A record 6.5% of consumers are hesitant to buy food products from Fukushima prefecture due to fears of radiation, down 1.6 points from a year ago, according to a government survey.

The findings were released by the Consumer Agency on March 8, nearly 11 years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in eastern Japan caused the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The annual survey has been conducted since 2013 to determine the extent of consumer concerns about radioactive substances from the accident.

A total of 4.9% of consumers, down 1.2 points from 2021, were reluctant to buy food products from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, the three prefectures hardest hit by the 2011 natural disasters. , according to the survey.

The peak of reluctance came during the 2014 survey, when 19.6% of respondents said they avoided food products produced in Fukushima. The highest reluctance rate for the three prefectures was 14.9% in 2013.

But the numbers have been falling since 2016.

This year’s survey for the first time asked respondents what measures should be taken to avoid damaging the reputation of food products from the Tohoku region and to reassure consumers.

“Providing food safety information (including inspection results)” was cited by the largest group, at 46.1% of respondents.

“Increasing opportunities to get in touch with food safety information” was next, chosen by 35.8%, while 31.0% selected “Providing information on production areas and product charms food”.

“Many consumers said they not only wanted to get safety information, but also to know the production areas and the charms of their products,” a Consumer Agency official said. “We want to use (their feedback) for our future efforts.”

The online survey was conducted from February 1 to 7 and received valid responses from 5,176 people in their 20s to 60s.

Respondents lived in the stricken prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki, metropolitan areas of Tokyo including Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, and three other prefectures of Aichi, Osaka and Hyogo.