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Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.49

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

97. A decreasing number of countries have import regulations on food produced in Fukushima

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accidents, several countries introduced restrictions on agricultural and sea products imported from Japan; they requested certificates of origin and official documents reporting radiation test results for imported food. However, many countries have lifted the regulations gradually.

For example, imported rice produced in the Fukushima Prefecture was suspended in 15 countries and regions including Russia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia on May 2011, but as of October 2016, the number of the countries with suspensions had decreased to only three (China, Taiwan, and Singapore).

Although the restriction status varies among products, the number of countries with import restrictions for vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy products from Fukushima has decreased from 20 in 2011 (immediately after the accident) to only a few countries in the fall of 2016.

The Fukushima Prefecture has inspected all bags of rice harvested throughout the prefecture until today. Although the reference value and food protection procedures vary from country to country, the information regarding the safety of foods produced in Fukushima has been gradually disseminated and become common knowledge in neighboring countries.

98. Various aspects of two reports

Several international organizations have published evaluation reports on radiation exposure and its impact on health after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accidents.

The evaluation reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UNSCEAR) are the leading reports, having calculated the level of radiation exposure based on the data measured on-site or published by government and research institutes.

The features and roles of these top medical reports are distinctive. The report from WHO was published relatively early post-accident (in 2012) and estimated the level of radiation exposure conservatively by overestimating the exposure dose.

On the other hand, the United Nations published their report in 2013, after the release of the WHO’s report. Therefore, the reference value was calculated to provide a precise estimate of the actual level of radiation exposure by using as much available data as possible.

Furthermore, the United Nations have reviewed their reports every fixed period based on findings from investigations conducted in other countries and update their evaluation results to make sure there are no errors in their paper.

Recently, the United Nations published the result of their second review, which confirmed that “the potential harm owning to long-term chronic radiation exposure caused by the nuclear accident in Fukushima leading to increase incidence of cancer patients was insignificant.”


The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on November 13rd and 20th 2016 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.

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