03/06/2018, 11.19
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First Fukushima fish shipment delivered to Bangkok

After the 2011 disaster, Tokyo was forced to suspend some exports of agricultural and fishery products. Fukushima fishermen returned to work on court orders in June 2012. The Japanese authorities proceed to bring the population evacuated in 2011back to the prefecture.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - Thailand is the first country to receive a shipment of fresh fish from the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima after the nuclear disaster of March 2011. On 28 February a load of 110 kg of fresh goods was delivered to serve two days after for sushi and sashimi dishes in 12 Japanese restaurants in Bangkok.

"We are delighted to be able to sell fish from our prefecture all over the world," says Kanji Tachiya, head of an association of fish cooperatives in the city of Soma. "We ship safe fish," he added. Before the nuclear disaster, plaice was a very common fish in Fukushima and had reached high prices according to Asahi Shimbun.

In 2011, three reactors in the Tokyo Electric Power plant in Fukushima leaked following a magnitude 9 earthquake that hit Japan, causing a tsunami that devastated a swath of the north-eastern coast of the country. More than 15 thousand people were killed. About 160 thousand inhabitants fled their homes after the collapses caused explosions that released radioactive materials.

Following the disaster, Tokyo was forced to suspend some exports of agricultural and fishery products. Fukushima fishermen returned to work on court orders in June 2012. According to officials of the prefectures, since April 2015 no seafood has been found with levels of radiation exceeding the Japanese safety standards. In March 2017, the prefecture's fishing association halved the area subject to a fishing ban within a radius of 10 km from the nuclear power station, instead of 20 km.

The Japanese authorities are also proceeding to bring the evacuated population back to the prefecture. Eviction orders for most of the cities in the area have been revoked, with the government reassuring those who return. Some of the residents have returned, but many are wary of the authorities and the experts are divided over how serious the problem of radiation in the area is. Concern for radiation levels in the environment remains because 70% of the affected territory is wooded and mountainous and cannot be decontaminated.

Radiation doses are measured in sieverts and displaced Fukushima residents are being asked to return to those areas where the level is not above 20 millisieverts per year (mSv / year). This is part of the guidelines established by the International Radiological Protection Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The safety limit declared in an emergency is 100 mSv / year, but some experts claim that even the 20 mSv / year exposure is too dangerous.

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