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Maruha Leads Japan Seafood Share Gains on Cesium-Tainted Meat

Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc. and Tohto Suisan Co. led gains by seafood companies in Tokyo after the government said beef contaminated by radiation had been sold to Japanese consumers.

Maruha Nichiro advanced 6.3 percent to 136 yen as of 12:36 p.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, set for the biggest gain since June 2009. Tohto Suisan surged 11 percent to 150 yen, the second-steepest rise among 1,667 companies on the benchmark Topix, which slipped 0.1 percent.

The government on July 19 banned beef shipments from areas near the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant north of Tokyo, after finding 637 cattle were fed hay contaminated by radioactive cesium. Some beef from the cattle contained cesium exceeding government standards and was sold to consumers, said Kazuyuki Hashimoto, an official at the food-monitoring division of the Tokyo metropolitan government.

Kyodo News yesterday reported contamination had spread, with 148 cows fed contaminated straw shipped from a farm in Shizuoka prefecture, south of Tokyo.

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