No plan to lift restrictions on Japanese food imports: Health minister

Health Minister Lin Tzou-yien says the government has no plans to lift restrictions on food imports from Japan.

Lin was speaking before the Legislature's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee Wednesday during a review of the Health Ministry's budget for 2017.

Taiwan banned the import of food products from five Japanese prefectures after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Food products from other areas of Japan must come with proof of origin and radiation safety certificates.

Lawmakers asked Lin to comment on rumors that the government plans to lift the restrictions in exchange for fishing rights near Japan's Okinotori atoll. Lin said that the health ministry is performing a risk assessment but has no plans to lift the current restrictions. Lin told lawmakers that the government will not use the issue of food imports as a bargaining chip in its negotiations on fishing rights.

Source: Radio Taiwan International