The Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland says the Alpine country’s checks on food imports are over-the-top.

 

"/> The Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland says the Alpine country’s checks on food imports are over-the-top.

 

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OFFBEAT

Japanese Ambassador slams Swiss food checks

The Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland says the Alpine country’s checks on food imports are over-the-top.

 

Japan’s Ambassador to Switzerland Ichiro Komatsu said in an interview with the Sonntag Zeitung that the increased checks on food imports from Japan put in place by Switzerland are unnecessary.

Since Wednesday, Japanese foods can be imported to Switzerland provided they come with a certification by local authorities guaranteeing they were not exposed to radioactivity. Customs officers are carrying out random checks on the imports.

In the interview, Komatsu is quoted as saying that the country may be over-reacting on the basis of “unconfirmed reports,” especially considering that the World Health Organization has said there is no immediate threat to people’s health.

Komatsu is also praising Switzerland for its “immense” solidarity and friendship with Japan, which was hit by a devastating quake and tsunami on March 11.

“The support and solidarity were huge,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

OFFBEAT

Residents of Swiss village successfully sue after river ‘flows too loudly’

A court has ruled in the favour of residents of a small Swiss village who sued local authorities after a river flowed too loudly.

Residents of Swiss village successfully sue after river 'flows too loudly'

We can’t say with certainty that this only happens in Switzerland, but we suspect this is so.

Residents of a district of Saint Légier in the canton of Vaud complained that a stream in their neighbourhood flows too loudly, demanding that local authorities install soundproofing.

The river, which is primarily used by farmers for irrigation, was partially re-routed in 2020. 

READ MORE: The 12 strange laws in Switzerland you need to know

Authorities denied the request, saying that “the noise emitted by the stream… does not constitute an inadmissible attack on the tranquility of local residents”.

The complainants then took their cause to the district court, demanding that acoustic assessments be made to measure the stream’s noise level, countering the argument that their tranquility is not disturbed. 

Their arguments were heard loud and clear, with the court finding in their favour. 

The court said officials should either bury the stream, make it narrower, or install a noise barrier.

All this may sound bizarre, except that this is hardly the first time a group of residents creates ruckus about ambient noise.

Other instances include people complaining about loud church bells, public clocks chiming every 15 minutes, and cow bells.

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