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In Post-Fukushima Japan, Civil Society Turns up Heat on Officials

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  • scotpeden@cruzio.com
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28 4:16 PM
      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

      Kim-Jenna Jurriaans

      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.

      Mistrust abounds

      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
      accountability procedures".

      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."

      Related Links
      + Women Take up Care of Tohoku Elders
      + Shifting to Renewables in Japan ? An Uphill Task
      + Activists Score in Fight Against Nuclear Power

      Visit this story at

      Roger Herried

      Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse archivist
      Energy Net
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