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Japan may take Taiwan's Fukushima food import ban to WTO

Staff Writer |
Japan may take Taiwan's import ban on food products from Fukushima and other prefectures affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster to the World Trade Organization, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Sunday.

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"It goes against the WTO's quarantine-related agreement," Kono said, referring to Taiwan's ban on products from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures.

Taiwan voted to maintain the ban in a legally binding referendum on Nov. 25. Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee said the ministry respected public opinion on the issue and will explain to Japan the safety concerns of the Taiwanese public.

At the WTO, "there is a procedure that allows (a member state) to file a complaint. If necessary, we need to act," Kono told a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, in northeastern Japan.

"The WTO sets clear rules that (import bans) should be decided based on scientific foundations," he said.

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