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South Korea to increase radiation testing of Japanese food

My respect to South Korea: the one and only country to protect its population from Japanese radiation contaminated products and to protest against japan’s plan to dump all the Fukushima radioactive water into our Pacific ocean. I would like to hear the countries protesting and our elected politicians have at heart to defend as well the health of their citizens!
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South Korea to increase radiation testing of Japanese food
August 21, 2019
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Wednesday it will double the radiation testing of some Japanese food exports due to potential contamination from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.
Relations between the two U.S. allies are at their worst in years, with a trade row rooted in a decades-old dispute over compensation for South Koreans forced to work during Japan’s wartime occupation of the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea has stepped up demands this month for a Japanese response to concerns food produced in the Fukushima area and nearby sea could be contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was severely damaged by the 2011 tsunami.
South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) said on Wednesday that it will double the frequency of testing of any food products with a history of being returned in the past five years after trace amounts of radiation were detected.
“As public concerns about radioactive contamination have been rising recently, we are planning a more thorough inspection starting August 23,” said Lee Seoung-yong, director-general at MFDS.
The affected food imports from Japan will be relatively minimal, as only about two tonnes are returned out of about 190,000 tonnes of total Japanese food imports annually, Lee said.
An official at Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Japanese food products were safe and the increased radiation testing was unnecessary.
“Safety of Japanese food items has been secured and no additional restrictions are necessary. Many countries have agreed with this and got rid of import restrictions completely … It is very regrettable that these additional measures will be implemented,” the official told Reuters.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizers said on Tuesday that South Korea’s National Olympic Committee had sent a letter expressing concern at the possibility of produce grown in Fukushima prefecture being served to athletes in the Olympic village.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday summoned the economy minister from the Japanese embassy in Seoul over media reports and international environmental groups’ claims that Japan plans to release contaminated water from the Fukushima plant into the ocean.
In April, South Korea won the bulk of its appeal in a dispute at the World Trade Organization over import bans and testing requirements it had imposed on Japanese seafood in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
 
 
S.Korea to tighten checks on food from Japan
August 21, 2019
The South Korean government says it will tighten radiation checks on food products imported from Japan.
Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident in March 2011, South Korea banned imports of marine products from eight Japanese prefectures and farm products from 14 prefectures. Other food items are tested for radiation upon arrival in South Korea.
South Korea’s Food and Drug Safety Ministry announced on Wednesday that 17 food products that have tested positive for even minute amounts of radiation in the past will be screened twice, starting on Friday. The items include processed seafood, blueberries, tea and coffee.
South Korea’s government announced earlier this month that it is stepping up radiation checks on coal ash and three types of recyclable imports from Japan.
On Monday, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Japanese Embassy official for an explanation of Japan’s plan to release into the ocean water containing radioactive substances generated at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
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August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Less bluster, but no compromise seen as South Korean, Japan ministers meet in China

2019-08-20T083741Z_1_LYNXNPEF7J0EG_RTROPTP_3_SOUTHKOREA-JAPAN-LABORERS.JPGA police officer stands guard near Japan and South Korea national flags at a hotel, where the South Korean embassy in Japan is.

 

August 20, 2019

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – South Korea and Japan have toned down the rhetoric but show little sign of compromise in a bitter political and economic dispute as their foreign ministers prepare to meet in China this week.

Relations between the two U.S. allies are at their worst in years, with a trade row rooted in a decades-old dispute over compensation for Koreans forced to work during Japan’s wartime occupation of South Korea.

Foreign ministers Kang Kyung-wha of South Korea, Taro Kono of Japan and Wang Yi of China will have trilateral meetings in Beijing from Tuesday evening to Thursday.

“We will have to actively express our position, but I am leaving with a heavy heart because the situation is very difficult,” Kang said before departing for China where a one-on-one meeting with Kono is set for Wednesday.

Their August meeting in Bangkok, where cameras captured the unsmiling pair making perfunctory handshakes, achieved little. A day later, Japan cut South Korea from a white list of favored trade partners, drawing retaliatory measures from Seoul.

“We expect to exchange views on various issues between Japan and the ROK, such as the issue of former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula,” Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, using the initials of South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.

The Beijing talks would reaffirm Japan’s “close bilateral cooperation” with South Korea, as well as trilateral ties with the United States, the ministry said.

Since the Bangkok meeting, Seoul has urged a “cooling off period” and Japan approved shipments of a high-tech material to South Korea for the second time since imposing export curbs in July.

Nevertheless, the dispute is far from over.

South Korea warned this month it may consider revoking a military intelligence sharing pact with Japan, though an official at the presidential Blue House said on Tuesday no decision had been taken.

Seoul has also raised concerns about Japan’s handling of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, a South Korea official said, though it may not bring it up in Beijing.

South Korea and other countries have restrictions on imports of produce from areas around the Fukushima site where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

NOT SO NICE FACE

While both sides have moderated their public statements, observers do not expect any major breakthroughs this week.

“I don’t think Japan is going to show a nice face to Seoul this time,” said one former Japanese diplomat familiar with the government’s position.

Japan believes South Korea’s economy is hurting more in the trade row, and “doesn’t mind waiting for further concessions from Seoul,” said the ex-diplomat.

Citing national security, Japan in July restricted exports of some key materials used in chips and displays made by South Korea firms, threatening to disrupt the global supply chain.

Later this month a decision to remove South Korea from Japan’s list of trading partners with fast-track access to a number of materials is scheduled to go into effect.

South Korea has responded by removing Japan from its own trade white list, and South Korean consumers are boycotting Japanese products and avoiding travel to Japan.

There also has been no progress in resolving the issue that triggered the latest chill in relations – a series of South Korean court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate South Koreans forced to work for Japanese occupiers.

“I don’t think we can expect a big change in the situation as a result of tomorrow’s meeting because the forced labor issue is at the root of the deterioration in ties and there hasn’t been any new development regarding that,” said Kyungjoo Kim, a professor at Tokai University in Tokyo.

https://kdal610.com/news/articles/2019/aug/20/less-bluster-but-no-compromise-seen-as-south-korean-japan-ministers-meet-in-china/929015/?refer-section=world

 

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea lawmaker Rep. Kim Kwang-soo calls for import ban on processed foods from Fukushima

I am glad that some politician do feel his duty is to protect the health of his countrymen, I just wish there were more like him…
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August 20, 2019
South Korea should restrict imports of processed foods from Japan’s Fukushima region as radiation has been found in shipments, an opposition lawmaker said Monday.
 
South Korea banned all seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima in 2013 on concerns over their radiation levels in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown. But no import restrictions have been put on processed foods from the areas.
 
Citing data from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Rep. Kim Kwang-soo of the minor opposition Party for Democracy and Peace said radiation has been discovered in 16.8 tons of processed foods imported from the eight prefectures, or 35 shipments, over the past five years.
 
The figures were 10 tons (11 shipments) in 2014, 0.1 ton (six) in 2015, one ton (six) in 2016, 0.3 ton (four) in 2017, 0.4 ton (six) in 2018 and 5 tons (two) for the first half of this year.
 
South Korea imported 29,985 tons of processed foods from the Japanese prefectures between 2014 and June this year. Imports, which came to 3,803 tons in 2014, increased to 7,259 tons last year. In the January-June period of this year, imports reached 3,338 tons.
 
“It is urgent for the government to take necessary action against processed foods from the eight Japanese areas since they pose a serious risk to public health,” the lawmaker said.
 
No import restrictions have been imposed on the processed foods, though a recent ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) has allowed Seoul to retain the import ban on 28 kinds of fish caught in the eight prefectures, he said.
 
In response to a complaint from Tokyo, the WTO ruled in April this year that Seoul’s measures do not amount to unfair trade restrictions or arbitrary discrimination.
 
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it sees no problem with imports of processed foods from the eight Japanese prefectures because the Japanese government submits inspection certificates and thorough checks are conducted at local quarantine offices. (Yonhap)

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Nuclear food referendum’: Taiwan’s softening of Fukushima ban under threat amid ballot calls

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10-Sep-2018 By Pearly Neo
Japan’s hopes that the Taiwan government will lift the current ban on foods from Fukushima and surrounding areas has hit another hurdle after Kuomintang, the largest opposition party in Taiwan, submitted a referendum request on what has been dubbed ‘anti-nuclear food’.
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September 10, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Embassy Promoting Fukushima Sake in London, UK

Did they inform those people that this sake is made from Fukushima contaminated rice, that no matter how delicious it tastes there is no safe level of radiation, that internal radiation is much more harmful than external radiation?
Of course they didn’t.
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Three Days of a London Ecstatic for Fukushima Saké: The London Fukushima Saké Fair Event Report
In the plot full of excitement at sake of Fukushima
 
A PR Event in London to Highlight Fukushima’s Fifth Year Running With The Most Gold Medals From the All-Japan New Saké Awards
The Fukushima Saké Fair, a public relations event to create buzz for Japanese sakés from Fukushima Prefecture, was held during the three days from October 17th through the 19th, 2017, at venues throughout London, including the Halls of Parliament, famous for Big Ben, and the Embassy of Japan.
More than 480 persons attended the event over the course of the three days. Faces red with delighted intoxication were seen here and there, tasting Fukushima saké, which had, for the fifth year running, acquired the most gold medals at the All-Japan New Saké Awards.
In addition, a Fukushima Night was also held at two Japanese restaurants within London: Tokimeite and Yashin Ocean House. Among the participants were those who remarked that the Fukushima sakés were the best Japanese sakés they had ever imbibed, happily drawing a close on the great success of the Fukushima Saké Fair event.
Negotiations Among Importers and Six Saké Brewers Within Fukushima
Lively discussions were had at the Fukushima Saké Negotiations, held on October 18th, among the participating saké brewers and the local restaurants and alcohol wholesalers.
Interest in Japanese saké is on the rise in London. Many persons are taking note of quality Fukushima sakés, and among the sommeliers and alcohol wholesalers present at the event were comments such as how the Fukushima sakés were full-bodied and crisp, how well they would accompany meat dishes, and how they should be carried by those restaurants and wholesalers. More than 100 negotiations took place. The expectation is that, moving forward, there will be many more Fukushima saké transactions in the market.

 

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Gimmick to Promote Fukushima Contaminated Produce

Japanese Government won’t stop at anything to promote Fukushima’s contaminated produce to its people so as to calm their fears and to the foreign markets so as to make them lift their imports restrictions on Eastern Japan produce.
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Boris Johnson downs a can of peach juice from Fukushima given to him by Japanese minister to prove goods from the nuclear meltdown zone are safe
Boris Johnson was handed Fukushima fruit drink by Japanese minister Tarō Kōno
He downed can in three gulps as an act of solidarity, saying: ‘Very good. Mmmh’
Many countries – including the US and China – still ban imports from the area
Nuclear plant in the prefecture suffered huge meltdown after earthquake in 2011
Boris Johnson has downed a can of peach juice from an area of Japan that suffered a triple nuclear meltdown in a bid to show its produce is safe.
The foreign secretary was handed the Fukushima fruit drink by Japanese foreign affairs minister Tarō Kōno, who brought it with him on his visit to London. 
A nuclear plant in the prefecture suffered a huge meltdown after an earthquake in 2011, causing a release of radioactive material that led to over 50 countries banning imports of food from the area.   
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The foreign secretary was handed the Fukushima fruit drink by Japanese foreign affair minister Tarō Kōno, who brought it with him on his visit to London. Pictured: He downs the can
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A nuclear plant in the prefecture suffered a huge meltdown after an earthquake in 2011, causing a release of radioactive material that led to over 50 countries banning imports of food from the area. Pictured: Boris with Kono at the Foreign Office in London yesterday 
But Boris didn’t seem to mind as he delightedly gulped down a small can of peach juice, captured on video and published to Twitter by Kōno yesterday. 
Smirking after swigging the drink, Boris mutters: ‘Very good… Mmmh.’ 
He then takes a good look at the can before going for gulp number two.
Again the juice meets his approval, with the foreign secretary declaring: ‘Yum! I need it.’
He then takes a final swig and utters yet another ‘Mmmmh’ before putting the can down, presumably empty. 
 
Kōno explained in his tweet: ‘British FM Boris Johnson drinking peach juice from Fukushima, showing the products from Fukushima are safe.’
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Pictured: Boris finishing off the juice
Many countries – including the US and China – still have restrictions on Fukushima produce in place following the disaster
 
But as part of efforts to persuade the world that the area’s goods are perfectly safe, many Japanese politicians have munched on its food and gulped down its drinks. 
In 2011, however, MP Yasuhiro Sonoda rather fluffed the PR exercise by visibly shaking as he drank water collected from the Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima.  
 
 
Boris Johnson swigs can of peach juice from Fukushima
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Foreign secretary drinks down gift from Japan’s foreign minister in attempt to show food and drink from region is safe after triple nuclear meltdown
“Yum.” That was foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s verdict on a can of peach juice from Fukushima – a ‘gift’ from his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono – during their meeting in London this week.
The moment, captured by Kono on his smartphone, was intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, almost seven years after the triple nuclear meltdown.
While some countries have maintained restrictions on food from the region – a major producer of peaches – the EU said this month it would ease import restrictions on agricultural items and seafood that were introduced after the March 2011 disaster.
 
More than 50 countries and regions imposed import curbs on Japanese produce after the disaster, and about half – including China and the US – still have them in place.
“Very good … Mmm,” Johnson pronounced, studying the label on the can for good measure.
He polished off the sweet drink without incident, no doubt to the relief of his Japanese guests. But attempts by other politicians to use food and drink to prove a point, or simply ingratiate themselves with voters, have left a bitter taste.
During a BSE scare in Britain in 1990, the then agriculture secretary, John Gummer, unsuccessfully tried to feed his four-year-old daughter, Cordelia, a burger made with British beef.
In recent years, Ed Miliband and Theresa May proved that encounters with the food of the masses – in his case a bacon sandwich, in hers a cone of chips – are best kept out of the public eye.
May’s predecessor, David Cameron, had set a poor example by choosing to tackle a simple hot dog with a knife and fork.
Japanese politicians of all stripes have taken up the cause of Fukushima produce.
In 2011 Yasuhiro Sonoda, then a ruling party MP, visibly shook as he gulped down a glass of decontaminated – and perfectly safe – water collected from inside two reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi.

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Promoting Fukushima Rice and Sake

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On the Issue of Japan, Fukushima and Rice

In Japan, rice is life. The word for “life” is also the word for “meal” or “food.” The importance of rice to the Japanese people cannot be overstated. The word for rice has been called “emotive.” Damage to Japan’s rice crops goes beyond simple damage to the diet. To be confronted with a shortage of rice calls forth powerful feelings of deprivation in the Japanese. Japanese rice, irradiated by the events of “3/11,” is in danger.

3/11” is what the Japanese call the series of deadly disasters which struck northern Japan in March of 2011; the earthquake, tsunami, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown. Northern Japan was devastated and recovery will take many decades.

When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility was badly damaged by irradiation, local crops, including batches of rice grown in Fukushima, found to be badly affected by radiation, were swiftly removed from the market.

Five years after the quake, Fukushima rice producers still have difficulty marketing their produce. But the Japanese government, working in tandem with nonprofits and private organizations, has developed a positive and creative response to the Fukushima food crisis.

The Rice Peace Project Seminar, held on September 19, 2016 in New York, was inspired by the initiatives of a Japanese government supported campaign working together with non-profits, corporate projects, and organizations, including the NPO Project 88.

The NPO Project 88, which takes name from the 88 processes of rice production, mobilizes Japanese high-quality rice as an emergency relief food. Developing tasty, nutritious, non-GMO, low pesticide, and allergen-free, organic and gluten-free rice products is also central to NPO Project 88’s mission, helping to spread peace and disaster-relief in the world through rice.

The Rice Peace Project Seminar, held to publicize the efforts of the NPO Project 88, featured three speakers from Japan. Mrs. Akie Abe, spouse of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mr. Hiroshi Sakurai, President of the sake brewery Asahi Shuzo, and Ms. Nari Takahashi, President of NPO Project 88. The speeches were followed by a sushi tasting prepared by Sushi Chef Yoichi Akashi of Kappo Akashi using Eco-rice as well as a tasting of “Dassai” sake, the sake Prime Minister Abe offered President Obama during the U.S. President’s 2014 visit to Japan.

Jeff Santos, CEO of the Santos Media Group who hosted the seminar, introduced Mrs. Akia Abe. Santos described Mrs. Abe as an activist. Abe is actively engaged in supporting the NPO Project 88 and in promoting Fukushima’s agricultural industry by creating Yamato No Kokoro sake from rice produced in Fukushima.

Mrs. Akie Abe said that in 2011, in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake, she realized the importance of supporting Japanese food production, especially rice. With the encouragement of US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, Abe began to support the production of Fukushima rice and sake,

Abe described the production of rice in Japan as highly political. She said that 150 years ago, after extensive warring between the Chochu and Aizu clans. the two prefectures began to cultivate rice for sake and to brew sake, jointly. The joint effort was successful and the two prefectures now live in harmony.

Abe said that for Japanese, now as always, rice and sake are spiritual foods. “In Japan, we like to get our hands dirty [working the land.] We are a part of nature. We owe our gratitude to nature. It is my pleasure to work with rice producers and sake producers.”

She closed with a warm invitation: “Please enjoy the sushi and sake tasting today and please also come to Japan to enjoy them!”

Hiroshi Sakurai, President of Sake Brewery Asahi Shuzo, opened with praise for Japanese sake in general and Asahi Shuzo’s sake in particular. “Sake has to be ‘oishii’ (delicious) If it is not delicious what is the point of creating it? And our sake is especially ‘oishii!’”

Sakurai said that he wanted to show two world leaders enjoying Japanese sake, Prime Minister Abe and US President Barack Obama. Sakurai’s photo array displayed pictures from the U.S. President’s 2014 visit to Japan.

Sakurai said that his company, Asahi Shuzo, had partnered with the king of rice producers, Yamada Nishiki, accounting for 6.5 percent of total rice production in Japan. He has a staff of 100 and his employees are the best. Production is entirely by hand- they do not use machines. Production is around the clock, 24/7, to produce “oishii” sake.

Sakurai said that rice production in Japan is very eco- friendly. They recycle all that remains from rice production, such as rice husks, used to make sembei, or rice milk.

In closing, he said: “We are eager to promote our sake and we hope you enjoy the tasting.”

Nari Takashashi, President of NPO Project 88. Ms. Takahashi said that rice was the first food served to Fukushima quake victims. It was sometimes all that aged survivors could eat. And for those who could not eat plain rice she and her company developed soft rice cakes. They were very popular, as were their cream puffs.

Takahashi said that some kids with allergies couldn’t eat even the rice cookies or cream puffs. So she developed allergy-free cookies made with rice powder and delivered to the schools. Kids loved them.

Takahashi said that the application for allergy free products goes well beyond Fukushima. Survivors of the Kumamoto quake this past April are their next potential customers. She believes there is a huge market for these products world wide, especially to disaster survivors and to millennials.

After this spirited set of speeches, it was no surprise that the sushi and sake tastings were extraordinary.

http://intpolicydigest.org/2016/10/06/on-the-issue-of-japan-fukushima-and-rice/

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment