Sunday, November 4, 2012

#Radioactive Japan: Tokyo Had a Day Tour to Fukushima to Re-Educate Grocers on "Baseless Rumors"

The trip was planned and made in October, before Shintaro Ishihara quit as Governor of Tokyo to stage a comeback to the national politics. Until the end, Mr. Ishihara strongly supported the farmers in Fukushima Prefecture instead of securing the safety for the residents of Tokyo. He should have been the governor of Fukushima.

From Yomiuri Shinbun Fukushima version (10/17/2012):


Tokyo Metropolitan government to hold a Fukushima tour to eradicate baseless rumors


In order to eradicate baseless rumors stemming from the nuclear accident, Tokyo Metropolitan government is planning free day trips to Fukushima Prefecture for the retailers who sell vegetables and fruits in Tokyo. The first trip will be on October 24, with 100 people participating.


According to the Tokyo government, the amount of Fukushima produce sold is recovering, but not yet reaching the level before the accident. This summer, it was a rich harvest of peaches, but the sales of Fukushima peaches in Tokyo Central Wholesome Market in July and August this year was 11% less than in the same period in 2010. The Tokyo government believes it was due to the continued baseless rumors, and has planned the tours for retailers. They will depart Tokyo on October 24 in 4 buses for Fukushima. At the prefectural agricultural experiment station in Koriyama City, they will observe a test for radioactive materials using the germanium semiconductor detector. Then they will go to the produce stands in Fukushima City and Koriyama City to observe simplified tests for vegetables and fruits.

The way I read the news is that in the minds of politicians and bureaucrats in the Tokyo Metropolitan government, as long as the level of transaction remains below that prior to the 2011 disaster, it means the "baseless rumors" against Fukushima produce are rampant, and the retailers need to be re-educated until they change their minds and start buying up a storm from Fukushima and dump them on consumers in Tokyo.

It is like those town hall meetings held in many municipalities throughout Japan, whose purpose was to simply keep repeating "Disaster debris is safe" until the residents get weary and just give up. When the residents do not give up, the politicians do it anyway. In case of Tokyo, Governor Ishihara didn't even bother to tell Tokyo residents. When some did question, the governor told them to shut up.

And just like last year, "Miss Peach" girls from Fukushima Prefecture were giving away famed peaches and other fruits and juice to people in Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture. "Oh it's sweet! It's delicious!" Just like last year: If it is delicious, it is safe. This year, they don't seem to even bother to find out if it contains radioactive cesium.

If peaches were good enough to give to the imperial family, or export to rich Thais, they sure are good enough for everyone in Japan. 34 Bq/kg of cesium from peach juice from Fukushima? Who cares?

Everything back to stupored normal, as it had been for over 20 years in Japan until the March 11, 2011 disaster. The shock didn't even last two years. Nothing to see here, move on.

(Photo from Yomiuri Shinbun)


Anonymous said...

You sound defeated laprimavera. Don't give up the fight! The nuclear safety myth has been busted. Many many many Japanese have changed their minds about nuclear power. Although they have not found ways to get their feelings reflected in policy yet, policy changes will come in time - look how long it took Germany, one of the Chernobyl victim countries, to finally give up nuclear power - but they eventually did make that decision. In Japan, there will be cancers - too many to cover up. There will even be new earthquakes under or near other Japan reactors. In time there will even be Chinese accidents spewing radiation across Japan. Nuclear power is on its way out. If your efforts and the efforts of your readers can hasten its exit by even a day, it will be well worth the fight. We are up against a powerful foe, but it is dying, even as it kills the Japanese people. We are making progress. Don't give up the fight.

Anonymous said...

let them eat it, you reap what you sow and the japanese dont criticize, protest or say fuck all about radiation in food, total indoctrination and i have tried on numerous occasions to get the truth out and they dont give a shit... fuck them ! , its just the kids im concerned aout..

Anonymous said...

I noticed from their website that is participating in a matching gifts progam that will go on for the next 10 days - and that there are a bunch of other Tohoku-related organizations involved also. Apparently someone is matching the first $100K in donations to these Tohoku-related charities. (They do take a 15% fee to process the donations, which I think is a little on the high side, but this is more than offset by the 100% matching in this case).

If you're able to lend financial assistance, this sounds like it might be a good opportunity to make nearly twice the impact you would otherwise.

details at

Nancy said...

Anywhere there will be some who just stick their head in the sand no matter what. There are people in the US that claim to have no clue about the presidential candidates days before the election. It is impossible to get away from that in the US yet some have managed to pay no attention to anything for a year.
There are people in Japan who don't buy the propaganda and won't buy sketchy foods. Some there get it and refuse to play the game that everything is fine.
Then there are people in the US who will keep buying meat that even says on the labels it is 20% water and full of undisclosed chemicals. They throw it in their grocery cart and never look at the price of what they are buying. It took national TV screaming for two weeks about pink slime in hamburger before most people even had a clue. Some were outraged and refused to buy it. Others just kept throwing it in the cart. Slaughterhouse scraps mixed with cow poop them treated with ammonia to kill the bacteria was totally OK with some people.
I mention all this because it is the same mentality. A certain segment of every population will act like sheep and nothing will wake them up.

Anonymous said...

It feels like the people in charge easily ignore protesting and laugh at us for doing so. I know some people who think protesting shouldn't be allowed, no matter what. Then what are we supposed to do? Vote? Haha!

Why do we have to resort to peaceful protesting while they threaten us with imprisonment and violence? How are we supposed to reason with those people on equal terms? Broken system is broken.

Propaganda is sad and disgusting. It only works because people want to believe everything's fine. But ignorance doesn't solve problems.

Anonymous said...

" Walking on the beaches,
looking at the peaches, yeah. "
Who sang that ? The Stranglers.
Seems like Japan kind of debilitating itself like it did before Meiji.
But no Meiji "revolution" in sight.
Makes me feel sad, as I like the people of Japan, not the rulers of Japan.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

From what I've studied outside the school curriculum, Tokugawa era before Meiji had much more local autonomy and entrepreneurism than Meiji, with the central government run by the winners of the civil war taking advantage of and oppressing the losers (many Tohoku prefectures who sided with Tokugawa)

kintaman said...

Everyone looks to be living a normal and happy life in (Tokyo) Japan. Was I crazy or overreacting (panic) for having left Japan after 3.11 and not going back? I try not to think so given the fallout figures we have seen yet 99.9% of the population has stayed put in Japan. Are they foolish for staying or was/am I overreacting?

The uncertainty of everything is so maddening.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Japanese should rank at the top of the world's list of people good at completely ignoring what's in front of them.

On the economy, the huge spin is on now, with some flunky analysts on financial papers saying the Japan's fiscal health is one of the best in the world (that's why people are buying the Japanese government bonds). This from a country with government debt at 230% of GDP.

kintaman said...

laprimavera, do you think you will ever go back to Japan in the future to visit/live?

Anonymous said...

Dont give up, you have made a difference, and will continue to do so. When I despaired against huge odds a wise friend of mine always reminded me "The water wears away the stone"

Anonymous said...

I like the parts of the bus tour that visits 'safe' Koriyama, where Greenpeace found extraordinary high levels of 'local' contamination, and observes "simplified" test carried out by untrained local food stalls. I wonder if these simplified tests include suspending an onion from a string and observing if it swings wildly?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the word be "De-Educate"? The trips should only be to the shattered reactors to help in the clean up then they can see where all the wonderful radiation they're selling came from. If I were in charge Ishihara would be there to greet them in shorts and a t-shirt bucket and mop in hand.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:12 AM
@ arevamirpal
Thank you, I will study this point.
The question for me beeing local powers ( that I would like to support) are sometimes good and sometimes bad, leading to some kind of local "organized crime" problems that are very difficult to clean up.
Very difficult to sort these things out.
Like in economic understanding, endless debates...
May be that's life going on, which is rather a good news.
I'll keep checking theese questions.

Anonymous said...

Death Tour 2012...

Greyhawk said...

As I read about the actions of TEPCO and the Japanese government I just keep asking myself, "How can these people do this?"

Darth 3/11 said...

@kintaman...the final verdict will not be in for a long time. I'd say it's likely there will be another nuclear disaster...either here in Japan with an earthquake (another nifty one today blasted through), or from China blowing one up and drenching hapless Japan. Or it could be the npp nearest you goes to hell in a hand-basket. There really is no escape. For now, in our lifetimes. Later, with a final reliance on renewable energies, future generations won't have to face this insane conundrum. You did what you thought best. As did we all.

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