Friday, August 26, 2011

Japan's PM Naoto Kan Gone as Parts of Northern Japan Declared Uninhabitable

Japan PM Naoto Kan announces resignation amid criticism more BBC


From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Japan Set to Declare Wide Area Uninhabitable Due to Radiation
By Greg Mitchell
25 August 2011

The worst nuclear disaster to strike Japan since a single bomb fell over Nagasaki in 1945 occurred in the spring of 2011 at the Fukushima nuclear power plant following the epic tsunami. On August 22, The New York Times reports (in submerged fashion, headlining Gaddafi’s imminent fall in Libya) the disturbing news that a wide area around the Fukushima plant "could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels.”

According to The Times, "The formal announcement, expected from the government in coming days, would be the first official recognition that the March accident could force the long-term depopulation of communities near the plant, an eventuality that scientists and some officials have been warning about for months." Just two weeks ago, it was reported that radiation readings at the site had reached their highest points to date.

As Winifred Bird and Elizabeth Grossman report, moreover, radiation risks have been compounded by severe chemical contamination throughout the Fukushima area and its peripheries as a result of earthquake tsunami destruction of petro-and agrochemical plants, iron foundries, steel works, automotive, electronics, plastics and pharmaceutical plants among others. Toxic Watch Network posted a map of 130 such facilities throughout the Northeast Region (

Above all, the wide release of radiation, and fear of same, has forced the Japanese and others all over the world to reflect on what happened to the country in 1945, and the continuing (but usually submerged) threat of nuclear weapons and energy today.

In its main story marking the sixty-sixth anniversary of the atomic bombings, the New York Times highlighted the new activism of survivors of the bombing (the hibakusha): campaigning against nuclear power, which has provided most of their country’s energy needs. No one in the world can better relate to the fears of a wide populace terrified that they (and perhaps the unborn) may be tainted forever by exposure to radiation.

As Kodama Tatsuhiko, head of the Tokyo University Radioisotope Center has pointed out, the Japanese government has both concealed and distorted the true dimensions of radioactivity released following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactors. Kodama observes that, “according to what we know so far, when we compare the amount of radiation that remained after the a-bomb and that of radiation from the nuclear plant, that of the former goes down to one-thousandth after one year whereas radioactive contaminants of the latter are reduced to only one-tenth.” ( Zeroing in on the critical dangers to pregnant women and infants, he shows the extremely high risk of cancer in areas of radiation concentration in the form of Iodine and Cesium isotopes. Above all, Kodama shows that, given the vagaries of wind, rain, and terrain, the danger zone is by no means limited to the proposed evacuation zone. more Asia Pacific

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su said...

the other day i saw that 60 minutes footage of the radiation in fuk. the camera then went into one of those huge halls where people lived in small cardboard compounds. with very little privacy.
and yet each one had become someone's home. a picture on the wall, a pot plant.
i sobbed and sobbed at the endurance of mankind.

i can't imagine the fear the pregnant woman in the image must be feeling as she holds this life inside her.
how much we want to survive and how easily we create homes out of naught.

someone put out word that the potters association in japan was asking potters world wide to adopt a potter for two years. that a japanese potter would come and live with your family and you would give him board and lodging and learn his skills.
until the country has recovered enough for their return.

Himself said...

One of my first thoughts after the tsunami struck was ''poor things.''

Not so much for the obvious, those that had lost everything, but more for those that had lost everything including family and loved ones.

We all need to grieve in a proper manner, it's part of the healing process. But to try and do just that under the conditions that the survivors found themselves, must have been particularly harrowing.

They are a tenacious race of people there is no denying, as equally they are ordered and societal. I read recently that the equivalent of tens of millions of £s had been recovered from the wreckage and handed in to the authorities.

The same authorities that were bivouacking the survivors within a twenty mile radius of the stricken plant, and the rest of it you know.

I just wish they would stop fucking whaling and all the other ghastly cruel practises that they indulge in.