Sean Arclight: “Health statistics from Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital seems to prove cancers and other health issues are on the rise in Fukushima.
In Japan there are new laws to stop medical staff releasing data on health effects that may be caused by the nuclear disaster. This new controvertial law (against the supposed new open transparency purported by the nuclear industry post Fukushima disaster) was enacted in late 2013 and threatens to imprison or give huge fines to medical staff. This makes verification difficult.
These statisitcs are for a relatively small area covered by the Minamisoma General Hospital within the Fukushima Prefecture.
As we now have the statistics we can challenge the authorities to deny or confirm the figures. If they deny the figures and later it comes to light, then at least we will have someone to hold responsible and to question further. This is the best we can do with whistleblowers from Japans health workers and it is important to publish the claims as we are doing here.
There has been a long fight over health issues caused by radiation and toxicity from the destroyed nuclear plant. The authorities have constantly denied “rumours” of nosebleeds, skin rashes and childrens Thyroid cancers over the past 7 years or so. Some of these “rumours” are slowly being proven true and the nuclear industry also has co-opted the psychological effects, blaming the victims weakness and ignorance instead of the psychological effects of trauma caused by the huge industrial accident and its consequences.
A recent UN report has highlighted how corporations often play down any physical and mental health issues caused by these sorts of industrial contamination, writing off any direct links to toxicity and mental health especuially.
Another report has highlighted that micro particles (thought to be harmless until around 10 years ago) can penetrate the blood brain Barrier and we can anticipate some mental impacts from these toxins entering the very sensitive brain tissues.
The new UN report has highlighted that Fukushima decontamination workers and the local communities concerns are often ignored and should be taken into account instead.
Also, many of the workers at the plant may fall outside regular health checks into the future because of the nature of their contracts and the illegal practises of contractors that has been present in japan for many decades. Thus, skewing the actual health effects to workers toiling in such contaminated environments.”
Minamisōma is about 25 kilometres (16 miles) north of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, the site of the nuclear accident that followed the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Much of the city lies within the 30 kilometer mandated evacuation zone near the plant, and thus most of the residents were forced to leave.
In March 2012, the city was divided into three zones: in the first, people were free to go in and out but not allowed to stay overnight; in the second, access was limited to short visits; and in the third area, all entry was forbidden because of elevated radiation levels that were not expected to go down within five years after the accident.
On April 15, 2012 some of people of Minamisōma were able to return to their homes when the evacuation zone was reduced from 30 kilometers to 20 kilometers from the reactors, with the exception of a wide area on the western border of the city with the town of Namiie. At the time the evacuation order was lifted the centre of city was still scattered with ruins and lacked electricity and running water, while schools and hospitals remained closed.
On July 12, 2016 the evacuation order was lifted for all areas of the city except the western border region with Namiie; this permitted all of the remaining evacuees (with the exception of one household) to return home. In August of the same year, elementary schools and junior high schools, which has been closed since 2011, were allowed to reopen.
The lawyer Ken’ichi IDO got these data from a member of the Minami-soma municipal council who himself obtained these data from the Minamisoma municipal hospital.
Ken’ichi IDO’s group of lawyers intend to submit the data to the court as evidence for the ongoing trial, “Trial to get the children out of the irradiation “(Kodomo datsu hibaku saiban).
We were worried that Fukushima might be a Chernobyl, which sparked health damage to residents. However, the country and Fukushima prefecture did not have a health investigation except for pediatric thyroid cancer.
At this time, Mr. Kōichi Oyama, a member of the Minami- Soma City Council, obtained data from the Minami-soma municipal general hospital.
“The shocking data came out: when year 2010 and year 2017 year were compared, there were 29 times more of adult thyroid cancer, 10.8 times more of leukemia, 4.2 times more of lung cancer, 4 times more of pediatric cancer, 3.98 times more of pneumonia, 3.97 times of myocardial infarction, 3.92 times more of liver cancer, 2.99 times more of large intestine cancer, 2.27 times more of stomach cancer, and 3.52 times more of stroke.
There is not a lot of data for sure, but it is necessary to be careful to short-circuited the entire hospital data. We should also consider the effects of closed-down medical institutions, reducing population, aging of residents, and physical fatigue and mental stress, accompanied by a tsunami or nuclear accident.
However, the number of patients in the hospital was compared, 70,878 people in fiscal year 2010, and in fiscal year 2017 they did not increase. Population over 65 years old in Minami-soma city in 2010 was 18,809, and in 2017 it was 18,452, and it has not increased.
Stress also seems to have been more serious in the early days, but the number of patients continues to be consistent for these 7 years.
We are planning to submit this evidence on the date of our oral argumentation in court (October 16) in order to raise this important medical issue.”