Public backlash halts use of Fukushima fireworks


NAGOYA (majirox news) — Organizers of an event aimed at promoting the areas worst hit by the March 11 disaster cancelled a proposed Sept. 18 display of fireworks made in Fukushima prefecture following public opposition over their safety.

Organizers were forced to use fireworks made locally in Aichi prefecture after the Fukushima fireworks could not be tested for radioactivity.

“The result is that we’ve created a tremendous nuisance for the people of Fukushima and I apologize,” Nisshin Mayor Kozo Hagino told reporters. “We wanted to show our support for the disaster area and planned the event to use fireworks from a Fukushima company, but residents were too concerned so the organizing committee decided against setting them off.”

Organizers said the display planned to use fireworks made by companies from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, but a spate of phone calls and e-mails protesting the possibility of radiation in the Fukushima fireworks prompted them to re-think the decision.

Organizers decided not to use the fireworks after they could not be tested for radioactivity due to a lack of equipment.

Ironically, cancellation of the event came as the Foreign Ministry began a campaign to promote awareness of Japanese safety overseas. The ministry’s task force said they plan to dispel unfounded rumors on Japan’s safety amid the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis by using social networking services like Facebook and Twitter to convey messages about the safety of Japanese products.

The ministry also plans to bring in people from overseas and take them to the disaster areas to act as ambassadors for Japanese safety. It will also organize media junkets and air commercials overseas aimed at dispelling fears over unhealthy levels of radiation.

As reported earlier today on Majirox, the ministry will also send canned foods from the disaster area to developing countries as part of Japan’s official development assistance

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