Kashiwa, a typical commuter town in the Greater Tokyo Area, is a significant urban farming area. However, Kashiwa lapsed into being the most serious ‘hotspot’ within the Kanto region after Fukushima Accident, and its farmers suffered from a sharp decrease in sales following heated media coverage. Under these circumstances, I convened the ‘Roundtable Meeting for “Kashiwan Products for the Kashiwan People” towards Security and Safety’, and called for various local stakeholders to be engaged in that meeting. We deliberately and scientifically discussed a unique radioactivity determination method on local farm products and soil, and arrived at an agreement over our own acceptable standard of radioactive concentration in farm products.
By measuring radioactivity and transmitting the result, and redefining local consumers and farmers as Kashiwan citizens sharing the same locality and issues, we achieved certain results for the recovery of the reliability of local farm products. However, our community-oriented risk-communication strategy had a critical limitation. On the basis of this practical experience in Kashiwa, this presentation will examine the market situations of some Fukushima agricultural and fishery products with different market characteristics after the nuclear disaster, and discuss some ways of recovery of the devastated local industries under the collapse of system trust.
Yasumasa IGARASHI is an associate professor of Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tsukuba University and lecturing urban sociology and community studies. Assoc. Prof. Igarashi holds a Master Degree (MA) from Department of Advanced Social and International Studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and a Master of Philosophy Degree (MPhil) from the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is also a local activist at his lifetime hometown Kashiwa and was the director of the Roundtable meeting for “Kashiwan Products for the Kashiwan People” to resolve problems through consumer–producer coproduction after the 3.11 disaster.