Tapping the Samurai spirit to change Fukushima's image

Stringent quality control measures notwithstanding, Japan's Fukushima prefecture, which is located some 239km from Tokyo, still struggles to delink radiation exposure concerns from its produce such as vegetables, fish and rice. The July-August Tokyo Olympics will be an opportunity for Fukushima to boost its image. Will it succeed? Asia News Network editor Shefali Rekhi, who was recently in Tokyo and Fukushima, reports.

Standing in front of a large image of Aizuwakamatsu castle, located in a city of the same name in Fukushima, Japan's State Minister for Reconstruction Ichiro Kanke holds forth on his promise to restore the prefecture's glory.

The charismatic minister, who hails from the same city and returns frequently for its local fare, is among those leading efforts to change perceptions of the disaster-hit prefecture as it prepares to join the rest of the country in celebrating Olympics 2020.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2020, with the headline 'Tapping the Samurai spirit to change Fukushima's image'. Subscribe