Radiation levels in school playgrounds in the Fukushima area are being checked to try to reassure parents their children are safe.
Reports of high radioactivity beyond the exclusion zone surrounding the stricken nuclear plant have raised fears that authorities are eager to allay.
Yet 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactive iodine has been found in seawater near reactor No 2. Engineers are using little more than home remedies to try to stem the contaminated flow.
It is feared efforts to tackle the crisis could compromise food safety, with radioactive water being dumped into the sea.
“This is the most scary thing. If the government clearly says what is safe, then that will make us and consumers feel better about eating fish,” said fish salesman Yoshiaki Saito, 62. “The most helpful thing would be for the government to inform us.”
The economic impact of the nuclear crisis as well as the earthquake and tsunami that have left nearly 28,000 people dead or missing could also be devastating. Experts fear it could push Japan into recession.