The Japanese and U.S. Governments withheld vital information from their citizens about the direction and risks of Fukushima radiation fallout:
An interim report produced by the Japanese Government found that the government delayed relaying vital information to the public about the seriousness of the meltdowns and the radiation releases.
• Kageyama, Yuri (2011, December 260. Japan probe finds nuclear disaster response failed. The Associated Press. Available: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jJMKHqE_ffiXqRQKfiRIArgaojBw?docId=38cf0057befd494a98dac1dccbcf47c7
• Japan’s Executive Summary of the Interim Report found here http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-26/fukushima-probe-highlights-nuclear-regulator-in-list-of-nuclear-failures.html
Japan used a system called Speedi—System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose information—to model March radiation releases and blamed the delay in reporting results to the public in mid-April to their efforts to narrow the margin of error in their calculations, although nuclear regulators in other countries were privy to Speedi’s results early on.
• In July, the Atomic Energy Society of Japan publicly criticized the Japanese government and TEPCO for delays in reporting Speedi data to the public:
– the society notes that there is the possibility that the damage to people's health from radiation exposure has increased because the government, Tepco and related institutions did not properly disclose information on the status of the nuclear accidents and the environmental contamination by radioactive substances..
• An example that surfaced recently is the education and science ministry's failure to immediately disclose the name of a radiation hot spot in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture.
• Hiroko Tabuchi, Keith Bradsher, and Andrew Pollack “Japanese Officials on Defensive as Nuclear Alert Level Rises,” The New York Times (2011, April 13): http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/13/world/asia/13japan.html.
• Tabuchi, Bradsher, and Pollack “Japanese Officials on Defensive,” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/13/world/asia/13japan.html
• “Nuclear Accident Disclosure,” Japan Times (2011, July 8): http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20110708a1.html.
Japan's Meteorological Society Censored Data. From Japan Economic Newswire April 29, 2011 Friday 12:47 PM GMT "Weather chief draws flak over plea not to release radiation forecasts"\ excerpted
– “The chief of the Meteorological Society of Japan has drawn flak from within the academic society over a request for member specialists to refrain from releasing forecasts on the spread of radioactive substances from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
– Niino later said in commenting on the intention he had in issuing the statement, "If (society members') forecasts were announced, it would have carried the risk that ordinary people may panic.“
– In this new statement, he said the principle of keeping information sources unified "should be applied when a country is going through a critical situation" and "should not be applied now that the release of radioactive substances has been prolonged.“
– The controversy over Niino's statements came to light when a series of delays in the release by the government of information related to the spread of radioactive substances have come under intense public scrutiny.” [end excerpt]
Japan failed to distribute potassium iodide as a function of the unwillingness of the national government to acknowledge the scope of the disaster. Fukushima area municipal entities had supplies of potassium iodide pills but the Japanese disaster manuals stipulated that local officials wait for orders from the national government to distribute.
• Tokyo waited 5 days after Mar 11 before ordering distribution
WSJ writes: “The failure to disburse the preventive pills follows other examples of how the Japanese government failed to implement available measures aimed at protecting local residents from the harms of radiation” Hayashi, Y. (2011, September 29). “Japan Officials Failed to Hand Out Radiation Pills in Quake’s Aftermath