When Goshi Hosono, Minister of the Environment and Minister in charge of Fukushima nuke accident, said "It's a great endorsement by the United States government on the Japanese government effort in winding down the accident", he was talking about the supposed decision by the US government to "shrink" the area for the US citizens in Japan to avoid from the 80-kilometer radius from the stricken plant to the 20-kilometer radius.
Here's what Yomiuri Shinbun quoted Hosono on October 8 as:
Hosono, Minister in charge of the nuclear accident, commented in the morning on October 8 on the US government announcement to shrink the area that the US government recommends for the US citizens in Japan to avoid. "We have been discussing with the US government for a very long time to come to a consensus on the evacuation area. This decision by the US government is a symbolic event that we welcome. It shows the international communities consider our effort in a positive light".
(Effort? What effort? Oh that one about spreading the radioactive debris all over Japan?)
And the US government decision as reported (10/8/2011) by the same newspaper which grew to one of the largest newspapers in Japan under the leadership of a known CIA agent and Japan's first Director General of the Science and Technology Agency (Matsutaro Shoriki):
The US State Department announced on its October 7 Travel Alert that it will shrink the area for evacuation recommendation for the US citizens from the 80-kilometer radius from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant to 20-kilometer radius.
Outside the 20-kilometer radius, the State Department asks the US citizens to avoid the "planned evacuation zone" [between 20 and 30-kilometer radius] and "specific spots recommended for evacuation" [outside 30-kilometer radius in Fukushima]. It also advises that pregnant women, children, and the elderly should avoid residing within 30 km of the plant.
The US government set the evacuation recommendation zone of 80-kilometer radius from the plant on March 16, assuming that the emission of radioactive materials would continue. As the situation of the reactors at Fukushima I Nuke Plant has stabilized, this loosening of the evacuation recommendation [by the US government] is in line with the Japanese government's 20-kilometer radius "no entry zone".
Isn't it interesting that the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan invited Dr. Wade Allison right before this announcement to assure the US businesses in Japan that there's nothing to worry about the radiation contamination in Japan, by suggesting 1.2 sievert/year exposure is still totally safe.
In line with the Japanese government, that's for sure.
But what did the State Department actually say? It said more than the select reporting by the Japanese MSM, which is the part about shrinking the original 80-kilometer radius evacuation recommendation. Here's from the actual State Department "Travel Alert" on October 7, 2011:
Other Areas Within 80km of Fukushima Daiichi Plant
TEMPORARY VISITORS: Government of Japan data measurements show varying levels of radiation in land areas outside of the area described above, but within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. The U.S. government believes the health and safety risks to temporary visitors to these areas are low and exposure does not pose significant risks to U.S. citizens making visits of less than one year. We recommend U.S. citizens contemplating travel to these areas consult with Japanese authorities regarding local conditions at the proposed destination.
LONG-TERM RESIDENTS: The risks may be higher for U.S. citizens who reside for more than one year within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that U.S. citizens who choose to reside for more than one year within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant consult with local authorities to receive current guidance on expected levels of radiation and recommendations for reducing exposure to radiation. In addition, pregnant women, children, and the elderly should avoid residing within 30 km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.
So, the US government is saying that living within the 80-kilometer radius for more than one year may increase the risks, and should the US citizens choose to do so at their own risk they should get the information about radiation from local authorities. (Good luck with the last one.)
The Japanese government is entertaining the IAEA Decontamination Mission right now within that 80-kilometer radius. It will be also inviting 10,000 foreigners to Japan, free of charge, so that they spread the word via the Internet that "Japan is safe". I'm not sure if this is different from the previously announced project of inviting the social media writers with big followers to the disaster-affected area, but judging by the number of foreigners it intends to invite, it is a separate project.
(OK, it is a separate project. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will invite social media writers, and the Japan Tourism Agency under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will invite 10,000 foreign tourists. Total 2.6 billion yen giveaway, courtesy of the Japanese taxpayers.)
A full-on "safety" campaign is on in Japan right now, using various media outlets (more later). The details of the US State Department's announcement are just that, details. Who cares about the details?