Japan Tobacco Inc. has said that radioactive cesium levels found in some dried tobacco leaves harvested in Fukushima Prefecture this year exceeded the company's limit of 100 Becquerel per kilogram.
The company said it will cancel the purchase of some 4.5 tons of leaves found to be contaminated.
According to the Japan Times, cultivation of tobacco leaves was suspended last year in Fukushima Prefecture due to radioactive contamination from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.
The company said that radioactive cesium levels were below the limit in leaves from other regions of the prefecture.
It was the first time the results of inspections conducted by the company have been above the limit.
Sample checks of tobacco leaves from the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki and Tochigi showed radioactive cesium levels below the limit, the company said.
JT will conduct inspections in three more stages, including before tobacco is commercially processed, it said. (ANI)