Sunday, October 30, 2011

Farmer in Evacuation-Ready Zone in Fukushima Insists He Will Sell His Rice

In this rare case, I am actually with the farmer who is standing up to the authorities.

The evacuation-ready zone was abolished on September 30 and the residents who evacuated are supposed to go back. However, the authorities (the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government) prohibited farmers in the evacuation zones (evacuation-ready, planned evacuation, and no-entry) from growing rice this year. It was a blanket ban on growing rice in these zones regardless of the density of radioactive materials in the soil, while areas outside the evacuation zones but with potentially high levels of radioactive materials in the soil were allowed to be cultivated for rice with only a cursory soil monitoring test.

This farmer defied the arbitrary government order, grew rice and harvested. He has declared he wants sell it.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (10/30/2011):


On October 28, the Fukushima prefectural government advised a farmer (age 58) in Miyakoji-machi in Tamura City to discard the rice he harvested, based on the Food Control Law, because the farmer had grown and harvested the rice in the area designated as "emergency evacuation-ready zone" after the nuclear plant accident.


The farmer has said no.


The national government restricted the cultivation of rice in the no-entry zone, planned evacuation zone, and evacuation-ready zone (which was abolished on September 30) based on the Special Measure for Nuclear Disaster Act.


The farmer planted "Koshihikari" rice in his 120-are rice paddies within the evacuation-ready zone, and he has already harvested 1.8 tonnes of rice.


According to the Food Control Law, the rice harvested in the restricted areas must be discarded. In response to the prefectural government's advice, the farmer answered, "I grow as I please. I want to sell the rice that I grow."


According to Fukushima Prefecture, there are 12 farmers who grew rice in the restricted areas. 11 farmers have followed the advice and discarded the harvested rice or given it up for research.


The prefectural government says, "If the consumers know that there is rice grown in the restricted areas, it may cause anxiety and confusion. We would like [the farmer] to consider such consequences."

Ha. For this particular prefectural government to say that is too rich for me. Outside the restricted areas, they simply sample-tested the soil, ditto for the harvested rice. Locations that were found with highly contaminated rice hay were all allowed to grow rice. (Planting the rice came before the discovery of contaminated rice hay.) The rice from one particular location tested 500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium, and the rice was grown in the soil with only 3,000 becquerels/kg of cesium. There are other locations whose rice exceeded 100 becquerels/kg. They were all good to sell (though the prefectural government ended up buying all of 500 becquerels/kg cesium rice).

They should measure the cesium content of the rice that this farmer grew. If it is no different from the rest of Fukushima rice that are being sold, they should allow it to be sold.


Anonymous said...

I think the reason for the persuasion is that in theory the likelihood of the rice grown in the restricted area failing 500 bq/kg is higher than those outside of the restricted area.

1. The "good" parts of Fukushima probably don't want to mix with the "bad" parts of Fukushima making baseless rumors becoming true.

2. Reduce the cost of checking.

3. May be folks measuring food contamination don't want to go to the restricted area often?

Anonymous said...

pathetic.. the japanese government are low pathetic dogs.. evil scum. apologies to real dogs for the comparisons.

Anonymous said...

off topic, just something you may wish to read:

jimbojames said...

What an a-hole this farmer must be, yes?

Anonymous said...

Its a sad situation. What the farmer is facing is loss of all his land and business--and since he is still living in a danger area..HIS LIFE. TEPCO is not re-embursing at any reasonable levels for damages--sounds like the farmer is trying to force payment. this is not blackmail..this is request for help The farmers are being forced to make the government cover their losses. I am sure if the farmer could be funded NOT to grow rice..he would do that. Sounds like farmer is making the government/TEPCO face up to their damage to the environment.

Oh..the changes in evacuation zones..means the government or TEPCO does not have to cover for damages. They are trying to "whitewash" the dangers.

Anonymous said...

Japan's government is a gang of criminals, but so too are most governments in the world. In this particular case it is front and center for the whole world, for whoever cares, to see. But I can tell you living in Tokyo that most people, Japanese and foreigners are shielding themselves from thinking about this, those people in Fukushima, it is just there tough luck. So it is not only the fault of TEPCO and the government, but all of us who sit by and do nothing, myself included. In the long run nuclear is a dead industry, but maybe we will be too.

On practically the same day that Noda signed a deal with Vietnam to sell them Japan's wonderful nuclear technology (safe, clean and efficient) the J gov announced it would take 30 years to decommission Fukushima!
Now that's chutspah !

Anonymous said...

Honshu is doomed

Anonymous said...

who cares.... the whole atmosphere of earth is fucked now anyways...let them eat...

Plague of Smiles said...

This farmer puts other human lives at risk. He deserves a bullet in the head. The cockroach government of the Japanese that sold out their people to dangerous business, that of nuclear power, also deserve bullets in their heads. Both are acting criminally. These farmers need to listen to REALITY and get their stupid asses out of there and restart somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

He can sell his rice. But he must eat it too.

Anonymous said...

the victims of tepco are already becoming criminals. this was bound to happen. Heck the government wants EVERYONE to pay the price.

Anonymous said...

I think TEPCO needs to pony up the money to pay for this guy's rice, not to mention his farm, house, and any other expenses he's incurred as a result of this accident. He should be repaid whatever the value of his property was BEFORE the accident, along with everyone else in the country similarly affected. The Japanese government should be held partly responsible, but TEPCO should be primarily responsible for repaying every single person affected.

Obviously, there's no reason TEPCO should remain in business because it's doubtful they have the money to repay everyone for all the damages they've caused.

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