South Korea has previously complained about the ongoing problem of contaminated fish being exported from Japan. Today they took the step to ban the importation of seafood from all of the eastern prefectures of Japan. The South Koreans cited difficulty determining if fish is contaminated or not using the data provided by the Japanese government. So far the Japanese government stance has been that as long as any seafood product shows with 100 bq/kg or less of contamination is it “safe” for sale. Consumers obviously see otherwise and have been shunning seafood they are not confident about.
Fishermen from the region explained why the national government in Japan needs to take the problem more seriously. From an international perspective people see it as a Japan problem, not a local or regional problem within Japan.
The response out of one of Japan’s top officials was this:
“He said shipments are banned when tests find radiation levels above safety standards, so no tainted products are being sold on the market.”
Mr. Suga is quite dishonest in his statement. The “safety standard” is 100 bq/kg. This isn’t a true declaration of safety but the arbitrary limit the government decided upon before they would pull fish off the market. It most certainly does not mean the fish are “not tainted”. fish passing the government testing could have between 0 and 99 bq/kg of contamination. This testing is also only looking at gamma radiation and would miss any potential strontium 90 contamination.
Mr. Suga then goes on to insist that Fukushima Daiichi is not leaking beyond the port. It has already been admitted by pretty much everyone that the scientists are right and the plant is leaking to the open ocean. Why Mr. Suga chose this revisionist history right now while S. Korea is banning fish and the Olympic bid vote is tomorrow seems quite obvious.
These ham handed attempts by the Japanese government to lie to the international public are always quite puzzling. Do they think people are idiots and can’t see through some very transparent and easy to refute lies or do they make these statements out of some lack of a good response? They certainly do nothing to gain trust.
“Suga ruled out any effects on the sea of tainted water leaked from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. He said the leakage only affects waters in the port at the plant.”
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