|Zimbabwe plans to ban car imports from Japan|
|Emerging Markets Business News|
|Tuesday, 13 March 2012 07:55|
Zimbabwe plans to ban second-hand car imports from Japan which it fears may be contaminated with radioactive material released into the atmosphere when the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was damaged by a tsunami in March last year, Transport Minister Nicholas Goche.
The state-run Herald daily reported on Tuesday that Nicholas Goche told the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development that the Zimbabwean government has begun working on monitoring mechanisms to ensure vehicles imported into Zimbabwe are safe. “The fear of radiation is there. There is a Zimbabwean who lives in Japan who wrote to us and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce that before the vehicles are imported from Japan, there should be a mechanism to check on that,” he said.
The majority of Zimbabweans rely on cheap car imports from Japan for vehicles to beat the high cost of locally assembled cars.
Exposure to radioactive materials can cause cancer or acute radiation syndrome that occurs several months after exposure to ionising radiation.
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami claimed 20,000 lives, though no deaths have been directly attributed to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster was the second largest nuclear disaster to occur after the Chernobyl power plant in the former Soviet Union in 1986.