No controversial issues will be discussed during the annual trade and economic talks between Taiwan and Japan that start Tuesday in Taipei, said Taiwan's Foreign Affairs Minister David Lee (???) Monday.
Lee was responding to reporters' questions on whether the issue of Taiwan's ban on food imports from radiation-affected areas of Japan will be put on the negotiating table in the two-day Taiwan-Japan Trade and Economic Meeting on Nov. 29-30.
The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (???), which took office in May, is considering lifting the ban at Japan's request but has encountered heavy opposition, mainly over food safety concerns.
Lee told reporters Monday that the government continues to uphold the strict regulations on the importation of Japanese food products.
Food products from Japan will not be allowed into Taiwan unless they pass a strict science-based inspection, he said.
Turning to another controversial issue, Lee said the two sides will not discuss the matter of fishing rights in waters near Japan's Okinotori Atoll either.
What will be addressed at the meeting are issues related to intelligence property rights and farm produce, he said, adding that no one can predict whether any substantial conclusions will be reached during the talks.
The Taiwan-Japan Trade and Economic Meeting has been the only official platform for Taiwanese and Japanese officials to discuss issues of mutual concern since diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed in 1972. It has been held annually since 1976.
This year, Chiou I-jen (???), president of Taiwan's Association of East Asian Relations (AEAR), and Ohashi Mitsuo, chairman of the Japan Interchange Association (JIA), will lead the delegations of their respective countries to the trade and economic meeting in Taipei.
The AERA and JIA are quasi-official organizations set up by their respective countries to handle bilateral affairs in the absence of official ties.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel