From NHK World – Japan
November 20, 2019
A Japanese Catholic from Fukushima Prefecture plans to present local specialty persimmons to Pope Francis during his visit to Japan from Saturday.
Chuichi Ozawa from Koriyama City has been granted an audience with the pontiff next week.
As a member of the Koriyama Catholic Church, Ozawa has worked to support people affected by the 2011 earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
Ozawa proposed presenting Aizu-mishirazu persimmons to the Pope to help dispel concerns about the safety of Fukushima produce due to the accident.
The Vatican Embassy in Tokyo accepted the offer.
The persimmons are known for their creamy texture and refreshing sweetness.
Ozawa visited a farmer in the Aizu region on Thursday and received more than 50 persimmons specially chosen for their colors and shapes.
He plans to bring the fruit to the embassy on Friday.
Ozawa says if the Pope eats the persimmons, it will lift the spirits of Fukushima farmers.
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