Saturday, April 9, 2011

Japan lifts ban on fresh produce from around Fukushima

Japan will lift restrictions on sales of certain products (vegetables, milk) from the vicinity of the nuclear plant in Fukushima, restrictions that were imposed because of the radioactive risks, announced Friday, April 8, the spokesman government. These bans were imposed in late March for a dozen kinds of vegetables including spinach, from four prefectures near the plant, and raw milk from Fukushima Prefecture alone, due to an abnormally high level radioactivity.

"The government has received requests to lift bans on distribution of milk produced (in seven municipalities) of Fukushima Prefecture, and spinach in Gunma Prefecture", located south of the central and north of Tokyo said Yukio Edano. "I think the conditions are met so that the bans are lifted," he added, without giving a date.

The authorities have reported in recent days to lower levels of radioactivity near the central, heavily damaged by the violent earthquake and tsunami of 11 March. Operations of reactor coolant were continuing Friday. Mr. Edano said the authorities would "inspect radioactivity levels of the ground" in the rice region near the plant "to allow or disallow farmers to plant rice." Abroad, India, which was the first country to enact a total ban on imports of Japanese products, has lifted its ban on Friday.

The Commerce Department ruled that this was no longer necessary. The Indian authorities have yet requested certificates "without radiation" on shipments from Japan. India imports from Japan usually fairly low volumes of fruit and vegetables and processed foods. Many countries, including China, Taiwan, Singapore, the United States, Canada and Russia and the European Union, have announced measures to ban or restriction on the importation of fresh Japanese, while others control the level of irradiation of cargoes from Japan.

China, she is concerned about the releases of radioactive water in the vicinity of the plant in Fukushima, Japan, and calls to protect the marine environment. "As a neighbor of Japan, of course we express our concern. We hope that, in accordance with international law, Japan will take effective measures to protect the marine environment," said Friday, the spokesman of the Ministry Chinese Foreign, Hong Lei.

China also calls on Japan "to provide feedback on this matter without delay, in full and accurately."

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