Tokyo Olympics: South Korea team to cook and screen food for its athletes over Fukushima radiation concerns
20th July 2021

South Korea team members during the quarantine process after arriving at Narita International Airport ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on 19 July, 2021

South Korea will reportedly cook food for its delegation separately during the Tokyo Olympics, after raising safety concerns about ingredients from Fukushima which was the site of the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee has set up a makeshift kitchen at a hotel near the Olympic village to prepare food for its athletes.

It has installed three containers in a car park because the kitchen was considered too small, Yonhap news agency reported. They will deliver boxed meals to athletes three times a day.

South Korea has sent a team of 14 chefs, a nutritionist and a food inspector to Japan. It will prepare and deliver about 425 meal boxes daily to the delegation.

The South Korean Olympic spokesperson told Reuters that they will also be doing screening tests for caesium in food ingredients.

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Japan insists that ingredients sourced from Fukushima are properly tested and are subject to strict standards, according to AFP.

Masahisa Sato, a member of the Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told Japanese media that South Korea’s decision “tramples the hearts of Fukushima residents,” according to Insider.

The development comes amid high tensions between South Korea and Japan.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in has decided not to visit the Olympics reportedly over “unacceptable” remarks made by a senior diplomat at Japan’s embassy in Seoul.

His office said officials from Seoul and Tokyo did not find enough common ground to support a summit between their leaders. South Korea’s Culture, Sports and Tourism minister Hwang Hee will represent the government at the opening ceremony of the Games.

South Korea’s first vice foreign minister Choi Jong-kun said that the Japanese diplomat’s remark became a “significant obstacle” to Mr Moon’s visit to Tokyo, according to The Korea Times. The diplomat reportedly said that Mr Moon was “masturbating” when talking about his efforts to improve ties with Tokyo.

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