Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Kuo Kuo-wen is calling on the Tsai administration to address the import ban on food from five Japanese prefectures that were affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster as soon as possible.
Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Kuo Kuo-wen, who is also the head of the East Asia Parliamentary Friendship Group, says the failure of the American Ractopamine pork referendum to pass shows that Taiwanese people accept American pork containing scientifically safe levels of the animal drug that meet international standards. Kuo says the same should apply to Japanese food products from areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Tsai administration should deal with the import ban on Japanese food products as soon as possible.
Kuo Kuo-wen, Legislator (DPP): “If citizens can even accept American pork containing Ractopamine, there is no reason not to accept Japanese food products. In the wake of the referendum, (the Tsai administration) should tackle this issue immediately.”
Wang Mei-hua, Economic Affairs Minister: “We will be using the same standards to deal with the Japanese food issue. We will use international standards and scientific evidence. Of course, we will care about public health too. However, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has not discussed the issue at this point.”
Wang Mei-hua says the Ministry of Economic Affairs will use science and international standards to proceed but no discussions have been held at this point. However, Japanese Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Masahisa Sato tweeted that the issue would be discussed at the virtual meeting between the DPP and Japan's Liberal Democratic Party on the 24th. DPP lawmaker Luo Chih-cheng, who will be representing the DPP at the meeting, says the agenda has not yet been drafted and Taiwan will wait to get the agenda from Japan.
Luo Chih-cheng, Legislator (DPP): “The two sides are still discussing the issues that will be discussed. (The meeting) will last around 90 minutes, so there is no time to discuss details.”
Japan really wants to unload its food products on Taiwan, and a Japanese delegation paid a visit to Kuomintang lawmakers last week. Meanwhile, Taipei representative to Japan Frank Hsieh is coming back to Taiwan soon reportedly to brief the Tsai administration on the implications of lifting the import ban. The KMT knows it, along with food safety groups, are fighting an uphill battle in trying to keep the ban in place.
Chen Yu-jen, KMT Caucus Secretary: “If people remain indifferent, the government will just keep doing whatever it wants to do. It will continue violating democratic processes and unscrupulously sacrificing public health for its own interests.”
Chen Yu-jen says the KTM caucus' reach is limited but it won't stop fighting for public health. She also says the party needs the public's help to keep contaminated Japanese food out of Taiwan, and called on concerned citizens to voice their opposition to the Tsai administration and DPP lawmakers.