- “The government is not going to protects us.” -
Testimony of an Fukushima evacuee (Mrs. Miko Tsukamoto)
Does she appear to tell a lie?
We have nothing but think all she speaks about are facts.
What an evacuee speaks about in this video is based on her real-life experience. It, therefore, sounds very convincing to me. Does she appear to tell a lie? Telling a lie offers no advantages to her. We have nothing but think all she speaks about are facts. These facts are quite identical to what I have conveyed on Shanti Phula’s blog. It appears that the government tries to raise radiation safety standards to 20 mSv per year. Unless we find out facts ourselves like this woman, the government treats us the way what they like and is capable of killing us. Learning history makes us clearly understand that “the country exploits the people but never protect us. If you seriously think that the country will protect us and the U.S. will protect Japan, it is the only way to say that you are too childish in spirituality.
November 11, 2013
English translation of an excerpt (full translated typescript is available on: “Miko”, an evacuee from Iwaki City, Fukushima)
from a Japanese article: “Everybody Wants To Be happy“ – November 10, 2013 –
from a Japanese article: “Everybody Wants To Be happy“ – November 10, 2013 –
“The government is not going to protects us.” After seeing these radiation figures, my husband and I agreed so.
Testimony of an evacuee (Mrs. Miko Tsukamoto) from Iwaki City, Fukushima to Kitakyushu City
Recorded in Kitakyushu City in September 2013
I evacuated voluntary from my hometown Iwaki City to Kitakyushu City last year because of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster of March 11.
Today I’d like to talk about what I saw, experienced and felt during the 9 months up to my mover to Kitakyushu, as well as my current situation.
I lived in Iwaki City, 42 kilometer from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
I taught piano lessons and my husband worked as a municipal employee. With our 2 children and my students, we were living happily.
After 3/11 our life changed completely.
The radiation level, which was at 0.05 microsieverts per hour before the accident, rose to 23 microsieverts. That’s 460 times [the normal level].
Professor Shunichi Yamashita of Nagasaki University launched a mass campaign stating that it was safe up to 100 millisieverts, and this was accepted widely by the television, newspaper, radio, schools and in lectures. At the time, schools considered it to safe to engage in outdoor activities even though the radiation level was at 0.5 microsieverts, 10 times that of the normal value.
Since 100 millisieverts was regarded as ‘safe,’ school lunches were initially prepared from local produce (1 month after the accident). It wasn’t until the second academic term, though, that the board of education recognized the freedom to refuse school lunches. In other words, those who trusted the ‘safety principle’ continued to let their children eat school lunches.
It was useless trying to reason with the school or teachers.
What I couldn’t understand was the fact that the municipal employees and school teachers did nothing to protect the children from radiation exposure.
Now, let me talk about the time when the nuclear power plant exploded.
The first explosion happened on March 12.
The data we saw later measured 23 microsieverts, 460 times that of the normal level.
There were no local public announcements warning us to stay indoors, and we remained outside for 2 whole hours, unaware of the explosion.
We were told that Japan was safe, but blood tests have shown that my two children and I have thyroid problems, and my son has a 5-millimeter pustule.
News reports now say that thyroid cancer is a lifestyle-related disease.
If we develop cancer, I suspect we’ll be told that it’s a result of negligence and the government will not admit that it has anything to do with radiation exposure.
I wanted my children to get a whole body counting immediately after the explosion.
But I couldn’t find a single facility that would admit us.
Some people went as far as Tokyo to get themselves examined, couldn’t get their own data.
I called several places to confirm myself, but none of them would provide the data.
So I made an inquiry about blood tests to check the thyroid condition, and was shocked to be told that there would be no mass thyroid examinations in Iwaki City.
I asked Fukushima Prefecture how I could obtain evidence about the location of our radiation exposure, and was told that “there was no way.”
My husband is a municipal employee. He said that if there was anything to know, he would have immediate access to such information.
But no one informed us about the explosion and both of my children and I were exposed to radiation while we were outside.
Five months after the accident, the radiation announced by Iwaki City was 0.12 Sv per hour.
But when I borrowed a Geiger counter from the city hall, I found that it was actually between 0.24 and 22.14 Sv per hour.
Volunteers inspected trimmed trees and the soil, and the radiation level was at 20,000 bq/kg.
After seeing these radiation figures, my husband and I both agreed that “the government was not going to protect us.”
For example, tap water is “ND [not dangerous]” according to the official Iwaki City website.
So I asked for data on radionuclides such as strontium and plutonium, but was denied access to any detailed information on the grounds that it would “confuse the residents.”
Instead, they gave us a document explaining that iodine and cesium were “not dangerous.”
My decision to evacuate had less to do with the fear of radiation than it had to do with the attitudes of the government and the schools, the radiation measurements that we saw with our own eyes, and the health problems my family began to suffer.
Diarrhea every day, nose-bleeding, canker sores, abnormal growths inside the nose.
These are all symptoms that my family and friends began experiencing after the nuclear power plant explosion.
I realized much later that there are health issues besides cancer that can be caused by radiation.
What the state announces is different from the reality. The state obviously expects people to accept any violation of the law, while public employees merely follow orders from above.
The public disclosure system works to deceive us with distorted information – nothing is disclosed and nothing is put in written form, all in attempt to buy time.
The schools won’t protect their students, our children. They are unforgiving towards parents and guardians who express concern about radiation.
If I make a lunchbox for my children to avoid radiation exposure, they are bullied by other classmates.
Even when physical violence was involved, the school did nothing to reprimand the bullies and their parents but instead called me in to ‘instinct’ me not to overact to radiation.
I decided to evacuate when my daughter developed school phobia.
There was an atmosphere that never allowed us to be prevented from radiation exposure.
I tried working for ways to continue living in Iwaki and sent many letters of request to the government, only to get evasive responses.
I tried to reason with my elderly parents about evacuating, but they didn’t want to leave their hometown.
My husband felt it was safe enough.
My mother in-law wouldn’t allow the evacuation and said that I was “out of line.”
I fought against the government, I was distressed, and when my own parents told me to consider the children’s wellbeing first, I chose to evacuate to Kitakyushu, leaving my husband and elderly parents behind in Fukushima.
The other day, an interim report on industrial waste disposal was made public. It sated that one company in Fukuoka was accepting contaminated sludge and dust from Fukushima, Ibaragi, Yamagata and even Kanagawa.
This company began operation before Kitakyushu agreed to accept the debris, and continues to do so now.
There is uproar regarding the acceptance of debris, yet all the while radioactive materials are being incinerated without a fuss, even though there is no bug filter installed.
The media is preoccupied with MP2.5 air pollutants coming from China, but is this really true?
Kitakyushu’s industrial waste disposal factories and cement factories are taking in Fukushima’s coal ash for recycling.
According to Kitakyushu’s official document, the pollutant PM2.5 rose over 230 in April last year, and the level often exceeded 100 during other months.
There’s no doubt that the pollution originates in Kyushu, in other words, it’s ‘domestic.’
While some say that radiation has dispersed and we are now safe, people are in fact dying in Fukushima.
One day, a nephew of my friend died of Leukemia.
My cousin died on a day last summer. The next day, her husband also died.
Decontamination is useless.
I tried it myself and I know.
The level decreases from 0.5 to 0.2, then returns to 0.5 two weeks later.
Where does that massive amount of polluted soil go after decontamination?
If the state were to manage the waste materials responsibly, they would have them handled by industrial waste disposal companies … but then again, they will be recycled as cement and pots and muck, and eventually come back to us.
It’s important for us to rest and recuperate, but it won’t help anyone at the fundamental level.
I believe the only way to recover is by measuring radiation levels, disclosing the facts, guaranteeing sufficient cooperation, and then allowing the residents of Fukushima to make their own decisions.
Don’t disperse the radiation, but contain it inside Fukushima.
In March this year, I went to Samegawa Village in Fukushima to stop the construction of an experimental facility that would incinerate rice straws, which measured a radiation level of 8,000 bq.
A press conference was scheduled and all we had to do was to submit some paperwork, but at the last moment, an individual who was ostensibly against the construction interfered and prevented us from proceeding.
An opponent turned out to be a supporter. That’s the reality I experienced.
Even during the campaign against Kitakyushu’s acceptance of contaminated debris, it was considered “OK” to sign up for the protest, but not to support the conclusion of the agreement on pollution prevention.
Over 40 residents living in the vicinity of the incinerator tried to submit signatures to the Office for the Prevention of Environmental Pollution, but they were unable to be submitted.
The signatures were not submitted, and were shredded instead.
Moreover, the people who did it were our allies, people who say they are against the burning of contaminants.
I had heard that the last hope would be a statement of protest by Kitakyushu’s fisheries cooperative association, but when a request was made for the official document, I found out that the association had not submitted a statement of protest. Or rather, the “protest” was not stated in clear terms.
Protester used to gather at the tent village after the incineration of contaminated debris started, and during that time I visited a number of fisheries associations to ask them to submit a “protest statement,” but only 2 agreed to see me, and neither of them issued a statement.
Seeing the reality of the so-called protest campaign, I lost all hope that Fukushima would ever be ‘saved.’
Just like the blatant lie that a bug filter can remove practically 100% of cesium, I suspect that [the government] will install a hepa-filter and declare that Fukushima is safe, then construct 8,000 bq incinerating facilities across Japan as well as biomass power stations that use Fukushima timber.
The state has plenty of money to stop people from asking questions by manipulating the media, create a certain ‘mood’ in the country by releasing false information, and endorse campaigns to win over those people who disagree, and “Yet again, we unknowingly end up being a part of the herd.”
What I believe to be a genuine connection can’t be made by blindly following the words of those ‘at the top.’
Rather, it’s about teaching each other what we don’t know, sharing information and learning more, then passing on that information to those around us.
If we have more courage, we can disclose the facts to fisheries associations and people residing near garbage disposal facilities, industrial waste incinerators and cement factories – facilities that the state will try to influence and control.
In the same way Kitakyushu held ‘one-person explanatory meetings’ for the leader of the residents’ association when the city agreed to accept the debris, we need to have ‘one-person study sessions’ for local residents because it’s the only way to protect our children.
Don’t misread the facts.
The facts will become evident if you have the courage and take the initiative to think and act for yourself.
No matter how busy I am taking care of my children, I hope to continue doing what I can within my limits.