Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is tea from Japan safe?

Have you already tried the first tea of the year from Japan? Some of you might wonder if buying tea from Japan is safe over the nuclear incident, and hesitate buying it.

Konnichiwa, it’s meヽ(^。^)ノ I have tried three different tea for this year from Kagoshima. The first-harvested tea is regarded as the best quality tea among several harvesting throughout the year. I enjoyed the green aroma of the first tea and the revitalizing flavor filled my mouth.

The overseas tea lovers living outside of Japan might be concerned of how bad the nuclear mishap is, as well as its effects. The controversial issue now is whether or not Japanese tea is safe to buy.

Radioactive polluted area is limited in Japan. The government is restricting the sale of foods that may have the risk of radiological contamination from the area. Our understanding is that foods sold at the market are basically safe. Of course, we have to watch out carefully if the information is correct, but too much concerns and restriction in buying products from the area may possibly result to additional disadvantages and inconvenience to the afflicted people through unusual economic activities.

Let me write why I think tea produced in Japan is safe.

1. Most of the tea producing area is far from Fukushima.

Fukushumi is located in the eastern part of Japan from Tokyo. The restricted food-producing regions are basically located the eastern part from Tokyo. Most of the major tea-producing regions in Japan, such as Sizuoka, Kagoshima, Mie, Miyazaki and Kyoto, are located in the southern part from Tokyo and they don’t get affected by the radioactive contamination.

2. Radioactive level is too minimal to harm your health.

The following links are the radiation monitoring data of the top five tea producing prefectures. (Vertical axis: level of radiation[μSv/h], Horizontal axis: date)

Shizuoka: http://mextrad.blob.core.windows.net/page/22_Shizuoka.html

Kagoshima: http://mextrad.blob.core.windows.net/page/46_Kagoshima.html

Mie: http://mextrad.blob.core.windows.net/page/24_Mie.html

Miyazaki: http://mextrad.blob.core.windows.net/page/45_Miyazaki.html

Kyoto: http://mextrad.blob.core.windows.net/page/26_Kyoto.html

Maximum scale on the chart is 5 μSv/h which doesn’t even harm your health. For example, X-ray examination for your stomach is 50 μSv for one time. If you fly from Tokyo to NY, you will be exposed 200 μSv for a round trip (Because, you get more radiation in high altitude). From the charts, you don’t find radiation more than 0.1 μSv/h in neither of these cities.

Therefore, I personally think that the most of the tea produced in Japan is safe. If you are concerned about the level of radiation in Japanese tea, you should better not take an airplane for international flight which is much worse for you. Enjoy the Japanese tea of this year. Jah!

Information about the earthquake from the govament (English)
>>> http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/index.html

Edit on Oct 31 2011

Other entries about the radiation and tea

Edited on Nov 4

New entry about tea and radiation


  1. Thank you Kohei. This is very reassuring. One needs to hear such things from time to time. There is so much fear and poor quality info about the subject.

  2. A French nuclear company AREVA is helping Japan. Thanks France!

  3. Well, this help from Areva can be seen as something very self-interested... Since Fukushima, a lot of citizens in Europe have manifested their will to stop the use of nuclear energy in a near future. This threatens a lot firms like Areva which sells a lot of nuclear plants to foreign countries.

    Moreover, Areva has the complete support of our President, their best salesman. Just listen to the incredibly sad speech he made in Tokyo one month after the accident, when he dared defending nuclear energy as a "clean" energy. A lot of people have been deeply ashamed by this here.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it is a very good thing that they help people in Japan. In France, a lot of people are saddened by what happened to your country and try to help they way they can. But Areva also has it's own agenda when helping...

    Sorry for the politics. ^^

  4. Right, I understand those aspects that you mentioned behind the AREVA support. But, as you say, it is also very good thing for helpping people! ^^

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