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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 12:08 02/05/2008
News Review #431: February 5, 2008

Japan to Check China Factory over Poison Dumplings

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Japan to Check China Factory over Poison Dumplings
Reuters (2/4/2008)


Currently, the Japanese public is talking about China all day, not for going to the Olympics, but for avoiding tainted gyoza dumplings made in China, after ten Japanese got sick and more gyoza packs were found with pesticide. Japanese and Chinese officials are now meeting and discussing how to deal with this serious problem between the two countries, but have yet to find the source of contamination. In the meantime, there seem to be increasingly uneasy feelings about imported food from China on the part of Japanese consumers, and this could develop into a kind of "China-free" movement, as recently witnessed in some parts of the U.S.

Nothing definite may be said about this incident, until more detailed information about current investigations is made available, but at least the following two things should be pointed out. First, it is absolutely essential for both the Japanese and Chinese sides to work together with all sincerity and honesty and to conduct thorough investigations to find the source and place of contamination with no excuses or accusations to each other. Otherwise, the situation could easily be out of hand and lead to antagonistic feelings between the two countries.

Second, Japan must establish a kind of "security system" to protect the public from terrorism using chemical or biological weapons, by learning from the current problem. As Prime Minister Fukuda said in the Diet that this gyoza incident should be regarded as a "national security" issue. In other words, what matters is not about Japan vs. China or any other country for that matter, but rather the public vs. terrorists, and food may be one of the easiest vehicles to attack the general public from within or from abroad. Prime Minister Fukuda should focus on the establishment of such a security system to deal with emergency situations rather than the consolidation of consumer-related agencies in general.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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