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Fukushima Prefecture Announces New “High-Quality” Rice, Branding

September 4, 2020

With the announcement of a new variety of top-tier rice, Fukushima hopes to further unravel the unfair stigma of the 2011 tsunami.

On Monday, Fukushima Prefectural Governor Uchibori Masao stood before the gathered press and held aloft an indigo-blue print. The painterly, dark-blue brushstrokes depicted rice fields, mountains, and farmers planting and harvesting grains. Below, in the same vibrant indigo, were the words 「福、笑い」: Fuku, Warai, or “Luck, Laugh.” This was the just-announced official design for Fukushima Prefecture’s new high-quality rice cultivar. Fittingly for Fukushima (福島, literally “Lucky Island”), the brand would bear that same “lucky” kanji in its name.

The global image of Fukushima, of course, is not one most would describe as “lucky.” Indeed, the vast prefecture – Japan’s third-largest by area – is often intrinsically associated with the 3/11/2011 nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Infamously, the disaster resulted in a zone of exclusion which forced 165,000 residents from their homes. Early government mismanagement of the crisis resulted in a Japanese populace who often distrusted official statements about local food safety. With the name “Fukushima” appended to the plant, the reputation of the entire prefecture and its people suffered.

This was doubly true for those who worked in Fukushima’s vaunted agricultural sector.

A Prefecture Recovering, an Industry Besmirched

Nearly a decade on from the disaster, the zone of exclusion has shrunk dramatically. Villages, once ghost towns, are reopening. Less than 3% of the prefecture remains off-limits. (In fact, at its greatest extent, the ZOE covered less than 6% of the prefecture.) Years of stringent testing have long proven Fukushima-grown produce to be safe. Yet, still, the stigma lingers. The South Korea Olympic Committee announced last year that it planned to bring radiation detectors and Korean-produced food to the (now-postponed) 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They aimed to avoid athletes consuming any Fukushima products.

Such fear-mongering has been especially difficult for farmers in Fukushima. This is in part because the prefecture was actually famous for its high-quality produce previous to the disaster, Fukushima produced 20.6% of the country’s peaches and 8.7% of its cucumbers. The prefecture’s real agricultural showstopper, however, is its rice.

Lucky Island, Lucky Rice

Fukushima is a mountainous land. In particular, parts of the western Aizu region have nary a flat plain in sight. Here, snowmelt from the mountain peaks runs down into regional rice paddies. This pure water helps to give Fukushima rice its high-quality flavor.

The soil, too, assists in producing good rice, as do the prefecture’s hot days and cold nights. Popular rice cultivars like Koshihikari and Hitomebore are grown, as well as numerous sake rice varieties. Fukushima rice is of such high-quality that it famously trades off taking first place with neighboring Niigata in national rice flavor competitions most years. Recently, Fukushima rice was honored three years running. The Japan Grain Inspection Association Rice Taste Rankings awarded multiple Fukushima rice brands its “Special A-Class,” leading the prefecture to take first place in 2017 through 2019.

The high-grade rice also yields high-quality sake (日本酒; nihonshu). The perfect combination of rice and water, paired with breweries with long years of experience, has resulted in some of the country’s best rice wines. Subterranean rivers flowing from Mt. Bandai; water sourced from the Abukuma-do cave; Aizu snowmelt; all these waters serve to help make Fukushima’s sake special. In 2018, Fukushima sake won the coveted National Research Institute of Brewing title for an unprecedented sixth year in a row. Breweries like Suehiro, Okunomatsu, and Kokken are just a few of its renowned sake producers.

Yet the perception of Fukushima rice – even that produced in Aizu, more distant from the nuclear disaster than parts of other prefectures – as being potentially contaminated continues to damage the Fukushima agricultural industry. Governor Uchibori almost certainly had this in mind as he sought to create excitement around Fukushima products with the announcement of the prefecture’s new cultivar.

The Birth of Fuku, Warai

Despite the timeliness of its announcement, the prefecture in fact first began designing this new rice strain 16 years ago. According to the rice brand’s official website, “Niigata no.88, descendant of Koshihikari, is its mother; prefectural cultivation-type Gunkei 627, descendant of Hitomebore, is its father.” Quality and taste-testing repeated since 2006. In 2019, the prefecture official decided to promote the rice. After the rice was announced, 6,234 Fuksuhimans submitted possible names for the cultivar; the government chose “Fuku, Warai” so that it might “bring a smile to the faces of those who produce it, those who eat it, and make them all happy.”

More than that, the prefecture announced an even loftier accomplishment. “Through these 14 months and years, we’ve put our all into creating the ideal rice. We’ve arrived at a new rice, brimming with “Fukushima Pride.”

In a promotional video produced by the prefecture, Sakuma Hideaki, head of the horticulture department of the Fukushima Agricultural Research Center, had the following to say regarding the new rice strain: In terms of its flavor, the grain is quite large and possesses a sweet quality. It has a distinct aroma. You could say it has a soft texture as well. These are special qualities that distinguish this rice from previous Fukushima Prefecture original products up until now.

Ritzy Rice

The new cultivar is being produced as a premium rice, meant to compete with the most luxurious rice strains in Japan. The aim is to have the rice on specialty store shelfs by next fall, following a special preview harvest conducted on 6/6 hectares by 13 specially-picked rice producers.

The new packaging announced on Monday was illustrated by Yorifuji Bunpei (寄藤文平), well-known for his “please do it at home” public service posters on the Tokyo metro. Koriyama-native Yanai Michihiko handled the art direction. Regarding the design, Governor Uchibori said, おいしさや魅力がより伝わるよう、関係者と力を合わせてプロモーションに取り組む。 We’ve put together this promotion by joining with those involved in order to properly convey [the rice’s] deliciousness and value.

With any luck, Fuku, Warai will help with the continued rehabilitation of Fukushima’s impressive agricultural industries. Better yet, it may indeed serve as yet another point of pride for the people of Fukushima.

Sources

(2020年09月01日). 福島県オリジナル米「福、笑い」パッケージ青基調 先行販売へ。Fukushima-Minyu Newspaper.

Official Fukushima Prefectural Fuku, Wari Website.

Sternsdorff-Cisterna, N. (2015). Food after Fukushima: Risk and Scientific Citizenship in Japan. AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST, Vol. 117, No. 3, pp. 455–467,

September 13, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Video Testimonies from Fukushima in 7 Languages: “We want to protect the ocean of Fukushima, for the future of the fishing industry”

 

July 11, 2020

Peace Boat has cooperated with the environmental NGO Friends of the Earth Japan (FoE Japan) to launch the next in their series of video testimonies of the current situation in Fukushima in various languages.

Nine years have passed since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster, and the damage continues to be incurred. Although this disaster is still ongoing, efforts are made to render this invisible. FoE Japan has conducted video interviews with evacuees, dairy farmers, fishermen and other community members in order to make the ongoing impacts more known as part of the “Fukushima Mieruka Project.”

The next multilingual installment in this series includes interviews with fishermen from Fukushima, who have been pushed back and forth by the policies of the Japanese Government and TEPCO, and who hold great concerns for their future. These are being released simultaneously in English, French, Spanish, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean and German, as well as Japanese.

The fishermen interviewed told us that they are still struggling to sell their fish due to the impacts of the nuclear accident. They are working to restore confidence step by step, by conducting efforts such as test operations and radiation monitoring themselves. However, the Japanese Government and TEPCO have launched a plan to discharge large amounts of radioactive contaminated materials generated at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, including tritium, into the ocean.
“From now, our worry is the problems for successors. If an unexpected fish is found in the future, the young generation will really suffer, those in the fishing industry. Really. It’s a life-or-death matter.”

Please listen to the voices of concern and anger of the Fukushima fishermen (12mins 31 sec).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSVu_52u7z8&feature=emb_logo

Click on the name of each language to watch the clip on Youtube:

See here for a Q&A of more information on Japanese government plans to release contaminated water into the ocean here.

Sign the petition demanding that contaminated water being stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station NOT be discharged into the sea, and instead stored on land and solidified via change.org here

https://peaceboat.org/english/news/fukushima-fishermen

July 16, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Study: Cesium levels in fish in Fukushima lakes, rivers differ

hklmThe Otagawa river, which runs through Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, and elsewhere, was surveyed for cesium levels in fish following the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Provided by the National Institute for Environmental Studies)

 

March 27, 2020

A team of scientists discovered that radioactive cesium released from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accumulates in freshwater fish differently in lakes and rivers.

How easily cesium is taken into bodies is determined by what the fish consume in lakes, although factors associated with water quality–such as the ratio of mud particles–are more important for those inhabiting rivers, according to the researchers.

The findings are expected to help predict the cesium concentration in aquatic creatures more accurately even when all of them are not examined individually, the researchers from the National Institute for Environmental Studies said.

The discovery could be used for estimating how the cesium level has lessened in each fish species,” said Yumiko Ishii, a senior researcher at the institution’s Fukushima Branch.

Higher radioactive cesium levels are reported in freshwater fish than those in the ocean in regions contaminated by the nuclear accident that started to unfold at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant in March 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

While cesium remains mainly in the flesh, how the substance is ingested differs greatly depending on the species, habitat and other elements.

Sweetfish, char, landlocked salmon, carp and other species are still banned from shipping in certain areas, even nine years after the nuclear accident.

The research team studied how cesium accumulated in different species in areas of Fukushima Prefecture, targeting 30 kinds of fish in lakes Hayamako, Inawashiroko and Akimotoko as well as the Udagawa, Manogawa, Niidagawa, Otagawa and Abukumagawa rivers two to four years after the accident.

The results revealed that cesium levels could change in lakes if the fish consume differing foods. Higher readings were measured for landlocked salmon, char and other creatures preying on small fish, likely because cesium becomes concentrated in their bodies by eating tiny creatures.

On the other hand, the kinds of food they consume do not affect the cesium concentration in fish species living in rivers.

The findings showed cesium accumulates more easily when the water contains a smaller amount of tiny mud particles and carcasses of living creatures. The higher the ratio of those particles, the lower the cesium level becomes.

The researchers said the reason is apparently that cesium in water is absorbed into those particles, making it difficult for cesium to remain in the fish bodies as the substance is discharged in the particles through feces.

Meanwhile, higher cesium levels were detected for larger species both in lakes and rivers.

The discovery has been published in the international magazine Journal of Environmental Radioactivity at: (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0265931X1830715X).

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13188720?fbclid=IwAR2fFLnJup-lrp-uzD6XA9_iXMs5zc1wFj5kN4Ugk-o1GM0hAqxuAGWb9yo

 

March 27, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

After ‘miracle recovery’, Fukushima brewers look to the Games to push sake globally

Greedy bloody criminals, having no conscience to poison all the people with their radiation contaminated sake!!!

hhjkmmAn employee of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery picks up a sharaku sake prepared to be packed in crates during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture.

AIZU WAKAMATSU, Fukushima: The earth in Fukushima still trembled when Yoshihiro Miyamori drove in the dark towards his sake brewery. When he got back after midnight, he found smashed sake bottles and a crack in the wall of the building. It was Mar 11, 2011.

Miyamori was on his way to visit other sake-makers along Japan’s northeastern coast that day, and barely escaped the tsunami unleashed by a massive earthquake that razed towns and killed thousands, setting off nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima power plant nearby.

“I needed some time to think about how I could recover from this,” Miyamori, 43, told Reuters on a recent tour of his “sakagura,” or sake brewery, Miyaizumi Meijo, in Fukushima’s city of Aizu Wakamatsu.

The breweries’ sales tanked by 66 per cent that month.

 

fggjhjkjlkkAn employee of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery works on rice soaking during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture.

“I know people outside Fukushima were concerned about safety of rice and water,” said Miyamori.

With the Tokyo Olympics less than five months away, many spectators, and even some Olympic committees, have expressed concerns about the food from Fukushima.

But nine years after the nuclear meltdowns, Fukushima sake has made a remarkable recovery, winning the most trophies at one of Japan’s most important sake competitions seven years in a row. And Miyaizumi Meijo’s flagship brand Sharaku has become one of Japan’s most famous.

“We just kept doing what we know best – making quality sake,” he said.

But Miyamori’s understated comments hide a sake obsessive who abandoned a safe job in Tokyo to take over his father’s struggling business at 26. He revolutionised the production, renovated the brewery and paid off nearly US$3 million in debt.

After taking over in 2003, Miyamori pushed to directly oversee the sake-making – an anomaly in a business where normally the production is outsourced to brewing teams led by the “toji”, or chief brewer.

 

hgjhkjllmEmployees of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery work on rice steaming during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu.

He sparked a backlash from the staff after moving to use specially filtered water to wash rice for each bottle, leading to an eventual departure of the toji and most of the brewing staff.

“I wanted to be particular about every single small detail of making sake,” said Miyamori.

He opened up the previously secret production data to staff. Whiteboards covered with numbers and diagrams on temperature, rice condition and alcohol content are scattered throughout the premises to ensure workers know what goes inside each bottle.

Miyamori launched Sharaku, known for its crispness, well-balanced acidity and sweetness, in 2008. The brand started ranking high in the Sendai Sake Summit, a nation-wide competition, before the 2011 earthquake. It became No. 1 in the year of the disaster, greatly aiding the recovery.

 

gjkjlmmSharaku sake of Miyaizumi Meijo Brewery pass through a filled bottle inspector during a new sake-brewing process in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.

But Miyamori says he could not lead the rebound of the region’s sake on his own. He was first inspired to take over his father’s brewery after coming across Hiroki, a rival sake from the region, also led by a next-generation owner Kenji Hiroki, 53.

Now that his Sharaku has matched Hiroki in popularity, the two brewers drink together and tease each other about reviews of their alcohol.

Miyamori’s next rival is wine, he says, adding that he wants to use the Olympics to popularize sake globally.

Kenji Hiroki says of Miyamori, “you can brew better sake if you have a rival you can respect. Without Sharaku, Hiroki would not be as good as it is.”

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/japan-olympics-fukushima-earthquake-food-safety-sake-12535418

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

The price of staying

akemi-shima-slider

March 9, 2020

Evacuation was not mandatory for these now suffering Fukushima victims

By Akemi Shima

This is a statement of opinion that I,  a resident of the city of Date, Fukushima Prefecture, presented to the Tokyo Regional Court as part of an on-going lawsuit.

We had the desire to raise our children in an environment close to nature and enriching. That’s why we moved from Fukushima City to buy land in the town of Date, where we currently live, to build a house. Loan repayments were heavy but, we lived simply and we were happy.

Eight years after the construction of our house, on March 11, 2011 the accident of the power plant occurred, and our family life was turned upside down. My husband and I were 42 years old, my son was in elementary school 4th grade (12 years old) and my daughter was in elementary school 3rd grade (10 years old).

At that time, I had no knowledge about nuclear or radioactive substances. If I had had some knowledge in this area, by running away from it we probably could have avoided being irradiated. I am burdened by this regret. Without any financial leeway, with my sick children and my parents who are here, I could not resolve myself to get away from Date.

From the 11th of March all life lines were cut and I had to go to the water stations where I took the children. To find food we had to walk outside sometimes soaked in the rain. After several days as we still had no water, we had to go to the town hall to use the toilet, where the water was not cut. It was then that I saw a group of people dressed in white protective suits entering the town hall. We thought that they were probably coming to help the victims of the tsunami. But now, I understand that the radioactive pollution was such that protections were necessary and we, without suspecting anything, were exposed.

It was the time for the graduation ceremonies at the elementary school and we went there on foot. I think the information we were given was false and because of that we were irradiated. At the time I was convinced that if we were really in any danger, the state would warn us. I later learned that the doses of radioactivity in the air after the accident were 27 to 32 μSv (micro sieverts) per hour. There was no instruction about any restriction to go outdoors. And that is extremely serious.

In June 2011, I went to the funeral of my husband’s grandmother. I took my children with me. On the way we noticed that the radiation level was very high and that inside the car the dosimeter showed in some places 1.5 micro-sievert per hour. The officials of that area had asked the nearby residents to not cause problems even if the radioactivity was high. From what I heard, the reconstruction vehicles had to be able to continue to use that road. Likewise, the Shinkansen bullet train and the Tohoku highway were not to be closed for these reasons. Despite a level that exceeded the allowable dose limits, instead of being alerted to the dangers, we were assured that we were safe.

The risk of this exposure was not communicated to us. In June 2011 my son had so many heavy nosebleeds that his sheets were all red. The children with the same symptoms were so numerous that we received a notice containing recommendations through the school’s “health letter”. During a medical examination at the school, my son was found to have a heart abnormality and had to be monitored by a holter. My son, who was 12 at the time of the accident, was also suffering from atopic dermatitis. During the school spring break he had to be hospitalized after his symptoms worsened. Today we still cannot identify the symptoms that cause him to suffer.

One year after the accident, my daughter complained of pain in her right leg. In the hospital, an extra-osseous osteoma was diagnosed and she had to undergo bone excision the following year. In her first year of junior high school in the winter term, she could not get up in the morning. She had orthostatic dysfunction. In agreement with her we decided that she would go to school three times a week in a system with flexible hours.

My husband’s favorite hobby was fishing, but since the nuclear accident, it’s now out of question to go to the sea or to the river.

Before the accident, we were growing flowers in our garden and we also had a vegetable garden. In the summer, we had family barbecues and we would put up a tent so the kids could sleep outside. Now it’s absolutely impossible.

 

date-map-2Date is about 60 kilometers from the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors.

In this highly contaminated environment today, cell DNA would be severely damaged. In addition, the effects of exposure we have already experienced are indelible even if we move now. Whenever I think that children are particularly vulnerable to radiation, my heart is torn apart. As a parent, as an adult, it is heartbreaking and unbearable.

I am also concerned about the current situation of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. My daily routine is to watch out for natural disasters such as earthquakes and to check the condition of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Because today I will not hesitate to evacuate. I changed my job so I could get to my kids quickly if necessary. I had to give up a full time job and it is financially difficult, but the priority is to be able to leave quickly at any time. After verifying all sorts of information, I realized that the government’s announcements were different from reality.

Living in a radioactive environment requires you to be vigilant tirelessly, whether for shopping, eating, or drinking water, and evaluate the situation yourself to make choices. We had to make up our minds to accept an abnormal lifestyle so that we could continue to live on a daily basis.

Whatever I do, all pleasure has disappeared from my life. I discovered that there were some hotspots of more than 10 μSv per hour near my home on the way to my children’s school. I reported it to the town hall, but they did not do anything. The reason given is that there is no temporary storage to store it. I had to remove the contaminated soil myself and I stored it in my garden. The city of Date decided on its own decontamination policy and also introduced a standard of 5mSv per year at the end of 2011.

In my case I wanted to reduce the radioactive pollution as soon as possible and I decontaminated my garden myself. The city encouraged people to decontaminate on their own. I did it too. And that represented 144 bags. The following year I did again. The radioactive debris bags resulting from the decontamination until March 2014 remained in my garden for two years, and were then taken to the temporary storage area.

 

shima-gardenAkemi Shima had to decontaminate her own radioactive garden.

But since then, the other decontamination bags have not been accepted and are still in my garden. So we do not want to go there anymore. The contamination of our carport amounted to 520 000 Bq (becquerels) 5 years ago, with 5 μSv / h, but it did not fit the criteria required for cleaning. Decontamination only includes the ground around the home, but the roof and the gutters are not supported. As a result, we can not leave our Velux windows open.

Claiming to be concerned about the health of the inhabitants, the town of Date provided all residents with dosimeters. We were then invited to undergo examinations, during which our data was collected. Without the authorization of the residents, this data has been entrusted to external researchers who have written reports. These reports have been prepared on the basis of personal information obtained illegally, and furthermore falsification of the data is suspected.

Based on inaccurate data the report concluded that even at doses of 0.6 to 1 μSv / h per hour in the air, the individual dose received would be less than 1 mSv (millisievert) per year and therefore it was not necessary to decontaminate. This is an underestimation of exposure, and clearly a violation of human rights against the population. This case is still ongoing.

In this same region, leukaemias and rare cancers of the bile ducts are appearing. I cannot help thinking that before the accident it did not exist.

Even today, while the state of nuclear emergency is still official, this abnormal situation has become our daily life. I fear that the “reconstruction” advocated by the state, violates the fundamental rights of residents and that this unacceptable life is now considered normal. Our lives are at a standstill.

This suffering will continue. My deepest wish is that through this lawsuit, the responsibility of the State and Tepco that caused the accident be recognized.”

https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2020/03/09/the-price-of-staying/?fbclid=IwAR1wlw3RWVz9DZQLl6QAd5zo4q9U3oa2JoCk_KHE_eaa7SLPOt80Fwmd-bk

 

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | Leave a comment

A message from Mr. Sumio Konno, a former nuclear engineer in Japan.

[ Voices from Japan: 9 years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster ] 2020 March video project by Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World English subtitle by John Baldwin, Karen Rogers, Mari Inoue, Rachel Clark, Stephan Ready, Tarak Kauff, Tony Sahara, Yoko Chase

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , | 1 Comment

Soil from decontamination work kept in communities

safe_image.php

March 8, 2020

Nine years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, more than half of the waste created by decontamination work is still kept near residents’ homes.

About 14 million cubic meters of soil and vegetation has been collected in clean-up operations in areas affected by the nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture, except for heavily contaminated off-limit areas.

The environment ministry plans to transfer all such waste to intermediate storage facilities near the crippled nuclear power plant by March 2022.

As of the end of February, only about 6.3 million cubic meters, or around 45 percent of the total waste, had been transferred to the facilities.

The rest was stored at school compounds, parks, and temporary storage sites.

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi told reporters on Friday that the waste needs to be removed from the locations as quickly as possible so that local residents can feel secure.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200308_02/

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | 1 Comment

J-Village still contaminated – major uncertainties over decontamination and Olympic torch route

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December 17, 2019
J-Village is the starting point of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic torch relay, and radioactive contamination still remains in the parking lot and the nearby forests at this sports complex in Fukushima prefecture, according to Greenpeace Japan’s most recent survey. The Japanese Ministry of Environment confirmed that the high-level radioactive hotspot identified by Greenpeace in October and a newly-identified hotspot had been removed by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). Despite this, on 13-14 December, Greenpeace measured public areas in and around J-Village again and still detected radioactive contamination. 
Remarkably, after removing just two hotspots, the standard procedures of decontamination were not followed by TEPCO. The standard practice for Fukushima decontamination is to decontaminate up to 20 metres from the public road. In this case, only the specific hotspots were removed over an area of about 1 square metre, despite the fact that the wider surroundings of the hotpots also showed high levels of radiation. 
“We welcome the action of the government and TEPCO to remove the hotspots near J-Village. However, radioactive contamination at J-Village is not under control and remains complex, with high levels of radiation in the area that can spread and re-concentrate with heavy rainfall,” said Heinz Smital, nuclear physicist and radiation specialist at Greenpeace Germany who is currently in Fukushima.
The original location of the highest radiation hotspot identified by Greenpeace on 26 October was 71 microSieverts per hour (µSv/h) close to the surface and 32µSv/h at 10cm. On 13 December, Greenpeace’s radiation survey team found the radiation levels of the same location to be  lower than 1 µSv/h at 10cm during the re-test.
However, on the same day just to the north of this hotspot, Greenpeace identified a patch of ground adjacent to the parking lot, where levels were up to 2.2 µSv/h at 10cm. Near the entrance of this same parking lot, Greenpeace measured 2.6 µSv/h at 10cm and 1 µSv/h at 1 meter. Additionally, at the edge of a forest north of the car park, radiation hotspots of 2.6 µSv/h at 10cm were identified. A second forest 300 meters north showed consistent levels of 0.6 μSv/h at 10cm, and 0.4 µSv/h at 1 meter, which is almost double the government’s decontamination target.
“Many questions and uncertainties remain: how were such high levels of radiation (71 µSv/h at close to surface) not detected during the earlier decontamination by TEPCO? Why were only the most alarming hotspots removed and not the wider areas following the standard decontamination procedures? Given these apparent failures, the ability of the authorities to accurately and consistently identify radiation hotspots appears to be seriously in doubt. We call on the authorities to act swiftly and effectively to provide a comprehensive decontamination action plan that can reassure the public,” said Smital.
Notes:
Greenpeace video and stills of its latest survey are available on request.
1. High-level radiation hotspots found at J-Village, starting point of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay IPR
2. Greenpeace Japan’s letter to the Japanese Ministry of the Environment
3. Monitoring Results of Air Dose Rates in and around J-Village December 12, 2019 – Japanese Ministry of Environment Report (English)

December 24, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

British shops to sell radioactive BABY FOOD and other produce from Fukushima under EU plan

BRITISH shops will sell radioactive food grown near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site from next month under controversial EU plans.
 
 
fukushima-food-EU-2188021.jpg
Politicians are calling for the foods to be properly labelled
 
Nov 27, 2019
Brussels has forged a trade deal with Japan that removes controls over radioactivity levels on foods produced on the island following the 2011 nuclear disaster, The Telegraph reports. As a result, Britain will soon be selling goods from the disaster-hit area including baby food, breakfast cereals, fish crustaceans, meat and green tea. Current plans do not allow for the contaminated products to be labelled, meaning consumers will not be aware the food contains traces of radioactive substances.
In recent years scientists have found faint traces of the radioactive isotopes Caesium 137 and 134 in food grown near Fukushima.
But experts have deemed the food perfectly safe, with radiation levels being stringently monitored by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Despite the reassurances the food is safe to eat, many have called for the produce to be labelled so shoppers can decide whether to purchase the goods.
Tory candidate Neil Parish, who chaired the environment, food and rural affairs committee from July 2017 – November 2019, said the UK needed to review the policy after Brexit.
He told the Telegraph: “We don’t need this trade. If the Japanese won’t eat this stuff, why should we?
“It may well be safe according to the scientists. But I think people have a right to know exactly what they are eating.
“All of these products should be clearly labelled.
“And I think one of the benefits of Brexit is that we’ll be able to look at this again in due course.”
French MEP Michèle Rivasi also opposes the plans and is set to raise a last minute objection to the lifting of controls at the European Parliament next week.
She said: “If controls are lifted we will have no way of gauging how much caesium is in your rice or your lobster.
“Contaminated goods will swamp the European marketplace from Birmingham to Biarritz.
“At the moment 100 Becquerels of radioactivity per kilo are permissible, even for cereals eaten by children.
 
 
fukushima-2188024.jpg
Foods produced in Fukushima will be sold in the EU
 
“For baby foods it is 50 Becquerels and should be zero.”
The EU deal means radiation inspection certificates will no longer be needed, except for certain fish products, mushrooms and wild vegetables.
In exchange, the EU will be allowed to sell to Japan limitless quantities of reduced tariff French champagne, foie gras, cognac, and wine.
Britain will be forced to replicate EU food regulations until December 2020, as the UK will still be governed by the Brexit transition period.
After this period, if the transition period is not extended, the UK Government will be free it set its own laws.
A spokesman from the Department of International Trade said: “Without exception, imports into the UK will meet our stringent food safety standards.”

December 2, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: will Fukushima rice and fruits be on the menu?

Japanese officials insist food from Fukushima is safe despite the 2011 nuclear disaster but China, South Korea and the US still restrict food imports from there
Producers are keen to serve local rice, fruits, beef and vegetables at the Olympic Village
 
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An angler shows off a salmon caught in the Kido River in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture.
 
 
For years, Japan’s government has sought to convince consumers that food from Fukushima is safe despite the nuclear disaster. But will it serve the region’s produce at the Tokyo Olympics?
It’s a thorny subject for the authorities. They pitched the Games in part as a chance to showcase the recovery of areas affected by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.
Government officials tout strict checks on food from the region as evidence that the produce is completely safe, but it remains unclear whether athletes and sports teams from around the world will be convinced.
In the Fukushima region, producers are keen to see their products served at the Olympic Village and have submitted a bid to the organisers.
“The Fukushima region has put forward food from 187 producers and is second only to Hokkaido when it comes to meeting the specified criteria in terms of range of products,” said Shigeyuki Honma, assistant director general of the local government’s agriculture and forestry planning division.
“Fukushima wants to serve athletes its rice, its fruits, beef and vegetables. But the committee still has to decide.”
In the years since the nuclear disaster, when tsunami waves overwhelmed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, strict measures have been in place to screen all manner of local products. And officials say the figures speak for themselves.
Japan allows a maximum of 100 becquerels of caesium radioactivity per kilogram (Bq/kg). The European Union, by comparison, sets that level at 1,250 Bq/kg and the US at 1,200.
From April 2018 to March this year, 9.21 million bags of rice were examined, with not a single one exceeding the Japanese limit.
The same for 2,455 samples of fruit and vegetables, 4,336 pieces of meat and 6,187 ocean fish.
“Only river fish and wild mushrooms have on just six occasions been found to exceed the limits,” said Kenji Kusano, director of the Fukushima Agricultural Technology Centre, in Koriyama, the government’s main screening site.
But the figures have only gone some way to reassuring foreign officials: numerous countries including China, South Korea, and the United States maintain restrictions on the import of some or all produce from Fukushima.
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Kenji Kusano, director of the Fukushima Agricultural Technology Centre, subjects fish to radiation tests.
 
South Korea, which is currently locked in a dispute with Japan over wartime issues, has been vocal about its concerns ahead of the Olympics, even raising the possibility of bringing in its own kitchen and food.
“We have requested the Olympic organisers to provide objective data verified by an independent third body,” the South Korean Sports and Olympic Committee said in a statement earlier this year.
“Since Japan repeatedly said its food from Fukushima is safe, we have demanded they provide statistics and data to back up their claims,” an official with the committee said.
The position underlines a long-running problem for Japan: while it points to its extensive, government-mandated checks as proof of safety, many abroad feel the government is not an objective arbiter.
 
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In 2011, tsunami waves overwhelmed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
 
“Generally, Japanese citizens have faith in the government, and we haven’t felt the need to have checks carried out by independent parties,” Kusano said.
But lingering questions have left some officials feeling “perhaps [third-party checks] may be important from the point of view of foreigners,” he added.
The International Olympic Committee said it was still weighing how to handle the matter.
“Food menus and catering companies for the Olympic Village are under discussion and have yet to be defined,” a spokesman said.
The Tokyo 2020 organisers said promoting areas affected by the 2011 disaster remains a key goal.
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Japanese pear farmer Tomio Kusano shows how he removed the tree skins after the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster at his farm in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture.
 
“Supporting the area’s reconstruction efforts through the sourcing of its food and beverage products is one of our basic strategies; we are therefore seriously considering doing this,” 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said.
He said rules on what food and drink could be brought in independently by teams were still being reviewed. And, pointing to the strict standards of Japanese checks, he said the organisers “are confident the food we will serve to athletes will be completely safe”.
In Fukushima, producers can only wait and hope for the best.
 
Tomio Kusano, a pear farmer in Iwaki on the Fukushima coast, struggled enormously after the disaster.
“My world really collapsed, but I never thought for a second of quitting,” he said.
And his perseverance is finally paying off, he said.
“I don’t get subsidies any more. My pears are inspected and there are no problems. They are selling well again in Japan, and Vietnam has started to import them.”

December 2, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Citizens’ group in Fukushima puts out radiation map in English

nov 3 2019.jpgThe cover of “Citizens’ Radiation Data Map of Japan” (Provided by Minna-No Data Site)

November 3, 2019

FUKUSHIMA—A citizens’ group here has released an English radiation-level map for eastern Japan created with input from 4,000 volunteers in response to requests from abroad ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

“We want people outside Japan to understand the reality of radioactive contamination following the nuclear accident,” said Nahoko Nakamura, a representative of Minna-No Data Site (Everyone’s Data Site), which published the map.

The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant experienced a triple meltdown in March 2011 after a tsunami knocked out its cooling systems during the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Titled “Citizens’ Radiation Data Map of Japan,” the 16-page booklet summarizes the content of the original Japanese map, released in November last year. It also shows projected declines in radiation levels by 2041.

The Japanese version was based on results of land contamination surveys conducted over three years at the request of Everyone’s Data Site.

About 4,000 volunteers took soil samples at 3,400 locations in 17 prefectures in eastern Japan, including Fukushima and Tokyo, and measured radiation levels. The map was compiled with advice from experts.

The group raised 6.23 million yen ($57,500) from 1,288 individuals through a crowdfunding campaign. So far, 15,000 copies have been sold.

Nakamura said the group decided to produce an English version after it received inquiries about the Japanese map from researchers and others overseas in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Everyone’s Data Site spent about four months creating the English map, working through e-mail and online chats with five volunteer translators overseas, including an American and a Canadian.

The English edition sells for 500 yen, excluding tax. For more information, contact Everyone’s Data Site at (minnanods@gmail.com).

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201911030001.html

November 4, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima is not safe for 2020 Olympics, nuclear scientists warn

Fukushima_I_by_Digital_Globe-630x310.jpg

October 30, 2019

Would Russia hold the 1994 Olympics at Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 meltdown? Only 8-years later, do we really think it’s safe to hold the Olympics on Fukushima soil? What would common sense tell us?

But these are very dark times.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Japanese government, and most news media have ignored the risks one of the worst nuclear disasters in world history: the 2011 Fukushima power plant meltdown.

For years afterward, the Japanese government struggled what to do with millions of gallons of contaminated water and tens of thousands of Japanese refugees. Instead of safer measures, they chose the cheapest solution, spinning the truth in favor of profit and national image over human life.

Scientists warned that almost everything on land is contaminated, and this may include Tokyo which sits 100 kilometers from Fukushima.

Radiation levels may beyond what is safe for humans

According to 60 Minutes Australia, many experts are asking for the Fukushima Olympics to be canceled due to radioactive contamination. Yet, when The Washington Post ran an article on the struggles Fukushima and the residents are facing, there is no mention of what dangers Olympians and spectators may face in an area that has radiation levels way beyond what is safe for humans. Such high levels are likely to continue for decades to come.

In fact, in that same article, Simon Denyer wrote that when it rains, the water itself is radioactive. Residents feel forced by the Japanese government to return, as the government cuts pensions if residents refuse, essentially forcing them and their children for increased risk of cancer and other health problems. Childhood cancer is increasing in the affected zones, Denyer reports.

Why the silence? Where is the IOC? Is it okay for athletes and spectators to spend two weeks in a radioactive zone so that the Japanese government can make everyone forget that radiation exposure is no big deal? Such wouldn’t have to do with money over human life would it? Where is the U.S. news media that often looks for just a big story like this to crack? Why the silence?

As for Japan, what choice does it have but to move forward and accept that almost its entire population is inevitably exposed to radiation.

This is not something they can fix, so the government must reinvent Fukushima as a safe and wonderful place, a place where one can eat the vegetables and fruits from Fukushima, and they can live there healthy and happy. What better way than to repackage horrible facts with a new Fukushima, a safer, healthier one? However, they will have to force their residents to come back in order to seal such a wonderful myth.

Smelling a Nuclear Rat?

Dahr Jamail interviewed Arnie Gunderson that oversaw dozens of nuclear power plant projects in the United States. He faults the Japanese government and the nuclear power plant industry in pushing residents to go back to Fukushima before the 2020 Games. Even more surprising is that the IOC is also, according to Jamail, making very light over the known toxicity of Fukushima where the softball and baseball events will be played. Denyer, however, verified that six total events will take place in Fukushima. Gunderson, with 45 years’ experience with nuclear energy companies says that the goal is profit and that public health is not being considered.

Thyroid cancer, Jamail writes, already is increasing within the 310-mile radius of the disaster, and instances of cancer among children is increasing as well.  In fact, the radiation is not decreasing but increasing at the power plants. Dr. Tadahiro Katsuta of Meiji University in Japan makes the Japanese motive clear: the Japanese government is putting its public image and money over the lives of its citizens. The Japanese government is also putting international athletes and citizens at risk with little regard for their health and safety.

Reporters Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff went through Fukushima with a radioactive tester. They noted that a reading over 0.23 is seen as unsafe for humans. As they neared the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 reactor, the needle read 3.77. The Olympic torch is scheduled to pass near this area.

Who Works in Radioactive Zones without Protection? Athletes and Migrant Workers

They witnessed in Fukushima workers without protective suits putting contaminated soil in black plastic bags and piling them in “pyramids.” While some agencies dispute how dangerous Fukushima is, what is clear is that the Japanese government raised the exposure benchmark for radiation from 1mSV a year to 20 MSV per year, the reporters noted. As an international journalist based in Japan stated, the Japanese government is pushing “propaganda over truth.” The IOC seems happy to play along.

Tens of thousands of Japanese refugees are still displaced and not willing to go back. The question is why wouldn’t people back to their homes, many of which whose families lived there for generations, if it were safe? Why would the IOC be so willing to host the games at a questionable site, even if such posed the slightest risks to athletes?

It does not take a nuclear engineer or scientist to understand that radiation contamination lasts for many years. Why build Olympic venues eight years after that very place had a nuclear disaster? Isn’t such a push egregious, irresponsible, and shameful? Common sense would tell any organizer of any event that such an event should not be placed in areas that could potentially put people at risk.

It’s time to hold the Japanese government and the IOC responsible for their hasty and reckless push to ignore the risks facing displaced citizens, spectators, and athletes and demand that the games be postponed and moved from Fukushima.

These are indeed dark times, where governments and their ties to corporate interests spin truths and make fictions that all of us would like to be real, but sadly money is always at the end of this contaminated rainbow. In the years to come, when the cancer cases mount, these same organizations and governments will pretend they knew nothing. Let’s all remember that.

https://baltimorepostexaminer.com/fukushima-is-not-safe-for-2020-olympics-nuclear-scientists-warn/2019/10/30

November 4, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Warning on Fukushima fallout for Tokyo 2020 Olympians

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International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons co-founder Tilman Ruff.
October 29, 2019
The Australian Olympic Committee has been urged to inform its athletes and team members about the ongoing health effects of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear ­reactor disaster for those attending the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Tilman Ruff, a public health expert who co-founded the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in Melbourne, said he had written to the AOC to warn that levels of radioactivity in certain areas could be above the recommended maximum permissible exposure level. He said the Japanese Olympic Committee planned to host baseball and softball competitions and part of the torch relay in Fukushima City, 50km away from the ruins of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
In 2011, multiple nuclear meltdowns at the damaged facility caused radioactivity to leak out across Japan and the Pacific.
“It was a catastrophe comparable only to the nuclear meltdown of Chernobyl,” he said. While contamination was not as severe as at Chernobyl, “it was widespread and persists”.
At least 50,000 residents have not yet been able to return to the most affected areas in Fukushima prefecture. “The Japanese government is making a concerted ­effort to present the Fukushima nuclear disaster as over and effectively dealt with in the lead-up to the Olympics. Some of these ­efforts are misleading and should not be accepted at face value,” Dr Ruff said.
He said thyroid cancers had notably increased among young people in Fukushima, with a total of about 200 cases.
He has made several visits to Fukushima since 2011, the latest in May when he provided radiation health advice to the Fukushima prefectural government.
Dr Ruff said he then wrote to the AOC urging it to “properly ­inform and safeguard the best interests of the Australian staff and team, and their accompanying families, especially women who may be pregnant and young children”.
He said short-term visits to areas contaminated by radioactive fallout “now involve low to minimal risk”.
“However, if any (AOC) members or athletes plan to be based in Fukushima or neighbouring contaminated prefectures for weeks or months, they should be informed about the health risks of radiation exposure,” Dr Ruff said.
International physician groups have criticised the Japanese government’s decision shortly after the 2011 disaster to increase the maximum permissible radiation dose for Japanese citizens from one to 20 millisieverts. “Eight years later, it has not reversed that decision,” Dr Ruff said. “No other government in the world has ever accepted such a high level of radiation beyond the immediate emergency phase of a nuclear disaster for its citizens.”
An AOC spokesman said Tokyo 2020 provided regular updates to the IOC regarding the situation. “We have been given assurances that radiation levels in Fukushima City are safe, noting that the IOC Co-ordination Team has made several visits to the region and that ongoing monitoring is conducted independently of the Japanese government,” the spokesman said.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

The danger of sourcing food and material from the Fukushima region

Ground-level nuclear disasters leave much more radioactive fallout than Tokyo is willing to admit
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 A storage tank for contaminated water near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster
August 25, 2019
International concerns are growing over the Japanese government’s plans to provide meals from the Fukushima area to squads participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The starting point for the Olympic torch relay, and even the baseball stadium, were placed near the site of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It seems to be following the model of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, where Japan’s rise from the ashes of the atomic bombs was underscored by having a young man born the day of the Hiroshima bombing act serve as the relay’s last runner. Here we can see the Shinzo Abe administration’s fixation on staging a strained Olympic reenactment of the stirring Hiroshima comeback – only this time from Fukushima.
But in terms of radiation damages, there is a world of difference between Hiroshima and Fukushima. Beyond the initial mass casualties and the aftereffects suffered by the survivors, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima resulted in little additional radiation exposure. Nuclear technology being as crude as it was back then, only around one kilogram of the Hiroshima bomb’s 64kg of highly enriched uranium actually underwent any reaction, resulting in a relatively small generation of nuclear fission material.
Whereas ground-based nuclear testing results in large quantities of radioactive fallout through combining with surface-level soil, the Hiroshima bomb exploded at an altitude of 580m, and the superheated nuclear fission material rose up toward the stratosphere to spread out around the planet, so that the amount of fallout over Japan was minimal.
Even there, most of the nuclides had a short half-life (the amount of time it takes for half the total atoms in radioactive material to decay); manganese-56, which has a half-life of three hours, was the main cause of the additional radiation damages, which were concentrated during the day or so just after the bomb was dropped. The experience of Nagasaki was similar. As a result, both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were able to fully resume as functioning cities by the mid-1950s without additional decontamination efforts.
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Piles of plastic bags containing contaminated soil and other waste, a common site in the Fukushima region
 
Fukushima’s radiation increases over time
The Fukushima disaster did not result in mass casualties, but the damages from radiation have only increased over time. The nuclear power plants experiencing core meltdowns had the equivalent of around 12 tons of highly enriched uranium in nuclear fuel – roughly 12,000 times more than the amount of uranium that underwent nuclear fission in the Hiroshima bomb. At one point, the Japanese government announced that Fukushima released 168 times more cesium than the Hiroshima bomb. But even that was merely a difference in emissions; there’s an immeasurable difference between the amount of fallout from Hiroshima, which was left over from a total spread out over the planet at a high altitude, and the amount from Fukushima, which was emitted at ground level.
Hiroshima also experienced little to no exposure to cesium-137 and strontium-90 – nuclides with half-lives of around 30 years that will continue to afflict Japan for decades to come. Due to accessibility issues, most of the forests that make up around 70% of Fukushima’s area have been left unaddressed. According to Japanese scholars, around 430 square kilometers of forest was contaminated with high concentrations of cesium-137. The danger of this forest cesium is that it will be carried toward residential or farm land by wind and rain, or that contaminated flora and fauna will be used in processing and distribution. Indeed, cedar wood from Fukushima remains in distribution in the region, and was even shipped off recently to serve as construction material for the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, the incidence of thyroid cancer in children – a rare condition – has risen all the way from one to two cases before the incident to 217 in its wake. Yet the Abe administration has only impeded a study by physicians, using various government-controlled Fukushima-related investigation committees as vehicles for sophistry and controlling media reporting on the issue.
156672528337_20190826
Seok Kwang-hoon, energy policy consultant of Green Korea
 
Abe administration hoping to cut costs in nuclear waste disposal
The economic consequences have been astronomical as well. From an expert group’s analysis, the Japan Center for Economic Research estimated that the 14 million tons of radioactive waste from collecting Fukushima’s cesium-contaminated soil would result in a financial burden of 20 trillion yen (US$187.98 billion) based on the acceptance costs at the Rokkasho-mura radioactive waste disposal center. Contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant – which already amounts to 1.2 million tons and is expected to increase to 2 million – was predicted to cost fully 51 trillion yen (US$479.35 billion) in tritium and strontium removal costs alone. Factor in the 10 trillion yen (around US$94 billion) in resident compensation, and the amount is close to the Japanese government’s total annual budget. Hoping to cut costs, the Abe administration announced plans to reuse soil waste in civil engineering, while the contaminated water is expected to be dumped into the Pacific after the formalities of a discussion. But few if any Japanese news outlets have been doing any investigative reporting on the issue.
When Abe declared the situation “under control” during the Olympic bidding campaign in 2013, this truthfully amounted to a gag order on the press and civil society. Having the world’s sole experience of filing and winning a World Trade Organization (WTO) case on Fukushima seafood, South Korea may be in the best position to alert the world to the issue of radioactivity and the Tokyo Olympics. I look forward to seeing efforts from the administration.
By Seok Kwang-hoon, energy policy consultant of Green Korea

September 1, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea express concern about food from Fukushima as Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Seminar begins

tepco_2020_olympics.jpg

 

August 20, 2019

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) has written to Tokyo 2020 organisers to express concern about food from Fukushima being served at the Games.

Organisers confirmed to Reuters that a letter on the issue had been sent on the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Seminar.

Fukushima was struck by one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit Japan in 2011, when a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused an accident at a nuclear power plant.

Around 16,000 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

Both Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been keen to promote the Games as a tool which could help with the region’s recovery.

Baseball and softball matches will be staged there and Fukushima prefecture will also host the start of the Japanese leg of the Torch Relay.

Produce from Fukushima has been served at official events, including IOC Coordination Commissions, but the KSOC said they are worried about contamination.

Their letter comes at a period of increasing tension between Japan and South Korea.

“Within our planning framework we will respond to them accordingly,” said Toru Kobayash, Tokyo 2020’s director of NOC services, to Reuters.

“We have said that we will respond to them properly. 

“We have had no further questions [from South Korea].”

A trade war has developed between the two countries with South Korea also angry about reported Japanese plans to dump “toxic” water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean.

Some voices have even called for a Korean boycott of the Games with the nations further clashing over the appearance of disputed islands on an official Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay map.

The map on the official website includes the Liancourt Rocks, which are governed by South Korea but claimed by Japan.

South Korea calls the islands Dokdo but in Japan they are known as Takeshima, and both countries claim historical ties.

They lie in the Sea of Japan in between the two countries and are valuable due to rich fishing waters and natural gas deposits.

Elsewhere, concerns over sweltering conditions were discussed on day one of the Seminar at the Hotel New Otani.

Rising heat has developed into a major concern before Tokyo 2020 with more than 50 deaths in July as temperatures in Japan approached 40 degrees celsius.

Athletes have also struggled in the weather at the test events, including rowers suffering heatstroke at the World Junior Championships at the Sea Forest Waterway.

The triathlon event was shortened because of the humid conditions while cooling measures were tested at the beach volleyball.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are due to open on July 24 next year.

Among the measures being considered to combat the problem is allowing fans to bring their own bottled water into venues under certain conditions, which had previously been banned at past editions of the Olympic Games due to security and sponsorship reasons.

Misting sprays, air-conditioned tents and special road coatings are other plans put forward by organisers, as well as moving some events to earlier in the day. 

Dutch Chef de Mission Pieter van den Hoogenband, who faced the media on behalf of attending National Olympic Committees (NOCs), said he was impressed with how organisers were handling the issue.

“Of course we know there are some heat issues but overall, for all the different teams, these are the circumstances and we have to deal with it,” the triple Olympic champion said to Reuters.

“Top athletes know that they have to perform in any circumstances.

“Because of the test events, we get a lot of information and a lot of data and the way the Organising Committee is taking all that data to make it even more perfect…

“I was impressed with the way they handled things.”

Organisers have also pledged to install triple-layer screens in Tokyo Bay to combat bacteria in the water.

It comes after the discovery of E.coli which forced the cancellation of the swimming leg at the Paratriathlon test event.

The three-day Seminar continues tomorrow with every NOC invited to attend.

Representatives from the IOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees are also present.

A full progress update has been promised as well as a venue tour. 

https://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1083697/fukushima-food-tokyo-2020

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