National

12.5% of Japanese city-dwellers still hesitant about buying food from nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima

JIJI

The proportion of people in metropolitan areas in Japan who hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima Prefecture due to concerns over radiation contamination has hit a record low of 12.5 percent, a government survey showed Wednesday.

The share fell 0.2 percentage point from the previous survey, carried out in February last year, the Consumer Affairs Agency said.

The latest survey, the 12th of its kind, was conducted last month with participation by 5,176 people aged from their 20s to their 60s.

The online survey was first performed in February 2013, less than two years after the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

The proportion of people who reported that they were holding back on purchases of Fukushima food products has been on the decline since the fourth survey, which was conducted in August 2014.

In the latest survey, the proportion of respondents who said that they did not know that tests for radioactive substances were being conducted on food products marked a record high of 44.8 percent.

Speaking at a news conference, Kazumi Okamura, agency commissioner, said that people’s “hesitation about Fukushima-made products is fading.”

“We will continue to work on spreading accurate information,” Okamura said.