Dear International Fugu Association members,
Hello everyone, this is the IFA representative Furukawa.
The fourth wave of coronavirus has arrived in Japan.
It's been another year, but very difficult to put it under control.
The restaurant industry and retailers are disgusted with it.
Vaccination has begun, so I hope that the pandemic will end soon.
Under such circumstances, there are happy news and unfortunate news this time.
First of all, I received the following happy message from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
"It is imminent to send a formal response, including our proposal, to the Government of Japan regarding the import of Japanese Fugu milt, skin, and fins.
We will also inform the response to the International Fugu Association and ask for your comments.
I think it will happen by either the end of April or next month."
I will omit the details, but I have been in constant contact with SFA for more than five years, but it seems that we will reach another step forward.
We immediately discussed sharing this information with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Fisheries Agency, and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.
If we receive information from SFA, we will respond promptly.
Suppose SFA lifts the ban with farmed Fugu. In that case, we will respond on behalf of the industry based on the questionnaire conducted by the association last year.
There is a concern for a condition to perform Fugu toxicity inspection on the TTX residue at the time of shipment. If SFA requests it, we will renegotiate with SFA as it matters cost and inspection hours.
Since this is our long-cherished demand for the Japanese Fugu industry, we will build a system that gives utmost safety consideration. One company will not monopolize it, and we will not let the Fugu food poisoning accident occur again in Singapore.
At the IFA office, we received an interview from the Fuji TV news office about the unification of Fugu preparation licenses and export of Fugu.
For lifting the Fugu import ban in Singapore, questions included about the Fugu license unifying, the industry-academia-government collaboration, and how overseas people see Japanese eating Fugu?
I talked a lot, but they will be edited considerably. (^^;
I'm looking forward to the broadcast.
Unfortunately, the news is
The Hong Kong Food Safety Center (CFS) has considered importing Japanese Fugu, but they informed me that they cannot lift the ban yet.
A few years ago, the Fisheries Agency invited the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office officers to the Tokyo Fugu Restaurant. The following year I also attended a Fugu import talk with the CFS and the Japanese Fisheries Agency. Still, I am sorry that I was unable to meet your expectation.
The situation will remain the status quo, but I think we need a different approach, such as holding a Fugu study session similar to what we did in Singapore.
Also, since this is the new fiscal year, I would like to introduce one more country, Taiwan.
Taiwan also prohibits the import and distribution of Fugu by law.
As you all know, it is one of the countries that minimizes the influence of coronavirus.
Even now, there are only a few cases every day. It is enviable.
The 2021 Taipei International Food Trade Fair will be held on June 23-26.
However, the visa exemption measures for Taiwan are currently temporarily suspended, so a visa for business, etc., excluding tourism, is required.
It takes 7-10 days to apply for a visa.
Also, an English certificate certifying that the new coronavirus PCR is negative within three days of boarding the flight is required. After arrival, you must have a 14-day mandatory quarantine and a 7-day voluntary quarantine. You are then allowed to move freely 22 days after arrival.
Of course, a certificate of PCR negative before boarding is a requirement again before returning to Japan, and self-quarantine for 14 days after entering Japan.
Under these conditions, it isn't easy to participate in the Taipei Trade Fair from overseas.
Therefore, we will work with the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association to start approaching the Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan again when it is a little more relaxed,
The TFDA food group leader I met then at the hotel of Mr. Liao, our representative of Taiwan, stepped out of the position. So I would like to visit Taiwan again when the travel restriction is eased and make a process chart for lifting the ban on Fugu from Japan.
That's all for today.
Let's do our best to overcome the coronavirus!
We look forward to your continued guidance and encouragement.