Katsurao Village contamination map

Fukushima 311 Voices

Katsurao Village: its whereabouts and evacuation/return policy history

In June 2016, the evacuation order applied to Katsurao village after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear accident was lifted for 80% of its territory. The northeast part of the village in the vicinity of Namie town is still classed as a ”difficult-to-return” zone, where the annual airborne radiation dose is over 20mSv. The lifting of the evacuation order of this area is not planned.

葛尾村は、2016年6月に80パーセント以上の地域で避難指示が解除になりました。浪江町と隣接する村の北東部に、年間被ばく量が20ミリSvを超えると推計される帰還困難区域が残りますが、解除の予定はありません。

Katsurao Map with FDNPP Katsurao in relation to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi NPP

In June 2018, approximately 300 people are living in the village, which is about 20% of the population before the accident. In April 2018, primary and junior high schools opened where 18 children are currently studying, whereas in 2010, before the accident, 112 children were attending schools.

2018年6月現在の居住者は300人ほどで、事故前の20パーセント程度です。2018年4月には、小中学校が村内で再開され、合計18名が通学しています。事故前(2010年)は、112名でした。

The village is covered by hilly forests as you can see in the Google Earth below.

グーグルアースの地図で見れるように、葛尾は緑豊かな山村です。

Google earth Picture Google Earth

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Fukushima officials see silver lining in radioactive cloud as Beijing mulls lifting food ban

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Friday, 11 May, 2018
Prefecture troubled by years after nuclear disaster welcomes talks between Beijing and Tokyo that could lead to Chinese ending import restrictions
More than seven years after their prefecture became the scene of the second-worst nuclear disaster in history, trade officials in Fukushima have welcomed reports that Japan and China will discuss lifting Beijing’s ban on imports of food from the region.
 
Most of the discussions focused on developments on the Korean Peninsula, but progress was made on bilateral issues – including food exports from Fukushima and the introduction of a hotline to prevent accidental clashes in the air and at sea – enhancing the recent sense that relations between Beijing and Tokyo are improving after several tense years.
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The Fukushima officials told the South China Morning Post that they hope that translates into Beijing reopening the door to exports of agricultural and fisheries products.
“Fukushima prefecture has been strictly monitoring food products since the accident and I strongly wish for the Chinese government to quickly lift the import restrictions based on the scientific evidence,” said Takahiro Ichimura, director of the prefecture’s Trade Promotion Council.
“Fukushima prefecture is extremely large, covering an area equal to Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures as well as Tokyo combined,” he emphasised. “Regarding the nuclear accident, the evacuation area near the power plant is an extremely small part of the prefecture.”
C
Fukushima is also an important rice growing region for Japan and is famous for its seafood. In 2010, the year before the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was crippled by a magnitude-9 earthquake and a series of towering tsunami, around 153 tonnes of food were exported.
Fifty-four countries and regions imposed temporary import bans immediately after the double disaster, when radiation levels increased to unsafe levels and the Japanese government swiftly stopped shipments of food until safety could be guaranteed.
Since then, 27 countries have lifted their restrictions and the prefecture shipped 210 tonnes of agricultural products abroad last year, mainly to Malaysia and Thailand, although there has been a reluctance among some consumers to buy the products because of the lingering fear of radiation poisoning.
D
Overseas exports closer to home – those to South Korea, mainland China and Taiwan – have not picked up, however, due to the same concerns about radioactivity.
At the moment, China bans imports of food from 10 prefectures in northeast Japan and even requires food from prefectures not subject to its total ban to include a certificate indicating its origin. Some products from outside the 10 prefectures are also required to undergo radiation inspections.
As recently as March, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor turned down a request during a visit by Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono to lift the city’s ban on imports of fresh produce and milk from Fukushima and four neighbouring prefectures.
Lam also insisted that targeted radiation testing on products from the rest of Japan would continue.

Shipments of green laver seaweed from Fukushima resume after seven-year hiatus

As usual I would strongly recommend you to stay away from Japanese food products for safety’s sake. For the ones among you fond of sushi, if you eat sushi in a restaurant please make sure that they are using a non Japanese origin nori wrapping for their sushi, if you make your own sushi at home you better use non Japanese nori, Korean or Taiwanese…

bec1c8fa2250fbe0365978f0a13104bcGreen laver, known as aonori (アオノリ; 青海苔) in Japan and parae (파래) in Korean, is a type of edible green seaweed, including species from the genera Monostroma and Enteromorpha. It is commercially cultivated in some bay areas in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

It is used in its dried form for Japanese soups, tempura, and material for manufacturing dried nori and tsukudani and rice.
Nori is familiar in the United States and other countries as an ingredient of sushi, being referred to as “nori” (as the Japanese do) or simply as seaweed. Finished products are made by a shredding and rack-drying process that resembles papermaking.
 
SOMA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Shipments of green laver from Fukushima Prefecture restarted Monday for the first time in about seven years.
 
Radiation levels for the green laver, a kind of seaweed, were confirmed to be far below the government limit despite concern about contamination due to the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, officials said.
 
About 740 kilograms of green laver harvested Monday at aqua farms near Matsukawaura fishing port in the city of Soma was delivered to a local processing plant after being dehydrated to remove pebbles and other objects.
 
Fukushima was a major production area for green laver until the March 2011 tsunami caused major damage to local aqua farms and the port. The Fukushima product is used mainly for ramen and tsukudani (preserved foods), boiled down in soy sauce.
 
“Matsukawaura green laver features a good scent,” said Yuichi Okamura, a 62-year-old member of a local fisheries cooperative. “It’s as beautiful as before the disaster.”
 
Green laver from the prefecture is expected to be available only locally for the time being, as farming it will be on a trial basis for now.
 
Following the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear crisis, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations refrained from coastal fishery operations.
 
The test farming, carried out by local fishermen, is taking place more than 10 kilometers from the crippled nuclear plant.
 

Remembering Ryan Smith, activist and observer of Japanese social movements

R.I.P. Ryan Dale Smith. My respects for all what you did. You were quite exceptional. I do relate to your heart always loyal to the working class.

Throw Out Your Books

Ryan Smith passed away last month. The West Virginia native had lived in Japan since 2008 and, under the tongue-in-cheek moniker Jon Doe, documented various aspects of Japanese social movements through videos he posted on YouTube.

According to his Japan Times obituary, Smith left behind a wife and young daughter. The passionately political Tozen Union member described himself on Facebook as “a man trying to make it in this world without going crazy in the process”.

ryan smith japan

While we never actually met, I had seen Smith at least once at a rally, standing at the back and filming the proceedings as he provided impromptu narration. In lieu of a proper tribute, then, I wanted to draw attention to his YouTube channel, which I hope will stay online. In addition to more personal video blogs, such as his touching response to becoming a father, the channel contains a large number…

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Bill calling for “immediate halt” to Japan’s reliance on nuclear power

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Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, far right, speaks at a press conference at the House of Representatives First Members’ Office Building in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Jan. 10, 2018, to announce the bill for a nuclear free, renewable energy plan. Sitting on the far left is former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa.
Junichiro Koizumi-led group pitches bill calling for ‘immediate halt’ to Japan’s reliance on nuclear power
A group advised by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Wednesday unveiled details about a bill calling for an “immediate halt” to Japan’s reliance on nuclear power to prevent a recurrence of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The group is seeking to submit the bill to an upcoming Diet session in cooperation with opposition parties.
Sporting his signature leonine hairdo, Koizumi, one of Japan’s most popular prime ministers in recent memory, made a rare appearance before reporters with his unabated frankness, lashing out at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his persistent pro-nuclear stance.
“You may think the goal of zero nuclear power is hard to achieve, but it’s not,” Koizumi said, adding that he believes many lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party support nuclear power passively out of respect for Abe, but that they could be persuaded to embrace a zero-nuclear policy under a different leader.
“Judging from his past remarks, I don’t think we can realize zero nuclear power as long as Abe remains in power. But I do think we can make it happen if he is replaced by a prime minister willing to listen to the public,” Koizumi told a packed news conference organized by Genjiren, an anti-nuclear association for which he serves as an adviser along with Morihiro Hosokawa, another former prime minister.
Claiming that the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant exposed the “extremely dangerous” and “costly” nature of atomic power — with a means of disposing of spent fuel still not in sight — the bill drafted by Genjiren calls for Japan’s “complete switch” to renewable energy.
Specifically, it demands that all active nuclear reactors be switched offline immediately and that those currently idle never be reactivated. It also defines the government’s responsibility to initiate steps toward a mass decommissioning and to map out “foolproof and safe” plans to dispose of spent fuel rods.
The bill sets forth specific numerical targets, too, saying various sources of natural energy, including solar, wind, water and geothermal heat, should occupy more than 50 percent of the nation’s total power supply by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
That Japan has experienced no mass power shortage following the shutdown of all 48 reactors in the wake of the 2011 crisis, except for a handful since reactivated, is in itself a testament to the fact that “we can get by without nuclear power,” Koizumi said.
A 2017 white paper by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry shows Japan’s reliance on nuclear power has plunged to a mere 1 percent after the Fukushima meltdowns. The vast majority of Japan’s power is supplied by sources such as liquefied natural gas, coal and oil.
Although the controversy over nuclear power has rarely emerged as a priority in recent parliamentary debates, the creation of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan may herald a breakthrough.
Later Wednesday, Genjiren pitched the bill to the CDP in a meeting with some of its members, including former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was in power when the Fukushima crisis erupted.
The CDP seeks to submit its own “zero nuclear power” bill to a regular Diet session slated to kick off later this month, positioning itself as a clearer anti-nuclear alternative to Abe’s ruling party than its predecessor, the Democratic Party.
The DP, which until recently held the most seats among opposition parties in both houses of the Diet, had failed to go all-out in crusading against nuclear power under the previous leadership of Renho, who goes by only one name.
At a party convention last March, Renho balked at adopting an ambitious target of slashing Japan’s reliance on nuclear power to zero by 2030 after reportedly facing resistance from party members beholden to the support of electricity industry unions.
In a preliminary draft unveiled Wednesday, the CDP’s bill-in-the-making called for ridding Japan of nuclear power “as soon as possible.”
 
Civic group proposes bill for Japan to exit nuclear power
TOKYO (Kyodo) — A Japanese civic group of activists, scholars and former politicians proposed a bill Wednesday to promote the country’s use of renewable energy and exit nuclear power in the hope of gaining the support of ruling and opposition parties.
“We will definitely realize zero nuclear plants by winning the support of many citizens,” former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who serves as the group’s adviser, told a press conference.
Koizumi, whose remarks still carry influence among the public, and former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa have been campaigning against the resumption of nuclear reactors taken offline after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Hosokawa is also an adviser to the group.
The leader of the group, Tsuyoshi Yoshiwara, later exchanged views with officials of the anti-nuclear Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force in the House of Representatives. The group is urging lawmakers to submit the bill to the Diet’s ordinary session to be convened on Jan. 22.
The government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who doubles as the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is promoting the restart of idle nuclear reactors.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a separate press conference Wednesday the government’s stance to bring reactors back online once they clear safety reviews of the Nuclear Regulation Authority “will not change.”
“We will also seek to lower the dependence on nuclear power as much as possible by maximizing the use of renewable energy and the thorough implementation of energy-saving measures,” the top government spokesman said.

Dr. Norma Field on Fukushima solidarity and Japanese society

nuclear-news

Summary: 
Interview following NEIS’ “The End of the Nuclear Age: Where are the People?” event with Arnie Gundersen and Norma Field at DePaul University. Dr. Field speaks of her solidarity work with Japanese effected by the Fukushima disaster. When the government failed to prosecute anyone in its aftermath, a peoples campaign formed to demand accountability. She speaks of that and the tradition of protest against government and nuclear power specifically. She refers to some largely unknown but shared experiences in American and Japanese society.
Credits: DePaul University
NEIS
Notes: 
“Sea of Miracles”
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/29/sea-of-miracles/

Case in point about history of protest. Link above to a short documentary about a Japanese fishing village that has for 30 years been protesting the building of a nuclear power plant that would destroy the Bay it depends on for its livelihood and culture. Having stopped the nuclear power plant twice the community was recently notified that…

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“A baby that has no head is a baby that has no head.”

noelwauchope

“A baby that has no head is a baby that has no head.” –   a different approach to the question of radiation and birth deformities,   How do you find out if low levels of  ionising radiation cause birth defects and genetic abnormalities?  by Noel Wauchope,  23/10/12

The usual approach is to look at causes – at radiation as a cause. Scientists measure radiation levels in an area, and study or predict health results.  Studies on small animal life in Chernobyl and Fukushima, have indicated genetic damage due to radiation.

Many reports have described birth defects linking them to radiation affected areas – Fallujah in Iraq, Chernobyl  2010 Paul Zimmerman  http://www.globalresearch.ca/uranium-weapons-low-level-radiation-and-deformed-babies/16726 ,  2009 Video and article  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/13/falluja-cancer-children-birth-defects

But, as the nuclear lobby loves to remind us  – link is not  a proof  And  the World Health Organisation has remained silent on these matters. Why? Since 1959, an agreement signed…

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