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Exporting Fukushima Food as Foreign Aid

SNA (Tokyo) — Japanese female activists petition their government to abandon plan to export Fukushima food as Overseas Development Assistance.

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Narration: The Japanese Foreign Ministry has a plan for a $65 million budget to export processed foods from Fukushima Prefecture to developing countries under an overseas development assistance program. Their apparent intention is to help agriculture producers in radiation contaminated regions to sell their foods and to earn a livelihood. But these people think this program is a very bad idea.

Rena Masuyama: I want to protect my children. I have two children. I have now taken them away from Tokyo. I want to protect all children. Even non-Japanese children anywhere in the world. I don’t want them exposed to radiation.

Narration: On November 4, 2011, concerned citizens traveled to the Cabinet Office of other agencies, to try to convince the government to abandon their plans to export Fukushima food as foreign aid to the developing world. They handed over petitions and appealed, as taxpayers who will be funding this development aid, for the plan to be reconsidered. Later, they briefed journalists at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Yukie Tokura: Most people we talk to say, “this plan is embarrassing and should be stopped. Has Japan no shame? Where have the hearts of Japanese gone?” Before the Japan bashing begins, and while radiation still remains on Japanese lands, we should not spread it overseas.

Narration: The foreign ministry argues that sending the Fukushima food to developing countries presents no problem because the radiation contamination levels are below the maximum allowed under Japanese law. However, many ordinary citizens feel this will come as no comfort to the rest of the world. This is the Shingetsu News Agency reporting from Tokyo.