Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) yesterday told lawmakers that the ministry would not risk the health of Taiwanese by lifting a ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures near the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
Lin made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee yesterday morning, which was to review the ministry’s general budget for next year.
Amid reports that Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) last week asked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus about the possibility of lifting the ban on agricultural products from the five prefectures — just days before the first round of the Taiwan-Japan Maritime Affairs Cooperation Dialogue Mechanism in Tokyo on Monday — Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) asked the minister if it was true the government planned to lift the ban as part of a trade-off.
Food and Drug Administration Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said that the council report to the DPP caucus was only to explain risks and that it has implemented strict food import controls at borders to help ensure food safety.
She said all food imports from Japan not from the five prefectures — Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba — must have a certificate of origin and a certificate proving they are free of radioactive contamination, adding that the agency would publish a products company name, if radiation readings were above legal tolerances.
“At present, we have no plans to lift the ban,” Lin said. “The ministry takes protecting the people’s health as its most important duty.”
After Chiang twice asked Lin to confirm that the government would not use lifting the ban as a negotiation tool in its talks with Japan on maritime affairs, Lin said that it would not.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a bid to revitalize the party’s archives, KMT officials said yesterday at a news conference in Taipei that showcased a ceremonial sword belonging to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), the first piece of the collection to be utilized in the project. NFTs are a blockchain technology used for digital files that provide proof of ownership or a certificate of authenticity. KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Lin Chia-hsing (林家興), who is also the curator of the archives, said that digitizing the collection is part of the party’s efforts to revamp its