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Farmers protest over 2011 Fukushima disaster

TWO Japanese farmers whose livelihoods were wrecked by the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima protested outside Tokyo’s agriculture ministry, scuffling with police as they tried unsuccessfully to offload a bull from a truck.

Police told them it was too dangerous to allow the bull onto the pavement outside the ministry.

Masami Yoshizawa and fellow farmer Naoto Matsumura have remained at their farms 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.

Mr Yoshizawa used a loud-hailed to urge Farm Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to examine the bull for spots that have affected animals’ hides since the nuclear accidents.

The minister was not in, so the farmers left a written appeal at the ministry’s reception desk.

Rice farmer Mr Matsumura, who defied evacuation orders to stay in Tomioka, is tending 40 affected cattle, while Mr Yoshizawa says he has 360 on his farm.

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