And it looks like the U.S. isn’t the only country concerned with contamination of its Japanese food imports.
The Japan Times: ” TAIPEI – Taiwan imposed new restrictions on food imported from Japan on Friday after hundreds of products were recalled over labels that disguised the fact that they came from areas affected by the nuclear crisis at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.
Taiwan banned Japanese food imports from five prefectures including Fukushima in March 2011, a few weeks after the triple meltdown occurred and radioactive particles were detected in some imports.
Starting Friday, all food imports from Japan will be required to carry certificates proving that they are not from the five banned areas, while some will also need “radiation inspection certificates,” according to the Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare.
In March, Taiwanese authorities recalled hundreds of Japanese food items that had falsified labels hiding the fact that they came from regions affected by radioactive fallout, they said.
“The measures are necessary to . . . protect Taiwanese consumers’ health and welfare. The government and (food) companies should work together to provide safe food products,” the ministry said in a statement.
Japanese food products are popular in Taiwan. The local Apple Daily newspaper reported that stocks of some best-selling chocolates and prepackaged french fries could run out within three months due to delays caused by the new requirements.
Japan has pledged to investigate the false labeling jointly with Taiwan and urged the island nation to reverse the new restrictions.
“Falsified labels of product origins and food safety are different issues. We will continue to let Taiwanese people understand the safety of Japanese food and hope the Taiwanese authorities can further loosen its controls,” Japan’s de facto embassy in Taipei said in a statement.
Taiwan and Japan maintain close trade ties even though Tokyo switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1972.
Taiwan is the third-largest export market for Japanese foods and agricultural products, after Hong Kong and the United States, with ¥83.7 billion worth of shipments last year.
Taiwan’s government has been stepping up food safety measures after the nation was rocked by a string of food scandals in recent years. ”