About 8.1% of consumers in Japan still hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima Prefecture almost 10 years after the March 2011 nuclear disaster, a survey by the Consumer Affairs Agency has shown.
Although the figure is the lowest since the survey started in February 2013, the finding is “very regrettable,” Shinji Inoue, minister for consumer affairs and food safety, said after the survey was released Friday. “Safety has been secured” for produce from Fukushima, he added.
The latest survey, the 14th of its kind, was carried out online on Jan. 15-19, with answers received from 5,176 people in their 20s to 60s mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The share of respondents who hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima has been on the decline since hitting 19.6% in the August 2014 survey, and fell below 10% for the first time in the latest survey.
Fukushima is home to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, the site of the triple meltdown disaster triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
According to the survey, the share of respondents who hesitate to buy food products from Iwate, Miyagi or Fukushima prefectures dropped to a record low of 6.1%, down from 6.4% in the previous poll in February 2020. The three prefectures were hit hardest in the disaster.
A record high 62.1% of respondents said they do not know that checks for radioactive substances have been conducted on food products from disaster areas. The figure has been rising since standing at 22.4% in the first survey.
An official said the agency will continue efforts to not only boost the share of people who are aware of radiation checks but also offer all of the information available about radioactive substances in food products.
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