The Japanese government has not yet responded to a request to clearly indicate whether it would support Taiwan’s efforts to join a Japan-led international economic bloc, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.
Wu told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the controversy over Taiwan’s efforts to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership arose after a majority of voters last month backed a referendum to maintain a ban on food imports from areas in Japan.
Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono expressed disappointment at the results and said that Tokyo would consider filing a complaint with the WTO over the ban, which has been in place since the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant disaster in March 2011.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Kono said that a decision to maintain the ban might hamper Taipei’s efforts to gain membership in the trade pact, which is to take effect on Dec. 30.
Asked by legislators whether Kono’s comments meant that Taiwan has little chance of joining the second wave of applications next year, Wu said that the ministry was still trying to confirm the Japanese government’s stance on the issue.
The nation has obtained information through other channels that indicated the ban would not affect its chances of joining the trade pact, but Kono has not openly stated this, Wu said.
The ministry has asked the Japanese government to clearly state its position on the issue and is awaiting a response, which is expected in a day or two, Wu said.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Beijing is to ease a ban on foreign airlines starting on Monday next week, changing course one day after the administration of US President Donald Trump demanded that China reopen to US airlines or face curbs on its own carriers flying passengers to the US. Foreign airlines excluded from an earlier pact would be able to operate one commercial passenger flight to China per week, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration said. It did not name any countries or carriers, but the move opens up a chance for US airlines to return for the first time in four months. While the timing might