Research Proposal Example: The Japanese Attitudes Towards Food Products from Fukushima

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925 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Research proposal
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Background of Research

Japan is a region prone to earthquakes and tsunamis as it is located along the oceanic tectonic plates. The area has high volcanic and seismic activity that trigger the occurrence of the earthquakes and tsunamis (Eisler, 2012). Japans location between the Philippine and Pacific plate to the east, North America plate to the west, as well as the Eurasian plate, has exposed it to the tsunami from the movement of the different plates. Japan faced a nuclear accident in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011. It was caused by an earthquake that affected the Fukushima nuclear power plant. A tsunami occurred due to the earthquake and disabled the supply of power as well as cooling of some of the plants reactors (Ohnishi, 2011). The reactors later melted within the first three days of the accidents occurrence. Four reactors were left out for being damaged however three reactors became stable after two weeks. There was contaminated water with radioactive materials that leaked from the reactors. On the other hand, radioactive materials were released into the atmosphere as the vents were finding outlets to minimizing internal pressure within the nuclear reactors.

The Fukushima incident affected human beings, plants, and animals. Plants are non-human organisms who growth and production in Japan were affected by the Fukushima release of radioactive material into the environment (Povinec, 2013). Various studies have studied the effects of ionizing radiation has an impact on plants which are useful in understanding the influence of the Fukushima incidents on plants. Rice exposed to low-level gamma rays at Fukushimas contaminates site activated the genes used in self-defense as well as DNA replication. There are high concentrations of new leaves in some trees such cedar. There is a growth in mutations due to the radiation level. Radiation exposed to the soil makes it lose its nutrients and compact hence plants lack the required nutrients to facilitate growth. Additionally, plants have stunted growth because radiations affect the stomata and too much ends up evaporating. Due to the effects radiation and radioactive materials have on plants, it is clear that Fukushima incident had some effect on the plants within Japan.

The plants when eaten later affect the consumers as the radioactive materials are transferred to the people who eat the contaminated food (Nakanishi & Tanoi, 2013). It leads to food poisoning and can affect the growth of people as well as the functionality of their bodies. On the other hand, consumers of such food are at risk of having reproductive issues and end up bearing children with some deformities.

The Fukushima incident has lasted for about seven years however the Japanese are at risk of consuming risky foods as radioactive materials take a long time before being eliminated after a leakage (Nakanishi & Tanoi, 2013). The agricultural products from Fukushima region not healthy for consumption due to the nuclear plant. It may be affecting the sale of food products from that region as the Japanese especially those directly affected by the 2011 Fukushima accident could have a stereotype about the agricultural products. The research focuses on studying whether the Japanese have a negative attitude towards agricultural products from Fukushima. The study will be helpful to find the level of stereotyping the Japanese have on the agricultural products as well as how knowledgeable they are on radiation issues.


The study will use a survey of Japanese to research whether the Japanese have positive or negative attitudes towards food products from Fukushima. The study aims to use the Implicit Association Test (IAT) tool. The research tool measures the beliefs and attitudes of respondents especially for people who are unable or are unwilling to respond (Teige-Mocigemba, Klauer & Sherman, 2016). The study will focus on the sample population will be/ On the other hand, the study will be a survey and a set of questionnaires have to be set in advance to the study dates. The study should use IAT to identify the attitudes of the Japanese on Fukushima agricultural products. On the other hand, the research will enable the researcher to understand the Japanese knowledge of radiation. Data collected will be analyzed using SPSS to generate the mean, frequencies and percentages of the respondents answers.

Expected Results

The Japanese are well-educated people who understand the dangers that the effects of radioactive materials on living things, therefore, making them have a negative attitude. Due to the radioactive materials from the Fukushima nuclear plant, the Japanese are likely to reject foods from the area. They are at risk of their health as well as those of the new born and young ones. The Japanese are therefore people who would prefer consuming foods from other parts to remain healthy and have minimal chances of experiencing food poisoning, lack of proper functioning of some body parts and stunted growth in someone especially the young ones. The negative effects of agricultural products that have been affected by radiation make the Japanese have a negative attitude about the food from Fukushima. The Japanese understand that the 2011 ration incident is the main issue affecting the agricultural products within Fukushima.



Eisler, R. (2012). The Fukushima 2011 Disaster. CRC Press.

Nakanishi, T. M., & Tanoi, K. (2013). Agricultural implications of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Ohnishi, T. (2011). The disaster at Japan's Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the resulting spread of radioisotope contamination. Radiation research, 177(1), 1-14.

Povinec, P. P. (2013). Fukushima Accident: Radioactivity Impact on the Environment. Elsevier Science & Technology.

Teige-Mocigemba, S., Klauer, K. C., & Sherman, J. W. (2016). A practical guide to Implicit Association Task and related tasks.


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