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Chinese export food factories open to Japanese media
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Japanese media visited Chinese export food factories and quality supervision institutions on Wednesday and Thursday as China sought mutual trust on the food trade after dumpling poisoning.

More than 20 reporters from nine Japanese news institutions visited three food factories exporting to Japan, including Qingdao Nine-alliance Group Co., Ltd, Anqiu Foreign Trade Foods Co., Ltd and Shandong Nicky Foods Co., Ltd, and the provincial Technical Center for Inspection and Quarantine in east coastal Shandong province, a major food export province to Japan.

Supervision system, raw material bases and manufactory process are all open to the media.

"China wants to rebuild the mutual trust in the food trade with Japan," said Jiang Zongliang, deputy director of Shandong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

"The Chinese food exporting supervision system is strict," said Horike Maski.

His view was agreed by a reporter from Nippon Hoso Kyokai(NHK), who was kept out of a workshop as women wearing make-up cannot step according to the factory's food security regulations.

"I never thought Chinese agricultural factories had such a severe supervision system," she said.

The chief representative of the Osaka-based Nicky Foods Co., Ltd, Li Yan, spoke about the poisoned stuffed steamed buns (baozi in Chinese) incident, which happened after the "dumpling poisoning". Its two subsidiary companies in China, Nicky Foods Co., Ltd. and Qingqing Nicky Foods Co., Ltd., were involved in the case.

"Nicky has stopped production and export to Japan. Self-inspection of 200 kinds of productions has taken place in Japan," Li said. A total of 215 items has been done and the results is expected to release soon, Li said.

Nicky was completely in line with Chinese and Japanese standards in production and management, Li said.

China now needs the Japanese media to show the real agricultural production processes to Japanese consumers to rebuild their confidence, said Jiang of the local inspection and quaranting buraeu.

"I can promise that Chinese foods are safe and Japanese consumers can enjoy them at ease," Jiang said.

Influenced by the dumpling poisoning incident, the province's exports of food and farm products to Japan in February fell 60 percent year on year, according to official statistics.

Shandong is the largest food exporting province to Japan with an annual export of 2.85 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, 34 percent of the nations' total food exports to Japan.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2008)

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