The Japan Agricultural Cooperative Association (JA) has opened a temporary store in Otemachi, Tokyo, as part of a campaign to sell vegetables which are approved safe to eat by the government but tend to be left unsold because of rumors that they are contaminated by radiation leaked by the tsunami-ravaged nuclear power station in Fukushima.
The shop is selling vegetables from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gumma, Tochigi and two other prefectures, as well as ready food cooked with ingredients from the same areas.
According to JA, on Thursday, they sold vegetables worth 180,000 yen and approximately 1,500 customers visited the shop.
“I understand the frustration farmers have right now,” a 70-year-old housewife said. “We can’t do anything about the rumors, but at least we can support the farmers by buying their fresh vegetables.”
JA will host the same event on April 14 at JA Building’s 4th floor in Otemachi from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Friday that the government will allow shipments of some produce from areas near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as they have been proved to be safe enough to consume.
The restrictions on raw milk from Kitakata and several other municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, and spinach and ''kakina'' leafy vegetable in Gunma Prefecture will be lifted, Edano said.
The government has changed the way in which it applies such restrictions earlier this week, now imposing them on a town-by-town basis and making it a condition that each product will not be banned from being shipped if radioactivity data stay below safety limits for a third straight week.
The government, meanwhile, will restrict farmers from planting rice near the nuclear complex, which has been facing the emergency situation since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
If radioactivity levels higher than tentative safe limits set by the health ministry are detected in their rice, Edano said the government plans to pay them compensation.© Compiled from news reports