Cattle farmers in Fukushima Prefecture have resumed beef exports to the United States for the first time in 2 and a half years.
Farmers celebrated the shipment of 3 cattle with a ceremony on Sunday. The leader of a local agricultural cooperative said the resumption is a tailwind for Fukushima farmers who have been suffering from the effects of the nuclear accident.
The 3 cattle will be processed in Japan and the meat will be sold to upscale restaurants in the United States.
Exports of Japanese beef to the US were suspended due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in southern Japan in 2010. The suspension was lifted in August.
Cattle in Fukushima undergo radiation tests before shipment. But prices of Fukushima beef are 70 to 80 percent of pre-disaster levels.
Livestock farmers hope the resumption of exports will help to erase concerns about radioactive contamination.