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Nuclear challenge: How Japan has boosted food exports from disaster hit Fukushima – exclusive government interview via FoodNavigator-Asia

Japanese authorities have been engaging both tourists and foreign governments in a double-pronged strategy to promote food products produced in areas that were hardest hit by the nuclear disaster in 2011, according to a senior government official.

FoodNavigator-Asia recently spoke to Naohiko Yokoshima, the Director of Export Promotion Division, Food Industry Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to find out more about the ministry’s strategies to promote food production in Fukushima.

He said that one of the key strategies included regular and sustained engagement with foreign governments to prove the safety of exports from the region.

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Even for countries where import bans remain, he added there were also other ways to change perceptions.

He said inviting tourists to experience life and consume the food produced in Fukushima was “a very powerful promotion in regaining the trust of foreign consumers.”

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Also, if we were to find radioactive contamination, there is a regulation under the Food Sanitation Act which requires the products to be recalled and disposed. If there are some areas which have a higher radioactive level, there will also be restriction on the distribution of food from these areas, or the supply of the contaminated food will be cut off.”

He revealed that some of these products included wild deers and white mushrooms from prefectures surrounding Fukushima.

Read more at Nuclear challenge: How Japan has boosted food exports from disaster hit Fukushima – exclusive government interview

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