(UPDATE: I was wrong. It was not just tiny containers of snowmen but a whole lot more, enough for the kids in one Okinawa school to throw snowballs at each other. Watch the video at the link. H/T Japanese twitter follower)
probably to the horror of mothers who took their small children to Okinawa to escape radiation contamination in east Japan.
It's not that they are sending a ton of snow but only 5 20-centimeter containers. It is only a symbolic gesture of .... uhhh goodwill and friendship?
Fukushima Prefecture is supposed to be measuring the radiation levels of snow, but the result won't be available until March.
From NNN News (2/9/2012):
2 elementary school children, as "friendship ambassadors of snowman", flew off this morning to Okinawa to bring Fukushima snow as a gift to Okinawa.
It is the 11th year of the project by the Fukushima government. The purpose is to promote friendship between children of Fukushima and children of Okinawa by giving the snow from Fukushima to Okinawa children. The two will deliver 5 snowmen in 20-centimeter tall styrofoam containers [shaped like a snowman] to Okinawa.
The friendship ambassadors are a boy and a girl. The boy says he wants to appeal the beautiful scenery and great food of Fukushima. In the news clip at the link, the girl doesn't seem one bit thrilled.
Using the children to promote agendas of the adults has been ongoing on both sides - the governments (national and local) and the citizens' groups demanding anything from stopping the nuke plants in Japan to compensating the voluntary evacuees.