It may have been two years or so since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, but the reverberations of all that has happened still affect people and industries, not just locally but even in other countries. In Russia, where used cars from Japan are hugely popular, their customs are concerned that there are still a lot of radiation-contaminated cars coming into the country.
The 2011 disaster in Japan includes the nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the worst nuclear accident in recent history, after Chernobyl. Since then, more than 930 radiation-contaminated vehicles were detected by Russian customs officials to have come into the country through the ports. In the wake of the 2011 incident, around 90 vehicles were detected every 3 months, but that number has gone down in recent months, to 75 in 2012, 59 in the first quarter this second year, and 43 in the second quarter. A customs official in the port of Vladivostok said they are still concerned that the used vehicles, as well as the spare parts, would spread radiation in the country.
Russia’s consumer-protection watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said that it is easier and less expensive for the government to send back the contaminated vehicles to Japan rather than to spend money seeing to their decontamination. Used Japanese cars are very popular in the Far East and Siberia regions in Russia, with around 150,000 imported last year, according to the International Auto Trade Association.
[ via Ria Novosti ]
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