I have ‘some’ great difficulty to buy that they have really eaten vegetables and fruits from Fukushima and here is why:
A stone’s throw from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square is Zhongnanhai, the walled compound where China’s top leaders live.
Each day the finest ingredients from all over China are delivered to the chefs in Zhongnanhai, by the Central State Organ for Special Food Supply.
Hu Jintao, China’s president, and the rest of the politburo get to eat specially-selected organic produce and wash it down with Red Robe tea, which only grows on a couple of bushes in Fujian.
Zhu Yong Lan, the head of the special food supply department, said no pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, growth hormones, pollution, artificial additives, preservatives, or genetic modification would ever make its way into the food eaten in Zhongnanhai, a rare feat in a country where the label “organic” is sometimes rather loosely applied.
No one else in China can eat this forbidden food. The only foreigners who taste it are guests at state banquets.
And it really doesn’t matter whether they have eaten Fukushima produce or not, but if you eat it you will suffer greatly from it.
It was not enough for Prime Minister Kan to make the Emperor and Empress of Japan visit Fukushima, have them eat Fukushima food and bring some back home as souvenirs for the imperial household that has small children (including the future emperor of Japan).
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Korean President Lee Myung-bak had to go along with Kan, visit Fukushima, and do the obligatory “It’s so delicious it is safe” performance by eating cherries and cucumbers grown in Fukushima to counter “baseless rumors” that the food may be contaminated with radioactive materials. (Radiation is a rumor, and safety is a religion in Japan among TPTB, in case you haven’t noticed.)
They are in Japan for the trilateral summit (which by itself irks a growing number of Japanese, but that will be another post).
From Asahi Shinbun (10:29PM JST 5/21/2011):
On the afternoon of May 11, the three premiers visited one of the evacuation shelters (a large gym run by the prefectural government) in Fukushima City. Prime Minister Kan approached Premier Wen and President Lee and invited them over to the table where the vegetables and fruits produced in Fukushima were displayed. There were asparagus, tomatoes, strawberries. The three sampled cherries and ate cucumbers.
President Lee dedicated flowers and prayed for the earthquake and tsunami victims in Natori City, and said “All citizens of Korea have told me to convey their deep sympathy to the Japanese. The courage and the stoicism of the Japanese people (after the quake/tsunami) has so impressed the world.”
Well, I wish they hadn’t been so orderly and stoic. For their stoicity and perseverance, many of them are still living in shelters, sleeping on a floor of a gym and other cavernous public halls, partitioned by cardboard.
I have nothing more to say about this silly performance by old men eating Fukushima vegetables, other than: “When these people say it’s safe, don’t buy, don’t eat.”