– #Radiation in Japan: Government Wants to Offer Japan’s Seafood to Developing Nations (EX-SKF, June 26, 2011):
As part of the ODA (Official Development Assistance) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a host of aid programs for developing nations around the world, the Japanese national government is going to buy up processed seafood [canned fish, for example?] from the earthquake-affected areas and offered them to developing nations.
It’s not clear whether these seafood packages will be free or they will make the developing nations pay, even a token amount. But don’t worry, says Nikkei Shinbun, they will be first tested for radiation by the WFP (UN’s World Food Program).
From Kyodo News Japanese (6/26/2011):
政 府開発援助（ＯＤＡ）配分など２０１１年度の国際協力重点方 針案が２６日、判明した。東日本大震災被災地の水産加工食品などを購入して途上国に提供するなど、国際社会にも「開かれた復興に資するためのＯＤＡ活用を 最優先課題とする」と明記。被災地に外国人研修員を積極的に受け入れることで風評被害防止にも取り組むとした。
The government plan for the international aid programs for the 2011 fiscal year [that started in April 1] became known on June 26, which include the Official Development Assistance (ODA). The plan states that the government will purchase the processed seafood from the areas affected by the March 11 earthquake and offer them to developing nations, and that “it will make it the utmost priority to utilize the ODA for the recovery open to the international community”. Under the plan, the government will also accept more foreign “trainees” in the affected areas to counter the baseless rumors [of radiation contamination].
The government will decide on the plan on June 27. There are critics who have been pushing for the reduction of the ODA budget as the recovery/reconstruction from the earthquake is likely to be very costly. In response to the critics, the government will frame the ODA as part of recovery/reconstruction. Part of the program cost will be included in the 3rd supplementary budget of the fiscal 2011.
Foreign “trainees” usually means cheap labors from developing nations. Before the earthquake/tsunami of March 11, there were many “trainees” from China working in the seafood processing plants at the ports in the Tohoku region, even as the jobs were not abundant for the locals.
A baseless rumor or ”blowing in the wind” rumor (風評）, has become the euphemism for “radiation”, as you already know.
The Japanese government wants to buy up fish and other seafood from fishermen in Tohoku, package them and sell them to developing nations so that Tohoku can recover.
(That’s totally in line with the Japan-US plan to create the final processing plant for used fuels in Mongolia.)
Please keep in mind that this is what the national government (and probably the prefectural governments in Tohoku) wants, and not the fishermen themselves. I’m sure some fishermen will be all for it, but others won’t be, as I’ve read about them who simply stopped fishing when they become aware that the fish were contaminated with radioactive materials.
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