August 24, 2017
KUALA LUMPUR- Masao Uchibori, governor of Fukushima Prefecture, said in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday that he and agricultural cooperative officials from the Japanese prefecture reached an agreement the same day with Malaysian wholesalers to expand exports of Fukushima rice and peaches.
Under the agreement, the northeastern prefecture, hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima No. 1 power plant, will aim to boost its rice exports to Malaysia to 100 tons and peaches to 15 tons in fiscal 2017 ending next March.
Fukushima started exporting its rice to the Southeast Asian country in fiscal 2015. Although the rice exports totaled only 12 tons in the initial year, the amount has already reached 29 tons in the current year. Fukushima shipped 7.3 tons of peaches to the country in fiscal 2106.
"We will provide sales support," Uchibori said.
Previously, Fukushima peaches were shipped by air. This year, however, refrigerated containers have been used, cutting transportation costs. With the transportation method change from air to surface, the price of a single peach fell from last year's 29 ringgit to 18 ringgit, becoming affordable for most Malaysians.
Atsushi Miyagawa, head of a trading firm based in the country, said that the company's imports of Fukushima products have increased each year, adding that effects of ungrounded rumors about radiation contamination on sales of the products have been insignificant. Jiji Press
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