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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue of the food safety which imported from China

REPORTER: It has come to light that a food company in China sold chicken that was past its expiration date, and Japan is also said to be affected. Could you please explain your understanding of the situation as well as the Government’s response?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The relevant ministries and agencies are currently working together to investigate whether or not the allegation is true. As of now I understand that no health problems have been notified or reported. As things currently stand, based on bilateral consultations, the safety of the food products imported from China is ensured through the hygiene measures of the exporting country, which in this case would be China, as well as the directions given during importing. While continuing to take such initiatives, the Government will first work quickly to examine whether the allegation is true. In addition, I have been informed that there is a temporary suspension of imports of food products from this manufacturer. Furthermore, information is being shared as appropriate with companies that sold such food products in Japan, namely McDonald’s and FamilyMart. I understand that these companies stopped the sale of food products that were made at the facility in question. In order to ensure that hazardous food products do not enter Japan, the Government will continue to steadily take consumer food safety measures by fully strengthening and executing our inspection mechanisms.

REPORTER: Are any intergovernmental measures being taken between Japan and China, including those through diplomatic channels?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Ofcourse Japan is properly making requests based on bilateral consultations.

REPORTER: Is there anything specific you can share with us regarding the channel that is being used to make the request or its words?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, Japan is currently examining whether the allegation is true through the Embassy of Japan in China and the Embassy of China in Tokyo. The Government has instructed the withholding of cargo for which an import notice, for example, was submitted by the manufacturing company in question.

REPORTER: When the frozen dumpling incident occurred in China in 2008, the Japanese Government took recurrence prevention measures on that occasion as well. In the wake of the latest problem concerning food safety once again, will the Government not be taking any recurrence prevention measures at the political level?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, it is critically important to have a detailed understanding of the facts. In particular, the latest incident involves expired products, and not poisonous products or illegal products. As this is the first case of its kind, the Government will take measures upon fully verifying the facts and confirming the measures that are needed to fully replace expired products with safe products.


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