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Britain to lift import restriction on food products from Fukushima

Politics prevailing over health risk

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, left, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands as they meet in Schloss Elmau, southern Germany, on June 28, 2022.

June 28, 2022

MUNICH (Kyodo) — Britain on Wednesday will lift import restrictions on some Japanese food products imposed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

“I’m delighted that tomorrow, finally, we are able to have Fukushima-origin products all over the shops in the U.K.,” Johnson said at the outset of the meeting.

Kishida expressed his appreciation for the British decision, coming after his visit to Britain in May when the leaders discussed the issue. The British government had promised to remove the restrictions by the end of June.

Kishida and Johnson met on the fringes of a Group of Seven leaders’ summit in southern Germany.


July 3, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

UK to lift import restrictions on food from Fukushima

Remaining curbs on food imports imposed after 2011 nuclear disaster to be scrapped

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Tesco and Waitrose have said they have no immediate plans to sell Fukushima produce.

June 29, 2022

Food from Fukushima will be freely available in the UK from Wednesday, weeks after Boris Johnson snacked on popcorn from the Japanese prefecture hit by a triple nuclear meltdown in March 2011.

Britain restricted Fukushima imports after the disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, but has gradually lifted them, even as other countries limit or ban produce from the region.

Johnson confirmed that the remaining restrictions would end on Wednesday in a meeting the previous day with the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, on the fringes of the G7 summit in Germany.

Johnson told Kishida that UK-Japan relations were going from “strength to strength”.

“Two great island democracies, united in our values, determined to stand up together against autocracies and the dangers of drifting backwards in the world, but also wanting to do more together on technology, on security, on trade, and of course I’m delighted that tomorrow – finally – we are able to have Fukushima-origin products all over the shops in the UK,” he said.

The supermarket chains Tesco and Waitrose have said they have no immediate plans to sell Fukushima produce. Instead, many of the items will be available at Japanese restaurants and specialist Japanese stores in England, Scotland and Wales.

The restrictions will remain in place in Northern Ireland, which is subject to European Union rules on food and drink from Fukushima and other prefectures affected by the accident 11 years ago.

The scrapping of the restrictions was made possible after the UK Food Standards Agency dropped a limit of 100 becquerels – a measure of radioactivity – per kilogram contained in Japanese food.

“Our risk assessment shows that removing the 100 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg) maximum level of radiocaesium for food imported from Japan to the UK would result in a negligible increase in dose and any associated risk to UK consumers,” the FSA said in a report late last year.

The Fukushima prefectural government says that, post-disaster, its food safety standards are among the most stringent in the world. The government-set upper limit for radioactive caesium in ordinary foodstuffs, such as meat and vegetables, is 100 becquerels per kilogram, compared with 1,250Bq/kg in the EU and 1,200Bq/kg in the US.

The lifting of restrictions will affect 23 food products, such as mushrooms, which previously needed to carry proof that they had been tested for radioactive material, according to Nikkei Asia.

The Japanese government said it “welcomes the fact that the UK government reached this decision based on scientific evidence, as it will support the reconstruction of the affected areas”.

It added that it would “continue to work towards the early lifting of the remaining import restrictions in the EU and other countries and regions”. China, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and several other countries still impose import restrictions.

Johnson first sampled Fukushima produce in 2017 when, as foreign secretary, he swigged a can of peach juice given to him by his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, declaring it “Yum”.

July 3, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima rice to be sold in Britain

It’s horrible to think that if the rice is over 99 Bq/kg it cannot be sold in Japan yet it can have up to 600Bq/kg (?) of Cs137/134 and be sold in the EU. One man’s poison is another man’s food …

Fukushima rice sold to Britain june 20 2016.jpg


Rice harvested in Japan’s Fukushima region, heavily affected by a nuclear meltdown in 2011, is returning to the EU, starting with Britain next month, the Japan Times reports.

A total of 1.9 tons of Fukushima rice called Ten no Tsubu will be sold in London, making the UK the first EU nation to import the region’s produce after the nuclear disaster. The sale became possible after a long campaign from Fukushima natives in London to fend off rumors about the potential danger of the crops, the media said.

With the UK as a foothold, we hope to expand the sale of prefecture-produced rice to other EU member countries,” said Nobuo Ohashi from Japanese farmers group Zen-Noh.

Brussels requires rice from Fukushima to undergo a radiation test in Japan or the importer country.

It’s bright news for Fukushima, which has been struggling with the import restrictions. We will make further efforts so the restrictions will be lifted entirely,” said a spokesperson for a prefectural office.

The disaster at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Plant was caused by a tsunami that resulted in the meltdown of three nuclear reactors and the release of radioactive material. It was the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident in 1986, and the second to receive the highest level classification on the International Nuclear Event Scale. 

A March report by the US National Academy of Sciences said that five years following the disaster, most seafood caught off the coast of Japan is now safe to be consumed, adding, “the overall contamination risk for aquatic food items is very low.”

June 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment