• Kyodo

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A campaign began at the Japan Pavilion of the food-themed world expo in Italy on Sunday to demonstrate to visitors that food from Fukushima Prefecture is safe despite a nuclear disaster there in 2011.

During the four-day campaign which ends Wednesday, samples of local foods, such as fruits and Japanese sake, are being offered to highlight the quality control efforts producers have been making since the disaster.

At the pavilion, Norio Hashimoto, an official of the Fukushima Prefectural Government, said the quality of fruits shipped from the prefecture is “fully vouched for.” He added, “Fukushima is one of the major producers of fruits in the country.”

His colleague, Takeshi Fujita, said the purpose of the campaign is to convey “correct information” about Fukushima foods, but stressed that he does not intend to force it on anyone.

The campaign is also aimed at conveying how far rebuilding has proceeded since the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant suffered meltdowns in tsunami triggered by a powerful earthquake on March 11, 2011.

A 59-year-old visitor said he enjoyed the dried peaches and sake that were served at the event, expressing hope that safety is pursued “sincerely” on matters of food.

Some visitors had the chance to experience Fukushima folklore in which dumplings are skewered on tree branches to wish for a good harvest.

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