For 36-year-old rice farmer Emi Kato, the first few years after the 2011 core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant were grueling.

Due to fears of radioactive contamination, several customers terminated their contracts for rice she and her husband, Koji, 38, had harvested far inland in the city of Fukushima.

She also saw online comments bashing local farmers despite the fact that no radioactive material was ever detected in their products.