The legislature once again asked Taiwan's Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh to appear and deliver a report on the dispute involving imports of food products from Fukushima and four neighboring cities. Hsieh once again failed to show up.
On the last working day of 2021, the legislature's Foreign and National Defense Committee's agenda included reviewing the Ministry of National Defense budget and hearing a report from Taiwan's Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh on the dispute involving imports of food products from Fukushima and four neighboring cities. However, Hsieh requested a leave of absence and failed to show up. Committee convener Chen I-hsin was extremely dissatisfied, and said Hsieh is deliberately avoiding legislative supervision.
Chen I-hsin, Legislator (KMT): “He's evading the legislature, evading the people. What is the reason for all of this? We know that right now, the government is making plans regarding the issue of imports of food products from Japan's Fukushima and four neighboring cities. If Representative Hsieh can't even face the people and legislature when he's actually in Taiwan, then are they going to quickly announce the opening of imports of food products from Fukushima and four neighboring cities right after he sneaks back to Japan?”
Chen had concerns that the Democratic Progressive Party administration would once again launch a sneak attack along the lines of its sudden announcement to open up Taiwan to imports of US ractopamine pork. He said that if Hsieh continues to fail to show up, he will be condemned. Other Kuomintang legislators felt the same, while DPP legislators felt otherwise.
Lai Shyh-bao, Legislator (KMT): “He thinks he's so important! It's his duty to come here to be questioned and deliver reports, and there is no possible reason for him not to do so. We can't accept this kind of behavior.”
Hsu Chih-chieh, Legislator (DPP): “Perhaps we could hold a formal meeting and formally include it on the agenda and formally discuss it. This is something that needs to be discussed when everyone has the time, instead of changing it into an agenda item at the last second and then demanding it be discussed immediately. I think this way is not helpful.”
Hsieh recently returned to Taiwan to vote in the Dec. 18 referendums. Chen, therefore, adjusted the agenda and invited Hsieh to attend an interpellation on Dec. 23. Hsieh requested a leave of absence. A written Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement said the government's position all along has been to prioritize food safety, and it respects and will conform to the judgment of the authorities in charge of food safety regarding this issue. Meanwhile, Hsieh had time to post on Facebook, where he said that after the town of Wasaka in Tottori Prefecture and Hsinchu County's Hengshan Township signed a sister city agreement, the target of 140 pairs of sister cities was reached and he feels a great sense of achievement.