Friday, October 24, 2014   

Japan to resume Fukushima rice exports
(08-19 15:59)

Japan is to restart exports of rice grown in Fukushima for the first time since foreign sales were halted due to fears of contamination by the nuclear disaster there, officials said Tuesday.
The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh), a major wholesaler of Japanese agricultural products, said it will send 300 kilograms of the grain to Singapore, AFP reports.
Its provenance will be marked and it will not be mixed with other produce, an official said. The rice was grown some 60-80 kilometers west of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, he said.
It will be the first time rice grown in Fukushima prefecture -- which hosts the battered Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant -- has been sold abroad since fiscal 2012 when the region exported 17 tonnes to Hong Kong, a Fukushima official said.
"Despite our efforts at explaining the safety of Fukushima-made farm products, up until now we have not been able to find retailers who wished to trade rice grown in Fukushima,'' said an official for Zen-Noh.
"From now on, we aim to export more Fukushima rice, including to Singapore.''
Fukushima was a key agricultural area before the 2011 disaster, when a huge tsunami swamped reactors and sparked meltdowns, sending out plumes of radioactive material.
Thousands of people were evacuated and huge tracts of land were rendered unfarmable.
The accident has left the Fukushima brand contaminated both domestically and internationally. Despite government assurances it is safe, farmers who till fields many kilometers from the plant have struggled to find buyers for their produce.
Local officials say rigorous testing proves there is no risk from consuming rice grown in Fukushima prefecture, an area that stretches way beyond the plant and its environs.
"All rice grown in Fukushima is being checked for radioactivity before being shipped to the market,'' another Fukushima official said.
"Our rice is proved to have passed the government safety standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram (a measure of radioactive contamination), and is mostly below detection levels'' of measuring instruments, he said.
Before the disaster, more than 100 tonnes of Fukushima-grown rice, peaches and apples were being sold abroad a year, chiefly in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the official said.
In 2012 export of peaches and apples to Thailand resumed and last year exports of the fruits to Malaysia resumed, he said.   
Other World breaking news:
Colossal volcanic eruption could destroy Japan: study (10-23 18:51)
France sends police reinforcements to Calais after migrant clashes (10-23 18:21)
New Japan minister hit by S&M bar scandal (10-23 17:23)
Ebola sleuths scour DR Congo jungle for source of outbreak (10-23 11:36)
Lone gunman kills Canadian soldier in Ottawa attack (10-23 11:14)
Two die in Sierra Leone riot sparked by Ebola blood testing (10-22 18:54)
Suspects retract claims they killed Brits: lawyers (10-22 18:50)
Father of UK hostage dies after appeal to save son (10-22 18:48)
NKorea says Kim Jong-Un freed US detainee on Obama request (10-22 18:44)
Japan deputy PM directly urges China to hold summit (10-22 18:26)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.