Rice harvested in Fukushima's tsunami-hit area

Rice was harvested in the coastal areas of Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture for the first time since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Rice farming resumed in the town's inland areas after the evacuation order following the nuclear accident was lifted three years ago, but it only partially resumed this year in the coastal area where fields were hit by the tsunami and needed to be restored.

Personnel of an agricultural company that is leasing rice fields from farmers and about 30 students from Tokyo University of Agriculture, which has an alliance with the town, harvested golden rice plants on Saturday.

The rice will be sold at local roadside stands and at the university shop.

Shikoda Yuji, representative of Fukushima Stage Farm says, although the work to remove debris was painstaking, he was deeply moved to see rice being harvested in the tsunami-hit area for the first time in 10 years.

A student of the university says restarting of rice harvesting makes him feel that reconstruction is progressing, and that he is looking forward to tasting the rice.