Saturday, November 17, 2012

#Radioactive Japan: Another Child Suspected of Thyroid Cancer in #Fukushima, Found During the First-Round Thyroid Screening Test

(UPDATE) Kyodo News just reported it was a girl, age 16 to 18.


The first confirmed case of thyroid cancer in a child in Fukushima Prefecture was reported in September this year, after the 2nd screening test which was administered as a precaution.

Possibly the second one may have been found, according to Kahoku Shinpo. What's different in this case is that the child was immediately categorized as "C" in the 1st round of screening. Category C is "in need of immediate second testing", according to the Fukushima prefectural guideline.

From Kahoku Shinpo (11/17/2012):

甲状腺がんの疑い 福島県直ちに2次検査、初めて1人判定

One case of suspected thyroid cancer, Fukushima Prefecture to conduct further test immediately


Fukushima Prefecture has been conducting the thyroid testing of about 360,000 children under the age of 18 to understand the effect of radiation due to the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. It was revealed on November 17 by the source that they found one child during the initial screening who may have cancer and is in need of immediate second testing.


The details will be reported in the meeting of "Fukushima Prefecture residents health management survey" committee on Novmeber 18.


Fukushima Medical University, who has been conducting the test, says "It took 4 years to find a thyroid cancer after the Chernobyl nuclear accident", and the possibility of relationship between the radiation [from the Fukushima accident] and the potential thyroid cancer is low. However, blood and tissue samples will be taken to determine whether it is a cancer or not.


There are three categories, A, B and C, in the initial screening depending on the size of nodules/cysts. The child in question was judged to be in the "C" category.


In the committee meeting in September, it was reported that one child under "B" category (no immediate action necessary but conduct the 2nd test just in case) was found with thyroid cancer. However, judging from the state of the cancer, the committee thinks the cancer had already been developing before the March 11, 2011 disaster and denies the causal relationship between the radiation from the nuclear accident and the cancer.


Fukushima Medical University says, "This is an unprecedented study of all children in Fukushima Prefecture. So it is expected that a fair number of children are found with thyroid cancer. We will carefully study the relationship between the radiation [and the thyroid cancer]."

According to the Fukushima prefectural government (as of September 2012), the testing schedule for the cities in Fukushima is as follows (English labels are mine):

(OT) In Japan, You May Get Arrested If You Have No Job, No Income, No Home and Wander About in Town During the Daytime

Meanwhile in Japan, for lack of anything worthwhile to do in that part of Japan (Kansai), Nara Prefectural Police arrested a man for "not working, even though he has an ability to work and he has no income, and loitering, without no fixed abode". According to the public servants at the prefectural police, that's against the Minor Offenses Act (Article 1 Item 4), the law in Japan to protect the social order.

The article linked above is from "Bengoshi (Attorney) dotcom", and you would think they would be outraged.

Ah but this is Japan. Their bottom line is:


[Comment by one of the member attorneys of bengoshi dotcom] Loitering in itself has an anti-social element, and the point [of the Minor Offenses Act] is to strictly control loitering because it tends to be associated with criminal acts. If one is not sick, but is drunk in the middle of the day and wandering around in town, it is threatening to the citizens.


Even if there is no malicious intent on the person who wanders about without a job, it is possible that some people, including children, feel threatened. From the standpoint of maintaining the public order, therefore, it can be said that there was no choice [but to arrest the person].

Oh yes, it's for the kids. For the most part, the Japanese readers are highly approving of the police arresting this good-for-nothing man walking about during the daytime without a job and a home. What a caring society.

(I feel threatened when I see a package of green tea from Japan. Should I have the green tea arrested?)

Speaking of that part of Japan, Kansai, the boy-wonder mayor of Osaka City, who is now the deputy head of the party joined by Shintaro Ishihara for the national election, will start a test burn of the disaster debris from Iwate at the city's incineration plant designed by a world-famous anti-nuclear architect. The test burn will be on November 24.

A ship that carries 10 containers full of debris chips has departed Miyako Port in Iwate Prefecture on November 18, Iwate Nippo reports.

Stratfor on Gaza Conflict: Israel May Start Ground Offensive on November 17 Night

It sounds like an all-out war to me, not mere "conflict", as Stratfor puts it.

The rationale behind it, as Stratfor puts it, is the alleged intelligence that Gaza militants are manufacturing long-range rockets locally.

From Stratfor (11/17/2012; part):

Update on the Israel-Gaza Conflict

New intelligence indicates forces in Gaza may be manufacturing long-range rockets locally. If this is the case, a significant ground force offers the Israelis the best chance of finding and neutralizing the factories making these weapons. Meanwhile, Israel continues its airstrikes on Gaza, and Gaza continues its long-range rocket attacks on major Israeli population centers, though Israel claims its Iron Dome defense system has intercepted most of the rockets.

Israel appears to be positioning itself for a ground operation, perhaps as early as the night of Nov. 17. The Israeli Cabinet on Nov. 16 approved Defense Minister Ehud Barak's request to call up 75,000 reservists, significantly more than during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. The Israeli army meanwhile has also sought to strengthen its presence on the borders with Gaza. Primary roads leading to Gaza and running parallel to Sinai have been declared closed military zones. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery and troops continue to stream to the border, and many units already appear to be in position.

During Operation Cast Lead, the Israelis transitioned to the ground phase around 8:00 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2009. Going in during dark hours allows the IDF to take advantage of its superior night-fighting equipment and training, including the use of night vision goggles and thermal optics.

The Israeli air force remained active throughout the night of Nov. 16-17, striking at targets across the Gaza Strip including key Hamas ministries, police stations and tunnels near the border crossing with Egypt. The IAF reportedly carried out strikes in Rafah's al-Sulan and al-Zahour neighborhoods, as well as east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp. According to IDF reports, the air force carried out a rapid and coordinated military strike, targeting approximately 70 underground medium-range rocket-launching sites in the less than an hour. The IDF claims direct hits were confirmed. The IAF will increasingly target Hamas militant defenses ahead of any ground invasion. Already the IAF has bombed militant defensive positions, particularly in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

(Update on the Israel-Gaza Conflict is republished with permission of Stratfor.)

Ever since the Fukushima nuke accident, all I care about is "Where is the nuke plant?" In case of Israel, the Negev Nuclear Research Center is near Dimona, in southern Israel (the map from Zero Hedge, who took it from Stratfor):

It looks like it's at a safe distance, but missiles from Gaza are reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, thwarted by the Israeli missile defense system (see Christian Science Monitor article, 11/17/2012).

Friday, November 16, 2012

(OT) Friday Fun: Hostess Twinkie, Uneaten, Collector's Grade for $5100 Current Bid

Yes there are two bidders, and the shipping cost is 10 dollars.

From Ebay, after the news that Hostess, the company that makes twinkie, is firing 18,000 workers and shutting down business rather than being bullied by the labor union into extinction (that's CEO's view, diametrically opposed, predictably, from the labor union's view):

The seller says:

Due to unions kissing the fourth point of contact of the Democrat Party and because I must find a way to fund my portion of Obamacare, I am auctioning one pre-bankruptcy Hostess Twinkie.  Hostess Brands closing for good due to bakers strike - Nov. 16, 2012

Condition:  New, pristine, sealed, never-eaten.

* * *  Note:  I will not accept food stamps as payment.

His listing is a bargain. The highest starting bid on pre-closure twinkie is 3,000,000 dollars for 4 boxes of twinkies. If you can't wait, you can "buy it now", for 8,000,000 dollars. This seller generously offers free shipping.

But not to worry. Someone already set up a petition on the White House website, pleading Mr. Obama to save twinkies by nationalizing the company. 1813 signatures so far.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

US Jobless Claims Up 78,000 Week After Election, Ohio, Pennsylvania Hardest Hit

According to the US mainstream media, it's all because of Hurricane Sandy (CNN, LA Times, or Fox News, for example).

According to not-so-mainstream media, the largest increase in jobless claims was seen NOT in the states battered by Hurricane Sandy but in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

From Breitbart (11/15/2012; emphasis is mine):

The Department of Labor has announced that new jobless claims rose by a staggering 78,000 in the first week after the election, reaching a seasonally-adjusted total of 439,000. Over the past year, and in the weeks leading up to the election, jobless claims were said to be declining, dipping as low as 339,000, with the media proclaiming that they had reached the "lowest level in more than four years." Now, suddenly, the news seems far less rosy.

From the Department of Labor press release this morning:

In the week ending November 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 439,000, an increase of 78,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 361,000. The 4-week moving average was 383,750, an increase of 11,750 from the previous week's revised average of 372,000.

Some of the new claims, especially in New Jersey, were due to Hurricane Sandy--but these were offset by a decline in claims filed in New York. The highest numbers of new filings came from Pennsylvania and Ohio, where there were thousands of layoffs in the construction, manufacturing, and automobile industries.

Both states had been targeted by the presidential campaigns. President Obama highlighted his record of job creation in Ohio in particular, focusing on the automobile industry. The state reported 6,450 new jobless claims in the week after the election--second-highest after Pennsylvania, which recorded 7,766 new claims.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LDP's Abe (aka "Curry Rice with Pork Cutlet on Top") Says Unlimited QE When He Becomes Prime Minister, Yen Tanks and Nikkei Surges

Japan is sure unique. Probably the only "developed" nation left in the world whose financial markets go up on the word "Quantitative Easing", even with the kicker "unlimited". Even the US market has stopped responding positively to the word from the Fed officials.

Yen dumps:

Nikkei up:

For now, uber-Keynesian Japanese celebrates the destruction of the financial markets that may come with QE 4Eva under the "curry and pork cutlet". Oh wait, in Japan's case, the financial markets been broken for 20 years anyway.

According to Nikkei Shinbun, Mr. Abe also mentioned "negative interest rate" to encourage lending. As if debt is capital and wealth.

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Reactor 3 Will Get a 1,500-tonne Cover Made of Steel

That will look like this:

(From TEPCO's handout for the press, Japanese, on 11/14/2012)

It will be made of steel frames that will weigh 1,500 tonnes, but the structure will not be fixed to the reactor building itself which has been badly damaged. Radiation levels are too high for the human workers. Instead, the structure will be supported on the ground on the west side, and against the turbine building on the east side, with points in the middle across the reactor building top floor (English labels are mine):

Dow Jones Industrial: Down It Goes...(Again)

(Now it's down 160, with 40 minutes remaining on the regular session.)

Obama spoke to the press today, first in 3 months.

Hillary (Sec. of State) and Leon (Sec. of Defense) scooting off to Australia. (Herald Sun has an AP photo of them quite cheerfully laughing, looking very happy to be out of the US at the moment.)

Petaeus will testify on Benghazi after all.

Israel bombed and killed a Hamas leader in Gaza.

Obama is off to his first post-election trip to Myanmar.


Minister of Reconstruction: "We Don't Know How Much Has Been Spent on What and Where"

And why not?

Because his agency, modeled after the one that had existed in the wake of the devastating 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, didn't tally. There was no plan to do so either.

Children at play, whether it's in Japan or in the US or the EU.

From Tokyo Shinbun (11/14/2012):

被災地で使った復興予算額 復興相「分からない」

Amount of money spent for recovery and reconstruction in the disaster affected area: "We don't know", says Minister of Reconstruction


Minister of Reconstruction Tatsuo Hirano said in the Lower House Budget Committee meeting on November 13 that "there is no data compiled" to account for the amount for the money spent in the disaster-affected areas out of the total recovery/reconstruction budget for the March 11, 2011 disaster. It is another example of the lax treatment of the reconstruction budget.


Mr. Hirano explained that 60 percent, or 9 trillion yen has been spent, of the total 15 trillion yen recovery/reconstruction budget for the fiscal 2011 [that ended on March 31, 2012]. Of 9 trillion yen, he said he didn't know the exact the amount spent in the disaster-affected areas.


When questioned how much of the money actually spent had gone to the companies that did the actual work [of recovery/reconstruction] in the disaster-affected area, Mr. Hirano answered, "We will have to interview [the businesses] and find out. It will take time to collect the data."


The Reconstruction Agency is now tallying the amount of money actually spent in the disaster affected area.


As it has been revealed that the projects not related to the recovery of the disaster-affected areas got funding from the recovery/reconstruction budget, the agency has decided to tally up the amount even though there was no plan to do so.

What kind of projects got funded? Here are some examples:

  • Remodel the tax collection agency's offices throughout Japan so that the tax collectors can continue to operate even in a major disaster;

  • Counter the activities of anti-whaling groups;

  • Training in the prisons in Hokkaido and Saitama, so that the prisoners won't commit crimes in the disaster-affected areas once they are released;

  • Seismic retrofit for the government buildings throughout Japan

  • Renovate kitchens and baths in the Self Defense Force camps outside the disaster-affected areas

The last one I approve. It was not just SDF soldiers in Tohoku who were deployed in Tohoku right after the March 11, 2011 disaster.

The most cynical is the first one, remodeling of the tax offices so that the government continues to collect taxes in the next major disaster.

The general election cannot come soon enough, but it's just too bad you cannot vote out the bureaucrats who make their living out of taxpayers' money.

PM Noda to Dissolve Lower House on November 16, Election in December

Just as I thought.

From Reuters (11/14/2012):

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Wednesday he would dissolve the lower house of parliament on Nov. 16 if the opposition agreed to carry out electoral reform.

Noda was speaking in a parliamentary debate with main opposition party leader Shinzo Abe. Abe, head of the Liberal Deomcratic Party, agreed to the demand.

Noda, under opposition pressure to call an election he promised in August would be "soon", looks to be leaning towards holding one as early as next month after pledging support for a controversial U.S.-led free trade pact.

But some in his party would prefer to delay it, with support for his government at its lowest since Noda took office last year.

Japan's upper house has fixed six-year terms, with elections for half its members held every three years. Elections for the more powerful lower house can be called at the premier's discretion.

Many predict the Democratic Party of Japan will lose big in the election. Well, I'm not so sure about the big loss, but that at least will stop Goshi Hosono from becoming the prime minister. Good move, Noda.

Instead, Japan may have a new prime minister who was the prime minister but quit over the ostensible chronic health problem. Yes, that "curry and rice with pork cutlet on top" guy and a Dalai Lama's new friend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Japanese Home Electronics Companies Wander Downward, Aimlessly

Zero Hedge (11/13/2012) has interesting charts that shows how the Japanese consumer electronics companies and the Korean counterpart (Samsung) have diverged in terms of market caps, post Lehman:

Sony, Panasonic, NEC, Sharp have been bleeding badly for years now.

Samsung, however, pales when Apple's market cap is plotted:

That once-mighty Japanese electronics companies are stagnant and declining is discernible from their homepages. They seem to be living in the late 1990 and early 2000s that will never come back.

The websites are clean, subdued, with information well organized, nothing wrong with that. But compared to Samsung and Apple, it is apparent they don't know what to sell, what to focus. Sony emphasizes its environmentally conscious activities; again nothing wrong with that, but what about products and technology? Panasonic features a dreamy-faced young woman staring vacantly into the distance. NEC emphasizes "energy", Sharp "air purifiers", and Toshiba an entire town wired with Toshiba products.

Samsung and Apple have products that people in the world want to buy (at least for now, before Ben, Mario and Shirakawa finish destroying the financial system), and that's what they feature on their websites.

(Screenshots of their Japanese homepages)








It was 1989 when Sony co-Founder and Chairman Akio Morita wrote a book with Shintaro Ishihara - "Japan That Can Say No". It was right before the collapse of the real estate bubble. Ever since, the government has been trying to reflate a bubble, any bubble.

OT: This Cat Can Jump...

Monday, November 12, 2012

#Radioactive Japan: Fukushima's Radiation Monitoring Posts Attract Residents' Anger

Yomiuri Shinbun (11/13/2012) reports that the radiation monitoring posts in Fukushima have been the targets of citizens' anger for some time.

As I posted last week, these monitoring posts display lower-than-actual numbers because the lead batteries are placed conveniently or inconveniently so that they block the radiation to the sensors. Step away from these monitors and measure locations with turf or dirt that hasn't been replaced, and the radiation levels could easily be 20, 30% higher, as many (including Professor Hayakawa in Koriyama City) have discovered.

FNN News reports it will cost the national government 150 million yen to fix the problem. As if the government has money.

Photo in the Yomiuri article: Monitor in Motomiya City, Fukushima, with solar panel damaged:

Thailand Eager to Join TPP, Awaits Obama's Visit

Peaches and apples from Fukushima are not enough for Thailand. 

From Bloomberg News (11/12/2012; emphasis is mine):

Thailand Plans to Join Pacific Trade Talks When Obama Visits

Thailand Plans to Join Pacific Trade Talks When Obama Visits
By Daniel Ten Kate and Suttinee Yuvejwattana - Nov 12, 2012 8:58 PM PT

Thailand plans to formally enter talks on a U.S.-led Pacific region trade deal when President Barack Obama visits the country next week, government spokesman Tosaporn Sererak told reporters.

Thailand would become the 12th country to join negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s top trade priority. Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy would be the fifth country in the talks that does not already have a free-trade agreement with the U.S., along with New Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

“It represents new market access for American companies,” Deborah K. Elms, head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations in Singapore, said by e-mail. “Thailand really must be involved in the TPP for its own economic interests. You cannot have aspirations of being part of the supply chains in Asia, especially, if you are not part of the TPP as it gets up and running.”

Obama is seeking to expand trade ties with Asia-Pacific countries as part of a so-called pivot to the region to counter China’s growing economic and military might. He plans to visit Thailand on Nov. 18 as part of his first foreign trip since his re-election that also includes stops in Myanmar and Cambodia.

The TPP expanded to 11 nations this year after Mexico and Canada were invited to join, representing about a third of global economic output. The other countries include Australia, Chile, Peru and Singapore.


TPP negotiators plan to meet next month in New Zealand for the 15th round of talks, which are confidential. The U.S. Congress signaled its discontent with the TPP negotiation process in June, with 132 lawmakers telling U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a letter they were “troubled that important policy decisions are being made without full input from Congress.”

(Full article at the link)

Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is under the executive office of the President of the United States.

10-Day "Genki" (Cheer and Vitality) Festival in One of the Most Contaminated Districts in Fukushima City

It's in the realm of the surreal.

Hot-blooded men! Come to Fukushima!

From December 1st to 10th, in Onami District in Fukushima City! Real deal!

What's the "Festival" for? Decontaminating one of the most contaminated districts in Fukushima City with the district residents for 10 days, according to the organizer's website for the "Festival".

Where is Onami District? It is where the rice containing 1,270 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found last year. It's the same district that well-meaning volunteers from all over Japan descended in October last year to "decontaminate". Unlike districts in the neighboring Date City, none of the districts in Fukushima

Here's part of the organizer's message about radiation and radiation exposure from the decontamination in Oonami District:

(emphasis is mine)


We will arrange for the protective clothing for all participants. You are free to wear it, but use your own judgment if you wear it, and understand fully that by wearing the protective clothing and doing the decontamination you may cause fear and intimidation among the local residents. Please don't forget the residents of Onami District live there, in the areas designated for decontamination, without any protective clothing.


...Also, just to remind you, injuries and accidents, sicknesses after the work, radiation damages, and other problems are all your responsibility. Please apply, with full understanding of this fact.

Bad-ass looking, long-haired, broad-shouldered real "men" like the manga illustration above will not need any protection, will they? (Oh he has dirty-blond hair, on top of that.)

The caution about protective clothing causing fear among the locals is what the current chairman of Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Commission Shunichi Tanaka told the decon volunteers last year in Date City, Fukushima, where he was one of the radiation experts advising the city.

The organizer, On the Road Fukushima, wants 1,000 volunteers for 10 days (100 volunteers per day), at their own risk, to go to Onami District and impart cheer and vitality to the suffering residents.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

PM Noda on Dissolving the Lower House "Soon" and Calling an Election: "I Lied"

(UPDATE) Now, Noda is supposedly tired of being called a "liar", and he will dissolve the Lower House in December and call an election after all, or so some Japanese media outlets say. A few articles down, these outlets also whisper the secret plan by DPJ politicians not fond of Noda.

(Drum rolls please...)

Force Noda to resign, call the DPJ leadership election to elect Goshi Hosono, who then will become the prime minister, then PM Hosono will dissolve the Lower House and call an election, to the landslide victory for the DPJ.


From Jiji Tsushin (11/12/2012):


"Dissolving [the Diet] soon" was just a suggestion", says Prime Minister Noda


In the Lower House Budget Committee meeting in the afternoon of November 12, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said, "(At that time), I felt I have no choice but use suggestive words in order to break the deadlock", concerning the promise he had made to then-LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki in August that he would dissolve the Lower House "soon". Noda's remark was in response to the question by Ishiba Shigeru, Secretary-General of LDP.

Meanwhile, Noda's Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura is in his own delusional world, saying he is determined to turn around the Japanese economy which dipped into the negative GDP growth (-3.5%, on annual base) in the third quarter, so that he can tax the hell out.

I haven't known an economy that decides to prosper when it is told it will be taxed heavily. But maybe Japan is different.

Goshi Hosono: "Japan Will Really Go Down the Drain Without a Couple of People Like Myself..."

Is that so, Mr. Hosono?

At this point, all I can do is to do what's good for repelling radioactive materials - laughing out loud. LOL. Better yet, ROFLMAO, to get some more exercise.

Goshi "Do you think this craft piece is contaminated? Do you?" Hosono, ex-Minister of the Environment and current chairman of DPJ policy bureau (what policy, that's another issue), said to his eager audience in Tokyo that he is preparing himself for shouldering the burden of governing the country. Like a hero in a Greek tragedy.

From Jiji Tsushin (11/12/2012):


DPJ's Hosono "I'll start preparing for carrying the country on my back" (becoming the prime minister of Japan)


DPJ's Goshi Hosono, chairman of the party's policy bureau, gave a speech in Tokyo in the morning of November 12, in which he said, "We need the vision for domestic and foreign policies that one has to have in order to carry the nation forward, and we need the network of people to realize that vision. And I want to start preparation", indicating his eagerness to run in the DPJ leadership election in the future.


While Mr. Hosono said "It's not that I have to become the prime minister", he continued, "Japan will really go down the drain without a couple of people like me. Looking at Nagata-cho [the national government] today, there are too few politicians who are preparing themselves for the governing of the nation."

Schoedinger's cat is dead; the cat is alive. It's all wonderful world of endless possibilities until you open the door, collapse the possibilities and face the reality. Many in Japan, including Hosono, have chosen to live in the endless possibilities.

Apples from #Fukushima to Be Exported to Thailand

(UPDATE) I think I know why Fukushima has targeted Thailand. While China, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Brunai still ban the import of Fukushima produce, Thailand only requires certificates of radiation testing. In the same category as Thailand are Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. (See the PDF from the Ministry of Agriculture, cache captured by this blog.)


Rejoice, wealthy residents of Bangkok! In addition to peaches from Fukushima, now you can buy apples from Fukushima at an inflated price.

Fukushima Minpo (11/11/2012) just reported (I saw the headline at Kyodo News):

モモに続いてリンゴも輸出 本県産、今月にもタイへ

Following peaches, Fukushima apples to be exported to Thailand, starting this month


Fukushima Prefecture will start exporting apples grown in the prefecture to Thailand, starting later this month. Apples will be sold at a large commercial complex in the Thai capitol Bangkok. The prefectural government planned the apple export after the peaches from Fukushima were well received. Officials in charge in the prefectural government is in high spirits, saying "After our peaches, the apples will help promote the Fukushima's produce as safe and delicious."


Fuji apple, entering the prime harvest season, will be exported. They will be harvested by fruits farmers in the northern part of Fukushima, and exported after the safety is confirmed by the radiation testing. Just like peaches, they will be sold at a large commercial complex in Bangkok.


Fukushima peaches were first to be exported after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. They were sold out, fetching 700 yen (US$10) a piece.


After the nuclear accident, east Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan have halted the import of almost all produce from Fukushima.

I see. So they have targeted Southeast Asian countries. Thailand, of all places, whose citizens and royal family have been very friendly to Japan.

Northern Fukushima where the apples will come from is the same area where the peaches came. Quickly checking the official monitoring (= sampling) test of apples in Fukushima, there are apples found with small amount of radioactive cesium this year:

  • Fukushima City: 11.87 Bq/kg

  • Date City: 8.33 Bq/kg (cesium-137 only)

  • Koori-machi (famous for peaches offered to the imperial family): 17.63 Bq/kg

  • Nihonmatsu City: 18.68 Bq/kg

  • Koriyama City: 10.08 Bq/kg

They look to be one-third to half the levels of last year.