Nomura holds fourth speaker event to support revival efforts: Why we are confident in the safety of Fukushima products

On November 7, Nomura held the fourth speaker event for supporting the revival of areas affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami entitled "Why we are confident in the safety of Fukushima products." Nomura launched a series of panel discussions in November 2012 to provide opportunities for employees to hear directly from guest speakers involved in various efforts in the affected areas and to consider how we can help solve the problems these areas face.

We invited Mr. Ryota Koyama, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Fukushima University and head of the Department of Industrial Revitalization at the Fukushima Future Center for Regional Revitalization, to talk about the damage caused by harmful rumors, a major concern expressed by previous participants.

Associate Professor Koyama, accompanied by his students, described his project to dispel harmful rumors that have led consumers to avoid purchasing agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture despite their safety. The project involves creating radioactive contamination maps of farmland in Fukushima and surveying the radiation transfer coefficient of agricultural goods so that people can see for themselves the safety of local produce.

Associate Professor Koyama presented a lecture (left) entitled "Food Safety and Agricultural Revitalization" and his students also gave a presentation (right).

In his presentation he demonstrated the use of a radiation counter, on loan from Tokyo-based OCTO Corporation, to measure the radiation levels in apples and pears grown in Fukushima. After seeing they were safe to eat, participants tried samples of the fruits.

Checking readings on a radiation counter
from Tokyo-based OCTO Corporation

Comments from participating employees included: "I can include Fukushima products in my daughter's lunch box from tomorrow," "The event was interesting; I learned new things and became aware of my misconceptions," "I know now that Fukushima products are safe and want to tell others they're safe and explain why I'm confident in this" and "I was reminded that consumers aren't getting accurate information."

Participants included CSR staff members from other companies as well as officials from the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations, the Consumer Affairs Agency and consumer groups, making the event a forum for a broad discussion on what companies can do about harmful rumors.

Following the event, the Nihonbashi and Otemachi offices of Nomura began selling juice and other products using safe and delicious fruit from Fukushima Prefecture.

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