Japan to resume exports of rice from Fukushima
August 20, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
TOKYO--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 (660 pounds) of the grain to Singapore.
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 (37-50 miles) 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 tons (2,420 pounds) 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."