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Japanese lawmaker drinks Fukushima water

A "nervous" Japanese official has drunk water taken from a radioactive puddle at Fukushima to prove decontamination efforts are working.

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Japan's Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office Yasuhiro Sonoda drinks a glass of decontaminated water taken from puddles inside the buildings housing reactors 5 and 6 at the Fukushima No. 1 plant on Monday. (AFP/Getty Images)

A Japanese lawmaker has drunk water taken from a radioactive puddle at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant after he was challenged to prove decontamination efforts are working.

Agence France Press reported that Yasuhiro Sonoda, parliamentary secretary for the cabinet office, “appeared nervous” and “his hands shook” as he drank the glass of water collected from a inside one of the reactors.

Read more on GlobalPost: Fukushima radiation 'two times higher' than estimates

It is understood that journalists repeatedly asked Sonoda to prove the area around the plant was safe.

After drinking the water, he said:

"Just drinking doesn't mean safety has been confirmed, I know that. Presenting data to the public is the best way."

According to the BBC, the water was taken from puddles that formed following clean-up efforts at Fukushima – and would not normally be intended for human consumption.

In another sign of the government's growing confidence over the plant's safety,

Japanese officials said they would allow journalists access to the site, for the first time since it was hit by a tsunami in March, on November 12.

An exclusion zone of 20 kilometers remains in force around the Fukushima plant.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/japan/111101/japanese-lawmaker-drinks-radioactive-water