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Boris Johnson swigs can of peach juice from Fukushima

Foreign secretary drinks down gift from Japan’s foreign minister in attempt to show food and drink from region is safe after triple nuclear meltdown.

Yum. That was foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s verdict on a can of peach juice from Fukushima – a gift from his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono – during their meeting in London this week.

The moment, captured by Kono on his smartphone, was intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, almost seven years after the triple nuclear meltdown.

While some countries have maintained restrictions on food from the region – a major producer of peaches – the EU said this month it would ease import restriction on agricultural items and seafood that were introduced after the March 2011 disaster.

More than 50 countries and regions imposed import curbs on Japanese produce after the disaster, and about half – including China and the US – still have them in place.

“Very good … Mmm,” Johnson pronounced, studying the label on the can for good measure.

He polished off the sweet drink without incident, no doubt to the relief of his Japanese guests. But attempts by other politicians to use food and drink to prove a point, or simply ingratiate themselves with voters, have left a bitter taste.

During a BSE scare in Britain in 1990, the then agriculture secretary, John Gummer, unsuccessfully tried to feed his four-year-oil daughter, Cordelia, a burger made with British beef.

In recent years, Ed Miliband and Theresa May proved that encounters with the food of the masses – in his case a bacon sandwich, in hers a cone of chips – are best kept out of the public eye.

May’s predecessor, David Cameron, had set a poor example by choosing to tackle a simple hot dog with a knife and fork.

Japanese politicians of all stripes have taken up the cause of Fukushima produce.

In 2011 Yasuhiro Sonoda, then a ruling party MP, visibly shook as he gulped down a glass of decontaminated – and perfectly safe – water collected from inside two reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi.

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Boris Johnson swigs can of peach juice from Fukushima

Foreign secretary drinks down gift from Japan’s foreign minister in attempt to show food and drink from region is safe after triple nuclear meltdown.
Fateme Lotfi
Yum. That was foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s verdict on a can of peach juice from Fukushima – a gift from his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono – during their meeting in London this week.The moment, captured by Kono on his smartphone, was intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, almost seven years after the triple nuclear meltdown.While some countries have maintained restrictions on food from the region – a major producer of peaches – the EU said this month it would ease import restriction on agricultural items and seafood that were introduced after the March 2011 disaster.More than 50 countries and regions imposed import curbs on Japanese produce after the disaster, and about half – including China and the US – still have them in place.“Very good … Mmm,” Johnson pronounced, studying the label on the can for good measure.He polished off the sweet drink without incident, no doubt to the relief of his Japanese guests. But attempts by other politicians to use food and drink to prove a point, or simply ingratiate themselves with voters, have left a bitter taste.During a BSE scare in Britain in 1990, the then agriculture secretary, John Gummer, unsuccessfully tried to feed his four-year-oil daughter, Cordelia, a burger made with British beef.In recent years, Ed Miliband and Theresa May proved that encounters with the food of the masses – in his case a bacon sandwich, in hers a cone of chips – are best kept out of the public eye.May’s predecessor, David Cameron, had set a poor example by choosing to tackle a simple hot dog with a knife and fork.Japanese politicians of all stripes have taken up the cause of Fukushima produce.In 2011 Yasuhiro Sonoda, then a ruling party MP, visibly shook as he gulped down a glass of decontaminated – and perfectly safe – water collected from inside two reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi.
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