Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Guest Post: "I Cannot Talk About Radiation With Anyone"

(UPDATE: I have her original Japanese writing in my Japanese blog, here. Share it with your Japanese friends.)

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A reality in Japan from one of my Japanese blog readers.

From what I hear and read, she is not alone at all, and she doesn't even live in Fukushima. More she tries to do to protect people she cares - family, friends - people think she's crazy.

She may not be eloquent or sophisticated as Ms. Numauchi, but she is just as sincere in her fear and courage (though she says she's not courageous).

From the reader "Nectarina", from her original Japanese writing sent to me:

===================================

I am a housewife living in Aichi Prefecture with my husband. I was born in Shikoku. My life completely changed in 2011. Before the nuclear plant accident, I enjoyed my hobby (crafts) and taking a walk on the beach. But after March 11, I don't feel like doing any of that, because I am afraid. How long can I remain healthy? Will something happen again tomorrow?

What's been sad about the nuclear accident, radiation:

My husband, whom I shared the same values and whom I trusted, has changed. When I try to talk to him about the nuclear plant accident, the color leaves his face and he becomes angry. When we had a big fight, I asked him why. He said "I don't want to know. If I knew I wouldn't be able to work". My husband puts a lot of energy in his work, so I suppose he wouldn't be able to cope. So, even when I learn about some horrible news I cannot tell my husband. I deal with it by crying when I'm alone.

My husband resents it when I try to store safe food items like old rice. He thinks anything that's being sold in the marketplace is safe, and thinks I'm crazy. Because I don't want to argue with him, I use my savings to buy food when there is not enough money for [safe] food. 

My husband approves of the wide-area disposal of contaminated debris. His reason is that the disaster-affected areas alone cannot dispose all of the debris. It doesn't occur to him that the debris may be contaminated with radiation. I believe he's wrong, and I cry the tears of misery.
 
He doesn't care about food or drinks, and doesn't appreciate my effort to make sure of the safety of the food I buy.
 
My mother back in Shikoku doesn't understand at all when I tell her about the danger of radiation-contaminated food. She says I'm too nervous and it's too tiresome. She believes TV more than me, her daughter, and thinks I've gone crazy.

I have a friend in Fukushima. I told him a number of times to leave Fukushima, but was dismissed. He is still young, single and healthy, and able to move anywhere, but he says he doesn't want to leave his home and his family. We have become distant as the result, as I don't know what to say to him any more, who is like a total stranger now.
 
And My sister. She's been married for 5 years, and she became pregnant before the nuclear plant accident. During her pregnancy I wanted to tell her to be careful with food and to wear a mask. But my sister didn't care at all about the nuke accident, and I feared that by telling the truth she might be shocked and that might affect her baby. So I couldn't say a word. I felt I was a coward not telling the truth. But I bought a teddy bear as a present for the new baby. I prayed every day to the teddy bear to protect the baby.
 
But 7th month into the pregnancy, the baby suddenly stopped moving. The baby was dead, and had to be aborted. It was a late child-bearing, so I know it's not necessarily because of the radiation. But I think it's wrong if you cannot bear a child safely.
 
Afterwords, my sister told me that she had recovered and was now back to work. I thought the future was more important than the past, and plucked up my courage and told her to be careful with food she ate. My sister hasn't contacted me since. Just like my mother, she must have thought I was crazy. Or she was shocked. I failed to make her understand, but I'm not regretting that I told her. 
 
What's been good:
 
No family member nor friend understood me, I was alone. With horrible news, I was crying by myself every day in the early days of the accident. But in a blog that I often visited for my hobby, there was one person who was writing articles on the nuclear plant accident. I left comments to the articles and emailed that person, and soon we hit it off together. With that person and that person's friend, three of us started an anti-nuke plant blog. My first friends after the plant accident.

On their recommendation, I started using Twitter, where I met several more kindred spirits. On further recommendation I started using "mixi" (a social site), where I found more friends. Now, I'm active in anti-nuke plant movements. To have met with the like-minded people via the Internet is the happiest thing for me.
 
What is scary:

All my life, I have believed that Japan is a safe, and good country. I am very shocked that it was nothing but an illusion. [The government] is hiding and lying about the situation of the nuclear plant accident, in collusion with TEPCO and the media. There are many people who could have avoided radiation exposure if the government had warned the danger right away. Children and pregnant women still live in the high-radiation contamination areas in Fukushima Prefecture.
 
The government wants to spread the radioactive debris from the disaster-affected areas all over Japan. Most municipal officials don't have knowledge of radioactivity. The government is trying to coerce people into accepting the debris with words like "share the pain".
 
Food is distributed throughout the country with hardly any testing for radiation. With the high numbers set for the safety limits, the [contaminated] food is used in school lunches. When I try to pick food by the place of origin, it is often disguised. I'm scared to go shopping, for I don't even know what's safe to eat.
 
---------------------------------------------

I am not courageous, I don't have an ability to take action, and I'm not smart. But for the sake of my sister and her unborn baby, I want to "return a blow" to the government and TEPCO. No matter how small a blow it may be.
 
---------------------------------------------

To people outside Japan:

Radiation from Japan has contaminated the ocean and the countries around the world. The Japanese who know this are very much shocked. We have done the tremendous damage that cannot be undone. I am truly, very sorry.

================================

I ask my readers please to support Japanese people like her and Ms. Numauchi in your hearts.

59 comments:

doitujin said...

thanks for posting this! (and for all your work until now!! have a good new year!)

i wonder if it would also be of interest for the readers of your japanese blog? there are actually so many people out there feigning igorance, sharing the knowledge even about experiences like that wouldn't be the worst thing to do, i guess.

Anonymous said...

This has been going on for a long time. I know of others who are concerned about the radiation but have been suppressed or bullied into silence. I've also heard that it's tearing families apart, and I also know of many who strive to remain in denial. They are trying VERY hard to find reasons to believe that there is nothing wrong and maintain their everyday lifestyle.

All of this could have been avoided if everybody accepted the dangers of the radiation together. However, I wouldn't place the blame solely on Japan or the Japanese people. The problem is that the majority of humans on this planet are selfish and ignorant, particularly those in power who govern and control the rest of us.

Things will only get worse from here on out unless the general populace changes their mindsets and rise up together... and we all know that's not going to happen until it's beyond far too late.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@doitujin, I am asking her if she wants to have it published on my Japanese blog also.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I should have elaborated on my post better. I didn't mean to sound arrogant or offensive when I said that people are selfish and ignorant. What I meant was that each person simply wants to be happy and focuses heavily on themselves. It's natural, because we cannot feel what others feel. But, as humans who wield power and technology the likes of which this planet has never seen, we should be more aware of and responsible for our actions on a large scale.

Many of the things we've achieved aren't possible without a society, but at the same time, our society is incapable of feeling for each other and is destroying itself from within. I don't think we can't move forward until this is resolved.

Anonymous said...

''All my life, I have believed that Japan is a safe, and good country. I am very shocked that it was nothing but an illusion. [The government] is hiding and lying about the situation of the nuclear plant accident, in collusion with TEPCO and the media. There are many people who could have avoided radiation exposure if the government had warned the danger right away. Children and pregnant women still live in the high-radiation contamination areas in Fukushima Prefecture.''


I'm sure there are many others who have the same feelings.

farfromhome said...

I pray there are many others. Like the author, I am apalled at what I learned about not only Japan, but the US too. Being an American in Japan, and at the point I wanted to retire here before 3/11, I am depressed and dismayed. I cannot wait to leave as every time I look around I see evil now.

The very basic premise of keeping your citizens safe seems to totally have escaped the GOJ. I blame greed and ignorance. That was one thing early on that I counted on the GOJ to do, but as I quickly realized that was not the case I fled and as I tell others, the sky fell. Of course I am so much better off, I can leave and I have resources to keep my family safe, but for most Japanese they are being held captive. Last year I bought a variety of American organic apples at Costco, but this year...only Japanese. Why? Because the GOJ wants us all to eat contaminated goods!

I have but one Japanese friend left who also shares in my concern about the radiation and have been cast aside by others for believing "baseless rumors." Most Americans I know are completely clueless and have no interest whatsoever about the contamination. If they had to consider it, their 'fun time' living in Japan and making extra money would be jeopardized!

I pray for the few out there who get it that they can stay strong!

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@farfromhome, is it Costco in Japan, or in the US?

farfromhome said...

Costco in Japan.

farfromhome said...

Last year I could buy organic Fuji & Jonagold . There were others from WA, CA and OR, but I only buy organic so I dismissed them. This year ONLY Japanese apples!

Mauibrad said...

Wow, very well said and written.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. My heart goes out to her and all who are suffering. I hope her newfound friends offer the support she needs.

Sadly, so many people are experiencing this. Many people outside Japan like myself who have been following your blog and enenews.com, fairewinds.com, etc., are also feeling alienated and isolated from their families and friends for much the same reasons.

We feel we have been sucked into some strange vortex, a surreal, alternative world where the decades-old lies (about the "safety" of nuclear energy) have been revealed and we are finally awakened to the true seriousness of the situation; a kind of "Twilight Zone" where most of the world's citizens are still asleep, walking around as if nothing has happened. Completely asleep and unaware.

I send my appreciation and support to you and your important work. Keep up the good work!

Concerned in Seattle...

Anonymous said...

I had a close friend in Tokyo and in March I urged her to leave but was told not to write again. I told her the food, water and air were polluted or were going to be very soon and to get out. I explained that the government was hiding the truth but she said they would never do such a thing. This is a very smart girl so it is difficult for me to understand how anyone can deny the seriousness of this matter. It shocks me that "intelligent" people around the globe continue to ignore or deny this sad reality.

I really appreciate your blog and have been following you since March or April. Please keep up the good work.

farfromhome said...

It seems that so many of us (both here in Japan and abroad) are in the same isolated proverbial boat. My prayers go out to all of us searching for the truth. It is so good to know we are not alone.

Thank you so much SKF for your blog!!

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Praised be the internet.

A good friend of 20 years stopped talking to me when I told her in March last year that the containment vessels in Fukushima were probably damaged and the reactors probably had meltdowns and the corium was probably out of RPV already.

Steveo said...

At times it has been disgusting to see this event unfolding, even worse than my original projections, and a massive coverup, a virtual news blackout. And lousy reactions, poor plans, slow works.

I take some solace in redirecting energy to a brighter future with no nukes, and have dedicated a blog to this ends. Focusing energy in a productive manner is a good thing.
http://nukepimp.blogspot.com/

farfromhome said...

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...
Praised be the internet.

Yes! Without the availablity of information I would feel so hopeless.

We have lost friends also, and it makes us sad not just because of the loss of friendship, but rather that those people we cared for are putting themselves at such risk.

Anonymous said...

A dead whale washed up on the shore of Odawara, just southwest of Tokyo, a few days ago. One year old male, with some sort of skin ailment...patches of skin missing. One would imagine there would be some kind of interest to test the carcass for radiation contamination. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ0FYoI9szA&feature=g-all-u&context=G2cb1724FAAAAAPAAQAA

Anonymous said...

Little Canary said...

This crisis is testing our friendship and family ties.

I guess is part of the evolution proccess, not everyone in Fukushima or Tokyo will die, as Hiroshima or Nagasaki survivors.

However this new reality will shape us stronger.

We shouldnt be sorry for those who chose to stay or believed TV.

I also love this blog!

Anonymous said...

A very heartfelt piece. Could you please tell her only: "You are not alone".

One of my friends invented the term "flyjin" and was very proud of it. He said, even though he has a small child, his community needed him and he would be a coward to leave them.

Even though I am not a strong Christian, when I was away in March with family I overheard the following comment which resonated strongly. It was about someone asking whether it would be OK to befriend (as a penfriend) someone in prison, someone who had done something bad. The answer was that in the Christian sense, Charity has two parts: love of God and love of man, which includes both love of one's neighbor and one's self. "One's neighbour" is not always your wife/husband or family. You can choose who you think is your neighbour and needs your attention most and you will do right. My friend has chosen his community, I had chosen my children.

So those who lament the loss of friends (and in turn finding new friends), just think of it that all of us have chosen "our neighbours" newly. In a way that's more honest than pretending we are caring or being cared for when we aren't.

Perhaps you can relay this to the author. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

This horror is tearing the carefully constructed artifice of safe, harmless nuclear power apart. It seems to be doing the same to our relationships as well. We are all losing friends and loved ones to denial.
Nectarina,
Please do not apologize. Be strong and be heard. We will try to follow your example. Every country in the world with nuclear power plants have been polluting the air, earth, and water for years.

When I was a child we had drills in school to hide under our desks for earthquakes and in case of atomic attack. The reality - the danger was from our own government who set off hundreds of nuclear charges that left trails of poison everywhere.People in the path suffered then and now. The story has always been the same- no immediate harm to health.

This is the first time that people everywhere will be able to see the incredible damage being done despite government and corporate interest in minimizing the facts. The epic scale of this disaster will not be denied. We are all in this together.

okotowari said...

Thank you, arevamirpal::laprimavera, for this. It's very powerful.

There are a lot of people outside Japan supporting people like Nectarina and Numayu, although there is not much we can do.

I have translated de letter to Spanish, for anyone interested (http://www.burbuja.info/inmobiliaria/5555289-post3049.html). We are following everything related to de accident in this forum ever since March 11, as we think it's important at least to keep informed. The media hardly says something about Fukushima anymore, not in Spain either, so we have to keep up the work, and blogs like yours is helping in this task.

Thank you.

SxPxK said...

A beautiful testimony, a voice among thousands that do not speak.
Nectarina, my heart goes to you and also to all my Bros still in Japan.

Just to drop a word on this Ostrich syndrome, I was also faced with this denial attitude, I was even called a Paranoid by my wife (japanese) LOL, among expats we even stop talking about the situation back in April, it was and still is just too damn sad, friends and family telling you to pack and leave, but you can't, you got a job and a life here in beautiful Japan.
I respect the fact that a majority rather ignore and live in denial. If you are japanese or gaijin for that matter and this is your home and no where to go, then ignorance can be a bliss.

For all of you that suffers in silence, just don't. As Nectarin found out they are more people with opened eyes than it seems, they are just tired of being stigmatized by the SCUMS of the DPJ and the Nuke Mafia.

Take it to the street, as thousand did. Join your forces. Don't do it for the rest of the world to see it, do it because you are proud Japanese citizens that care about your beautiful Island.
Sadly enough, the rest of the world don't care anymore, thanks to the News Blackout. Over here in the EU, nobody really knows whats happening in Japan anymore, US broadcast and applause a Cold Shutdown success, LOL overnight!
But rest assure, Anti-Nuke Activists, do not forget about you, marches are still organized to remind the sleeping minds the danger that lurks with this dirty energy.

SKF, thanks for all your work to keep this blog going on for so long!

DrPete12 said...

It is very sad to read this post but not surprising. Most people are overwhelmingly ruled by the herd instinct. They cannot believe that society is ever wrong. Only a few can see reality as it is. Those who cannot have no right to decry those who can. Their life may depend on listening to them.
Clearly there are not many representatives of the few in the Japanese government: Spreading the pollution about may spread the risk but it will greatly increase the overall damage in my opinion. For example consider the following hypothetical situation. Suppose 100,000 people are subjected to a risk that is ten times the risk that would cause cancer. They will all get cancer. Not fair you say. Lets spread the pain by spreading the increased risk among ten million people instead of 100,000. Now nobody has a risk more than 10 percent above the one in three (or is it 4 in 10 now?) that was there already. But now you have ten million people with an additional risk of ten percent and so one million additional cancers instead of the 100,000 you would have had if you had done nothing. thirty years later your successors realise that it would have been better and less costly to evacuate the 100,000 and leave the contamination where it was. The 900,000 people who have been given cancer by the incompetent government will not even be able to sue the government or get compensation because they will never be able to prove that they would not have got it anyway.

Fight for what is right. Stop this madness and evacuate the contaminated areas whatever the cost.

DrPete12 said...

What is even worse is that the Japanese government has taken it upon itself to implement this totally insane philosophy on the whole world by dumping the pollution in the Ocean. So not only the humans of the planet but the seals, the walruses the dolphins the whales the fish and all the millions of species in the pacific many of which are not even known about are already paying the terrible price of the Japanese government's incredible hubris. These people are criminals. They ought to be brought to justice and imprisoned for life for their terrible crimes. It seems to me that these crimes are the most terrible crimes ever committed.

Anonymous said...

To Mrs Nectarina,

well I'm not of the "we are with you Japan" kind, I simply am against TBTF over-sized corporations like Banks and Lending corps, the Military industrial complex, and all forms of organized crime (that seems to be inherent to the so-called "energy(only)-nuke" industry), as these powers (and a few others, too) destroy the path to civilization - worldwide.
Probably you do not belong to this kind of corporations, so do not add shame about this to your own pain, and keep on fighting.
Sincerely.

Anonymous said...

I understand. I have a 3-year-old daughter. I told my wife I wanted to move from Kanto to Osaka, and my Japanese wife's family told her to divorce me and stay in Kanto. Thankfully, she didn't listen to them. We're in Osaka now. But no one here seems to care at all that the prefectural government is moving to burn radioactive debris here. And even my wife pooh poohs the risks of internal radiation exposure. It's truly maddening.

Anonymous said...

When the children become ill, when babies have birth defects-then the blame game will start. That's too late. In the future when Japan realizes the high cost of radiation - the parents who have lost babies, or have illnesses -- they will blame themselves for the rest of their lives. I know, I have lost a child to birth defects-I have a child with thyroid cancer-and was just in small exposure from Chernobyl.

Anonymous said...

This clearly shows the damage from fearmongering by the anti-nuke lobby. There is no contamination where she is living, but yet she is scared, doesn't trust anyone and is seeing her family and friendships fall apart.

The irresponsible anti-nuclear hysteria is to blame for this, not the nuclear plant. The anti-nuclear Taliban are spreading fear and greatly magnifying the damage done by the meltdown.

So far no one has died from radiation (for a comparision, an organic farm in Germany killed 40 people this summer).

The woman deserves praise for making her feelings public, and anti-nuclear activists deserve shame for that.

Anonymous said...

come up with ideas on how to improve little by little (not try to change every thing in a single day).

I think that there is a large difference in her understanding of the dangers of contamination and her firends understanding. She knows there is dangers, they almost don't know anything. This can't be reconcile on a short time basis. Explaining the truth to others can be a long and difficult task. It does not worth the efforts to try change quicky someone understanding if that person become strange (angry, cold, irritaded, ...).
For most people, the best strategy is to listen to their understanding of the risks. If their beliefs that their is no health risk is strong, you should talk less about health risk and accept people around you to think the way they do. Eventualy, they might agree with you for some reason, but try not to bother them too much by talking too often about it. They could die, you did what you had to, you told them. You can't change the world around you in a few months. Some people never change their mind. If they don't listen, move on, don't always keep trying because the most important is you, not them. Spend time thinking about how to solve you everyday challenge (what they think or do, to bad for them, that's it).
The most difficult is between the wife and husband. Many many couples in Japan face this questions. How to deal with the health risk of Fukushima? Many husbands are very confused and are not ready to change their habits. But they may know their is a problem. I would try to tell my spouse that I don't want to take contaminated food, that I don't want to fight about it, but I would tell my spouse that I want to try to find a compromise between what we eat and drink because I am not happy like this.
Maybe it is possible to draw a line, a compromise on what the spouse want to eat and drink and what you need. He should respect your need to be careful. I would be surprise if he 100% refuse to respect this need. NO need to fight about it, just have a "emotion less" discussion about the fact that you have different needs and a couple is NOT only about "his" needs. It may take time, but if he loves you, if you explain (not fight) your needs, if probably has to agree to let you buy some food that you need.
He may not know how to deal with the situation, in this case, maybe try to find some way on how to deal with food-drink and propose it. Their maybe one thing that he will accept, try to come up with ideas on how to improve little by little (not try to change every thing in a single day). find it. And build from there. Don't become too sad and alone about it (it will not help). But come up with ideas on how to improve little by little (not try to change every thing in a single day). Their are many many couples like this in Japan. My wife's mother and father are like that, he starts to understand and change little by little.

SxPxK said...

LOL Anonymous, at least leave your name when you drop your anti "anti-nuclear activist" garbage on this blog.
Linking Anti-Nuke with Taliban. ROLF!

Pro-Nuke and Fascist Pig hehehe suits you better!

If people died in mass by now, there will be no need for discussion on the potential danger of this situation. Thyroid cancer take more than 9 month to show up on the gov. statistics
So please keep your a Pro-nuke comment for yourself.

Quote
"The irresponsible anti-nuclear hysteria is to blame for this, not the nuclear plant."
LOL Hydrogene explosion is from the nuke plant not from the people.
WTF what are you talking about.
The US Army decided on a 80km zone, thats how serious it is, the Japanese gov. decided on a 20km zone. Fallouts found across west coast of the US, and you think the rest of Japan wasn't affected.

If you think there is no risk, why don't you go cleanup TEPCO's mess then!

DrPete12 said...

Well there is more than one anonymous so i will refer to talibananonymous that should make it clear which one. If he thinks there is no radiation risk he should reflect on the fact that 25 years after Chernobyl the UK government still has to monitor and control lamb in Wales and parts of England because of the fallout. In the UK we are a very long way from Chernobyl in the Ukraine.

DrPete12 said...

He should also reflect on the fact that a peer reviewed article in a respected medical journal has come to the conclusion that in the US thousands of still births can be already attributed directly to Fukushima. So how does this idiot know that nobody has died?

DrPete12 said...

Here is a link to the study
http://www.radiation.org/reading/pubs/HS42_1F.pdf

Anonymous said...

Nectarina says her sister lost her baby in the 7th month into the pregnancy.
It's so so sad.
You can't help ask what's is really going on with miscarriages and stillborn babies.
The Mainichi published this article (01/01/12):
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/archive/news/2012/01/01/20120101p2g00m0dm030000c.html
They say that "The estimated number of newborn babies in 2011 fell to a record-low 1,057,000, down by 14,000"
14,000 less in one year seems a lot.
It'd be interesting to search the datas to know when and where the loss occured. But if (if!) such datas are available, they are in japanese. May be somebody reading japanese could try and find...
This woman says that her sister lost her baby: "But 7th month into the pregnancy, the baby suddenly stopped moving. The baby was dead, and had to be aborted."
Very very sad.
You can't help ask what's is really going on with miscarriages and stillborn babies.
The Mainichi published this article (01/01/12):
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/archive/news/2012/01/01/20120101p2g00m0dm030000c.html
They say that "The estimated number of newborn babies in 2011 fell to a record-low 1,057,000, down by 14,000"
14,000 in a year seems a lot.
It'd be interesting to search the datas to know when and where the loss occured. But if (if!) such datas are available, they are in japanese. May be somebody reading japanese could try and find.

Anonymous said...

"The irresponsible anti-nuclear hysteria is to blame for this, not the nuclear plant. The anti-nuclear Taliban are spreading fear and greatly magnifying the damage done by the meltdown."

Your wording proves that YOU are the one spreading real fear and real damage, by being pro-nuclear. What does anti-nuclear have anything to do with 'Taliban'? And how is fear magnifying the damage done by the meltdown? In case you haven't noticed, the LACK OF FEAR (of anything bad happening with the nuclear power plant) is exactly why Japan suffered the greatest disaster in its history. The hubris of the pro-nuclear establishment will not go unpunished, even if its Karma that will have to do it.

Anonymous said...

"So far no one has died from radiation" And no one ever will - unless someone falls into the reactor core, not one death will be officially attributed to radiation.

Nuclear energy is also (clearly) SAFE (check out the complete lack of accidents) and TOO CHEAP TO METER. Clean-up costs are greatly exaggerated. And it's GREEN! No co2 emissions! Unicorns! Skittles!

Anonymous said...

"A technology that raises even unreasonable, mistaken fears is to be avoided because unreasonable fears are nevertheless real fears."

Charles Perrow, author of "Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies", the risk classic of 1984

senrinomichi said...

Thank you so much for all you have been doing to share information about Japan since March 11.
I am writing a series of "postcards", the leitmotif of which is the silence which prevails concerning the consequences of the nuclear disaster. I posted today about two happily brief moments which I had known previously in the UK, where a kind of collective psychosis took over and where it was no longer possible to speak freely. And I will link this in my next postcard to a conversation I had with a friend recently in Japan, who says some quite similar things to Nectarina. Reading her words today is a strange coincidence indeed.
Yes, I will support her in my heart, and will try to do so through my words. Thank you for sharing her story.

Anonymous said...

@Dr Pete, the study you refer to is nonsense. It was not published in a respected journal, rather it was published in an obscure paper established only a few years ago in Greece. The authors are well-known anti-nuclear activists, and the peer-review process is anything but transparent. Their work has been widely rejected by the scientific community.

Anonymous said...

"Here is a link to the study
http://www.radiation.org/reading/pubs/HS42_1F.pdf"

The study is just ridiculous, they just compare two data points: 2011 and 2010, and even then the difference is on the edge of statistical significance.

Now if they had around the same number of deaths in all years between 2000 and 2010, followed by a 10% increase in 2011, they would have their point. But since they don't list any previous years apart from 2010, it means the data simply has been hand-picked to suit their political agenda and the scientific value of the article is near-zero. The study doesn't even show the number of deaths in 2011 was extraordinary, let alone prove any connection to the disaster.

"And how is fear magnifying the damage done by the meltdown?"

Because it causes psychological damage, which in turn causes bodily damage. Just imagine your doctor telling you there is a 10% chance of you dying of cancer this year. This would of course affect your well-beings, even if the doctor just made it up. And similarly, fearmongering does affect the health of the population even if there is no radiation involved.

"In case you haven't noticed, the LACK OF FEAR (of anything bad happening with the nuclear power plant) is exactly why Japan suffered the greatest disaster in its history."

The meltdown isn't the greatest disaster in history, even the 2011 tsunami itself (with how many thousand deaths?) eclipses it. At the end, there will be probably an area of 2000-4000km^2 that will never be inhabited by people again, plus a few hundred radiation deaths. A bad thing, but hardly the biggest disaster in history.

talibananonymous

Anonymous said...

Some people's hearts are really made of stone. The scary part is, the person who called us "anti-nuclear Taliban" is probably very friendly, reserving his aggression for internet comments and murderous video games.

At least when you talk about Fukushima you find out quickly what people are made of.

Anonymous said...

Children and pregnant women still live in the high-radiation contamination areas in Fukushima Prefecture.''


all over kanto (and even all over Japan and North America mainly west coast), not only Fukushima.

Anonymous said...

the number of people dying from radiation is incresing every day. Even famous people die, like the fuji television host who died of leukemia caused by radiation. New borned babies that died just after birth, so many of them now, well, they maybe are not counted as "people" by many, but they do count for people with at least a little bit of hearth.

Anonymous said...

"So far no one has died from radiation (for a comparision, an organic farm in Germany killed 40 people this summer)."

What's your mailing address? I will gladly ship you a 5 pound bag of contaminated rice to you and my expense. You can enjoy the joys of contaminated free of charge. There no harm in eating contaminated food right?

Anonymous said...

it's same here(eu), nobody gives a slightest fuck nobody is interested, only mad at me for being paranoid.. nobody actually WILLS to be informed, I really don't get it

Anonymous said...

No need to ship the rice to me, I am going to Japan for two weeks in February, there should be enough contaminated rice and tuna for me :)

"Even famous people die, like the fuji television host who died of leukemia caused by radiation. "

By radiation??? I read there were about 8000 leukemia deaths per year in Japan before Fukushima. I doubt all these random deaths magically stopped in March 2011, and all leukemia deaths from now on are exclusively from the Fukushima fallout.

Plus you get a lot of radiation when flying in airplanes, so famous people (and I suppose most of them travel a lot) are much more likely to get radiation-induced cancer, again without any Fukushima radiation.

"it's same here(eu), nobody gives a slightest fuck nobody is interested"

LOL, I am living in Germany and have exactly the opposite situation: everyone around is paranoid, except for me. And like you, I believe the majority is wrong :)

talibananonymous

Anonymous said...

"At the end, there will be probably an area of 2000-4000km^2 that will never be inhabited by people again, plus a few hundred radiation deaths. A bad thing, but hardly the biggest disaster in history."

Over the next two decades well over a million people in Japan alone will die because of radiation contamination. While only a few people will die of acute radiation poisoning, the majority of deaths will occur over a long period. Many more will suffer horrible illnesses caused by cancer and other secondary diseases triggered from internal radiation exposure. The problem with internal exposure, is that radioactive containments stay inside your body for life. Constantly emitting ionizing radiation 7/24/365. The more contaminated food and water that is consumed the more toxins will accumulate in their bodies. Much like being given very small doses of arsenic in your food. The poison builds up over time, leading to illness and death.

Ever the former Soviet Union did better than Japan by enacting a mandatory evacuation of its citizens and providing clean food and water. And the Soviet Union quickly erected a sarcophagus to prevent further contamination of the environment. Japan on the other hand has done just the opposite, by spreading known contaminated debris and burning it, and well as forcing all of its citizens to consume contaminated food and water for the sake of maintaining a lie that serves no one.

Anonymous said...

"Plus you get a lot of radiation when flying in airplanes, so famous people (and I suppose most of them travel a lot) are much more likely to get radiation-induced cancer, again without any Fukushima radiation."

You don't have a clue between the difference of external radiation exposure and internal radiation exposure. If you had a clue you won't have made the above statement. Your ignorance will not serve you well in life.

Anonymous said...

"The problem with internal exposure, is that radioactive containments stay inside your body for life. Constantly emitting ionizing radiation 7/24/365."

And this is exactly how the internal exposure is calculated, so it is already taken into account. Eating radioative rice is a lot more harmful than sitting on a sack of said rice - this is why there is a limit of 500Bq/kg (soon to be lowered to 100), while soil and concrete are permitted to contain a lot more radioactive substances.

And cesium isn't staying in the body forever - it is gone after a few months.

"Ever the former Soviet Union did better than Japan by enacting a mandatory evacuation of its citizens and providing clean food and water."

The Soviet Union did a much better job at the NPP site (sarcophague, groundwater isolation) and with evacuations. As for "clean food", the USSR bought a lot of contaminated food in Europe and sold it on the internal market. And the information policy was even poorer than we see now in Japan.

talibananonymous

Anonymous said...

One thing that has puzzled me after being a foreigner in Japan during this accident is why people react they way they do when being told about the dangers they now face.

Even as an educated person, I knew little about radiation before this accident. I had taken an interest in Chernobyl about 5 years ago when National Geographic did a story on it, but I still had very little practical knowledge. After Fukushima, I suddenly felt dangerously ignorant. I didn't know which foods were most likely to be contaminated aside from dairy, and I didn't know the difference between alpha, beta and gamma radiation and how they behave internally and externally. I can imagine the average Japanese person knew even less than I did. It took a few months and lots of effort for me to understand it because the government had been spreading information comparing the levels of radiation to chest X-rays and airplane rides. Pretty much everyone had the impression that a small amount of radiation was OK. Maybe some Japanese have never moved beyond this understanding. Increased risk to babies and children and bioaccumulation didn't seem to be common knowledge as far as I could tell.

I also think the Japanese have a mindset of "everything in moderation" and many people genuinely think they will be OK if they eat a variety of foods and don't worry about it too much. They perceive people who are concerned as "extreme." Most probably base their carefulness on what everyone around them is doing, so if there were more "extreme" people, the general population would probably be more careful.

I agree with what someone above said about people not being able to learn and understand quickly. Warning people who don't understand the science will almost always fail unless you’re an expert. My level of fear increased as I started to learn, but decreased or moderated as I learned more. There are some things I can’t know because of the government and Tepco, and that's what makes me the most nervous.

It's sad to hear the stories of people who have lost friends or are being ostracized, but I don't think giving up and letting friends and family go their own way is the solution. A different communication approach is needed to explain things in ways people can grasp. A professor I had for a communications class used to say that it’s up to the speaker to make herself/himself understood. If the listener doesn’t “get it,” it’s the speaker’s fault. If we all videotaped what we’re saying to people, I wonder if we would find ourselves convincing.

Atomfritz said...

Confrontation with faded-out risks threatens the delusion of safety.
People in fear try to keep distance from the threat instead of fighting.
People look away instead of facing the problem become sheep that can be hearded easily.
Everybody who stands up and speaks up disturbs the fake harmony, which is an entangling web of lies.

Honor to these who try to rip away this cocoon of fake safety and harmony to make people see, and readily endure the rejection they experience.

Thank you, Ex-SKF, Mrs. Namauchi, Nectarina and the many other, mostly unknown heroes of Japan!

robertb said...

I second what Atomfritz said

Anonymous said...

I live in Tokyo and confirm the level of denial and ignorance among the general population. In modern society people are programmed from birth by the Idiot Box Television (TV - Talmud Vision) and by the other institutions of indoctrination. In Japan perhaps more than some countries the brainwashing is even more intense : The nail that sticks up is pounded down. I teach at one high level science department in a university and in my first year course I got very good responses from the students regarding some articles I gave them about Fukushima. Other than that, most people just don't want to think or talk about it. Ignorance is bliss, and early death.

Concrete man

Anonymous said...

"I don't think giving up and letting friends and family go their own way is the solution. A different communication approach is needed to explain things in ways people can grasp. A professor I had for a communications class used to say that it’s up to the speaker to make herself/himself understood. If the listener doesn’t “get it,” it’s the speaker’s fault."

Sounds like you could make a fortune in marriage counselling. You could bring divorce rates down to zero. Not to mention working in the UN.

Besides, who in this game is the speaker and the listener anyway? The people who think there is a problem, or the ones who don't?

Anonymous said...

Talibananonymous, you really exemplify the proverb "dumm geboren und nur Schrott dazugelernt".

Anonymous said...

I dare Talibanonymouse to go work cleaning up the Fuku reactors.

jimbojames said...

I love the way Nectarina apologizes for contaminating the Earth, and she's perhaps one of the least people at fault.

I share her pain, and it's no different in America. No one cares, no one wants to know, and they all just want to get more stuff.

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