Japanese Farmers Still Face Nuclear Fallout

Two years after the devastating tsunami that struck the eastern coast of Japan, Japanese farmers are still facing fears of nuclear contamination and are still facing dwindling exports.

In the spring of 2011, the most powerful earthquake ever experienced in Japan (and one of the most powerful earthquakes in global history) struck off Japan’s Pacific coast. The quake generated a massive tsunami (with waves reaching 133 feet tall) that slammed into the Japanese home islands.

In addition to severely damaging ports, the tsunami damaged several nuclear power plants, with the plant in Fukushima prefecture suffering a level 7 meltdown (the only such meltdown in global history other than the Chernobyl disaster).

In the wake of the meltdown, farmers across the region saw their business declie as food was either contaminated or foreign buyers refused to import agricultural goods from the Fukushima area.

Even after two years, consumers are still worried about potential nuclear contamination. According to the president of a Fukushima seaweed company, “Our seaweed is checked every day, and I guarantee you that it’s safe. But we are selling two-thirds less than before Fukushima.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer