Japanese imports lead to charges

Two business executives on Tuesday were charged with illegally importing and falsely labeling food from areas of Japan affected by its 2011 nuclear disaster.
Each a manager of a local food importer, they are accused of importing snacks and soy sauce to Taiwan from the affected areas.
Authorities said one has done so since last year, while the other began the imports this year.
Neither reported their imports to the Food and Drug Administration or Keelung Customs officials, as legally required, authorities added.
Prosecutors said the defendants knew that they were not allowed to import food products from Japan’s Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures, and intentionally hid the origin of their products from downstream firms.
Food products from those prefectures have been banned in Taiwan since the areas are suspected of radiation contamination as a result of a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
In March this year, authorities found that products from the five restricted areas had made their way into Taiwan under false labels.
The two managers, surnamed Teng (鄧) and Cho (卓), were charged with falsifying documents and making profits by false pretenses respectively, prosecutors said.
As for potential Japanese accomplices, prosecutors said that they have asked Japan to assist the investigation, but have not yet received a reply.
Prosecutors called on Japan to assist with the investigation to jointly protect customers’ food safety.
Source: Taipei Times


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