— “Yum!” In publicity stunt, Boris Johnson gulps down Fukushima peach juice, as EU prepares to ease import restrictions on food

“intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, seven years after…”

From the Independent, UK

By Lydia Smith
December 15, 2017

Boris Johnson gulps down can of peach juice from Fukushima
Boris Johnson has been filmed drinking a can of peach juice from Fukushima, the Japanese region hit by nuclear disaster after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The video, tweeted by his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, shows the Foreign Secretary chugging the can at the Foreign Office in London this week.

“Very good… Mmm,” he said, before studying the can, a gift from Mr Kono.

The moment was intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, seven years after the meltdown at the Daiichi nuclear energy plant — the most serious nuclear incident since the 1988 Chernobyl disaster.

More than 50 countries imposed import bans on regional produce following the accident, around half of which remain in place, including restriction from the U.S. and China.

Earlier this month, the EU said it would ease import restrictions on agricultural items and seafood from the region.

Research published last year showed the radiation released by the disaster may have lingering effects on fish — but that the risk posed to human beings through consumption, in part thanks to strong regulation, is minimal.

The study, published in the journal PNAS, shows that freshwater fish and ocean bottom dwellers near Fukushima have a higher risk of contamination with the radioactive chemical caesium than most other types of the ocean fish in the same area.

The risk diminishes the further away the fish are from the city’s nuclear facilities — and the research showed there was a relatively low risk of  people in Japan consuming contaminated fish. ..

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-fukushima-peach-juice-japan-taro-kono-london-a8112546.html

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

Research referred to is here: http://www.pnas.org/content/113/14/3838

Two authors are employed by a Japanese federal agency, and the study was partially funded by  Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), CREST.

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— Fukushima rice will be sold in Great Britain

From Japan Times
Fukushima Minpo
Jun 19, 2016

Fukushima-harvested rice will hit the stores in Britain in July, which might make it the first member of the EU to import the grain, following a sustained effort by a group of Fukushima natives in London fighting rumors about the safety of the crop.

It is also the third nation, after Singapore and Malaysia, to import Fukushima rice since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused three reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Starting next month, 1.9 tons of Fukushima rice called Ten no Tsubu will be sold in London. A Fukushima branch of National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, a Japanese farmers group better known as Zen-Noh, will export the rice via a British trading company.

“With the U.K. as a foothold, we hope to expand the sale of prefecture-produced rice to other EU member countries,” said Nobuo Ohashi, who heads the Fukushima branch of Zen-Noh.

According to Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, the EU has been phasing out its ban on Fukushima food products since the nuclear disaster started. But for Fukushima rice, the EU still obliges importers to submit a radiation test certified by the Japanese government or sample tests by the member nation importing it.

“It’s bright news for Fukushima, which has been struggling with the import restrictions,” said an official at the prefectural office in charge of promoting its products. “We will make further efforts so the restrictions will be lifted entirely.”

There were many hurdles to overcome.

Amid fears that Fukushima products were tainted with radioactive fallout, Yoshiro Mitsuyama, who heads the Fukushima group in London, consulted an official at Zen-Noh’s branch in Germany on how to sell Fukushima products a few years ago.

With the help of Zen-Noh, Mitsuyama’s group started selling Fukushima-made rice, peach and apple juice at the annual Japan Matsuri held at London’s Trafalgar Square three years ago.

The products were popular with London residents. When Visit Japan Ambassador Martin Barrow came to Fukushima last April, he bought some local produce.

I want to help sell Fukushima fruits like cherries, apples and pears in London as well, not just rice,” said Mitsuyama.

This section, appearing every third Monday, features topics and issues covered by the Fukushima Minpo, the largest newspaper in Fukushima Prefecture. The original article was published on May 25.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/19/national/fukushima-rice-set-to-make-first-eu-foray-with-debut-in-britain/#.V2jIyOzn9Qw

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