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Gov't bans rice planting in contaminated soil

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The Japaneses government announced Saturday it will ban farmers from planting rice in soil contaminated by radiation from the tsunami-flooded nuclear power plant

Do you mean to say that there hasn't been a ban in place already?!

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"contaminated soil"

Rice farming is very water intensive. So if there is a problem, is it actually with the soil or ultimately the water?

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@USA. Both.

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I also read that Fukushima tobacco growers are not going to plant this year's crops due to worries about radiation in the soil (despite the govt putting no restrictions on tobacco leaf near the reactor). Guess they don't want their customers to get cancer!

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Do you mean to say that there hasn't been a ban in place already?!

♪To everything there is a season, and that includes rice planting. The seedlings are raised indoors and planted out in late April/early May (later up north?), so rushing in with a ban when temperature lows are still hovering around freezing would be a bit meaningless.

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Rice is revered in Japanese culture. It’s the key ingredient in sake, and citizens proudly buy locally grown varieties.

Nice spin. Its more like Japanese are finicky about their staple food, rice, which they have a culture of eating for survival and not reverence. Add to that some xenophobia and you understand what is happening, because its not reverence and its not pride.

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Surely that is a no-brainer for both the government and the farmers.

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Well, there will be no exports of Japanese rice, methinks, this year, and either people will import more than the norm (unless Japan slaps tariffs on it in order to sell more domestic), and the price of domestic rice will sky-rocket in unaffected areas while it drops incredibly if grown up north.

The saddest part about this whole thing are the poor farmers; not only are they in shelters, in some cases, but they will have to find new work because not only will the soil be no good this year if there's a high level of cesium... it'll be a LOT longer than that. I'm glad the government has stated they will compensate them, but will they also buy out the land or compensate them yearly if not? I really don't see where all the compensation is going to come from.

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And before the nuke melted, was it okay to plant rice in other contaminated soil? (shades of minamata disease)

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The japanese govement must make sure the price of rice, our staple, does not rise. Penalties for shops trying to rise the price. Because the people will not eat foreign rice, japanese rice is the only one accepted by japanese people.

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A lot of land will be off limits for agriculture for many years to come.Radioactive contamination and the extent thereof needs to be checked all the way to at least Tokyo otherwise cancer related diseases will spiral!

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Fine, then somebody has to pay them because it's not their fault.

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Nobody in my family is going to buy any produce originating from the prefectures that received radiation, including Tokyo. I'll be quite happy to buy foreign rice if it's available. It's easy to identify the origin on the packaging, as long as that is not intentionally mislabelled. But the problem will be restaurants and school lunches, conbini bentos and such where the source of the food is not made clear. When the government starts saying vegetables from Fukushima are now okay, knowing full well that nobody will buy them, I worry that it intends to feed them to us surreptitiously.

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Farmers need to brace themselves for slashing of the 778 percent tariff on rice imports and Kan couldn't have asked for a more natural transition towards free trade. Now make elections legal to reduce the lop-sided representation of sparsely populated farming electorates in Parliament.

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Yes, there was no law against planting in soil containting radioactive isotopes of things like caesium and iodine because these things either do not exist in nature or do, but not in quantity to be concerned about. Go figure why the government did not have their eye on that ball even in medieval times. (sigh)

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The japanese govement must make sure the price of rice, our staple, does not rise. Penalties for shops trying to rise the price. Because the people will not eat foreign rice, japanese rice is the only one accepted by japanese people.

Shops trying to raise the price? Don't worry, doesn't happen in Japan. You all fell into a kettle of hinkaku when babies, so you're all so full of dignity that you're immune to dishonesty. For crying out loud man, change your diaper. What are you people going to eat if there ever wasn't enough Japanese rice? Hmm? Like when there was a rice shortage in this country, people lining up to buy this foreign rice? It is obvious that you never ate this "foreign" rice. Or was that before you were born? It's quite tasty actually if you would try it and you won't get anything nasty from it.

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Open the market to foreign suppliers and rice prices will fall dramatically.

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Well, if nobody is going to live or farm on this land, it might be a good time to replace them with wind farms, fill them up with wind turbines.

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