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Food from contaminated regions for "Miss Campus" - Lethal Japanese official sexism

17 February 2012

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ministry of Agriculture Enlists "Miss Campus" from 9 Universities to Be "Eat and Support East Japan" Ambassadors

The Japanese government is going to make these young women eat food from the nuclear-disaster affected Tohoku and Kanto to support the recovery.

This is simply beyond my comprehension. Some on Twitter call it "student
mobilization", just like during the World War II; the government knowingly putting young people in danger so they can remain in their positions a while longer.

"Miss Campus" to become "ambassadors" to support the disaster recovery, says Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries


To support the agriculture, forestry sand fisheries industries in the disaster-affected areas, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries appointed 9 "Miss Campus" (beauty queens) on 9 campuses including Aoyama Gakuin University and Gakushuin University as "Eat and Support student ambassadors" on February 15. The nine young women will participate in activities not only for the disaster recovery but also for improving the food self-sufficiency rate.


In the swearing-in ceremony at the Ministry in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, Minister Michihiko Kano said to the students, "I would like you to play an active part with keen interest in food. I am looking forward to your effort to appeal the charm of domestically grown agricultural, forest and fishery products to the younger generation, as they are the key to improving the food self-sufficiency."

メンバーは任命にあたってそれぞれ抱負を披露。成蹊大の蛇川真菜さ(20)は「東日本の食材をもりもり食べます」、立教女学院短大の藤田美沙さん (22)は「東北の果物を使った米粉スイーツを毎週1個考え、食べていきます」と意気込んでいた。(写真は、「食べて応援学生大使」に任命され、鹿野農相と記念写真に納まるミスキャンパスたち=15日午後、農水省)

Upon being sworn in, each member spoke of their plans. Miss Seikei University (age 20) said, "I will eat food items from east Japan heartily". Miss Rikkyo Women’s College (age 22) said enthusiastically, "I will come up with one desert a week using fruits from Tohoku, and eat it." (Photograph of "Miss Campus" members with Minister Kano, February 15 afternoon)

"Charm" of domestic produce? You mean radionuclides are a charm?

Agricultural products like rice and vegetables from Tohoku and Kanto are contaminated with radioactive materials in varying degrees. You don’t want to eat fish caught off the coast of Tohoku and Kanto if you don’t want to eat cesium and strontium (and God knows what else). Fruits from Tohoku are particularly bad, with kiwis, blueberries regularly exceeding the provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium). Peaches, apples, persimmons have all been found with radioactive cesium. Mushrooms are routinely found with radioactive cesium easily exceeding the safety limit.

I wonder what the Ministry offered these women in return. As Haruki Madarame famously said, "It’s about money". If not money, it should still be something of value, enough to offset the potential health risk of promoting recovery by eating Tohoku and Kanto produce.

From the Ministry’s webpage, it seems a photo magazine called B.L.T. is involved in the project. Maybe these young women get to pose for the magazine, and that will be the reward for them...