Japan imposes heavy fines for smuggling pork products

04/21/2019 05:21 PM

Taipei, April 21 (CNA) Japan has established new penalties for passengers caught smuggling pork products into the country that will take effect Monday, according to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association.

Under the new measure, announced Thursday by the association on its website, passengers bringing in undeclared pork items into Japan will be subject to a maximum three-year jail term or a fine of up to 1 million yen (US$8,930).

The stiff penalties have been established to prevent the African swine fever (ASF) virus from entering Japan at a time when many countries and areas are facing outbreaks of ASF, foot-and-mouth disease and the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

ASF is lethal to pigs because it cannot be cured and there are no vaccines for it, and Japanese authorities fear that if the virus reaches the country, it would deal a severe blow to its pig-raising industry, economy and society, the association said.

Passengers caught carrying pork products at Japanese points of entry will be dealt with in line with the penalties, starting Monday, according to the association.

Taiwan is one of the top sources of visitors to Japan, sending more than 2 million people to Japan each year.

Taiwanese travelers should be well-versed in the guidelines, however, because Taiwan has imposed stiff fines of its own on passengers bringing undeclared pork products into the country.

(By Flor Wang and Gu Chuan)


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