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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

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.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202202/1252141.shtml?fbclid=IwAR3AfNAp3rNBAl7a18zza8mwYum7IAt9_vet_cxhEN93ie6lLzB0xSCpczw

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.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3166245/taiwan-lifts-fukushima-food-ban-it-looks-japan-trade-pact

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.

https://www.yahoo.com/now/taiwan-set-lift-ban-fukushima-140007509.html

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

2022/01/16

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.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4411750

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Taiwan will not import contaminated food products from Fukushima, Japan

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu affirms Taiwan’s high food safety standards

Simple: When asked whether importing food from Fukushima would guarantee Taiwan’s acceptance to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wu reiterated that in order to enter Taiwan, food must not be contaminated.

December 23, 2021

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) has emphasized that Taiwan will not import food products from Fukushima, Japan, that are contaminated.

In a Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting at the Legislative Yuan on Thursday (Dec. 23), Wu said that Taiwan has strict food safety regulations and that no radiated food can be imported. The government will protect the health of Taiwanese and check food safety in accordance with international standards and scientific evidence, CNA cited him as saying.

When asked whether importing food from Fukushima would guarantee Taiwan’s acceptance to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wu reiterated that in order to enter Taiwan, food must not be contaminated. Taiwan has been in contact with Japan regarding the issue, the foreign minister said, but the matter has not been formally discussed and there is no timetable yet.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4386210?fbclid=IwAR1PYyDOrsN_u2AsLu1t4umoXyAAFWcdS9kNpD0L4IUgXwMFScj_khZABB8

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwanese protest plan to dump water from Japan nuclear plant into sea

November 19, 2020

Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese staged a protest in Taipei on Thursday against a plan by the Japanese government to release more than a million tonnes of water into the ocean from the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant, starting in 2022.

At the rally in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), some 20 supporters of the “Nuclear Go Zero” movement called on the ministry to push back, via diplomatic channels, against the Japanese government’s controversial plan.

Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅), a lawyer affiliated with the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association in Taiwan, said at the rally that releasing “contaminated” water from the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power would pose a risk to humans who might eat the many marine species that migrate in the warm current between Taiwan and Japan.

Another protester, Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳), deputy CEO of the environmental organization Citizen of the Earth, said contamination of the marine ecology could last for 30-40 years, if the water is dumped into the ocean.

The protesters are opposed to a plan announced in October by the Japanese government to start releasing more than 1 million tonnes of water from the power plant, which was the site of a major nuclear disaster in 2011 when Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Since then, Japan has been trying to find a way of disposing of the water that was used to cool the power plant and which has been increasing in volume due to rainwater seeping into the structure, according to international news reports.

By summer of 2022, the 1,000 huge storage tanks will reach their full capacity, and the water will be treated, diluted, and released into the Pacific Ocean over several decades, the reports said.

At a regular press briefing Thursday, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the Japanese government has not yet made a final decision on the issue, and MOFA will seek clarification.

She said the protesters have submitted a letter that has been passed on to the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association, which will relay their concerns to the Japanese government via Taiwan’s representative office in Tokyo.

“MOFA is also concerned about the issue, as the maritime environment, ecological conservation, and health of our citizens may be at risk,” Ou said

https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202011190015

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan to talk to Japan on radioactive wastewater discharge

November 9, 2020

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council said Monday it will continue to contact Japan on how the country plans to deal with contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which is expected to run out of storage space in 2022.

The power plant has been shut down since it experienced a nuclear meltdown in 2011 after Japan was hit by a massive tsunami and earthquake, and it currently stores more than 1 million cubic meters of water containing tritium, a radioactive variant of hydrogen.

Tritium cannot be removed from water with existing technology, but because it poses a relatively low risk to human health, it is common for nuclear plants to dump water with tritium into the ocean after diluting it.

The Fukushima plant’s plan to dump its stored water that way has received pushback from people who live in the region, especially fishermen, who fear that it will damage the region’s reputation, according to local media reports.

Another option is to evaporate the wastewater into the air, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In August 2019, the company that runs the power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., announced that storage space for the contaminated water would run out in 2022.

This issue was brought up in Taiwan on Monday by Legislator Wu Szu-yao (吳思瑤) from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, who asked the Atomic Energy Council to come up with contingency plans.

In response, the council said that the Japanese government has not yet decided when and how it will deal with the wastewater.

The council reached out to the Japanese government in September 2019 and March 2020 to ask about the situation and remind Japan to share timely information about the situation in accordance with a memorandum signed between the two countries in 2014.

It said it will keep in contact with Japan to obtain necessary information.

The council has also conducted tests to monitor the level of tritium in Taiwan’s surrounding waters and found that current levels are normal, it said.

(By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Chiang Yi-ching)

https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202011090021

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan green groups urge Japan not to discharge radioactive water

kjmlmlA coalition of environmental protection groups chants slogan in front of the Taipei office of Japan’s de facto embassy in Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, on May 13, 2020

 

May 14, 2020

TAIPEI (Kyodo) — A coalition of environmental protection groups in Taiwan on Wednesday urged the Japanese government to refrain from releasing radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.

Chanting the slogan “No to dumping radioactive water into the ocean,” representatives of the organization presented a petition to the Taipei office of Japan’s de facto embassy in Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, in the morning.

National Nuclear Abolition Action Platform spokeswoman Tsuei Su-hsin emphasized that they did not come to protest, but rather to urge the Japanese government to refrain from making decisions to cut costs at the expense of the environment.

“There are safer and more sustainable alternatives,” Tsuei said.

The Japanese government and the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at the time are currently considering ways to safely dispose of the more than 1 million tons of water contaminated with radioactive materials after being used to cool the melted fuel cores at the plant.

A decision needs to be made soon as space for storing the water, which has been treated but is still contaminated with low-toxicity radioactive tritium, is fast running out.

Methods being discussed include releasing the water into the Pacific Ocean and evaporating it, both of which the government says will have minimal effect on human health.

A panel of experts advising the government on a disposal method has recommended releasing it into the ocean. The government is soliciting opinions from the public before it makes a decision in the summer. Based on past practice, it is likely to accept the recommendation.

Tsai Ya-ying, an activist and lawyer of the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, said as Japan is a signatory of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, it is obligated to take all measures within the Convention that are necessary to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from any source.

Discharging the water into the ocean could amount to a violation of the Convention, she said.

Liu Jyh-jian, president of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, urged the Japanese government to make a decision that is friendly to both the environment and to mankind.

He added that if the tritium enters the food chain, it is bound to cause harm to humans in the long run.

Tsai Chung-yueh, deputy secretary general of Citizen of the Earth, voiced concern that the Japanese government may be too preoccupied with fighting COVID-19 to make a decision that is environmentally sustainable.

The contaminated water is increasing by about 170 tons per day. Space is expected to run out by summer 2022.

Local Japanese fishermen and residents have expressed concerns about releasing the water on food and the environment.

Widespread concerns remain as well, with many countries and regions still restricting imports of Japanese agricultural and fishery products in the wake of the 2011 disaster that was triggered by a major earthquake and tsunami.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200513/p2g/00m/0in/112000c

June 11, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan groups reject Japan plan to dump radioactive wastewater

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May 13, 2020

Taipei, May 13 (CNA) About 20 environmental protection groups on Wednesday delivered a petition to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, expressing opposition to the discharge of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.

Roughly 1.2 million metric tons of contaminated water remains from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that hit the plant on March 11, 2011, destroying key cooling functions and causing a huge leakage of radiation.

The wastewater contains approximately 880 trillion becquerels of tritium, a hydrogen isotope that experts say poses a relatively low risk to human health.

The Japanese government is currently soliciting public opinion on wastewater treatment until June 15, after which it will decide what to do with the contaminated water. One of the options is dumping it into the ocean.

“We learned Japan is considering discharging wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi plant into the ocean. The plan will cause radioactive contamination to marine ecology. We were astonished to learn this and resolutely oppose it,” the Taiwanese groups said in their petition.

The groups said they were not there to protest but to appeal to the Japanese government to listen to neighboring countries and not to make the wrong decision.

Currently, 2,000 groups and individuals around the world have signed a petition opposing discharging the wastewater into the sea, while about 20 groups in Taiwan submitted a petition to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, said Tsui Shu-hsin (崔愫欣), General Secretary of anti-nuclear organization Green Citizens’ Action Alliance.

If Japan goes ahead with such a plan, the Taiwanese groups do not rule out holding protests, Tsui said.

Releasing the wastewater into the sea is not the only option, Tsui said, adding that it could also be put into larger storage tanks by consolidating the sludge or soil particles, though that would be more expensive.

Although discharging the wastewater into the ocean is the cheapest approach, “We resolutely oppose using this treatment method,” Tsui said.

Despite the fact that plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., (TEPCO) has installed filtration systems to remove radioactive isotopes strontium-90 and caesium-137, it cannot remove tritium residue in the wastewater, while 70 percent of the water still contains the radioactive elements strontium-90 and caesium-137.

As such, dumping the wastewater into the ocean, could cause enormous damage to the marine environment, said Tsai Ya-ying (蔡雅瀅), a lawyer affiliated with the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association.

Japan, a signatory country of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, should adopt all necessary measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment in accordance with Article 194 of the convention. It also needs to ensure other countries do not suffer from the effects of environmental damage caused by contamination, Tsai noted.

She called on Japan to reject the possibility of dumping radioactive wastewater into the sea to avoid adversely impacting neighboring countries and hurting good relations between Taiwan and Japan.

https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202005130011

May 14, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan heavily lobbying for its contamined food exports

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This photo taken on April 17, 2015, shows a retail store in Taipei selling Japanese food and pharmaceutical products.
Taiwan’s lifting food import ban key to economic deals: Japan group
October 5, 2019
TAIPEI (Kyodo) — Lifting the ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is key for Taiwan to join any economic deals with Japan or other countries in the region, the Japanese business community in Taipei said on Friday.
In its annual white paper, the Taipei branch of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the Japanese business community in Taipei urged the Taiwan government to relax or lift restrictions on the food ban imposed over eight years ago.
“We hope the Taiwan government will change all practices and rules that run counter to international practices and are unique only in Taiwan, so it can ink any economic partnership agreement of its wish,” it said, adding that the ban on the food exports of five Japanese prefectures is a particular case.
The local Japanese chamber with 480 member companies called on the government to base its decisions on scientific evidence and international standards.
It pointed out that as of Aug. 1, all food products imported from Japan have passed inspections since March 15, 2011, while the Japanese government conducts strict inspections on all food products and only those that are safe can be sold at markets or exported.
It also emphasized that of the 54 countries or regions that imposed restrictions on Japanese food products since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, 32 of them have completely lifted their bans as of July.
The European Union and the United States have also lifted or eased Fukushima-related restrictions, though six countries or regions — including South Korea, China and Taiwan — continue a blanket ban on food products from Fukushima and certain adjacent prefectures.
National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling, who accepted the white paper on the government’s behalf, told chamber members that more persuasion of the Taiwanese public is needed.
A public referendum on maintaining the ban, initiated by the main opposition Nationalist Party, successfully passed in November 2018.
Chen dismissed speculation that Japan will not begin talks with Taiwan on joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership until the food ban issue is addressed, saying they are two different matters.
Go Ishikawa, chairman of the Japanese chamber, said all suggestions the chamber made in the white paper are purely business without taking into any consideration of Taiwan’s January elections.
No matter who will win the polls, Ishikawa said, the chamber will continue to urge the new Taiwan government to ease or lift the ban.

October 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan warns Japan over radioactive water release

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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2016. Over the years since, tens of thousands of people have worked to decontaminate the plant and stop leaks. But what to do about the leftover waste water?
September 25, 2019
Some in Taiwan also fear a repeat of Japan’s disaster as a nuclear plant sits close to fault lines on the island
Taiwan has warned Japan not to dump radioactive water from the burned-out reactor cores at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima into the nearby ocean, fearing prevailing currents may eventually push the polluted water to its own shores.
In March 2011, a devastating tsunami triggered by an undersea tremor buffeted the major nuclear base supplying power to Tokyo, and the apocalyptic disaster made a large swathe of the neighboring areas uninhabitable as well as a spillover of polluted dust into the capital city.
Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council (AEC) fears that currents could carry polluted water across the Pacific Ocean to the coastline as far as North America, which may flow back to Taiwan in three to six years.
The AEC said on Tuesday it would file a complaint with the Japanese government if it decided to discharge the radioactive water into the sea, but it also stressed that Japanese officials and scientists had not yet reached a consensus on what to do with the staggering amount of contaminated water.
Japan’s environmental protection ministry and Tokyo Electric Power Co which owns the mangled nuclear reactors in Fukushima say the one-million-tonne storage of radioactive water used to cool the reactors to prevent further meltdown would be filled to the brim within three years.
Japan is mulling a plan to release part of the less radioactive waste water – reportedly 10,000 tonnes – into the sea, an idea that instantly stoked fears in neighboring countries, including Taiwan and South Korea.
If the water from the reactors enters the Pacific Ocean, it would first be carried by currents to North America from Alaska, Canada’s British Columbia all the way down to California, before moving southward and reaching Taiwan in three to six years, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Germany-based Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research.
That said, it is believed that by the time the radioactive water returned to Asia and reached Taiwan, the pollutants would have been attenuated to a concentration of nearly one in 10,000, far less harmful after the dilution process in the vast Pacific Ocean.
The island’s nuclear energy watchdog says that water and fishery products in nine ports across Taiwan are regularly sampled to test for radioactivity, without having any abnormal findings so far.

September 26, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

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

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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