It’s 10 years since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The prefecture of Fukushima is gradually coming back to life. A group of Taiwanese nationals in Japan are holding a series of events to show a brighter side of the region than the stereotypes. The Japanese ambassador to Taiwan was brought in to promote the region’s food products, which, he says, should be judged purely by international safety standards.

“Hang in there Fukushima!” goes the slogan. Japanese and Taiwanese groups invited Ambassador Hiroyasu Izumi to this “Popup Fukushima” festival event. Ten years since the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster, Fukushima’s recovery is well on its way. Izumi put his personal seal of approval on the Prefecture’s agricultural produce.

Hiroyasu Izumi

Japanese ambassador to Taiwan

Ten years after the earthquake, Fukushima’s food complies with rigorous standards, and is not just widely consumed within Japan, but also enjoys approval worldwide.

In Taiwan, the label “nuclear food” is often attached to produce from Fukushima. Reporters asked Izumi if that’s stigmatization, to which he gave a firm reply.

Hiroyasu Izumi

Japanese Ambassador to Taiwan

There’s no such thing as “nuclear food” in my mind. Regarding food issues, it’s about following the science, and judging by international standards, as the Taiwanese government says.

Audrey Tang

Minister without portfolio

If I remember right, before the pandemic most visitors to Fukushima were from Taiwan. But that got interrupted because of the pandemic. So, I think we should still wait for COVID to settle down in both countries, and then people can actually go there to see for themselves. That will be the most useful thing.

Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang made a trip to Tokyo in 2019, where she filmed a video promoting the persimmon harvest of Fukushima and lamenting that it can’t be bought in Taiwan. She maintains an interest in the region and wants Taiwanese people to head back to Fukushima when COVID is over.

The Popup Fukushima group is formed of Taiwanese nationals in Japan. They plan to make a tour of 12 affected districts of Fukushima, and visit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. They’ll share videos and stories from the trip on Facebook, giving an alternative view into the famous region for a Taiwanese audience.