In Post-Fukushima Japan, Civil Society Turns up Heat on Officials
- More important life threatening information, for the whole world, that
you'll never hear on Main Stream Media...
People who are in the streets AND after their government, and it isn't
even a US puppet Dictator, but it is US Nuclear Mafia Corporate supported
Parties Members who are finding themselves warmed with Nuclear Grade Heat
from the Citizenry.
Capitalize the Profits, Socialize the Costs and clean up. Nothing changes,
if nothing changes.
Media Black out on 3 mile Island? Can't find stuff you read years ago as
they don't show up in searches? Your surprised?
please keep sending this out.
In Post-Fukushima Japan, Civil Society Turns up Heat on Officials
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 (IPS) - For the former industrial engineer Yastel
Yamada, retirement has not meant he can finally stop working. Instead, the
73-year-old and about 700 other skilled seniors across Japan have
volunteered to tackle the most dangerous part of the Fukushima Dai-ichi
nuclear plant cleanup and spare a younger generation from the effects of
extreme radiation.Yamada and his army of radiation Samaritans are among a
growing number of civil society groups across Japan that are taking
measures to inform the public about the lingering dangers of radiation and
advocate for a stronger government response to the biggest nuclear
disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
"By the time we develop cancer, we will be dead anyways," Yamada told IPS,
following a recent tour through the United States to promote the efforts
of his organisation, the Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima (SVCF).
One of SVCF's goals is to build international political pressure to force
the Japanese government to take charge of the disaster and bring global
experts into the plant recovery process, which will take an estimated 20
years of ongoing cleanup and monitoring for up to 40.
"Chernobyl was bigger, but much less complicated," Yamada noted.
So far, however, responsibility for the plant remains in the hands of the
privately owned Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) ? a management
company with little expertise in cleanup, Yamada worried.
About 400 companies currently perform various cleanup tasks at Fukushima
Dai-ichi, according to the engineer, who explained that the elaborate,
multi-layered subcontracting structure is standing in the way of the
veterans' efforts to work on the site.
Yamada blames the cosy relationship between the Japanese government and
the business sector for the government's refusal to remove the cleanup
process from TEPCO's control ? cleanup whose success or failure will
affect future generations around the globe.
Close ties with the industry, changing, safety information, dubious
radiation counting and conflicting updates about the status of Fukushima
Dai-ichi are contributing to?growing mistrust in the Japanese government's
willingness to protect its own citizens.
As doctors continue to dismiss emerging health issues and top researchers
refuse to attribute abnormalities to radiation, the Japanese medical
establishment, too, has lost the trust of an increasingly savvy sector of
the Japanese population.
In a recent example, this month the Fukushima prefecture presented the
findings of its latest Health Survey, which showed that over 42 percent of
the 47,000 children examined have thyroid?nodules or cysts -? far above
the 1.6 percent measured in the only other study of its kind conducted in
Nagasaki in 2001.
Yet when asked about a link to radiation exposure, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, a
researcher at Fukushima Medical University and who headed the survey,
suggested to German TV channel ZDF that the findings may instead reflect
Japanese children's seafood-rich diet.
"Suzuki is lying to the Japanese people," Dr. Yurika Hashimoto, a
pediatrician with 15 years' experience, told IPS. "People are not
believing them anymore."
Hashimoto made no secret of her distrust in much of the information issued
by government and the highest ranks of the medical establishment.
Recently, to limit her own exposure to radiation, she relocated to Osaka
from Tokyo, where she was trained and once ran her clinic.
Diarrhea, nose bleeds, skin infections and conjunctivitis are among a
plethora of symptoms she has increasingly seen in her patients, both in
and outside of the Fukushima prefecture, since the March 2011 disaster.
When she brings these symptoms to other doctors, however, patients are
frequently ridiculed or ignored, according to Hashimoto.
Citizens become activists
Shizuoka resident Kazko Kawai, who lives about five hours from Fukushima,
felt removed from the nuclear crisis until local government officials near
her hometown decided to start burning contaminated debris that had washed
up in her region, she told IPS during a recent visit to New York.
Kawai reached out to a handful of international physicians to invite them
on a five-city tour that would serve as a travelling clinic and
information centre for concerned citizens.
"It [was] the same symptoms everywhere we went," said Dr. Doerte
Siendetopf, a retired German physician who has worked with children of the
Chernobyl disaster for 20 years, in a videotaped interview with Kawai.
In the interview, Siedentopf, speaking alongside American colleague Dr.
Jeffrey Peterson, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, run down a
list of findings that widely overlaps with Hashimoto's.
While it's too early to tell which of these symptoms are caused by the
nuclear fallout, they demonstrate a need for broader epidemiological
research, as well as compassion from primary care physicians, said
"It's not doing any good telling people they shouldn't worry ? these
anxieties and concerns are very real." Instead, doctors in Japan have a
unique opportunity to truly establish the effects of radiation, Peterson
stressed, in ways that were not possible after Chernobyl 26 years ago.
In a statement issued today, Anand Grover, the United Nations (U.N)
Special Rapporteur on the right to health who recently returned from an
11-day mission to Japan, urged the Japanese government to conduct wider
Grover, whose full, independent report to the U.N. Human Rights Council is
expected next June, met with stakeholders, including government, medical
practitioners, civil society and affected residents.
He expressed concern that affected residents "have had no say in decisions
that affect them" and emphasised that affected people ought to be included
in decision-making processes, including "implementation, monitoring and
Meanwhile, sceptical citizens continue to protect themselves as best they
can in what has become the new normal since 3/11.
Asked how her daily life has changed since the disaster, Kawai reached
into her handbag to pull out a stick-shaped device with a digital display.
"It measures gamma rays," she said with the unfazed demeanour of a TV chef
showing a stick of butter to her audience. "Everybody has one now ? they
go for about 60 bucks."
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