A decade after the 3-11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident, all Japanese products in the affected areas have an open path to the United States
It has now been more than ten years since the enormous earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, and although life has returned to normal in most countries, the effects of that tragic day are still being felt in northeastern Japan. Tohoku region, where disasters were concentrated. However, a big step on the road to recovery was taken this week, with the announcement that the United States has removed all restrictions on imports of agricultural products from the Tohoku and Kanto regions (eastern Japan).
The restrictions were put in place following the nuclear accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was damaged during disasters, as a precaution against possible radioactive contamination of local products and animals. About 100 items, such as rice and mushrooms, from a total of 14 prefectures have been banned from importing into the United States
The decision to lift the import bans was taken by the United States Food and Drug Administration, which posted a statement on its website on Sept. 21 (U.S. time), saying:
“After a thorough analysis of Japan’s robust control measures which include decontamination, monitoring and enforcement; after reviewing the results of 10 years of sampling food products from Japan; and after determining a very low risk to US consumers of radioactively contaminated food imported from Japan, the FDA decided that the [import restrictions are] is no longer necessary to protect public health.
The FDA also stressed that it remains diligent in assessing the safety of new Japanese agricultural products through a combination of the effects of compliances in Japan and FDA oversight and sampling.
The United States is the world’s third largest importer of Japanese agricultural products, and while Americans may not be clamoring for rice grown in Japan, Japanese gourmet mushrooms, such as shiitake, are world famous. The prefecture’s pride in Fukushima peaches won praise from visiting US Olympic athletes last summer, and access to the US market should be an economic blessing for Tohoku farmers who still have to contend with the economic legacy. from 3-11. In addition, a spokesperson for the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries expressed hope the US approval will give encouragement to the remaining five countries that still have bans in place for certain Japanese food items, such as close trading partners of Korea and China, to also consider lifting their restrictions.
Sources: Mainichi Shimbun Going through Yahoo! Japan News Going through Hachima Kiko, FDA, NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso (1, 2) (edited by SoraNews24)
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