Now the adults in Fukushima Prefecture are using school children to push Fukushima produce to the rest of the country.
Students from a junior high school in Fukushima City in Fukushima will promote locally-grown peaches in Yokohama, where they will spend 3 days on their school trip. According to the Kanagawa Shinbun article below, the students are indignant that the local peach growers are suffering because of the "baseless rumor" that their peaches are radioactive.
They are radioactive, actually, and that's according to Fukushima Prefecture's measurement. But since the level (64 becquerels/kg) is far less than the national provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg), the students, along with their parents and teachers no doubt, consider it as "baseless rumor", that the fickle, unreasonable consumers in big cities are causing the suffering.
From Kanagawa Shinbun (8/28/2011):
The seniors at Hirano Junior High School (Hirano District, Iizaka-machi in Fukushima City) will conduct a PR campaign in Yamashita Park in Yokohama City on August 30 to promote peaches grown in their town. Fukushima is well-known for peaches, but the sales has plummeted because of the "baseless rumor" after the nuclear power plant accident. The students are visiting Yokohama on their school trip. Using handmade banners and pamphlets, they will appeal safety, and distribute freshly picked peaches for free.
Their school is located in Hirano District [in Iizaka-machi in Fukushima City], a well-known fruit-growing region with many orchards for tourists. In normal years many visitors go there from the Tokyo metropolitan area to pick peaches. This year, however, because of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, the number of tourists has dropped by 90% and the orders for peaches have dropped by 70%.
According to the survey by the Fukushima prefectural government, the maximum amount of radioactive cesium detected from peaches grown in Hirano District is 64 becquerels/kg, far below the national provisional limit of 500 becquerels/kg. The seniors at Hirano Junior High felt it [that tourist stop visiting and people not buying the peaches in Hirano] was "baseless rumor" causing the suffering of the people in the area where they grew up. So, they planned a PR campaign to promote the town's peaches in Yokohama where they were going to visit on their 3 days 2 nights school trip. The campaign is dubbed "福島は負けない～食べてくなんしょ福島の桃 Fukushima will never be defeated - please eat Fukushima's peaches [said in Fukushima dialect]".
On August 26 at school, they made pamphlets and cards that they will distribute in Yokohama. The 14-year-old chairperson for the school trip organizing committee said, "Fukushima's peaches are safe, and we want to convey that message with our own words".
70 seniors from the school will launch their PR campaign from 5:30PM on August 30 in Yamashita Park (Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku in Yokohama City) with handmade banners to promote local produce [peaches]. They will distribute 150 bags (each bag will contain 2 peaches) of "Kawanakajima Hakuto [white peach]" peaches, freshly picked that morning [and rushed to the park] along with the "safety declaration" by the Fukushima governor and the mayor of Fukushima City.
It sort of makes you lose hope in the next generation.
300 peaches, each weighing, probably 200 grams, so it's 60 kilograms total. 64 becquerels/kg times 60 kilograms - 3,840 becquerels of radioactive cesium right there.
Yokohama City, which already made kindergarteners and school children eat radioactive beef, should have no reason to question the campaign.
The Fukushima governor's safety declaration looks like this:
All it says is the produce has tested below the provisional safety limit. His smiling face is supposed to assure consumers.