Sake fights fallout of Japan’s triple disaster

After surviving the double disaster of the magnitude 9 earthquake and towering tsunami that damaged more than 100 sake breweries in northeastern Japan on March 11, sake producers in Tohoku thought that the situation could hardly get worse. But when the media reported that the stricken reactors at Fukushima’s No. 1 nuclear power plant had begun to leak radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, they realized that some of the biggest difficulties were yet to come.

Takaaki Yamauchi, president and master brewer at Fuchu Homare Shuzo in Ibaraki Prefecture, was still cleaning up the shards of sake bottles that had been smashed by the earthquake when he heard that radiation levels had risen in the area.

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