TAIPEI - Taiwan authorities Monday announced a new restriction beginning in mid-May on the import of Japanese foods, requiring exporters to attach certification of the origins of the products by prefecture.
They also will likely require radiation checks on some Japanese foods, including those for babies and young children.
Taiwan prohibited the import of foods from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Chiba, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures after the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011. As this measure will be kept, restrictions on food imports from Japan will, in effect, be tightened further with the new measure.
The Interchange Association, Japan - the representative office of Japan in Taiwan - and others have called for the lifting of Taiwan's restrictions on Japanese food imports.
However, the new measure came after it was revealed in March that some Japanese foods from the five prefectures had been sold in Taiwan with falsified labels of origin.
Suga: Measure regrettable
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga criticised the measure taken by Taiwan during a press conference Tuesday, saying: "We have been explaining the safety of Japanese foods to Taiwan and asked [Taiwan] to make their decision based on scientific evidence. It is quite regrettable that Taiwan will tighten the restrictions."
Suga then indicated the government will call on Taiwan authorities to review the restriction measures, saying, "We will urge them to take appropriate steps based on scientific grounds."