Fukushima Gov Yuuhei Sato visited supermarkets in Tokyo on Friday and Saturday in an attempt to convince shoppers that rice grown in his prefecture is safe. The tour comes in the same month that rice production in the area restarts fully for the first time since the tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster of 2011.
Sato brought radiation testing equipment and rice grown in Fukushima Prefecture to a supermarket in Edogawa Ward, Sankei Shimbun reported. He explained to shoppers, while testing samples of rice for radiation, that rice found to be emitting over 100 becquerels per kilogram would not be shipped to customers. Sato also said that results of these radiation tests on a variety of produce would be published on a web page.
According to industry experts, crops last year failed to meet safety standards, which resulted in them being banned from sale in Japan. However, since that time, work has been done to remove from rice fields minerals that absorb large amounts of radiation. As a result, local government officials say a higher proportion of Fukushima produce is now adhering to the government’s radiation guidelines and will be put on sale.