Friday, May 11, 2012

#Radioactive Japan: All Elementary Schools in Fukushima City Will Have Outdoor Athetic Meets This Year

As if radioactive cesium disappears in one year. It has surely disappeared from the minds of school administrators, teachers, and probably the parents.

The photo is from Chunichi Shinbun (5/11/2012), citing Kyodo News. Kids wearing masks to play "ball-tossing" game to avoid dust.

Japan Times quoting Kyodo News (5/11/2012):

FUKUSHIMA — All 51 municipal elementary schools in the city of Fukushima will hold their sports festivals outside this year, starting Saturday, after two-thirds held them indoors or canceled them last year amid the nuclear crisis triggered by the March earthquake and tsunami, the city's board of education said Thursday.

Each school decided to hold the annual event outside after the amount of radiation measured on school grounds was reduced due to decontamination efforts, according to the board of education.

Last year, only 18 of the schools held their sports events outdoors, while 11 canceled them and 22 held them indoors due to radiation fears due to the triple meltdown crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Some of the schools will take measures to avoid possible radiation contamination to the students by shortening the time schedule for the meets or canceling games that could force children to touch the ground, such as tug of war, the board of education said.

Schools typically hold sports festivals in spring or fall outdoors. But many schools in the city of Fukushima postponed the events to last fall and all of the spring festivals were held in indoor facilities.

For more fun school events for kids in the post-Fukushima Japan, see my list.

"Decontamination efforts" for the most part involved replacing the top soil of the school yards sometime in last year, once. In one of the highest radiation areas in Fukushima City, Watari District, the city did the "model decontamination" of the school routes last summer by cleaning gutters and washing the sidewalks. The radiation level dropped about 25% to 1.1 to 1.3 microsievert/hour then.

But those who have remained inside Fukushima this long seem to be doubling down, so to speak. I hear about the citizens's groups holding seminars in major cities like Fukushima City and Koriyama City to "correctly fear the radiation", which seems to mean "trying not to think about it because there's not much they can do about it".


Anonymous said...

Since childrens are styaing here in fukushima in many reason. It is so much better for them to be a ble to play out side once like this. "correctly fear the radiation", doesn not mean what you assume "trying not to think about it because there's not much they can do about it".What they can do about is measuring their body, food, air and recognizing mental health. We think about it all the time with resonable a mount.

Anonymous said...

>Since childrens are styaing here in fukushima

Ummm. Do they have any choice? No, they don't, because of parents like you who made the decision for them. I hope you can explain your decision well several years from now. Mental health? Didn't you read the previous post that even the notorious RERF says there is no threshold to radiation danger?

Anonymous said...

Even if they wanted to, they can't do anything about it because their own government refuses to acknowledge the effects of the disaster and support evacuation. Citizens can't just move without having to deal with costs and bureaucratic nonsense, like job, house payments and the like. Most people can't imagine what it's like to be in such a situation.

I suppose they could all pack their bags and just leave their past lives behind, then the government would have no choice but to accept it... but it's a difficult decision and the propaganda suppressing the facts of the disaster makes it difficult for people to organize something like that.

There's a lot of distrust and disagreement over the effects of the disaster. Governments like to make citizens fight amongst each other to distract them from the real issues, which are usually caused by the government itself.

Anonymous said...

''There's a lot of distrust and disagreement over the effects of the disaster. Governments like to make citizens fight amongst each other to distract them from the real issues, which are usually caused by the government itself.''

Feckless F**kwits of a goverrnment! Divide and rule.
Well said, 2:30 San.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could do a lot more than just talk about it. Words don't work when people don't want to listen. I'd start by throwing all of those rotten politicians out.

Anonymous said...

I live in fukushima and hearing from parennts who wanted to leave or once left fukushima, said that they usually ask children if they want to come back home or not, they usually insist to come back. That's why they came back or they dicided to stay for children. I know some poeple who left here also had hard time to live in other place, that is especially for children. It is really hard for kids to understand why we have to leave here and say good bye to all the good freinds. Now once they have to be here, they deserve to have fun once in a while. Keep their positive life will be one of the most imporatnt element for them in order to fight agaist funture disease they might face(might). Criticises their life choices like this blog is only for his interets, not for childrens who are staying here, in fukushima.

Anonymous said...

@anon at 2:37PM, Nobody's criticizing your "life choices". Go ahead. Just don't ask for sympathy, and don't sell your produce outside Fukushima. No one "has to be" there. As to basing the decision on what children say, it is like asking kids if they want candy in a candy store. Of course they say yes. That's pathetic parenting, or lack of parenting.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:59. Totally agree. Moving out of a contaminated zone is an "adult" decision. There is no reason to make the decision to stay based on what children want. Children to not always have the ability to decide what is best for them. That is what parents are for.

And I would go further than say don't sell your produce outside Fukushima. Don't produce food in Fukushima. Period. Some idiot somewhere will try to mislabel and sell it outside of the prefecture (like the manufacturers in Kobe). There is no reason that people in less contaminated areas should be forced to eat that stuff. Testing methods are still not enough to be sure that it is "safe".

Anonymous said...

@anon at 2:37, I don't want to pay for your "life decision". All the money your stupid governor is spending for so-called "decontamination", guess where that is coming from.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see all the judging going on in the comments section. Judging parents for staying, judging parents for listening to children, judging them for not listening to children. If the risk from background radiation were one in 10,000, and that parent decided to accept the risk, would you say that person was a lousy parent.

Anonymous said...

>If the risk from background radiation were one in 10,000, and that parent decided to accept the risk, would you say that person was a lousy parent.

I only hope that parent will have no problem telling that to the child.

Anonymous said...

You can make up all the justifications you want for staying. Everything is fun and games until someone pokes their eye out or gets thyroid cancer.

Anonymous said...

More nonsense... nobody gets thyroid cancer from anything in/on the ground now.

Nobody is justifying staying. Or, let me put this another way, many of us believe that the risks to our health and to our children's health at these levels do not justify moving away from this area. I am grateful for the continued attention to safety issues, but the drumbeat of ill-informed opinions and hysterical judgments is tedious (to wit: the above comment and thyroid cancer.) To Anon @ 5:59, another silly comment. Allow me to say that I do not explain the linear non-threshold concept to my children, neither do I explain to them the risks inherent in vaccination, fluoridated water, or chemtrails.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:33, please tell your children that you decided to stay because you still have mortgage to pay and that's more important than considering moving out. Tell them the risk is only one in 10,000 that they get cancer. Eat all you want of Fukushima produce. Just don't make us pay for your life style choice. From now on, I have zero sympathy for people like you in Fukushima. Carry on with your lives.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I'm making you pay for my lifestyle. In fact, how much have you paid towards my lifestyle, because the money seems to have gone missing. If you don't mind, could you please re-send? (For the record, I also don't recall asking you to sympathize with me. I only ask that you don't judge my parenting...a request which has obviously fallen on deaf ears).

Also, I don't know that the risk is one in 10,000, or 1 in 100,000, or a million. Obviously in addition to my pathetic parenting, I'm no epidemiologist either.

And since you are so concerned that I explain the risks to my children, may I assume that you then explain the risks of car travel to your children every time they get in the car with you? Or have you just had them sign a liability waiver? What do you do about radon in your home? Have you a plan for eliminating radon, or is this a risk that is acceptable to you?

Anonymous said...

Anon above, what do you want? What you write and the way you write simply alienate more people.

I don't think you are what you say you are. If you think you are speaking on behalf of Fukushima people, you are doing them disservice.

Anonymous said...

Have a good explanation ready for the children when/if they need a throat operation in about 20 years.
'ah we stayed so I can pay the mortgage on this property which is worth sweet FA, my darling'.

'Oh you know I just couldn't get my head around the new paradigm-that the town you live was contaminated like Chernobyl' blah blah...

Wouldn't it be better to say ending, '...and that is why we moved. We moved so that you may be healthy and live a better life.'

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly I don't give a shit if you stay. I feel sorry for your children, that's about it. I guess children aren't made of the resilient stuff children of my generation were. Missing our friends wasn't that much of a big deal back then. Actually my parents never consulted us, we just followed them where ever they went.

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