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)