08 April 2011
The Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago wishes to provide updated information concerning the radiation contamination of food products in Japan in the aftermath of the large earthquake on March 11, 2011, and the recent earthquake on April 7, 2011.
As of April 7, the Fisheries Agency of the Government of Japan has published a compilation of individual test results by each prefecture indicating the levels of radioactive iodine and caesium detected in fish supplies. The Government of Japan understands that there is no imminent risk of fish products to human health and all necessary measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of its food supplies. Additionally, the sea around the nuclear plant does not have any fishing activities at this time and the authorities are monitoring any radiation seeping into the ocean. Radiation tests conducted at the Choshi port (approximately 200km from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant) have not detected radiation above safety levels.
With regard to concerns about radioactive materials in the sea accumulating inside a fish’s body, the Fisheries Agency of the Government of Japan indicated that even if radioactive materials are released into the sea, the concentration level of such materials will remain low, due to the high volume of the seawater and the current of the sea. The Agency also noted that in the case of potassium (element abundantly contained in vegetables and fruit), caesium that enters inside the body of a fish through its mouth will be excreted from the gills and/or in the urine. Even if radioactive caesium enters into the body, it does not accumulate. It is expected that the radioactive materials in the sea have only a limited effect on fish. Further information on such test results can be obtained from the Agency’s website (http://www.jfa.maff.go.jp/kakou/kensa/index.html). The authorities in Japan continue to monitor the situation and will withdraw food products from its local and export market once radiation levels exceed the reference values.
The Embassy is aware of the concerns expressed by the Government and local organizations in this country, and hopes that all parties will be guided by precise information and will continue to monitor the situation calmly.
The Government of Japan is adopting a serious approach to the contamination of food products near the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and continues to adhere to strict domestic and international regulations regarding the withdrawal of contaminated food from the export market. This is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), which indicated that the local government authorities in Japan have advised residents to avoid contaminated food and have implemented measures to prevent their sale and distribution. WHO is also providing information on the dietary risks associated with radioactive exposure, stating that contaminated food can only be hazardous to human health once consumed over a prolonged period of time.
In this connection, attached herewith is information regarding the safety of eating fishery products in marketplace from the Fisheries Agency of the Government of Japan.
For your reference, we can provide some links to obtain information regarding the nuclear disaster:
1. Prime Minister of Japan and his cabinet: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html
2. Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA): http://www.nisa.meti.go.jp/english/index.html
3. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/incidents/index.html
5. Japan Meteorological Agency: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/2011_Earthquake.html
6. Disaster Information (MEXT website: Radioactivity Measurement Result, etc.)
8. WHO website http://www.who.int/hac/crises/jpn/faqs/en/index.html.
The Embassy of Japan will continue to provide information to the public on matters relating to the nuclear accident in Japan. Additionally, the Embassy is willing to provide further information regarding bio-accumulation or bio-concentration of radionucleotides through the food chain if it is requested, in order to avoid any overreaction or unnecessary measures by the media and the external community.
For enquiries please contact
the Public Relations Desk
Embassy of Japan
at (868) 628-5991 ext 242