Fukushima governor dismayed at cancellation of Seoul promotional event

Kyodo, JIJI

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori expressed regret Monday over the cancellation of an event that the Foreign Ministry had planned to hold in Seoul over the weekend to promote recovery in Tohoku after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“I know that it will take time to eliminate the unfavorable reputation in other countries,” given the nuclear crisis, he said at a news conference in Tokyo.

The Foreign Ministry canceled the event after failing to secure approval from authorities in Seoul, where concern lingers over the safety of food from Tohoku.

The event was to run Saturday and Sunday, promoting specialties such as sweets and sake.

“I’m dismayed by this,” Uchibori said, adding that he thought the event would provide a good opportunity for people in South Korea to deepen their understanding of Fukushima and the rest of Tohoku.

On Friday, South Korean civic groups, including one monitoring radioactive contamination, called for the event to be canceled. It also demanded an apology from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

The groups said Fukushima, Miyagi and Aomori suffered radioactive contamination, noting that South Korea restricts the importing of seafood from the prefectures. They said the event would promote food produced in Fukushima.

  • QuibONO

    Why does the Japon govt. continue to abuse their e. Asian neighbors?

  • Ahojanen

    Japan should stop trying to promote food products to irrational and radioactivity-phobia Koreans. Any effort is futile, and incurs opportunity costs. There are better and more rational trading partners elsewhere.

    Note that public health-conscious EU and most other countries have already lifted extra-caution mechanism towards import products from Fukushima areas. Meanwhile the level of radioactivity downtown Seoul is higher than that in Tokyo and even evacuation zones in Fukushima.

    • isnamthere

      Right. They can just slough it off on some 3rd world country which needs to buy cheap food as opposed to safe food. There’s always a market somewhere to get rid of tainted merchandise if your ethics permit.

      • Ahojanen

        Refusal is only Korea’s choice, and I personally don’t care. They may prefer to consume contaminated, health-hazard products from China or the North :)

        Most Japanese products keep higher safety standard by objective terms and through rigorous inspections both at home and overseas. EU and Singapore, two most restrictive authorities have already lifted regulations.

  • auto13142828

    Japan should not expect Koreans to eat it’s radioactive food.

    Koreans have been using their own radioactive materials to construct roadways! 35,400 becquerels per Kilogram of radioactive cesium 137 was found on the road in a residential area in Seoul, South Korea.

    1000 Japanese building-sites including homes and apartments were built using contaminated cement. Japan is burning the contaminated rubble and soil from Fukushima and turning the ash into “Eco Cement” and using it to build publicly, including construction for the Olympic games.

    Regulatory agencies in both countries are failing to protect it’s citizens.