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Taiwan and Japan work together to restore food safety

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In March 2015, authorities found that food from Japan’s Fukushima, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures had made their way into Taiwan under false labels, which aroused widespread public concern. Consumer protection groups and elected representatives urged the government to implement tighter controls on Japanese food imports. Therefore, in spite of the ban on food imports from five banned areas, the Ministry of Health and Welfare further announced that starting from May 15 this year, all food imported from Japan would be required to carry certificates of the specific place of origin, while some from high risk areas should also need “ radiation inspection certificates. ” Each District Prosecutors Office has set out investigations on whether there has been illegal false label of food products imported from Japan into Taiwan. Due to the international nature of this case, prosecutors urgently need the evidence from Japan to clarify the facts before conducting the prosecution. To this end, the Ministry of Justice assigned prosecutors from the Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs and Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, together with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, to meet with Japanese authorities in Tokyo on 6 May, 2015. In the meeting, the Taiwanese delegation stressed that both sides should cooperate to fight against the crime and pursue the liability of the suspects and firms involved. In the second round of the meeting held in Taipei on May 13, the prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice once again emphasized the need for Taiwan and Japan to collaboratively clarifying the facts of this case, and hoped Japanese authorities can provide relevant evidence to settle down the case as soon as possible. To restore our people’s confidence in food safety and to help prosecutors to investigate the criminal case of false labelling on Japanese food imports, the Ministry of Justice will continue to negotiate with Japan to promote mutual assistance to clarify the facts and fight against crimes.

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