• Jiji


With Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region getting set to mark the 10th anniversary of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, a committee comprising local officials has revealed a plan to make “space sake,” using yeast that has traveled in space.

The plan was reported last week to Masao Uchibori, governor of Fukushima Prefecture, by officials of the secretariat for the committee, which is working on projects to express from the International Space Station the region’s gratitude to the world for the reconstruction support it received.

Tohoku was hit hard by the 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Under the plan, yeast developed by the Fukushima Prefectural Government will be sent to the ISS by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket of U.S. firm Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, in May next year.

The yeast will be cultivated after returning to Earth in late June 2021, and sake using the yeast will be released around the end of that year at the earliest as “space sake” with the aim of further promoting the reconstruction of Tohoku.

“It’ll be interesting if we can create a sake that makes people feel lighter as if they can fly to space,” said Yoichi Hasegawa, head of the secretariat for the committee.

He also revealed plans to launch seeds of crops from areas hit by the disaster into space and use them for local revitalization after their arrival back to Earth.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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