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Safe sushi

32 Comments

Only two customers dine at a sushi restaurant in Tokyo late Tuesday night. Reported radioactive contamination in seawater near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has caused a scare over the safety of eating fish products. See related story in National section.

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Sad, one of Japan's main supply of seafood is now going to be corrupted thanks to this. If it can be proven that it will have minimum impact on the fish (which are quite easily mutated due to minute changes in the environment) then there might be a chance, but I seriously doubt this will not have such a small impact.

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I'll bet the owner and staff of this restaurant are seriously mad at TEPCO.

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Thanks to TEPCO, there will soon be a lot of places like this in Japan.

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Wasabi can neutralize radiation in sliced raw fishes, everyone can enjoy safe sushi now.

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Perception is reality. I'm sure the seafood is fine, but what does that matter?

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See, this is a picture out of context. What does a normal night look like here? Maybe a group just left. Maybe they are closing in 10 minutes. Without context it's impossible to know.

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How busy this place usually be? Caption says "late Tuesday night" - not exactly peak hours.

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Exactly, how late? And obviously there are literally hundreds of port all over Japan, not to mention all the imported seafood, that will not affected. The port that specialized in shark fins was completely wiped out, not a personal favorite but missed by Chinese cuisine fans.

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Then again, this may be a chance to stop the overfishing of the seas and give a number of species an opportunity to replenish themselves. Always gotta look for the silver lining. ;-)

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asianTourist

Wasabi can neutralize radiation

You are joking, I hope you do not think that is true , if that is the case then why arnt they using wasabi to protect themselves at the fukushima plant?

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Headline:

Reported radioactive contamination in seawater near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has caused a scare over the safety of eating fish products

Is this really true? I haven't heard anyone say they are worried yet. And as above posters have commented it's likely that's not the cause of there being only 2 people in the restaurant.

Asiantourist:

Wasabi can neutralize radiation in sliced raw fishes, everyone can enjoy safe sushi now.

I'm not sure this would be a good idea. I've heard of wasabi having some beneficial properties but seeing as radiation has been found in the wasabi plants in Fukushima you'd probably be doing yourself more harm than good.

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I don't know about sushi, but the other restaurants I've been to recently have been close to full (as in having to wait to be seated at a table). I am inclined to agree with Smorkian's observation that one photo doesn't suffice as evidence. Neither, by the way, does the "See related story in National section," which doesn't make any reference to customer trends at sushi shops.

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Is this really true? I haven't heard anyone say they are worried yet.

@oikawa: Seriously? Yeah, its true and yeah many Japanese are worried. My Japanese wife is flipping out. Doesn't want to feed kids fish until she knows where and when they are fished.

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Yeah, its true and yeah many Japanese are worried. My Japanese wife is flipping out. Doesn't want to feed kids fish until she knows where and when they are fished.

At least that's an educated concern. Considering that North-East fishing industry is gone, most fish would be coming in from elsewhere.

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Its Not like you can put a GPS tracker on all of the oceans fish! Fish move around and the only way to be sure if they are contaminated or not would be not to trust anyone or buy an afordable portable geiger counter you can purchase online and find out for yourself. I'm thinking about it. I am a big fish eater and I don't want to take ANY chances.

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@ExportExpert

They tried, but it was hard to keep the wasabi mask on for more than 30 seconds at a time.

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One thing is clear. The people do not trust the authorities. This is compounding the tragedy for people in Japan.

The government must take immediate measures to assure food, water and air safety so that people can again believe what they are advised. Independent measurement for food, water and air are needed NOW. Second daily reporting in all media from the independent providers. And finally strong efforts by the government to gain public confidence.

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@porter. Thanks for the reply. I still don't think it's a a major scare though (witness only 6 replies to the topic on one JT thread), and certainly nowhere near as big as the land based food scare, which was because lots of vegetables and food products are farmed in Fukushima and well known to be from there, whereas fish is not farmed from around there. We all now how educated the Japanese are on where food is from. It also seemed a spurious connection to the picture.

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Yes, yes, wasabi is well known for it's anti-radiationalnalnal properties, but only when applied into the nasal and anal cavities, so if you see somebody running down the street, wildly gesticulating and screaming, you what the cause is. Anyway, the local kaiten sushi looks real quiet during the early evening, let alone late night, but that has been since the quake. I find this whole area (Y'hama) more subdued during the evening, less light and less cars on the road.

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In a long-run, maritime creatures, including fishes and other seas products may be impacted. Wasabi can be used as traditional medicine, but for sushi dishes, Wasabi help diners digesting better as well as special ingredients. Most of sushi restaurants can detect a level of radiation on new orders of fishes and fresh ingredients to make sure everything is safety for customers' health concerns. The government's agencies such as ministry of health and others may establish more special teams working on foods and vegetable safety policies to restore trust on people as well as helping business firms to operate profitably.

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To the average and naive western customer's mind, sushi = fish coming from Japan and thus, contaminated with radiation. (even if the tuna used for nigiri is coming from...Alaska). Therefore, it is quite possible that some Sushi restaurants not only in Japan but also around the globe would suffer a lot because of this crisis.

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Patrick Smash

Younger Japanese may flock to McDonald's but I doubt you can make the claim that "Japanese generally prefer McDonald's." The sushi restaurant near where I work is always packed at lunchtime and used to be full most nights but not now. I thought it was fairly expensive at night but there always seemed to be a steady stream of loyal customers.

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Younger Japanese may flock to McDonald's but I doubt you can make the claim that "Japanese generally prefer McDonald's."

I bet there are more Ronny McDs in Japan than there are sushi restaurants

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Generally speaking, how full are most sushi joints on late Tuesday nights?

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I bet there are more Ronny McDs in Japan than there are sushi restaurants

I'll take that bet.

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Sushi restaurants are often not busy. The Japanese generally prefer McDonalds but they won't admit it as they are culturally educated not to. There is a real scare though; that is absolutely true.

Which Japan do you live in? Sushi restaurants are always busy, except for the ones which sell crappy 105 yen sushi plates (with the exception of Kappa sushi).

Generally: Good/Quality sushi restaurant > Mc Donalds > McDonalds

But like smartacus said, it depends on peoples age. Highschool kids love McDonalds, I agree it would be the number one place for highschool kids to eat at, with Saizeriya a close second.

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Sushi restaurants are often not busy. The Japanese generally prefer McDonalds but they won't admit it as they are culturally educated not to. There is a real scare though; that is absolutely true.

THAT explains why the sushi restaurants by me are always packed! Japanese people are required to eat there.

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nothereillegal

You would certainly lose your bet.

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I've recently been seeing news that there are movements to loosen regulations for food coming from the Fukushima area. There was a story on that ran about a few minor celebrities eating some of it, trying to promote that it's safe. It's affecting people's livelihoods, obviously, but I find the idea that vegetables and other produce from the area may start finding its way back into supermarkets far more scary than the possibility of eating irradiated fish, which already has supposedly unsafe levels of mercury in it anyway.

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I bet there are more Ronny McDs in Japan than there are sushi restaurants

I will take a piece of that bet...

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Never heard of a "Ronny McD" in japan. ;)

We got a "Donald McD" here and those are WAAAY less than Sushi places.

Moderator: Readers, no further discussion of McDonald's please.

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Does someone know the average percentage of offshore fishing by Japan versus local fishing? Thanks! :)

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