The editor of "Oishinbo" defended on Monday the decision to depict characters in the cooking comic book as potentially hurt by radiation in Fukushima, calling it a "meaningful" attempt to sound the alarm about the grim, and largely overlooked, reality of life in the prefecture.

In Monday's installment of the series — now suspended indefinitely — Hiroshi Murayama, who is also managing editor of the weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine the series runs in, includes an afterword in which he writes of feeling a strong pang of responsibility for the outrage caused by recent issues of the manga.

In an episode last month, the manga's characters fall ill and get nosebleeds after visiting the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The illustrations quickly sparked outrage online, and many complained to publisher Shogakukan Inc. that the story might fuel prejudice toward people from Fukushima.