No surprise here, as anything grown or harvested in Fukushima have been freely shipped and sold as long as it is not caught with radiation exceeding the very lax provisional safety limits. And for the construction materials that have been stored outdoors in Fukushima after the March 11 nuke accident, there is no safety standard, provisional or not.
Elite bureaucrats at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (in this case of construction materials) didn't connect the dots either out of ignorance or out of kindness to assist the producers at the expense of consumers. The producers and distributors didn't connect the dots either out of ignorance or due to suspension of their own judgment. "If the regulating ministry does not say anything, why should we bother raising the issue? Just sell."
Plausible deniability of responsibility. Still, too many Japanese look to the government officials and experts for "guidance" despite all that has happened since March 11, 2012.
From Tokyo Shinbun (1/21/2012):
福島の切り石 加工し出荷 県内業者、都内へ７トン 県調査で判明
7 tonnes of hewn stones from Fukushima, processed and shipped to Tokyo by a Fukushima producer, according to the Fukushima prefectural government investigation
After the discovery of high radiation at an apartment in Nihonmatsu City in Fukushima where the radiation indoors was higher than outdoors, the Fukushima prefectural government announced on January 20 that the stones hewn after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant Accident had been sold to a dealer in Tochigi Prefecture. According to the Fukushima prefectural government, these stones are for the exterior uses like fences, and not for the use in concrete.
According to the Fukushima prefectural government, the dealer [in Tochigi] purchased 9 tonnes of hewn stones from a producer in Shirakawa City [another high radiation city in the center 1/3 of Fukushima] in Fukushima Prefecture, processed 7 tonnes and sold them to buyers in Tokyo. The remaining 2 tonnes are kept at the dealer. No radiation survey was conducted on the stones that had shipped.
This was revealed in the course of the survey done by the prefecture from January 16 to 19 of 76 producers of gravels and stones within Fukushima.
After the nuclear accident, 19 producers have been measuring the radiation of the products that they ship. 55 producers haven't done any such test. 2 producers haven't shipped any. 64 producers store their products outdoors, 8 producers store outdoors and indoors, and the remaining 4 producers do not store [???].
The Fukushima prefectural government has sent a written notice to the producers to do the radiation testing on the stones in order to secure the trust.
Now there's some peculiar notice that I saw through Twitter links the other day. A new condominium in Ota-ku, Tokyo recently canceled the sale of the units, without giving any reason whatsoever. Nothing to do with the stones used in the exterior, doesn't it? (I'm trying to find a link again through mountains of tweets...)
By the way, they've now found at least 60 single-family and multi-family residences (link in Japanese) built in Fukushima Prefecture last year using the supposedly radioactive crushed stone from the stone pit in Namie-machi. The Fukushima prefectural government is loudly blaming the national government for not having come up with a safety standard for crushed stones in Fukushima, and the producers and distributors are blaming both the prefecture and the national government for leaving them without any guidance.
Everyone plays "victim".