Exactly one and a half year since the start of the nuclear accident on March 11, 2011, this is where Japan stands. All the lip service to "protecting children" or "children are our future" is, well, lip service.
The mayor of a big city in Kanagawa Prefecture declares eating food containing radioactive cesium in the school lunches is part of children's education. A large city in Fukushima Prefecture in the highly contaminated Nakadori (middle third) refuses to install air conditioning systems in the city's public schools because children should not miss the opportunity to learn about global warming. A city in Tokyo has just started feeding children with milk from Fukushima for their school lunch program. A professor in a college in Shizuoka Prefecture with the PhD in tourism sends her students to Fukushima to buy Fukushima produce and goods to dispel "baseless rumors".
It is worse than the worst that Professor Kunihiko Takeda of Chubu University feared exactly a year ago, with his short poetic prose titled "A girl doesn't talk"; he pleaded with teachers and educators to do all they could to protect children. His plea has fallen on totally deaf ears, and here we are. This has got to be the end.
First, for Takao Abe, Mayor of Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture, making children eat food that has been proven to contain radioactive cesium of Fukushima origin is nothing but highly educational, and the parents should just shut up (Tokyo Shinbun 9/5/2012):
Mayor Takao Abe said during the regular press conference on September 4 that it was important for children to learn that they were living in dangers, and that he would continue to use the frozen oranges from Kanagawa and canned apples from Yamagata that were found with radioactive cesium in the school lunches in the elementary schools in Kawasaki City, emphasizing the educational aspect of using food [known to be contaminated with radioactive cesium].
According to the city's inspection, 9.1 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium was found in the frozen oranges [from Kanagawa], and 1.6 Bq/kg in the canned apple [from Aomori]. However, since the levels are below the national safety limit (100 Bq/kg) the city has been serving the frozen oranges in the school lunches since April this year. The city will start using the canned apple in September.
When asked about Yokohama City and Kamakura City not using the frozen oranges, Mayor Abe responded, "It is a mistake to teach children to be afraid of such a trivial level [of radioactive cesium]." He further commented, "On the road, there is a danger of being hit by a car. A total stranger may stab you. Do you teach children not to walk past a stranger?"
There are parents who are not convinced, but to them, the mayor said, "Don't be a chicken."
Mayor Abe was born and raised in Fukushima, by the way. But that has nothing to do with anything, right?
Koriyama City in high-radiation Nakadori of Fukushima Prefecture refused to install air conditioning systems in the city's schools because it was important for children to suffer to learn about "ecology" (tweet from one of my followers, about an NHK program on the topic):
They don't allow installation of air conditioning systems in schools in Koriyama City. It was talked about in the meeting with TEPCO in June. The city's Board of Education also said [to the parents], "We want children to learn ecology." From the video. The Koriyama City Assembly, TEPCO, and Board of Education all turned down the petition from the parents who worried about their children in the radiation contamination and the severe heat of the summer.
When the Japanese say "ecology", all they mean is "energy-saving to prevent global warming". Global warming.
Then, it is more important for Fuchu City in western Tokyo to help Fukushima recover from the "baseless rumors" than protecting children from potentially contaminated food; or good deal with a major milk supplier (Snow Brand Megmilk) cannot be ditched (the link goes to a page with the handout from the Board of Education). The latter, more likely. So, starting September 10, Fuchu City's milk from Snow Brand Megmilk will contain milk from Fukushima, in addition to Kanagawa, Chiba, Tochigi, Gunma, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Aomori. In for a penny, in for a pound, or literally, "Eat poison, lick the platter that serves the poison".
And lastly, Professor Akane Okubo got her PhD in tourism (I never heard of such a thing until I checked her bio), and teaches at Fuji Tokoha University in Shizuoka Prefecture while she continue to work for the research institute of Japan Travel Bureau (JTB), one of the largest tour operators in Japan. In the past, she worked for another tourism outfit (Jalan). How does she educate her students? By sending them off to Fukushima to buy up produce and goods in Fukushima to counter "baseless rumors". She must have gotten a lucrative grant from the national government for her "research". From Yomiuri Shinbun (9/10/2012):
Professor Okubo said, "It is important for the student to listen to the local people and to think about what they can do. We would like to do any small thing to help dispel baseless rumors."
Now that's unintentionally funny. "Japanese university students" and "think" clearly don't go together.
The pace of descending into deeper and deeper lunacy seems to be accelerating in Japan. Maybe this is what people must have felt like in the 1930s, right before the last world war.