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Japan Food Report

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Approach to Assuring Food Safety

More than six months have passed since the great earthquake and tsunami that devastated east Japan.
Thanks to the warm support given by people around the world, everyday life in Japan is gradually returning to normal.
In addition, with regards to the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, although everyone has good reason for concern, please be assured that the government is currently fully committed to resolving the situation as soon as possible.
With regards to foods in particular, since the accident occurred, measures such as monitoring have been implemented across a wide area and a wide range of food products in order to assure food safety. (An outline of these measures is shown in the figure below)
Your awareness of this can become a form of support for Japan.

Outline of Testing and Shipping Restrictions

Setting provisional regulatory values for radioactive materials
In Japan, with regards to radiation standards for foods, index values based on recommendations by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) have been set for each food product, and these are used as the standard testing values.
Implementation of monitoring of radioactive materials
Based on instructions given by the government, local authorities are implementing regular radioactive materials monitoring for each producing region, fishery, etc. in accordance with the status of production, shipping, etc. for each produce item.
Shipping restrictions
For food produce items that, as a result of monitoring, are shown to exceed provisional regulatory values, the government will summarize the test results, and following the analysis and evaluation of the relevant produce variety/species and the extent of the region in which regulatory values were exceeded, etc. shipping restrictions will be imposed on the relevant food produce item and region. These shipping restrictions will not be lifted until food safety is confirmed.
Furthermore, prompt shipping restriction instructions are given with regards to produce items for which significantly high concentrations are detected.

With regards to exports, in addition to such safety assurance measures taken in Japan, distributed foods have also cleared border controls put in place by the governments of each country.

If you would like to know more, please see the Q&A pages on the Consumer Affairs Agency website.

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