countries and regions maintaining restrictions on Japanese food imports include China, South Korea, and the US.

January 29, 2021

Israel has removed import restrictions on food items from Japan imposed due to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, reducing the number of countries and regions with such trade policies to 15.

All Fukushima food products and some items such as grain, seafood, and mushrooms from Iwate, Miyagi, Tochigi, Gunma, and Chiba prefectures were subjected to the import restrictions.

The restrictions include submitting radiation inspection certificates and having all the items tested upon entry.

Japan farm minister Kotaro Nogami urged countries and regions retaining import restrictions to ease or eliminate them

Israel is now among 39 countries and regions that have lifted import restrictions.

The 15 countries and regions maintaining restrictions on Japanese food imports include China, South Korea, and the US.

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | | Leave a comment

China, Fukushima and inflatable poop: how Taiwan got frozen out of Asia’s biggest trade deal

19 January, 2019
The eleven members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be meeting for the first time since it came into force at the end of last year
Taiwan’s entry has been blocked by China and clashes with the US and Japan over food imports, experts say
Taiwan will be looking on enviously as trade officials meet in Tokyo this weekend to discuss expanding one of the world’s largest free trade agreements (FTA).
The eleven members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be meeting for the first time since it came into force at the end of last year.
And while many potential new entrants – including Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand – are high on the agenda, Taiwan faces an uphill struggle for admission.
Its diplomatic stand-off with China has left it frozen out of most multilateral organisations. The fact that many nations refuse to recognise its nationhood means it does not have a seat at the United Nations, for instance.
Many suspect that Beijing is also blocking its membership in the CPTPP, which consists of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, and which the Taiwanese government is desperate to join.
China’s influence also means Taiwan has struggled to sign FTAs with other countries, despite being a relatively open economy, compared to some of those under consideration in the CPTPP.
“They are – by far – the most prepared, and even adjusted their domestic laws for intellectual property to match CPTPP rules already,” said Deborah Elms, executive director of the Asian Trade Centre, a free market lobby group.
Taiwan currently has only a handful of free trade deals, with mainly peripheral economies: Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, New Zealand, Paraguay and Singapore.
Most of those were signed when it was under the rule of the Kuomintang (KMT) and so on friendlier terms with China.
“Taiwan has been struggling to conclude some FTAs for many years because China’s good at blocking them at the diplomatic level,” said John Marrett, Asia analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.
“If Taiwan joined, it would be the signatory in most dire need of joining. Many of those involved have deals with one third or one half of the other nations already under their belt in bilateral or multilateral terms,” he said.
“The impetus is not as strong as for Taiwan. It’s a massive deal for Taiwan, so you can understand why they’ve put so much effort into this, and they’re ready to go. But they’ve got this massive issue of China blocking its entry,” Parrett added.
Compare that with Hong Kong, which is likely to conclude an FTA with the Asean group of 10 nations this year, is negotiating with the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), and which already has deals with Australia and New Zealand.
“Whether it is in the benefit of Hong Kong to enter into the CPTPP because it does not have an FTA or plan to forge an FTA with Canada [the only CPTPP country it has yet to negotiate with] maybe we have other priorities,” said Louis Chan, assistant principal economist at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
The Taiwanese premier, Lai Ching-te told local media last year that the difficulties facing Taiwan’s accession are “completely because of China’s political obstacles”.
This view was confirmed by former Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop, who told Fairfax Media that China had blocked a potential FTA between Australia and Taiwan.
“The Chinese government made it clear to me that circumstances had changed between Taiwan and mainland China and that China would not look favourably on Australia seeking to pursue an FTA with Taiwan,” she said.
For a new country to join the CPTPP, all the member nations must agree. For a small nation such as Brunei, one of the CPTPP-11, it may be difficult to face down any pressure from Beijing.
In an email exchange, Andrés Rebolledo a trade economist who, until last year, served as the energy minister of Chile, told the South China Morning Post that “in a scenario in which these economies [Hong Kong and Taiwan] request to enter, the member countries of CPTPP-11 should also consider the impact on their relationship with China”.
However, China is not the only hurdle facing Taiwan in joining the world’s third largest trade deal, which is being gradually ratified by its member states, with Vietnam the latest to pass it into law.
When the US dumped the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after Donald Trump’s election, there were hopes that it might lower the barriers to entry for Taiwan.
The two countries have clashed repeatedly on trade and investment negotiations, particularly over agriculture.
Taiwan (along with other Asian nations) banned US beef imports after traces of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE – also known as “Mad Cow Disease”) were found in American cattle.
The ban was lifted in 2016, but US pork remains under an embargo, due to the use of ractopamine, an additive commonly fed to US livestock. The bans have angered generations of US trade officials, who have found negotiating with their Taiwanese counterparts challenging, but it looks unlikely that Taiwan will budge on pork.
One US trade delegation was greeted in Taiwan by protesting farmers, brandishing a big inflatable poop, said a former trade negotiator, speaking on background.
“The farmers control trade policy and Taiwan has very crazy farmers just like Korea, Japan, the US and the EU,” the official recalled.
The US’ exit made Japan the most significant economy in the CPTPP, but it has also clashed with Taiwan over agricultural products.
In November, Taiwan voted in a referendum to uphold a ban on food imports from the areas around the Fukushima nuclear plant site, infuriating the Japanese government.
The Japanese foreign minister said the results were “extremely disappointing”, and it’s expected that this could also hold up Taiwan’s progress toward joining the CPTPP.
Such “trade irritants” are viewed as “standard operating procedure” in Taiwan by the US source.
A Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told local press this week that the government will be watching the Tokyo round closely.
“We are continuing our talks with Tokyo to convince them that the food ban issue and Taiwan’s inclusion in the CPTPP should be discussed separately,” they said.
But all the signs suggest that for the foreseeable future, Taiwan will continue to look on from the outside.

January 25, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment