Japanese foodie music group releases song promoting Taiwan pineapples following China import ban

A Japanese musical group with a focus on food has released a song to support Taiwanese farmers after China banned the import of pineapples from Taiwan earlier this month.

The band Kyu Shoku Tou Ban (給食当番) produced the song after seeing news reports about the plight of Taiwanese pineapple farmers facing a sudden ban on their product in China, which normally fills more than 90% of Taiwan’s pineapple export demand.

China announced that it would temporarily stop imports of Taiwanese pineapples from March 1, saying that it had detected insect pests in some samples tested.

While Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-Hua said the ban failed to meet the standards of international trade rules, Beijing defended the move, claiming that the ban was reasonable and necessary for biosecurity reasons.

Support for Taiwan pineapples quickly came in from other countries, including the US and Canada.

Canada’s trade office in Taipei posted a photo on its Facebook account of its staff posing with pineapples and pizza, March 2, using the hashtag #FreedomPineapples, while the American Institute in Taiwan shared pictures using the hashtag #pineapplesolidarity on the same day.

The USA’s representative office in Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan urged followers on Facebook to play “find the pineapple,” after purchasing the fruit in solidarity with Taiwan’s pineapple farmers.

Consumers in Japan also supported Taiwan, stripping supermarket shelves bare of the fruit, according to Bloomberg, and Hong Kong also saw an uptick in sales of Taiwan pineapples.

The increase in sales echoed a surge in demand in Europe and Asia, including Taiwan, for Australian wines last year, after China imposed a similar sudden ban, although ostensibly for reasons other than “biosecurity.”

Kyu Shoku Tou Ban, who sing the opening theme for the Netflix animated series Dino Girl Gauko, released their new song “Taiwan Pineapple Song” on You Tube, March 8, saying “We want everyone in Taiwan to listen to this song. Please spread!”

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