16 Mai 2015
May 15, 2015
May 15, 2015 - Updated 04:37 UTC+2
Japan's agriculture minister Yoshimasa Hayashi says it is extremely regrettable that Taiwan has tightened restrictions on food imports from Japan.
Hayashi told reporters on Friday that there are no scientific grounds for the decision and he will urge Taiwan to retract the unilateral measure.
Hayashi added that Japan may file a complaint with the World Trade Organization and take other steps as well if the negotiations with Taiwan do not make sufficient progress.
May 15, 2015 - Updated 00:45 UTC+2
Taiwan is tightening restrictions on food imports from Japan. It created the rules in response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
Taiwan has banned food imports from Fukushima and 4 other Japanese prefectures since the nuclear accident.
But it emerged in March that food from the prefectures was imported to Taiwan. The news prompted consumer groups to call for stricter regulations.
Starting on Friday, Taiwan is requiring all food imported from Japan to carry certificates proving the prefecture of origin. Some food from certain Japanese areas must also pass radiation inspection.
Taiwan's health officials held a news conference on Thursday.
They claimed they will be flexible with the new rules. They added that information written on quarantine and other already-mandated documents can be used as certificates of origin.
However, Taiwan has not yet agreed with Japan on specific ways to implement the new regulations. Japan is asking Taiwan to withdraw the measures, citing a lack of scientific justification.
Japanese food is popular in Taiwan. Supermarkets and Japanese companies are concerned that if customs inspections get even tougher, the volume of Japanese food they sell may decline.