Thursday, September 15, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: 1/4 of Germany's Bayerische Staatsoper Refuse to Come and Perform in Japan For Radiation Contamination Fear

Germany's Bayerische Staatsoper was scheduled to come to Japan to perform some Wagnerian operas, but 100 members including top singers and orchestra members, or one-quarter of the entire members at the theater who were scheduled to come, have refused to come to Japan for the fear of radiation contamination.

Call it "baseless rumor" all they want, but the opera lovers in Japan should be very disappointed.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (9/16/2011):

ドイツ・ミュンヘンのバイエルン州立歌劇場の今月下旬からの日本公演(日本舞台芸術振興会など主催)で、福島第一原発事故による放射能汚染を懸念し、当初参加予定だった団員約400人のうち約100人が日本行きを拒否したことが15日明らかになった。

It was revealed on September 15 that 100 members of Bayerische Staatsoper refused to come to Japan for the fear of radiation contamination from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. Bayerische Staatsoper, based in Munich, Germany, is scheduled to perform starting late September. 400 members were scheduled to come to Japan.

日本公演は9月23日から10月10日までで、主に東京でワーグナーの「ローエングリン」などを披露する。

The performances in Japan will include "Lohengrin" by Wagner, and are scheduled from September 23 to October 10, mostly in Tokyo.

 同歌劇場の広報担当者によると、欠員を補うため外部の演奏家を臨時に雇用する。

According to the public relations of the opera, they will hire performers from outside temporarily to fill the vacancies.

 オーケストラ、合唱、舞台技術などの分野ごとに、団員が何人ずつ参加しないかは明らかでないが、数人の主役級歌手が出演をキャンセルしたことは主催者から発表されている。日本に行かない団員は4週間の無給休暇を取るという。などの分野ごとに、団員が何人ずつ参加しないかは明らかでないが、数人の主役級歌手が出演をキャンセルしたことは主催者から発表されている。日本に行かない団員は4週間の無給休暇を取るという。

It's not clear how many people are not coming in orchestra, chorus, and theater technology. The Japanese organization who invited the opera has announced that several leading singers have canceled the trip. Those who will not come to Japan will take 4-week unpaid vacation.

The leading tenor in "Lohengrin", Jonas Kaufmann, canceled the trip due to a surgery scheduled in early September. He is one of the most sought-after tenors in the world.

Checking the major sponsor's site (Canon), the performances will be in Tokyo, and Kanagawa (Yokohama City).

Well, even if Yokohama loses the Staatsoper, the triathlon world championship is still good to go over the weekend in Yokohama City. The swimming portion is in Tokyo Bay of course. Mayor Hayashi said in the press conference the other day that the world-class triathletes are coming to Yokohama.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

This will be largely dismissed as German nuke hysteria, you can be sure. Never mind that the staff and perfumers etc. will be a very international bunch of people, like with any world class operation.

The physical health risks for an adult (unless you are a pregnant woman) during a four week stay will probably be quite limited, if not close to zero. Nonetheless, there is also a mental aspect that all of us in Japan are feeling, and mental health is also health.

A quarter of the people are concerned - wonder what a survey of the Japanese population would look like.

kintaman said...

Interesting that "Canon" is one of the sponsors. Did you all know that Canon has factories in Fukushima to manufacture their cameras (http://bit.ly/oZHgvN)?

I was planning to buy a new camera for my family but fortunately I checked online and found this out. I will never be buying a Canon camera again as you know they will not tell the truth about contamination just as the government in Japan has not told the truth about contaminated food.

Japan should have known this could be an end result. Once their credibility is gone all is lost.

Sebaschan said...

I guess most of them are afraid of the contaminated food since they will eat out or eat the hotel's food. So there is no chance to check where it is from and if it is contaminated. So of course the most rational decision would be not to go to japan at all...
Well you could call this a result of the media black out and neglect.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the first posted comment is from someone who works for the nuclear industry and is trying to minimize the dangers of what has occurred.

Who the Hell can blame ANYONE for not wanting to go to Japan, now?!

Radionuclides kill people. In fact, I thought that's what this whole news site was trying to explain...

Scientists, who are "expert witnesses" aiding Fukushima victims, don't even want to testify on the soil of Japan--the radiation is exponentially worse than Chernobyl's tragedy.

Japan is the size of California ...what part of that country would be "safe?" Who the fuck would take a risk like that...just to play a little music?

(Stupid people...I guess???)

Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh to the person who put together this web page...you are an outstanding journalist...and I know you deeply care--but as sad as it is that people don't want to visit...you have to understand they have legitimate concerns.

And even if a few days would only harm visitors "a little"--why would anyone "knowingly" lower their immune systems and increase DNA cell death? It's not "psychology" which is killing cells --it's radioactive poison--and no one should be expected to poison themselves for a concert.

We need to get people out of Japan, because as horrific as it sounds, that radiation is there for millions of years.

Love to Japan--but we must get people AWAY from the catastrophe--not add more victims.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I don't blame them. Besides, Yokohama is known to have radioactive beef...

There are anecdotes of professionals that use voice suffering a sore throat and sluggishness that last for many days and weeks - singers, announcers, theater actors. Just anecdotes, mind you.

Kent Nagano of Bayerische Oper is a great conductor, by the way.

Viola said...

According to Munich newspapers, they bring a radiologist along who will regularly do measurements on food and water. They as well bring in lots of water from Germany.

Anonymous said...

@anon 12:19AM

Obviously (!) yes, I am paid by "the industry", actually raking it in daily.

Hysteric fool. The correct word by the way is not "minimize", but "downplay".

Anonymous said...

Spinal Tap are to play the Isle of White,not the Isle of Baseless Rumours.

Anonymous said...

(cr here)

A paycheck isn't worth increasing the damage to one's health -
glad at least 25% made the easy choice to stay away,

(unlike the children and parents in Japan who are being pressured by evil greedy psychopaths in suits to pretend the ongoing radiation situation is 'acceptable').

Crazy to hold the triathlon in Japan.

In a better world than this, the international community would not be allowing Japan to spew radiation into the ocean and fallout all over the northern hemisphere this way,
but,
reality is, "Great men are almost always bad men":
TPTB too often make things worse for the greatest number of people and for the future of our planet.

Anonymous said...

Diese Deutsche machen in die Hose.

Anonymous said...

There are anecdotes of professionals that use voice suffering a sore throat and sluggishness that last for many days and weeks - singers, announcers, theater actors. Just anecdotes, mind you
--

maybe this explains why, as noted in another post, the new Japanese PM has gone quiet lately

even the darkest of clouds may have a silver lining somewhere

Anonymous said...

News from Italy... Valentino Rossi is refusing to participate to the motoGP, to be held about 104 kms from Fukushima plant, in Motegi...3rd of October if I am not wrong. He rides the Ducati, but for the others having Japanese sponsors may be more difficult to say no...
In an interview he said that he is saying this now because they are telling him that everything is ok in Motegi (and he does not believe so), showing that the common sense is not prevailing as he thought it would be. He said his job does not involve going to dangerous places which can put at risk his health and life in this way (he is afraid of the plant still not under control and also of earthquakes that may occur). Even though he has got an insurance on his health, he said, he does not want to risk to this point as his job is not helping people in danger but just entertain people with the show and this time...the show must not go on.

I am very sad for Japan, because I learnt to appreciate its people, and deeply loved its amazing nature...there is no way to recover now.

Anonymous said...

To the person who wrote the first comment...you sound like a disruptor...why don't you get off this site and collect your check from TEPCO. Thanks! EVERYONE KNOWS RADIATION IS DANGEROUS. Trying to argue people that should risk exposure is medically ridiculous...but I'm sure you will kick and scream, like the paid-off disruptor that you are...

Anonymous said...

Yeah I second that , GFY to the dickhead posting such rhetorical bullshit! Better yet go suck on one of fukushima's reactor vents so we can all see how harmless it is , asshole !

Anonymous said...

@Viola......"they bring a radiologist along who will regularly do measurements on food and water. They as well bring in lots of water from Germany".

What water is used in hotels for washing dishes, heating/cooling, cleaning, laundry, bathing, etc.?

Viola said...

@anon 09/16 6.28 AM
No, they're not.
As I may be in the same situation next year (my ccompany is about to travel to Tokyo then), I have already been thinking about how to react.
There are several problems:
1) You don't speak the language and you can't read anything
2) Since you normally have to work quite hard during these trips, you can't care much about where to eat; you'll normally always go to the next restaurant because of lack of time
3) You have read a lot about contaminated food that already reached the market and was sold to restaurants
4) You can't prepare your own meals because you stay in hotels and not in apartments - and even if so: you can't buy food because you can't read where it comes from (see point 1)

So how will you provide safe food in such circumstances? Bring in survival food and water bottles for that time? Because you can't be sure how the groundwater situation will be next year...
Bringing in a radiologist is more a mental "help", for what could he do? Control every meal that you eat in a restaurant? That's ridiculous!

I personally would love to come to Japan, but I still worry a lot because I can't trust any assertions telling me that food is safe because it isn't, as we could read here several times. In Germany, I can avoid products like boar or mushrooms that come out of Bavaria (still radiated by Chernobyl) but I can't do this in a land where I'm an illiterate.
I still believe there are places in Japan that aren't contaminated and provide safe food - actually these places might be the majority - but as long as the Japanese Government doesn't nderstand the importness of providing REAL safe food, everyone in Japan should be careful.

And in the end: nobody knows when Fukushima will become "stable". The desaster is still ongoing and far from controllable.

Anonymous said...

As it was stated, Japan is about the size of California...I don't think the majority of it is not contaminated...sorry!

And eating and drinking is only 1/2 the problem...hot particles get lodged in lungs and kill people...and these hot particles cannot be measured with geiger counters--other methods must be used...no one will risk their lives to play music...unless they like gambling with their lives...It's sad. It's true. And it's TEPCO's and the nuclear industry's fault--100 PERCENT!!!

All of them should be rounded up and forced to live in Fukushima...as close to the plant as possible...without protective gear...and drinking water from the ocean...

Anonymous said...

So people here think that spending four weeks in Tokyo means risking one's life? For a healthy adult?

I think the psycho fallout has already gotten to you.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering, should we talk about this or not? This product brings some joy and smiles. Maybe needed in these times. I will leave it up to all of you....
Rice haye and tea (sorry for poor spelling ability) are contaminated. But where do they come from and how similar to rice haye or tea are the ingredients used to make beer? kept at very low profile so far, but could it be one of the most dangerous product in Japan? apart from seafood, tea, mushroom....

Anonymous said...

I once had Tokyp on a very short list of places I wanted to retire in. Even though so expensive, I still love Japanese way.

Now I am sad. I am sure every smart Japanese person is sad too.

Human race. We have come so far. Will we make it?

Anonymous said...

"So people here think that spending four weeks in Tokyo means risking one's life? For a healthy adult?

I think the psycho fallout has already gotten to you."

Thanks for weighing in...TEPCO BITCHES!!!

Anonymous said...

I am not one to doubt the severity of the situation in Japan, but lettuce be real tea, the way the Germans are reacting, are we going to assume that in 20 to 30 years time the 120 million odd people in Japan are going to be dying of various forms of cancer as a result of the radiation threat?

Are we going to see a marked decline in Japan's world famous life expectancy due to premature death as a direct result of radiation exposure?

Again, I am not disputing the severity of what is happening in Japan, I probably wouldn't feel comfortable living their long term. However, I think it's foolish for the German's to fear spending one whole month in Tokyo. What about the Japanese who will be spending the rest of their lives their? As I alluded to earlier, are they all going to drop like flys in the not so distant future?

Anonymous said...

Viola, you've got it right, but the main questions are 1) will you stay a long time in Tokyo, and 2) are you pregnant or willing to have babies.
If 1 and 2 are yes, you have a real problem.
If 1 and 2 are no, you don't have much of a problem.
Half of my income is with japanese people, I can't just tell them that I like their monies, but their country is a bit stinking now... So I go to Japan (Tokyo pref) from time to time.
A few tips :
carry an umbrella - rain is no good. They sell them for cheap everywhere.
Don't go to cheap places, stores.
Store 7 Eleven is US and probably better controlled.
Avoid fat meat, big leaves vegetables, mushrooms.
People there buy food with glasses to check where it comes from, but you won't be able to check. Pick up the expensive one.
Don't worry that much with water. there is no more shortage of mineral water. The tap water isn't so bad that one should not wash the clothes / plates with it.
Ask your japanese relations to help you identify well known chains of restaurants - they are doing a good job at avoiding contaminated food. For instance many simply do not serve beef.
Good luck, don't be too afraid.

Anonymous said...

I love it... a moto GP rider not wanting to come to Japan because he's afraid of radiation. Here's a tip: more people will die in motorcycle accidents this year than will ever die from radiation in Fukushima.

Viola said...

@ anon 9/17 5:05 AM

Thanks for the advices!

@ everybody else:
1) Cancer is not the only desease caused by radiation
2) I'm sure Japan will not become inhabitated because everybody will die of cancer. But every single case of cancer desease caused by radiation is one too much in my opinion - deadly or not. Well, I should add it's not about radiation alone: humans managed to create much more poisoned stuff.
3) Yes, people do die in accidents, some of them have jobs that are very dangerous (like being a moto rider). But: It's their choice. And it's their right to refuse dangers they can't control.
4) I have to apologise to the japanese people for being so selfish to worry about my travel.
You have to live there and probably it's a terrific job to get along with all your fears, incertitude and anxiety. I guess the last thing you want to hear is about the mental state of people who come and go within short time.
But: Since this is the 1st severe accident that has happened in a so-called technically highly developed country, people start thinking about how would be the reactions of their own country in case something similar would take place. So, Japan becomes like a model to the whole world nowadays. And the reactions from the japanese government don't tend to reassure anybody, polietly speaking. Neither did the reactions of Germany (shutting down public informations about radiation for a while) or France (pretending weather conditions prevented the whole country from radiated clouds) after Chernobyl.
This is not about blaming any single country, it's about blaming the nuclear industry and all governments who run nuclear power plants to downplay the consequences of accidents. This will always result in greater mistrust and fear. Nobody should be forced to live under such conditions.

the voice in your head said...

Anonymous said...
"I love it... a moto GP rider not wanting to come to Japan because he's afraid of radiation. Here's a tip: more people will die in motorcycle accidents this year than will ever die from radiation in Fukushima."

Thanks so much for that tip but it does nothing to allay my fear of going to a place where coming into contact with nasty radioactive particles wanting to embed themselves in my tissues is an obvious risk. Feel free to state non relevant statistical comparisons of all kinds though. Indeed, knock yourself out.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:36

Dear,
it is just because he already does a risky job that he got very well paid and he surely does not need to put his life on extra risk for money, neither for the fame. Actually, seen the reaction of people like you, it is possible he will be seen as a sort of hero just because he told sincerely the reason why he won't go to Japan, thus challenging the prevailing "common sense".
Bye now

Anonymous said...

An average person would not REPEATEDLY post that they think radiation is a low level threat on a news site, which highlights the dangers of radiation. People are either "concerned"--or they don't read the news and are "indifferent." People who try to come on websites and dismiss the threat of radiation--ridiculing anyone who is taking this threat seriously--are disruptors. They get paid to try and confuse people of what the facts and general consensuses are...They rant. They name call. They cry like little weasels and babies for attention. They are trolls. They counter point. They try reasoning. They are the lone obnoxious voices which refute blatant facts. They use slippery language, with loop holes--stating no one has gotten sick "yet"--as if radiation poisoning is always observed instantly--everyone knows often many sicknesses take months to years to happen. They hover and whine. They try to sound rational and play upon other people's ignorance. They are strangely addicted to websites that oppose their "beliefs." Yes, they are paid off. Yes, they don't belong here...but we'll sidestep their drama and get back to the real story, which is ...the nuclear industry is finished. When the people of Japan start truly looking sick--the whole world will be watching...good luck with your "damage control" campaign, then.

Anonymous said...

First of all, even the pre-Fukushima standards of allowable radiation levels were set too high. They were first defined by testing on young athletic males in the military (yes, Pacific islands were part of that).

Everyone else (children, the elderly, women, men with health problems or above the age of 30) is more vulnerable.

So much for adults and exposure to radiation.

Second, we are in uncharted territory here. Fukushima exceeds Chernobyl by far. More reactors, longer exposure time.

Let's be optimistic. It's perfectly possible that with all the precautions taken, only about 10-20% of the Bayerische Staatsoper visitors develop some kind of long-term harm from a month of breathing the air and washing in the water.

Will any of you who claim that the singers and the athletes who refuse to come to Japan are hysterical pay for their health care?

How is an opera singer supposed to make a living with thyroid cancer?

My sister developed severe thyroid problems a few years after Chernobyl. She was a physical type, very healthy, so she was outside a lot in the months following the disaster. Caught in the rain, etc. She has other health problems as well (chronic fatigue for two decades, massive hair loss). Certainly she is on no statistic anywhere.

Of course, I wish the members of the opera who refuse to go to Japan would issue a joint statement of concern for Japanese residents. We're in this together, breathing the same air and drinking the same water.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, I wish the members of the opera who refuse to go to Japan would issue a joint statement of concern for Japanese residents. We're in this together, breathing the same air and drinking the same water."

Yes!

I agree with the post above mine! People should be cautious--but sensitive to the people who must endure the worst!

We support and love you, Japan! And we do this by carrying the message that what happened to you--at the hands of the nuclear industry--was wrong!

We will push for answers and for your compensation for this horrific mess. If you must leave--we will try to help to relocate or take what ever measures are necessary to protect yourselves!

We will show our support by educating people in our own countries about the nightmare of nuclear energy.

We will show our support by demanding your rights to safety! We will not forget!

This is the message we all must carry in our hearts--one singing group is not the issue--it's the chorus of international support for human rights which is required!

TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER AND JAPAN...POST ABOUT IT...LEARN ABOUT IT...GET INVOLVED!!! This is the song we must sing!

Anonymous said...

> Let's be optimistic. It's perfectly possible that with all the precautions
> taken, only about 10-20% of the Bayerische Staatsoper visitors develop
> some kind of long-term harm from a month of breathing the air and
> washing in the water.

Given that large parts of Western Europe have had similar or higher contamination levels than Tokyo right now, surely you have a reference of 10-20% of Europeans getting ill after 1986 (not just four week visitors). Please post a reference.

Also please post reference about water contamination in Tokyo, because I haven't seen any.

I am not saying the situation is rosy especially in the north, but your doomsday posts are disrespectful to anyone in Japan and especially Tokyo area. What if you are making people worry more than they have to? Can you vouch for a statement that 10-20% people in the area for four weeks will develop serious disease, at best?

Anonymous said...

My duplicitous "friend",

How do you dare call ME disrespectful?

Disrespectful are people who would hand out a fat bonus to TEPCO and feed children across Japan contaminated beef and rice.

Disrespectful are people who do not make sure that workers at the plant get full protection and healthy nutrition.

Disrespectful are people who do not provide for decent shelter and jobs for those who have been evacuated.

Disrespectful are people who leak out bits and pieces of information three to six months after the events.

I owe you nothing.

Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with what you term disrespectful, but that wasn't my question to you. If you have no references for your statements, just say so. No need to divert attention by means of personal insults or other moral topics.

Looks like this site has become like church. Everyone has to believe in the same thing. Or else.

Anonymous said...

Besides, my dear pseudo-scientific "friend",

You are setting up false equations.

Surely the equivalent of Tokyo's position in relation to Fukushima is not London or Aberdeen.

The equivalent to Tokyo are parts of Belarus (Fukushima being several time worse than Chernobyl, but I'll let you work at the math).

I'll also let you find some information about health problems in Belarus, especially among children, in case you are genuinely interested.

But something tells me you don't want information. You just want to shut me up.

Anonymous said...

DISRUPTOR SAYS:

I am not saying the situation is rosy especially in the north, but your doomsday posts are disrespectful to anyone in Japan and especially Tokyo area. What if you are making people worry more than they have to? Can you vouch for a statement that 10-20% people in the area for four weeks will develop serious disease, at best?

THE PEOPLE SAY:

What is your agenda? I mean it seems obvious you are trying to tell everyone radiation is not a concern, during a 4 week exposure? You obviously have an agenda posting and reposting on this topic.

If you think anyone is fooled by your ridiculous, counterpointing...no one is. We know what side you are on and it's clearly that of the nuclear industry.

But don't worry...

The nuclear industry will be shut down. It's only a matter of time...you wait and see...it's inevitable.

No one wants to risk their land, food and lives to greedy men using dangerous, inefficient atomic energy.

No one wants to risk the impact these nuclear accidents have on economies.

No one wants to deal with the waste...the only people who do are the ones who profit...and this tiny elite group will lose their investments and will possible be prosecuted for the dangerous, unethical ways they have gambled with global economies and lives.

Even the nuclear industry's own wealthy peers will come after them--for the sad truth that nuclear accidents are affecting their profits...wait until all the electronic and auto corporations, in Japan, get pissed at TEPCO...then, it's GAME OVER!

Anonymous said...

Person who says,"Looks like this site has become like church. Everyone has to believe in the same thing. Or else. = TROLL

Anonymous said...

If anyone is confused about how serious the catastrophe is in Japan, please watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiCXb1Nhd1o

Fukushima is exponentially worse.

Chernobyl had only one reactor explode--Fukushima had 3, plus cores breached containment and spent fuel pool--which has more radiation than cores-- failed.

After you watch this movie, ask yourself if you would like to go near a nuclear accident...even for 4 weeks.

Anonymous said...

>I mean it seems obvious you are trying to tell everyone radiation is not a concern, during a 4 week exposure?

helo - is the radiation in Yokohama really is as high as in Fukushima area?

Anonymous said...

"Hello" is spelled with two "l"s--stop correcting grammar in one post and then pretending you have poor English skills, in another. Hahaha.

Your Question-->I mean it seems obvious you are trying to tell everyone radiation is not a concern, during a 4 week exposure?

My answer-->Don't split hairs. No amount of radiation is healthy and you obviously have an agenda to protect the nuclear industry's collective ass.

We see through you...

(God, you are not even good at your job...maybe TEPCO should fire you for being an unconvincing, "concerned citizen...")

Anonymous said...

Radiation Defense Project has a Nationwide Soil Testing Project page:

http://www.radiationdefense.jp/investigation/首都圏土壌調査の結果?lang=en

All areas in Kanagawa (where Yokohama City is located) show ground contamination values lower than Chernobyl Zone 4 (lowest, >37.000Bq/m^2). One value shows 150.000Bq/m^2, placing it into Zone 4.

Austria, Finland Norway and Sweden were worst affected by Chernobyl fallout, with areas with ground contamination in the range of 40.000 to 185.000 Bq/m^2 (i.e. Chernobyl Zone 4, lowest zone).

Gray said...

Austria, Finland Norway and Sweden were worst affected by Chernobyl fallout IN WESTERN EUROPE, of course

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