A high school English textbook that passed government screening has to undergo a revision due to a passage that compares Okinawa Prefecture’s traditional fermented tofu dish to radioactive waste.

The unflattering analogy was the impression of a British writer who visited Okinawa and was taken by surprise when he gulped down a serving of "tofuyo" without realizing it was supposed to be nibbled slowly.

He wrote: “My mouth was burning. It was as if I had eaten a cross between Roquefort (a type of blue cheese) and nuclear waste, but apparently it is good for you.”

Experts who screened the textbook did not pass any comments on the passage, but after criticism flared in Okinawa, the publisher said March 29 it had applied for a correction and apologized.

“We lacked consideration for the people of Okinawa Prefecture. We are also sorry for people who favor tofuyo,” said Masami Kaneko, head of the editorial division of Bun-eido Publishing Co., based in Kyoto.

The offending sentences were included in the publisher's “New Edition Unicorn English Communication 3.”

After the results of this year's government screening were announced March 27, The Okinawa Times published a story that asked incredulously, “Okinawa’s extremely delicious food has a 'taste of radioactive waste?”'

The article also pointed out that the textbook’s description of the local delicacy could encourage misunderstanding.

In response to the criticism, Bun-eido decided to delete the sentences.