Japan farmers seek aid for radiation zone cattle

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 20, 2014 at 2:24 am •  Published: June 20, 2014
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TOKYO (AP) — A pair of Japanese farmers whose livelihoods were wrecked by the 2011 nuclear disaster staged a protest Friday at Tokyo's agriculture ministry, scuffling briefly with police as they unsuccessfully tried to unload a bull from a truck.

Masami Yoshizawa and fellow farmer Naoto Matsumura have remained at their farms seeking to care for their own and others' abandoned livestock in areas where access has been restricted due to radiation fears since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.

The two drove down from Fukushima, bringing the black bull in the back of a truck, to appeal for help with the livestock, some of which have developed unexplained white spots on their hides.

"Stop, stop, stop, stop," shouted a policeman in a blue uniform who climbed into the back of the truck and blocked the farmers from leading the bull onto the pavement in front of the ministry. "It's dangerous. Absolutely not!"

Yoshizawa and Matsumura are among thousands of farmers who lost their livelihoods when their farms, produce and livestock were declared off-limits and unsafe after the nuclear plant spewed radiation into the countryside after it was crippled by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

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