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September 20, 2017

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'Nuke food' won't be raised at Japan talks: MOFA

TAIPEI -- No controversial issues will be discussed during the annual trade and economic talks between Taiwan and Japan that start Tuesday in Taipei, said Taiwan's Foreign Affairs Minister David Lee (李大維) Monday.

Lee was responding to reporters' questions on whether the issue of Taiwan's ban on food imports from radiation-affected areas of Japan will be put on the negotiating table in the two-day Taiwan-Japan Trade and Economic Meeting from Nov. 29-30.

The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, which took office in May, is considering lifting the ban at Japan's request but has encountered heavy opposition, mainly over food safety concerns.

Lee told reporters Monday that the government continues to uphold the strict regulations on the importation of Japanese food products.

Food products from Japan will not be allowed into Taiwan unless they pass a strict science-based inspection, he said.

Turning to another controversial issue, Lee said the two sides will not discuss the matter of fishing rights in waters near Japan's Okinotori Atoll either.

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