Taiwan to stop imports of some Japanese food

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan will stop imports of foodstuffs from five Japanese prefectures due to the nuclear crisis in Japan, the island’s health authority said on Friday, joining a growing list of those turning away some Japanese goods.

Milk and milk products, vegetables and fruit from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures, where tests have shown radiation levels higher than those allowed by Taiwan standards, will not be allowed to be shipped to Taiwan, the Department of Health said in a statement.

The ban takes effect immediately, it said.

Japan has already stopped shipments of vegetables and milk from near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in the country’s northeast, while Singapore, Australia, the United States and Hong Kong are all restricting food and milk imports from the area.

Taiwan has so far relied on stepped up monitoring of Japanese imports since the earthquake and tsunami induced nuclear crisis, but aside from one small shipment of broad beans has yet to find any unacceptable radiation levels on imported goods.

The island’s fisheries agency has previously advised boats against fishing in Japanese waters.

The department said it will continue rigorous checking of imported foodstuffs from other parts of Japan.

Taiwan’s nuclear authority, the Atomic Energy Council, said separately that radiation levels at its 30 monitoring stations around the island remained normal on Friday morning.

Taiwan, which like Japan prone to earthquakes, has three operating nuclear power stations and a fourth under construction.

(Reporting by Faith Hung; editing by Jonathan Standing)

Taiwan to stop imports of some Japanese food