Seven years after the triple meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant in 2011, misinformation and groundless rumors about the state of affairs in the prefecture remain persistent and deep-rooted. Consumer concerns over radioactive contamination of agricultural and fisheries products from Fukushima have not been dispelled, even though those products are being shipped to market after rigorous tests confirm no presence of radioactive substance exceeding official limits. A think tank survey pointed to an exaggerated perception among people in Tokyo about the impact on health from radiation exposure after the Tepco plant accident — which might breed prejudice and discrimination against people in and from Fukushima. These problems need to be addressed by repeated efforts to publicly share accurate information.

Earlier this month, an event at a Japanese restaurant in Bangkok featuring flatfish caught off Fukushima Prefecture — the first time fresh marine products from Fukushima were exported since the March 2011 nuclear disaster — was canceled following protests by a local consumer group citing worries over radioactive contamination. Of the more than 50 countries and regions that restricted imports of Japanese foodstuffs after 3/11, roughly half have lifted such measures. But the other half — many in Asia — still maintain strict regulations, such as continued import bans on products from parts of Japan, including Fukushima.

Concerns over safety of farm and marine products from Fukushima continue to persist in Japan as well. In a Consumer Affairs Agency survey of people in major metropolitan areas in February, 12.7 percent of respondents said they hesitate to buy food products from Fukushima because they want to eat foodstuffs not contaminated with radioactive substances. The ratio was in fact the lowest since the survey began in 2013, when 19.4 percent of those polled gave such an answer. However, discriminatory treatment of Fukushima products by retailers persist as they cite consumer concerns. Prices of many Fukushima products, which plummeted in the wake of the disaster, have not recovered to levels prior to 2011.