Friday, May 20, 2011

Restriction of tea leaves

I wrote that most of tea in Japan is safe in the previous entry. Today I saw an unfortunate news. This might not be a big news overseas so I decided to write about it.

Konnichiwa, it’s meヽ(^。^)ノ The news that I saw today is as follows.

Cesium which is one of the radioactive substances has been found in the tea leaves cultivated in Kanuma-shi and Otawara-shi in Tochigi prefecture. The tea are restricted to be sold. This year’s harvest is about to start in this area, and those leaves have not been distributed to the market yet.
Source: Yomiuri Online (Japanese) >>>

I searched for other news regarding the radioactive contamination of tea on the internet. There were two other major areas where radiation were detected from the leaves, Ibaraki and Kanagawa prefectures. In Ibaraki it includes the towns of Daigomachi and Sakaimachi and in Kanagawa it includes 6 cities and towns such as Minamiashigara-shi, Odawara-shi, Aikawamachi, Manazurumachi, Yougawaramachi, and Kiyokawamura.
Source: Yomiuri Online (Japanese) >>>

Tochigi and Ibaraki are the next-door prefectures of Fukushima. But Kanagawa prefecture is located on the next and western side of Tokyo. On the previous entry, I said that “The restricted food-producing regions are basically located on the eastern part from Tokyo.” I’m sorry for my statement was not quite accurate.

I really feel sorry for the farmers and tea manufacturers in those areas. You can harvest the best quality tea in this season. The farmers have taken great care of their tea plants for this season. All their effort in the past year has been ruined; well it may not be just the past one year. They have put tremendous efforts to establish their brands through their long history.

Those tea leaves from Tochigi, Ibaraki and Kanagawa are now restricted and not sold. So, I still think it is okay to buy tea on the market and I’ll actually keep buying tea for myself. The amount of tea produced from these three prefectures is less than 3% of the total Japanese tea production (data of 2009). So, I think this restriction won’t have a big impact on Japanese tea market. I’m sorry to say that with sympathy to the sufferers. I’m more worry about the harmful rumors to other regions which are not affected by the contamination. Jah!

 My previous entry  >>> "Is tea from Japan safe?"

Statements from Japanese Government about food restrictions (English)

Shipment Restriction resulting from Detected Radiation in Food Items (Mar 21)
Intake Restriction resulting from Detected Radiation in Food Items (Mar 23)
Partial Lifting of Shipment Restrictions resulting from Detected Radiation in Food Items (Apr 8)

Edit on Oct 31 2011

Other entries about the radiation and tea

Edited on Nov 4

New entry about tea and radiation


  1. Konnichiwa,
    on this page there are all radiation food tests made in Japan. Hope this will prove useful.

  2. Arigato (thank you) for the useful link! I think that right information helps people to make right decisions.