Tuesday, June 14, 2011

#Radioactive Tea: Shizuoka Governor Accuses NHK of Spreading "Baseless Rumor"

Again, in "Newspeak" in post-Fukushima Japan, "baseless rumor" means "radioactivity".

(Other "newspeak" examples: "Safe" means "dangerous and/or radioactive and to be avoided", and "no immediate health concern" means "there's long-term health concern".)

But this Oxford PhD governor of Shizuoka is hilarious. In his mind, the report in the newspaper and TV that some of Shizuoka's teas have been found with radioactive cesium exceeding the national safety limit is an unconscionable lie. He accuses the press for saying all Shizuoka's teas are radioactive, when none of them said anything remotely resembling that.

The governor must be suffering a hysteria episode of a different kind.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (8:58AM JST 6/15/2011):


Concerning the detection of radioactive cesium exceeding the national provisional level from the "seicha" (final blend tea) in Shizuoka, Governor Kawakatsu held a press conference on June 14 and harshly criticized NHK for creating the "baseless rumor" [on Shizuoka's tea].


Governor Kawakatsu breathlessly accused the press, "The culprits for the baseless rumor are right here [he means the press]. On June 9, on the 9 o'clock national news [on NHK], they reported 'some tea in Shizuoka exceeded the provisional safety limit for radioactive materials.' What nonsense! They report as if the teas in entire Shizuoka Prefecture are radioactive. It is truly unconscionable."


He continued, "Be responsible as the public media. People who read the newspaper headlines or watched NHK News now think all Shizuoka teas are radioactive. I demand that you apologize for having exaggerated. You will be held responsible, do you understand?"


NHK's Nagoya Station said "We reported the facts and we stand by our report. We have no comments on the governor's remarks."


Matt said...

He obviously forgot the meanings of "some" and "all".

Anonymous said...

I think I just lost my post so I will repeat it but if it is duplicate - please discard it.

Ultraman, I was already impressed that you can translate between English and Japanese so well but NOW I learn that you can also translate Newspeak! Thank you for all the translations!
I now wish to try my first translation of English into Newspeak - wish me luck (and correct me if I am wrong).

Does 'hysteria' in English mean 'people are afraid we are lying again because we've betrayed them at every opportunity' in Newspeak? Is this correct?

Anonymous said...

All in all, it doesn't care what Shizuoka governor says as long as there are government radionuclide tests done on tea.
Politicians are all the same. I don't care about them. I just trust scientific measurements and medical advice. Some japanese tea could not be drunken anymore? Fine. I'll buy others tea that are safer.
Some has to pay, and it couldn't be the final consumer.

moonkai said...

wow ... 7.14pm here in Tokyo on the 15th of June and it appears there is a lot smoke going on (TBS feed). And no it is not fog. You can see the building to the right very clearly. The camera even zoomed in. Maybe I should stop smoking dope !! ;) Are my eyes playing me tricks ? I can't see well from the TEPCO feed.

Anonymous said...

Governor Kawakatsu
"You will be held responsible, do you understand?"

Fuk Oaf, tar & feathers for your kind!

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Well like old Willy Shakes was known to say "the lady doth protest too much". This guy acts like he's got something to hide. Sounds like this guy needs some radioactive dirt or rotted fish sent to his home and office. People should have brought samples of radioactive tea to his moaning and groaning session and thrown it at him.

xanteacher said...

Clearly a large sector of arable land is lost in Japan -- time to reduce tariffs and increase imports. Parents and schools deserve clean food for the young, especially in a rich country that can afford that kind of intervention. To force the citizenry to consume contaminated food to protect the domestic food economy is reprehensible and cruel. Think of the kids!!

Time to make new communities and cities focused on the young. Go to the southern islands of Kyushu and create new communities that pro-child, pro-environment and anti-nuclear. Keeping hundreds of thousands of young people in highly contaminated areas is inhumane, especially in a country with such a low birthrate. Clearly money is speaking loudest in this debate, and of course the natural hesitancy of people not wanting to be uprooted. Still, this is where government has a mandate to ensure the survival and well-being of the youngest -- move them now.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

I guess the mayor is really mad now that Reuters has picked up the story.

"(Reuters) - Hisao Nakamura still can't accept that his crisply cut field of deep green tea bushes south of Tokyo has been turned into a radioactive hazard by a crisis far beyond the horizon.

"I was more than shocked," said Nakamura, 74, who, like other tea farmers in Kanagawa has been forced to throw away an early harvest because of radiation being released by the Fukushima Daiichi plant 300 kilometers (180 miles) away."

"Under pressure to provide a more accurate picture of the contamination, the Ministry of Education has promised to complete a detailed survey of the evacuated area by October". (October!!! just in time to be useless)

"One of the high-profile casualties from the hotspot phenomenon has been the tea crop in Kanagawa and neighboring Shizuoka, where cesium was found at a level that exceeded the government's legal limit by as much as 35 percent.

"We never thought that that the nuclear accident would affect our products," said Susumu Yamaguchi, 58, who heads a farmers' cooperative in the village of Kiyokawa.

Yamaguchi has lost a crop worth over $20,000. Another farmer he knows has simply given up his field."


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

D'OH...It turns out nuclear plants are designed to fail.


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Oh, and it looks like the local Kujira managed to pickup up a dose. I bet this isn't going to get better over time. It's a good thing they have so much body mass to distribute all the contaminated plankton.


Anonymous said...

Looks like someones cooking a safe to eat dinner at reactor 4 right now - smoke (or steam)visible from both camera angles.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all of your tireless efforts on this blog. ありがとうUnfortunately, the press in the USA has completely forgotten about what is happening in Japan. The implications of these nuclear melt throughs are huge. I am relieved that someone "gets it" and has the courage to ask the questions and to think about what is happening. Sadly, there is no true leadership in Japan or the USA. Your blog gives me some hope. We the people will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Wait it says cesium was found in excess in the tea - what about strontium and the other isotopes. How much strontium is in that tea?

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

"GREENPEACE says hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are still eating food contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion a quarter of a century after the blast.

In a report, the environmental group said samples of milk, berries, potatoes and root vegetables in two Ukrainian regions show unacceptably high levels of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 from the 1986 blast. The regions are in northwestern Ukraine, outside the so-called "exclusion zone" around the plant, where residency is generally prohibited.

Greenpeace researcher Iryna Labunska criticised the government for halting counter-radiation measures in the regions two years ago. Those measures included supplying uncontaminated hay for dairy cattle."


Anonymous said...

Just a few days ago, a highly radioactive shipment of mushrooms was stopped at the UK border. The shipment was originally believed to be contaminated from Fukushima but was later determined to be a result of Chernobyl. 25 or 26 years later - still rendering food hazardous and showing up in imports. The comments in the linked article below indicated that people believe that potatoes and other foods from contaminated areas continue to flow out of the region.

“Radioactive mushrooms contaminated in Chernobyl disaster seized at British port”


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Is Chernobyl a Wild Kingdom or a Radioactive Den of Decay?

"But a pair of scientists are now calling these claims into serious question. According to US-based evolutionary biologist Timothy Mousseau, there is scant evidence to back up the idea of Chernobyl as a radioactive Wild Kingdom. “People say these things—they’re simply anecdotes,” Mousseau says. “It’s totally irrational.” Nonetheless, last December, the Ministry of Emergencies—the Ukrainian agency responsible for overseeing the Exclusion Zone—announced that it would formally open the zone to mass tourism in 2011."

"They have gathered a rising mountain of data and published dozens of papers, all suggesting that the chronic low-level radioactivity of the zone and the hot particles that find their way into the soil and food in the area cause long-term damage to the organisms that live there. In barn swallows, they found deformed beaks and eyes, tumors, damaged toes, and asymmetrical tails. (All of these changes, of course, can make the birds less successful at catching food, migrating, and breeding.) They also found high rates of dead or deformed sperm in birds nesting in the most contaminated areas, further demonstrating the reproductive cost of living in the zone. When they examined a wider sample of bird species, and then invertebrates and spiders, they found similar results: “a very strong signal of contamination effects on abundance and biodiversity,” Mousseau says. In other words, populations declined as radioactivity increased.


Anonymous said...


Criticalities at No.3 reactor are the norm,

".. in 2007, the utility said it hadn’t come entirely clean five years earlier. It had concealed at least six emergency stoppages at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station and a “critical” reaction at the plant’s No. 3 unit that lasted for seven hours. "


".. a “critical” reaction at the plant’s No. 3 unit that lasted for seven hours. "

Anonymous said...

related to shizuoka tea : 162 kg blocked at custom in french airport today 2011 06 17 (see http://www.ouest-france.fr/ofdernmin_-Fukushima.-Du-the-vert-japonais-radioactif-intercepte-a-Roissy_6346-1838474-fils-tous_filDMA.Htm in french sorry:))

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