Ma urges probe into falsified labels on Japan food imports


TAIPEI–President Ma Ying-jeou proposed on Monday that authorities in the Republic of China and Japan work together to trace the origin of false labels found on some food items imported from Japan as a way to resolve a dispute over the R.O.C.’s decision to tighten controls on Japanese food products.

Ma stressed that the measures imposed by the R.O.C. are not intended to set up trade barriers or damage relations between the two countries.

��These are short-term measures. We hope the related agencies in Japan will cooperate with us fully,�� Ma said in response to a question at an informal gathering with the media.

The measures may be lifted as soon as the problem of false labeling is resolved, he said.

On May 15, the Food and Drug Administration implemented tighter controls on Japanese food imports, requiring documents that show not only the country of origin but also the specific place within the country where the product originated.

The new regulations were imposed after it was found in March that products from five restricted areas in Japan had made their way into the R.O.C. using false labels.

The R.O.C. currently has a ban on food imports from the Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba, which were affected by a meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 after Japan was struck by a disastrous e