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Taiwan to maintain ban on food imports from Japan

Updated: 12 19 , 2016 13:29
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TAIPEI, Dec. 16 -- Authorities in Taiwan announced Friday postponement of the plan to ease a ban on food imports from radiation-affected areas in Japan.

The island will ensure a sound inspection and management mechanism is in place before considering food products from the affected areas, and there is no timetable for establishing such a mechanism.

Taiwan banned food imports from Japan's Fukushima and nearby prefectures after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Last year food products made near Fukushima with false origin labels were found to have entered the island illegally. Authorities have since demanded that importers submit origin credentials.

Plans to ease the ban angered the public, who accuse authorities of yielding to Japanese pressure without regard to the health of the Taiwanese.

Public hearings around the island in November were suspended when protesters complained. Under massive public pressure, the island's food and drug regulator began an inspection of food products from Japan on Dec. 12.

It has seized 29 types of problematic food and 43,000 products have been pulled from shelves including natto and soy source.

The island's administration said it would organize three more public hearings to clarity false information and collect views from the public.

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