The farm ministry plans to loosen current restrictions on rice production in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
There have been almost no reports recently of Fukushima rice containing radioactive cesium in excess of current standards.
According to the ministry’s Fukushima rice plan for 2014, production and shipments will be allowed in areas outside evacuation zones where test production was carried out in 2013.
Conditions include fully implementing measures to prevent rice from absorbing cesium and accepting blanket inspections of all rice bags.
The ministry will specify by late January which areas in Fukushima will be allowed for rice production and shipments under the relaxed rules.