Chichibu and Karuizawa distilleries unaffected by Fukushima situation

Further to the couple of posts I have put up trying to address concerns about the affect of the situation at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power (1,2) on Japanese Whisky, No. 1 drinks has done voluntary testing to clear up some facts about the whisky they are importing. In summary, there was no trace of radioactive material in whiskies stored at Chichibu or Karuizawa. I have posted No. 1's press release below. It offers exactly what we need now: facts.



The ongoing situation at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility in north-eastern Japan has resulted in confusion regarding the status of Japanese products destined for export to overseas markets. Some countries have temporarily introduced partial bans on the importation of Japanese products, whilst others (including the EU) have brought in the need for testing and certification prior to export.

The situation in Japan remains unclear with the prefectural authorities tasked to issue the required certification not yet fully briefed by central government. To provide reassurance to customers as swiftly as possible, Number One Drinks Company has therefore elected voluntarily to submit samples to a Government-approved testing centre in Japan. Whisky has been taken from each warehouse at every distillery for which Number One Drinks holds exclusive export rights.

Samples were drawn at the beginning of April 2011 and tested over the following few days. The results shown below indicate conclusively that these products have been unaffected by the three radio-nuclides concerned (Iodine 131, Caesium 134 & Caesium 137):

[Distillery - Sample Location - results of tests]

Chichibu - Cask #26 distilled 2008 Chichibu - No radio-nuclides detected (see above)
Hanyu - Cask #1305 2000 Chichibu - No radio-nuclides detected
Karuizawa - Cask #5173 2000 Karuizawa w/house 1 - No radio-nuclides detected
Karuizawa - Cask #7914 1984 Karuizawa w/house 4 - No radio-nuclides detected
Karuizawa - Cask #3653 1984 Karuizawa w/house 8 - No radio-nuclides detected
Kawasaki - Cask #G7451 1982 Chichibu - No radio-nuclides detected

Both Karuizawa and Chichibu distilleries (where stocks of Hanyu and Kawasaki are also stored) are located more than 250 kilometres from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facility.

David Croll, Tokyo-based Managing Director of Number One Drinks Company (Japan), states: “I hope these test results will go some way to clarifying the situation. We continue to monitor the situation carefully and will work together with the Japanese authorities to facilitate export of these whiskies as the necessary documentation becomes available.”


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