Some farm products such as strawberries, tomatoes and lettuce were not exported at all in May, according to foreign trade statistics, apparently due to concerns over the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Japanese farm products are popular in Europe, the United States and Asia. The recent statistics shows that those products are suffering serious losses due to fears about nuclear contamination.
According to statistics released by the Finance Ministry, the volume of strawberries exported was 30,267 kilograms in February and 19,262 kilograms in March.
The numbers declined sharply to 419 kilograms in April--a 94 percent drop from the same month last year--and to zero in May.
Strawberries are produced mainly in Tochigi, Fukuoka and Kumamoto prefectures and sent mostly to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
Monthly strawberry exports through March had enjoyed levels higher than those of last year, but the nuclear crisis halted the upward trend.
No tomatoes or lettuce were exported in May, while 1,417 kilograms of tomatoes and 8,976 kilograms of lettuce were shipped abroad in May last year.
Apple exports, of which Aomori Prefecture is the nation's top producer, declined in April by 86 percent from the same month last year to 106,493 kilograms.
The volume also dropped by 89 percent in May compared to last year. The amount of exports in May was 25,748 kilograms.
(Jul. 6, 2011)