Nobuyasu Igari, a 38-year-old farmer, holds a bag of his new breed of rice, named "Fuku Warai" (Smile of fortune), in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture. Photo: KYODO
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Fukushima fish, rice sellers still struggling to overcome consumer concerns

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looks that people doesn't trust the government's numbers.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

I understand these peoples livelyhoods were destroyed by the nuclear accident and they should be compensated by Tepco and the Japanese government but i will not knowingly purchase anything produced in Fukushima. Not for the next 200 years after which i am happy to reconsider

22 ( +25 / -3 )

No sympathy guys, so long as you vote into power the people who agree to dumping radioactive water in your area, and saying there's no correlation between increases of cancer and the Fukushima meltdown, and then saying they'll feed everything to Olympics athletes and ambassadors from overseas as "proof it's safe".

Fight for compensation, and I'll support you as much as I can. Not going to buy your products, though, while the government continues to lie about the issues.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

100 percent of the rice in McDonalds new rice burgers is from Fukushima.

The farmers should be thankful for McDonalds at least.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I will not buy food from Fukushima sorry.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

No thanks

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@Fighto!

100 percent of the rice in McDonalds new rice burgers is from Fukushima

than you men. i didn't know.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

By March 2020, cultivation had resumed at only 32.2 percent of the abandoned farmland

Whaaat? How contaminated land became clean just in 10 years if for Cs-137 (with half life 30 years) only 20% of it decayed. I would rather expect expansion of the contaminated area due to the natural mixing factors.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Fukushima is one of the largest prefectures in Japan. The distance east to west is similar to the distance from the plant to southern Iwate or to northern Saitama. Radiation does not stop at the border.

The people need to be supported.

And yes the government is corrupt and awful.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I have a concern and that is that radiation bioaccumulates in the body and the melted reactors are still spewing their poison into the environment!

There are two fairly big concerns right there...

7 ( +12 / -5 )

No sympathy for this situation. Protected by 778% tariffs from imported rice, (and, as commented above, the politicans who claim to protect them along with their culture, give them minimum help) the price of rice in Japan is massively overpriced in the first place.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I'd buy their products so long as they are available at markets in my neighborhood. Some rare foods from Fukushima remain popular in high demand. They don't even need to sell them to critical yet science-illeterate people.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

I will not buy food from Fukushima sorry.

You're likely already eating it on a daily basis without realising it. It ends up in rice crackers, fruit juices, cheese slices, and all sorts of processed foods.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

You only have one body.

but you have no right to risk your children’s lives.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I've been buying products from Fukushima Prefecture every year since 2011, especially peaches in the summer. That's my small way of supporting them. I also buy from pop-up stores whenever there is one in Tokyo. People forget how big the prefecture is. It wasn't all contaminated. Refusing to buy any food product because you're afraid you'll get cancer is irrational.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

It's so sad to look at these hard-working people, and knowing that the corrupt and inept government has failed them. If I had the option, I'd buy a bag of rice from Igari san.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Compensate the farmers, but I will try to avoid consuming Fukushima products.

Unfortunately, they have the labeling rule about mixing multiple products together. When you mix a variety of foods like rice various sources. only the two largest contributors need to be listed on the packaging.

For example, if a mixed bag of rice is mixed Chiba 33.5%, Saitama 33.5% and Fukushima 33%, only Chiba and Saitama need to be listed on the label.

They just need to spread the rice over various business sectors little by little, so everyone is responsible, and no one person takes the blame. That seems very Japanese!

That rice could also be sold to chain restaurants, small mom/pop restaurants, or manufacturers that use rice as an ingredient. I do not believe that they are obligated to explain the source of the rice.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

As mentioned above, there are import tariffs on foreign rice. And the domestic rice is insanely overpriced. Many Japanese people don't realise this. Or they answer だけど、美味しい. If the government doesn't help them now, then I wonder why need for the import tariffs. Maybe if the tariffs dropped, there would be less demand for domestic rice? Quite a situation, haven't we?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Industrial rice does not have to be labeled. Sold to chain restaurants, food processing companies, sake makers.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Today, we went to our local farmers' market to buy a week's worth of vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Fresh-looking produces. ¥5,000. We try to buy locally grown produce and give a little to the local farmers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I will buy anything and everything from Fukushima. I will support you Mr. Igari my Japanese brother.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

The farmers and fishermen have my sympathy up to a point - the government hasn't done nearly enough to compensate a wide enough area of businesses and as a result these people have decided to continue their operations. They cannot, however, expect that business will be as good as it was before. It won't.

Ask the farmers and fishermen how likely they would be to buy Chernobyl rice, or Chernobyl spinach etc. if it was available to buy in the supermarkets here. Regardless of whether it was safe or not, most sane people would select to buy alternative rice or spinach, given a choice.

So given a choice, I'd suggest most people would avoid Fukushima (and Chernobyl) produce. That doesn't mean that we will all be able to avoid consuming it. Someone pointed out in a previous comment that McDonalds may be using Fukushima rice in its burgers. That rice may very well come from a part of Fukushima completely unaffected by radiation, but the point here is that nobody goes into a restaurant and questions where the ingredients are sourced from. I'm sure that many restaurants will be attracted to low cost rice and vegetables to use in their dishes, and I'm sure lots of produce from affected parts of Fukushima are being sold cut price.

Also, I'm reminded of a story I read soon after March 2011. A farmer in Fukushima sent a load of tomatoes (I think it was tomatoes) to a friend of his, who was also a farmer, somewhere near Kyushu. The tomatoes were packaged in Kyushu and forwarded on to local supermarkets. As the packaging didn't claim the contents were 'produce of Kyushu', no rules were broken. So consider that if fruit or vegetables in the supermarket don't specifically state where they were grown, they could have come from anywhere.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

For example, if a mixed bag of rice is mixed Chiba 33.5%, Saitama 33.5% and Fukushima 33%, only Chiba and Saitama need to be listed on the label.

@Bordeaux - This sounds familiar. Maybe this is what the Kyushu farmer was doing with the Fukushima farmer's tomatoes - mixing a few in each package so they didn't need to be specifically declared.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No sympathy guys, so long as you vote into power the people who agree to dumping radioactive water in your area, and saying . . .

You're withholding sympathy toward an entire group of workers because of an assumption of how they all vote. Every last one of them. How insightful and enlightened of you. Imagine if I did the same to you if tragedy befell your country.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Sorry, but I am not gonna buy anything I ingest from that part of the country for as long as I live, which will be significantly shorter than the half-life of radiation in the environment there.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

We all have a right to know where our food is from.The system in Japan is conveniently structured so that food origin can be concealed.

And it is being concealed, more than we know!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have and will eat produce from anywhere in Japan including Fukushima

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Quote

Fukushima fish, rice sellers still struggling to overcome consumer concerns

Well, let's see...hmm..one of the biggest ever nuclear accidents happened just around the corner so that might explain it.............

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I am not surprised! Some people like me are staying away from the Pacific side of Japan and when someone mentions fish or fish products from the area, an image of all those people who became fish food comes to mind...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Perfect example of bias judgment.

The food was tested and it's safe to eat!

I personally ate food grown at Fukushima before.

Many people on here don't even live near Fukushima, how will you eat the food?

Bias judgment all around.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I am sorry, but Fukushima food should be banned even in Japan.

I have nothing against these farmers and fishermen and have sympathy for their plight since they are victims of Tokyo Electric's malpractice, but there is nothing anyone can do to remove radioactivity in Fukushima soil and water, and radioactivity won't go away just because LDP says so. They are there for at least next 100 years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

plastic monkey: "Imagine if I did the same to you if tragedy befell your country."

My country doesn't lie about building nuclear plants on fault lines, then constantly say they are going to have to pour contaminated water into the ocean, and lie about about the contaminated air. The nation I'm from wouldn't then try to force it on school children, or say they'll give it to foreign dignitaries as "proof it's safe". They don't ask for the Olympics milking the disasters as a reason why they deserved the Games, then 10 years later still leave the people there suffering. Pretty sure my nation doesn't have 800% tariffs on rice and other products when they can't produce enough and/or when the local stuff might be contaminated anyway. But if they did all that, I would not blame you at all for doing whatever you needed to do. And yes, the people in Fukushima voted in their people. For those who did not, where are all the protests and pushes for change?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hopefully this area will regain its name of island of fortune . . . .

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fukushima is a large prefecture. Not all of it was contaminated with radiation which also spread to other prefectures. Fukushima is the only prefecture testing its farm and fish produce. There are citizen groups testing the produce. The amounts of permitted radiation in food are lower than the international standards used by other countries.

The radiation from Chernobyl spread across Europe all the way to Ireland.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smith

Is easy to judge Japan when you have infinite land and resources in your own country back home.

When you have dozens of options to pick from.

Need more resources? Open a new mining operation. So easy and nice! Sitting on resources for 500 years to come.

Japan doesn't have that privilege.

Doesn't have the same options.

The food is safe! You can believe whatever you wish, don't eat it then.

Contaminated water? No other option. Should have been done a long time ago. We hold on to it for 10 years now. Sitting in containers, which are starting to leak.

-You said yourself at the beginning Smith, your country is not Japan. You don't understand the struggles, problems, lack of options, and it seems like you don't want to help or defend, but rather judge everything it does as Bad.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

They can smile and rebrand it all they want, but I need some independent (preferably international organization) testing in an ongoing manner that shows its safety. Then I would consider it if it is cheaper. Other prefectures considering nuclear power plants should be aware of the brand risk.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Alan:

No sympathy for this situation. Protected by 778% tariffs from imported rice,

Yeah, absolutely crazy. Even with these ridiculously high tariffs AND all the subsidies given to local farmers, both Japanese and non-Japanese rice end up at a similar price! Good grief.

Gambare Nippon:

100 percent of the rice in McDonalds new rice burgers is from Fukushima.

The farmers should be thankful for McDonalds at least.

Couldn't care less. Haven't ordered food there for at least two decades. Using the bogs or ordering a coffee when I'm dragged there by a friend, yes. But I don't care for their food.

Till this day, not one person has been held accountable for the lack of proper checks and stupid planning which led to this man-made disaster.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The food is safe! You can believe whatever you wish, don't eat it then.

and yet the majority of Japanese dont believe it to be so and dont trust the government, if you believe it safe then go ahead and buy products from there, but you are a minority, gajin in Japan thoughts on Fukushima food safety are insignificant when most Japanese dont believe it to be so

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ReasonandWisdomNipponMar. 9  10:26 pm JST

Perfect example of bias judgment.

The food was tested and it's safe to eat!

I personally ate food grown at Fukushima before.

Many people on here don't even live near Fukushima, how will you eat the food?

Bias judgment all around.

Japan imports about 60% of its food so most people residing in Japan are eating food from that comes from places not near where they live.

You said yourself at the beginning Smith, your country is not Japan. You don't understand the struggles, problems, lack of options, and it seems like you don't want to help or defend, but rather judge everything it does as Bad.

Does one have to have been born in a country to understand its struggles? Is it not enough to reside there, to have a knowledge of the country or even to have had a similar experience? Talk about biased judgement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once again, and as usual, the JT story fails to note the crucial point. "Fukushima" is not one flat area that was completely contaminated by radiation. The mountain range that splits the prefecture meant that radiation was contained within an area. The very large area to the west was not exposed.

The answer is to clearly label all products grown from the safe western side of Fukushima. Anything not so identified should be avoided as it would logically be from the contaminated, non-trustable side.

Lay the blame on JA for its fallacious labelling.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Patricia Yarrow

The answer is to clearly label all products grown from the safe western side of Fukushima.

Wrong. Safe zone is west of Tokyo, Tokyo itself is a contaminated zone.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sorry whole place should be closed off for 300 years with TEPCO sued for damanges

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nobuyasu Igari, a 38-year-old farmer, holds a bag of his new breed of rice, named "Fuku Warai" (Smile of fortune), in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture.

Naraha is on the coast, a mere 17Km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear accident. Plenty of commenters happy to eat that rice, go ahead I'm sure it is safe. See you in 10 years.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Perfect example of bias judgment.

The food was tested and it's safe to eat!

I personally ate food grown at Fukushima before.

Many people on here don't even live near Fukushima, how will you eat the food?

Bias judgment all around.

By the same people who are in charge of keeping track of COVID-19 infections for the Olympics. I am not going to put much faith in trusting the Japanese government in telling the truth about anything that makes them look ineffective.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unfortunately radiation doesn't disappear overnight or in a few months or even in a few years.

It takes a really long time to break down and due to accumulation of radiation as you go up the food pyramid, it really isn't safe to eat anything from Fukushima even if it contains trace amount.

We all know the Japanese government is a blatant liar as observed from the way they fudged their COVID-19 numbers last year so I definitely won't be trusting their advice.

I hope these farmers can claim compensation or start anew in a safer area. Sad... but it's the reality of the situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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