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China, Japan agree to continue cooperation on food poisoning case
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11:30, February 07, 2008

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Chinese and Japanese officials concluded their talks Wednesday over a food poisoning case involving Chinese-made frozen dumplings, with the two sides reaching an agreement to continue cooperation to look for the real cause of the incident.

The Chinese side is willing to fully cooperate and go on to share information with the Japanese side, Li Chunfeng, head of the five-member Chinese team, told press after the third round of talks at the Japanese Cabinet Office.

Li said China is poised to set up a joint investigation team with Japan to seek an early answer to the case.

The two sides also decided to appoint a "contact person" each to carry on exchanges of information on the matter, according to officials from the both sides.

Li called for objective attitude and scientific measures in dealing with the case so as to find a responsible answer to the people from both countries.

"Responsibly speaking, Chinese foods are safe," Li said, "more than a billion Chinese are to eat dumplings tonight as it is the new year's eve in China's lunar calendar."

"Please continue to buy Chinese dumplings in Japan," he said to Japanese consumers.

In a press release, the Chinese delegation repeated the Chinese government’s regret over the incident and sympathy and good wishes to Japanese victims.

The Chinese team, made up of officials from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the Commerce Ministry, the Certification and Accreditation Administration, the Academy of Inspection and Quarantine, and Hebei provincial quality watchdog, arrived in Tokyo on Sunday.

The Japanese side consists of officials of the Cabinet Office, the National Police Agency, the Foreign Ministry, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry.

The number of people confirmed by the Japanese government as falling ill after consuming contaminated dumplings remained at 10.

While suspicious clues such as the pesticide was in huge amount and there were small holes on some packages remain in explainable, it is currently still unknown whether the food products were contaminated during the production and transportation process in China.

The Chinese producer said it never used methamidophos in its factory and the products were packed immediately after production and then transported directly to Japan.

Source: Xinhua



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