After the devastating tsunami in 2011, the Japanese rice is Fukushima is finally deemed safe. Just to refresh your memory, the tsunami hit after an earthquake. This caused a meltdown of three of the six reactors at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s nuclear plant. The meltdown spread s lot of radiation through the area.
As one can imagine, the past years have been tough for Japanese produce exporters. They had to initially stop exporting fish. In 2011, China banned all dairy, vegetable and seafood imports from Fukushima and several other prefectures and South Korea banned imported fish from eight regions of Japan, including Fukushima.
In the past years, Fukushima’s rice had not been able to pass the radiation check standards and almost 360,000 tonnes of rice had to be destroyed. However, this year none of the rice had tested above the 100 becquerels per kilogram radiation limit set by the Japanese government. How? The rice paddies have been considerably been decontaminated by the water irrigation process and the Japanese farmers would use potassium fertiliser to limit the amount of radioactive cesium absorbed by the rice plants
Future of Japanese rice
I visited a year after the tsunami struck Japan. No words can really describe what it was like. Having been to Japan just two months prior to the tsunami, I had seen the beauty of the Fukushima prefecture before the wake of the quake. As I caught my shinkansen (bullet train) past the region again, it gave a shiver down my spine. The once diverse landscape of houses and skyscrapers was now replaced by clones of the same white plaster building (a bit like something out of a dystopian novel, like 1984).
Though the landscape had changed, the food had not. It was equally tasty and clearly equally not-radiated (I am sure I would have suffered the side effect by now). I believe the future is bright(ening) for Japan. This is an official sign that the dark days are over and tourism will boom once again.
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