The diabolical country on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean (no it's not North Korea) that is what Japan seems to have morphed into will have Dr. Shunichi "100 microsieverts/hour radiation is safe" Yamashita of Nagasaki University as the vice president of the Fukushima Medical University in charge of setting up an organization to conduct research on effects of radiation on the Fukushima residents.
Well, those in Fukushima and elsewhere who wanted to remove the professor from the Fukushima radiation advisor sort of got their wish. He just made a lateral move. Or maybe he will continue to be the advisor. Criticism? What criticism?
Note the article below is the Western Japan Edition. I do not know if the Eastern Japan Edition, which covers Kanto and Toku regions including Fukushima Prefecture, has the same article. Herr Professor is not very popular over in the Eastern Japan.
(UPDATE: the same news appeared on Mainichi's National Edition, one day later, 7/9/2011. For the National Edition, they added a mention to citizen's group movement to remove the professor from the Fukushima's radiation advisor position, noting the sentiment in the eastern part of Japan.)
From Mainichi Shinbun Japanese, Western Japan Edition (7/8/2011; link added):
Professor Shunichi Yamashita (age 59) of Nagasaki University, who has been the advisor for the Fukushima Prefecture on radiation health risks in response to the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, will take a leave of absence from Nagasaki University as of July 11 and become the vice president of the Fukushima Medical University sometime in mid July. It was decided on July 6 in the faculty meeting at Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. [Professor Yamashita is the dean of the school.]
Professor Yamashita is from Nagasaki City, a "Hibaku Nisei" (2nd generation sufferer of atomic bomb radiation). He was active in medical support when the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant accident took place in 1986. He was also the head of the research center for emergency radiation exposure under the WHO.
He was invited to Fukushima by the governor of Fukushima on March 18 right after the plant accident, and has been giving lectures on the importance of "being properly afraid" of radiation. He will participate in the radiation exposure survey of all 2.02 million residents of Fukushima. At the Fukushima Medical University, he will continue the radiation surveys and will be involved in setting up an organization to study the effect of radiation.
The media (and Professor Yamashita) never fails to mention that he is a "Hibaku Nisei" (second-generation of the people who were exposed to radiation from atomic bombs). There are many others who go about their lives without advertising it or wearing it as some kind of credential for their work (like Professor Yamashita does all the time).
An anonymous reader of my Japanese blog sent the link to this article, along with his comment:
"He will be all smiles with such a great number of research subjects right in front of him, I suppose."
To review Professor Yamashita's remarks in front of a worried Fukushima City audience, go to my post. There's a youtube video with English subtitles, linked below. Just look at his mannerism as he blatantly lies to the audience when he assures "internal radiation is far less damaging than external radiation".
The funny and immensely sad thing about the video is not so much of the video itself, but the comments left on the site that has this video. Instead of attacking the professor, they attack the persons who created and uploaded the video for being an America's agent (because English is used, supposedly) or for using a junior high school level English and speculate the creator probably can't even read the Times. (I don't know which Times they mean - NYT or the British paper - but they probably don't even know the difference.)
(What's wrong with a junior high school English? That's all I use...)