21st Fukushima Dialogue Meeting Opens New Perspectives


From 3-4 August 2019, the 21st Dialogue meeting was held in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture.  The meeting brought together over 60 people to continue the discussion on progress and rehabilitation of agriculture and fisheries.

On the first day, the group, which included ICRP members, visited a farm in Odaka (Minami-Soma) and the small fishing port of Hisano-Hama (Iwaki).  This allowed participants to have a better understanding of the challenges facing farmers and fishermen who made the choice to return to their respective profession after years of inactivity.

On day 2, the morning was dedicated to a series of presentations that provided a high-level overview of the current status of agriculture and fisheries in the Prefecture.  The speakers discussed, amongst many other topics, the difficulties of returning to normalcy by the individuals who returned to the affected area to resume their activities.  They also mentioned the efforts to decontaminate the soil and reduce the contamination of its products, the food surveillance programs, and the degraded reputation of local produce in the minds of the consumer, despite low levels of contamination.

That afternoon saw the familiar structured dialogue taking place with relevant stakeholders.  Those on the panel stressed the importance of rethinking the future to include more sustainable means for production, better quality of produce, and preservation of resources (especially aquatic life).  While expressing their solidarity with the local farmers and fishermen, the panellists said they can’t ignore the reluctance of the consumers to purchase goods, attributing it to the harmful rumours about the safety of the produce and fish.  The dialogue continued on how to restore the market, and ensuring that the correct information is being distributed, and received by relevant persons (locals, newcomers, general public, etc.).

Information on this, some of the past, and future Fukushima Dialogue’s can be found on the NPO Fukushima Dialogue website (in Japanese and English). ICRP will continue to follow the Dialogue and provide updates through the ICRP news and social media.

For further questions and inquiries, please contact Kelsey Cloutier, Development and Communications Manager for ICRP.