Japan Banning Microwave Ovens by 2020: Fact Check

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Image about Japan Banning Microwave Ovens by 2020
Japan Banning Microwave Ovens by 2020


Japan is banning the use of microwave ovens

Other Versions

Japan finally ban using microwave ovens by 2020.

Fact Check:

Various messages doing rounds on social media warns consumers claiming Japanese Government is Banning Microwave Ovens by 2020. Allegedly, the ban is a consequence of health hazards from radiation resulting from use of Microwave ovens. No, the claims are not true.

Japan Not Banning Microwave Ovens

A microwave oven is an oven that heats and cooks food using microwaves. The modern method of cooking food in Microwave oven is often associated with various safety concerns and health hazards. In our article we have listed the facts about some such common claims.

Coming to the claim in question, it in fact originated from a Russian article on website panorama.pub published on 3rd March 2019. It carried a title which roughly translates to saying “Japan finally abandon microwave ovens by 2020“. The article opens with a paragraph suggesting the Japanese government decided to dispose of all microwave ovens in the country before the end of the year. It claimed a research by scientists from the University of Hiroshima found that exposure to radioactive microwaves over the past 20 years caused more harm to the health of citizens than the nuclear bombing in 1945. The opening paragraph also said all citizens and organizations that do not dispose off their Microwave ovens are threatened with prison sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years.

Screenshot of the Russian article on panorama.pub website
Screenshot of the Russian article on panorama.pub website

Despite the claims, we neither found any such research mentioned above nor any credible report of Japan banning microwave ovens by 2020. The truth of the matter is – the original publication Panorama Pub is a satire website. It carries a disclaimer link, which roughly translates to clarifying – all materials on panorama.pub, without exception, are satire and fabrication. Unaware of this, many social media users went on to share the story as factual news. So, the claim that Japanese Government is banning microwave ovens by 2020 is a hoax.

Screenshot of the 'Satire website' disclaimer
Screenshot of the ‘Satire website’ disclaimer

Microwave Ovens Banned in Russia?

There’s another popular, related claim saying Russia banned the use of Microwave ovens citing similar radiation health hazards about Cancer risks. They say the ban took place in Russia in 1976 following a study which raised health concerns and the ban was lifted under Gorbachev, in the 1990s. Notably, these claims mostly appear on natural health websites, without credible citations or scientific validation.

The development of microwave ovens in the USSR took place in 1970’s. More importantly, they were available in the years between 1970’s and 1990’s. Again, there are no credible reports suggesting Russia banned microwave ovens. International Microwave Power Institute IMPI also did not find a source for this assertion. They called Russia banning Microwave ovens is a rumor.

Hoax or Fact:


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Prashanth Damarla