japan

This is a follow up to my previous post about above-safety limits levels of radioactive elements (namely, cesium) found on tea grown in Kanagawa prefecture. There seems to be some confusion over how tea is tested, due to some misleading news reports. (Note: I have updated this post several times to reflect new events.)

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This month's Japan Times article by me is about organic and natural farmers and retailers in the Kanto region of Japan (that's the area that includes Tokyo), including the thorny subject of how they are dealing with radioactive substance contamination on their crops. Because of space constraints I had to leave a lot out of course (that's the nature of newspaper articles) so here are some supplemental things.

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I've talked about the awesomeness of konbini, or Japanese convenience stores, before. Actually, almost everyone who has been to Japan raves about the awesomeness of konbini.

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Regarding the radiation contamination detected on tea leaves grown in Kanagawa prefecture.

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tea

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An update on what's going on in Japan, especially in the Tokyo-Kanto area, plus a closeup look at one particular type of company that keeps modern Japan going.

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A new article in the Japan Times about spring mountain vegetables, plus a bit more about vegetables.

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There is an ongoing crisis of confidence regarding the safety of vegetables from a farming area that mainly serves the Tokyo metropolitan area. I went to my favorite produce seller in Yokohama to see how they are dealing with it.

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I'm writing to you from my mother's home in Yokohama, Japan, where I've been since Tuesday. It was another lovely early spring day today. The weather was warm enough to go outside without a coat. Kids were playing outside all day, since schools don't start until next week. Their shrill voices waft all the way up to my mom's 8th floor apartment. Normally I'd be a bit annoyed, but not now.

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Update, how to donate.

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I know many people who follow this blog are interested in Japan. I've been translating Japanese news reports on my Twitter account for some hours now, and will try to do so for at least the rest of the day. If you'd like to follow along please follow @makiwi.

Update: I am still updating the news on my Twitter stream. If you want to do something, please consider donating to the Red Cross. In the U.S., you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the international relief fund for Japan. Elsewhere or if you want to donate another way, try the International Red Cross site at IRFC.ORG.

(All of my family/friends are ok. Thank you for asking.)

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