Taiwan bans food imports from five Japan areas

TAIPEI, March 25, 2011 (AFP) - Taiwan on Friday imposed a ban on food imports from five Japanese areas near a quake-damaged nuclear power plant due to radiation concerns.

The ban, which takes effect immediately, covers food items from Fukushima, where the plant is located, and four other areas nearby, said Wang Jet-chau, a health department spokesman.

"We will continue monitoring the situation in Japan and might extend the ban if it gets worse," he said.

The move came after the government Thursday detected radioactive particles on a batch of clams imported from Japan. Earlier, a shipment of Japanese fava beans had also been found to be slightly contaminated.

Taiwan follows Russia, Australia, Singapore, the United States and other countries in restricting food imports from Japan amid growing anxiety over food safety.

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