MINAMISOMA, JAPAN—Farming is the only thing Hitoshi Onoda knows — it is what he has done for the past 35 years.
So when wholesalers in Tokyo told him last summer they did not want strawberries from his farm any longer, Onoda packed a bag and took the train to Fujinomiya, a city in the shadow of Mount Fuji about 440 kilometres away, and signed a 10-year lease for a farm.
He is leaving his farm, and Minamisoma.
“The strawberries were tested and were free of radiation but because they are from Minamisoma, no one wanted them,” says Onoda with a wry smile.
Minamisoma is a small coastal town about 25 kilometres north of Fukushima Daiichi, the crippled nuclear reactor. It is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of hectares of rice paddies. People say it looked like an endless carpet of gold in the fall.
That was before the monstrous tsunami of March 11, 2011.
Continue reading at Fukushima’s fallout: Farmers suffer as buyers reject food even though it’s safe