” The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations said it would resume exports of rice produced in Fukushima prefecture for the first time since the nuclear crisis in 2011.
About 300 kilograms of rice harvested at Sukagawa city, in the central part of the prefecture, will be shipped to Singapore. They will be sold in five-kilogram bags at a local Japanese supermarket beginning this Friday, the organization said.
“We will check the rice thoroughly in Fukushima before shipping it overseas, and then the bags will undergo another check in Singapore,” a spokesman for the federation, known as Zen-noh, told Japan Real Time.
Approximately 100 tons of rice from Fukushima had been exported per year before the prefecture was hit with the nuclear accident following the March 11, 2011, earthquake.
Export of fruit produced in Fukushima, including apples, resumed earlier, and the federation had been negotiating with multiple countries to allow sales of Fukushima rice. “We were able to obtain consent about the safety of our rice from Singapore,” the spokesman said.
Some countries still ban imports of food items from Japan or impose extra screening requirements, citing the risk of radiation contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
The Japanese federation said it would dispatch some of its employees to the supermarket in Singapore over the weekend to promote the safety of Fukushima’s produce. ”