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Taiwan, Japan sign two MOUs at economic and trade conference

2017/11/22 18:58:02

Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), head of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA)

Tokyo, Nov. 22 (CNA) The Japan-Taiwan Economic and Trade Conference concluded on Wednesday with the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) designed to enhance bilateral cooperation and exchange.

The MOUs were on customs assistance and cultural exchanges.

According to Lee Ya-ching (李雅晶), director general of the Ministry of Finance's Department of International Fiscal Affairs, the MOU on customs matters establishes a legal foundation for handling and reporting cases of suspected drug smuggling.

The MOU, which went into effect immediately, allows customs officials from Japan and Taiwan to share information and work together to crack down on cross-border drug smuggling, she explained.

The cultural exchanges MOU deepens and gives structure to Japan-Taiwan cultural exchanges, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said.

It also touches on areas of exchange including art, talent development and cultural heritage preservation.

A statement from the cultural center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan called the MOU a milestone for innovative exchanges between Japan and Taiwan.

The Japanese cultural center under the Representative Office of Japan in Taipei is set to open on Nov. 27 and will work closely with the Taiwan cultural center under the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Tokyo.

The annual conference, which dates back to 1976, was held in Tokyo this year, where representatives from both sides discussed issues of great economic importance such as economic policy, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, medical exchanges and intellectual property rights.

On the controversial issue of lifting the ban on food products from five radiation-affected prefectures in Japan, Lin Ching-hung (林慶鴻), deputy secretary-general of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association said that Japan brought the subject up but Taiwan shut it down.

The Taiwanese delegation reiterated the government's stance on the matter, which is that it will not ease restrictions until there is definitive evidence that food products from the contaminated areas are safe.

(By Huang Ming-hsi, Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu)