Japan, China agree on food poisoning probe: official

Source of Article: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jhpIYYSkAEWvu_InA7l4PwpQbBEw

TOKYO (AFP) The foreign ministers of Japan and China agreed to boost cooperation to probe toxic Chinese-made dumplings, an issue that has caused a furore in Japan, officials said Monday.

Japan's Masahiko Komura raised the dumpling issue in a meeting Sunday in Beijing that also touched on a range of issues including Tibet and the joint development of gas fields, Japan's foreign ministry said.

Komura's talks with counterpart Yang Jiechi came as relations rapidly warm between the two Asian economic giants after decades of mistrust due in part to the legacy of Japanese imperialism.

"The two sides agreed that the investigative authorities of both countries should have a meeting as soon as possible ... to find out the truth about the food poisoning cases," a foreign ministry statement said.

Ten people in Japan suffered pesticide poisoning in December and January after eating the dumplings imported from China, while thousands more complained about feeling ill.

The government came under fire after it admitted that -- at Beijing's request -- it had kept secret information that frozen dumplings from the same factory were found to have sickened people in China as well.

The foreign ministers also agreed to launch working-level talks on gas fields in a disputed area in the East China Sea, it said.

In June, the two sides agreed to jointly develop the gas fields, a long-running source of friction for the major energy importers, although they are still working out some details.

In a separate meeting with State Councillor Dai Bingguo, Komura voiced hope that China would be more open after the Olympic Games, to which Dai replied that Beijing "will keep making efforts," the statement said.



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