This is a screen capture from NHK's 7PM News on April 2, 2012 (h/t hanayuu). The new safety limits for radioactive cesium, 100 becquerels/kg for food and 50 becquerels/kg for drinks (water, milk), have become effective as of April 1 except for a few items that continue to use the old provisional standards (rice is one of them, until the fall of 2012).
According to people in Japan who watched the news, the gist of the report was:
The safety limits for radioactive cesium in food and drinks are much higher in the EU (1,250 Bq/kg for food, 1,000 Bq/kg for drinks) and the US (1,200 Bq/kg);
So the new and improved safety limits in Japan are very, very conservative, even better than those in Belarus;
So don't worry, people, you're in good hands.
Look at the presenter. Does he look uncomfortable or does he uncomfortable?
What NHK didn't say is that:
The EU and the US safety limits are based on part of the Codex Alimentarius about "imported" food from the contaminated areas in a nuclear emergency, and not their normal safety limits for radionuclides;
In Japan's case, the new safety limits are post-Fukushima "normal" limits, not for the nuclear emergency from the Fukushima accident.
There are many who argue that Japan's food self-sufficiency rate is low anyway, so all they need to do is to increase imported food a little bit to avoid contaminated food.
What NHK or the Japanese government won't tell you (they don't even tell the citizens in Japan clearly either) is that Japan's food self-sufficiency rate of 39% is based on calories. (Japan is probably the only country in the world to calculate the food self-sufficiency this way. Just like snow in Japan is special, so is the calculation of food self-sufficiency in Japan.) Based on calories, Japan imports almost all of edible oils from abroad (97%). So if the food self-sufficiency is calculated on calories, it significantly lowers the rate as oils are high-calorie items.
Other high-calorie items are wheat (92% import) and sugar (74% import).
If the food self-sufficiency rate is calculated based on the amounts produced and consumed, as is the case in almost all countries in the world, the overall self-sufficiency rate is 69%. For individual items, rice is 97%, vegetables 81%, fish 60%, meat 56%, eggs 96%, milk 67%, fruits 71%. One big reason for lower numbers for meat, eggs and milk is because Japan imports 75% of feeds. (See the information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, here. Sorry it's in Japanese.)
When you consider these rates, Japan's new safety limits indicate that Japan will be in a state of a nuclear emergency for years and years, not just for a brief period.