National

Online effort to combat impact of Fukushima fiasco

Tokyo sets up English website on radiation

by Mizuho Aoki

Staff Writer

With the announcement Saturday in Buenos Aires of the winning bid for the 2020 Olympics, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is running an English website dedicated to radiation-related information — a last-ditch effort to brush off the negative impact from the contaminated water problems plaguing the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The website — monitoring.tokyo-eiken.go.jp/en/index.html — provides hourly radiation levels monitored at eight locations in Tokyo, including Shinjuku, Ota and Adachi wards, as well as the results of fallout, tap water and food sampling tests conducted by the metro government. The website also provides all of the past radiation readings Tokyo has monitored since 2011.

Visitors to the site, which was launched Friday afternoon, had topped 4,660 as of noon Wednesday, a metro official said. The figure is more than double the number an English website providing hourly radiation levels in Shinjuku received in a single month.

The metro government updates monitored outdoor radiation levels every hour, daily for tap water and fallout, and about once a week for food. The site was launched at the instruction of Gov. Naoki Inose, who left for Buenos Aires on Saturday, the official said.

At a Friday news conference, Inose said radiation levels in Tokyo are no different from those in New York, London or Paris, stressing the importance of convincing foreigners of Tokyo’s safety.

Radiation levels in Tokyo spiked in March 2011, hitting a record 0.8 microsieverts per hour that March 15. The levels quickly fell to normal levels after about one month and have since remained at around 0.05 microsieverts per hour.

Hourly radiation levels in London and Paris were 0.088 and 0.057 microsieverts, respectively, in August, according to the metro government.

Food safety ‘guaranteed’

Bloomberg

The safety of Japan’s food is “guaranteed” by the world’s strictest tests introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster started, the government said in a statement following recent revelations of radioactive water leaking and tainted groundwater flowing into the sea.

In the 17 months of tests through August, less than 0.7 percent of domestically produced food was found to have an excessive level of radionuclides, the Foreign Ministry said in an emailed statement.

“Even in Fukushima Prefecture, where the accident occurred, annual radiation exposure from food and water is lower than one hundredth of 1 millisievert,” the food safety limit set by the U.N., the ministry said.