Disasters & Accidents

Taiwan lifts Fukushima product ban 11 years on

Beijing, Feb 9 (EFE).- Taiwan will lift the veto on food and agricultural products from the regions of Japan affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011; a ban in force for 11 years, official sources reported Wednesday.

Taiwanese government spokesman Lo Ping-cheng announced at a press conference that exports from Fukushima prefecture and neighboring Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki, and Tochigi will be allowed to resume at the end of February, according to state Taiwanese agency CNA.

However, restrictions will continue to apply to the importation of mushrooms and meat from poultry and other wild animals, among others.

The products coming from the permitted places will be subjected to border inspections and must have certificates of origin and radioactivity control.

“Taiwan will not continue to apply discriminatory measures against other countries without scientific basis, including those that affect Japanese food,” said Lo, who added that the government confirmed with studies that there is no risk in food imports from the areas affected by the nuclear disaster more than a decade ago.

This measure had been in place since March 2011, and in a vote held in November 2018, 78 percent of Taiwanese people opted to maintain it.

Taiwan is also confident this measure will clear the way to win the support of Japan to join the Progressive and Comprehensive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Beijing also aspires to join despite the fact the alliance was created as a counterweight to China.

In September, the United States already lifted the veto on food from Fukushima, while the European Union announced its intention to soon begin relaxing some of the limitations it maintains on these products that in more than a dozen countries are still restricted.

The nuclear accident triggered by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 caused releases of radioactive waste scattered around the Fukushima Daiichi plant and that a decade later still prevent the region’s full recovery despite decontamination efforts. EFE


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