Friday, June 24, 2011

Fukushima Residents Demand Action

I attempted to explain in the post below, though I fear I didn't do it terribly well, that I may have produced a blog post that actually had some effect or influence regarding the situation at Fukushima.

Rightly or wrongly I felt that my blog post of June 10, 2011, and possibly others previous, where, through a simple cartoon, I brought to the attention, in Japan, of a Democracy Now broadcast that exposed the criminal, there being other word to describe the behaviour of, Dr. Shunichi Yamashita.

I say rightly or wrongly, because in all honesty I have no way of knowing, but I felt, and felt being the operative word here, I felt I might have played a part in providing information that helped effect the likes of this below.

Although I mention the post of June 10, that wasn't my first post that attracted mega hits; a previous post featuring Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds Associates had in actual fact received far more attention than June 10.

But what has been a constant while blogging about Fukushima, is the criminal negligence displayed by the Japanese government, Fukushima Prefecture Council and Tokyo Electric Power Company in not evacuating the citizens, particularly the children, of Fukushima Prefecture. That behaviour typified in this previous post, which by anybody's standards, is a bit of a jaw dropper to say the least.

Fukushima Ten Chernobyls Into the Sea?

What really pisses me off about the criminally, I was about to say negligent, but a much more sinister word is required to describe the actions of both TEPCO and the Japanese government, but whatever. The real pisser here is the way both parties are playing fast and loose with the welfare of the next generation, confirmed when you read things like this.

Nonetheless children have been observed attending schools while bulldozers were removing the radioactive soil from their playgrounds outside. Amidst global protests, the Japanese government has weakened (increased) the limits of allowable radiation exposures to children. source --- more --- more

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) isn't by the way, exactly blameless in playing down the threat to Fukushima Prefecture residents.

Japan parents launch nuclear 'emergency petition'
By Yuka Ito (AFP)

TOKYO — Japanese parents living near the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant issued an "emergency petition" on Tuesday, demanding the government do more to protect their children from radiation exposure.

A coalition of six citizens' and environmental groups called for the evacuation of children and pregnant women from radiation hotspots, stricter monitoring and the early closure of schools for summer holidays.

They voiced concern that authorities had focused on testing for radiation in the environment and not on people's internal exposure through inhaling or ingesting radioactive isotopes through dust, food and drinks.

"Since atmospheric radiation levels show no sign of abating, the inhabitants of heavily contaminated areas will continue to endure high radiation doses, both externally and internally," they said in the petition.

"To minimise such exposure, residents should be evacuated promptly to areas where radiation is less severe. Top priority must be given to infants, children and expectant mothers -- all highly susceptible to radiation effects."

Japan has struggled to bring the Fukushima plant under control since it was hit by a tsunami that knocked out cooling systems, leading to three reactor meltdowns, explosions and radiation leaks into the air, soil and sea.

Following the March 11 disaster, Japan has raised the exposure limit for adults and children from one to 20 millisieverts per year, matching the maximum exposure level for nuclear industry workers in many countries.

The move has stoked anger and fear among many in Fukushima prefecture towns outside the 20-kilometre (12-mile) evacuation zone around the plant that have been exposed to lower levels of radiation for more than three months.

The education ministry has since pledged to keep radiation in schools below one millisievert per year for the current school year from April 1 to March 31.

Medical experts agree that high doses of radiation raise the risk of cancers such as leukaemia and genetic defects, especially for foetuses and children, but they disagree on the risk of lower doses over longer periods of time.

On Tuesday the six protest groups -- including local citizens, anti-nuclear activists, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth -- launched their "Emergency Petition to Protect the Children of Fukushima" at the Japanese parliament.

In a separate petition, one of the groups demanded the sacking of a radiation health risk management adviser to Fukushima prefecture, Nagasaki University Professor Shunichi Yamashita, alleging he had downplayed the threat.

One of the organisers, Seiichi Nakate, told a news conference: "As a father of two children, I cannot forgive him for having told us that there is no problem and that we should let our children play outside as usual."

"Parents who believed what he said are now feeling guilt towards their children," said Nakate, head of the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation, adding: "Are we guinea pigs or livestock?"

Professor Yamashita's office declined comment on the claims to AFP.

Meanwhile, Fukushima prefecture said Tuesday it would test washing walls, garden shrubs and roads in and around three elementary schools with high-pressure hoses to reduce radiation levels, Jiji Press news agency said. Google News

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