Some of the first rice harvested in Hirono, Fukushima Prefecture since the March 11, 2011 disaster was delivered to the imperial palace in Tokyo this week after the emperor expressed a desire to eat rice from the area.
The Imperial Household Agency said 120 kilograms of Koshihikari premium rice was delivered on Tuesday, Fuji TV reported.
The town of Hirono lies within the 30-kilometer radius of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Decontamination of the town's rice paddies was completed earlier this year and rice cultivation resumed.
Following the autumn harvest, the town decided to use the rice to launch a public relations campaign by sending packages of the first harvest to the prime minister, the Diet and the imperial palace.
An Imperial Household Agency spokesman said that the rice would be served in the dining halls for all personnel to enjoy, as well as at the emperor and empress's private residence, Fuji reported.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made a two-day visit to Fukushima in July. At that time, they received a briefing on the progress of the decontamination work and the significance of the rice harvest to the local communities. The emperor remarked that "the people of Hirono have endured many hardships, and despite this, have worked diligently to produce this harvest and thus we too wish to enjoy this joyous occasion."© Japan Today