Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why Didn't People Evacuate Fukushima Right Away?

One wonders why Japanese parents and school officials did not evacuate children more quickly? The answer can be found in the overt propaganda campaign waged by Japanese government and Tepco officials.

The Japanese blogger Ex-SKF reports that in March a university professor, Dr. Noburu Takamura from Nagaski University, visited Fukushima prefecture and told citizens that their harvested vegetables were safe to eat so parents who had evacuated their children felt it was safe to bring them back. Dr. Takamura visited Iitate-mura village on March 25, and told the concerned villagers these soothing words (from Iitate-mura flyer on March 30, in Japanese):

“Thyroid cancer from radioactive iodine only affects children and young mothers. People over 40 do not need to worry. Wear a mask outside, and wash your hands when you come home, and you'll be OK. There will be no ill effect on health living in the village as long as you observe basic hygiene.” (Ex-SKF

He reportedly returned on April 6 and asserted that "Rain and typhoon will quickly wash away the radioactive materials. If the radiation is below 10 microsieverts/hour, it's safe even for children" (ibid). [NOT]
If Ex-SKF’s reports seem difficult to believe consider Bloomberg’s report that a Fukushima teacher was censored by school administrators because of his discussion of radiation contamination protection measures with his students, despite the fact that radiation in the school playground measured 1.57 microsieverts a hour (Hyuga
In a trip to the area, Greenpeace measured 9 microsieverts per hour in many public spaces in Fukushima and found 45 microsieverts an hour near a school yard (Hongo The Soviets evacuated all citizens from areas with radiation contamination in excess of .5 microsieverts an hour (Hongo
It is simply unconscionable that the Japanese government is reducing the evacuation zone. However, as one can see in the previous paragraphs of this post, there has been a deliberate misinformation campaign by Japanese officials at cost to the people of Fukushima.

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