Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: Something's Rotten in Yokohama City

Well, I have to defend the City somewhat, because by no means Yokohama is alone, even though it has most number of schools (158) in the country that served beef contaminated with radioactive cesium.

The following are the recent happenings in Yokohama City, as I picked from the message board maintained by Yokohama City Assemblyman Masataka Ota, who's been fighting to remove contaminated food items including cesium beef from children's school lunches.

Contaminated beef:

While the City fed kindergarteners and school children with domestic beef contaminated with radioactive cesium despite protests from the concerned parents, the cafeteria at Yokohama City Hall for the city employees and guests were serving beef imported from Australia.

6 elementary schools served radioactive beef 5 times, and 22 schools served it 4 times.

Radioactive summer school:

The City is determined to keep sending school children to the summer school in an elevated radiation area in Gunma Prefecture. The officials insist it is safe, because they are told it's safe. Never mind that nearby locations have levels like 0.50 microsievert/hour (official), and a citizen measured as high as 1.26 microsievert/hour in the very area that the children may go to.

Bringing water bottles to schools:

At least one (but there seem to be many) school allows children to carry water bottles if they want, but they have to leave their bottles in the school principal's office, and when they want to drink water they must come to the principal's office to drink.

This is bullying and harassment of children by the school principal. Quite an education.

Altering the official document:

The City's Board of Education has relented somehow to parents and the legislators like Mr. Ota and issued a notice to the parents whose children go to the public elementary schools in Yokohama City, telling them to consult their schools individually if they want to send their children to school with homemade lunch and water bottle. The hitch is that this notice were issued through schools. Some schools decided to white out the part about homemade lunch and water bottle, and added the contact information for the Board of Education if the parents have any questions.

Testing food items in school lunches:

Oh yes finally the City is doing, but one item per day. Apparently, the City informs the lunch preparation centers which food item is to be tested on a particular day.

One positive thing:

Some parents are actually yanking their children from schools, and have started home schooling.


Anonymous said...

Yay for responsible parents. The Japanese schooling system always sounded very abusive to me.

Anonymous said...

This attitude is just extremely hard to understand. Is it really such a big thing just to let them take a lunch box and water bottle? Obviously the authority has proven itself not to be trusted. Now they should be re-building trust, not destroying it more.

And school headmasters too. What happened to the welfare of the children so that they grow up bright and energetic to join society.

Get them out - vote them off - petition them - hassle them. These people deserve no respect as public custodians in the way they have behaved.

Anonymous said...

What should be the punishment for complicity to state sponsored soft genocide?
These Heads are simply suits. They are temporary and easily disposed of. So they toe the line. This is Japan. These are civil servants. That is why they are Heads. You think Heads here are chosen for their outstanding contribution to education and independance of thought? No, no, no! You are mixing up education with indoctrination of the nations values. These values are owned by the power companies. They make the rules and this filters down all the way to little Boards of Education and the Head choosing procedure.

When/If Japan awakes out of this state will be when children in Yokohama and Fukushima are needing thyroid operations, in 30 years time. All those Heads will be dust by then. And the new Heads will make solemn coments like they do for Minamata victims.

Japanese people need to wake up. This will only eventually come by a full traumatization of Tokyo or a hyperinflation for the middle classes. Even then I have my doubts. You are looking at one of the most socially controlled and happily ignorant societies of the world. Those who speak out are ostracized. Those that speak out of turn are ostracized!
It is really only the people of Fukushima who have lost the trust in their government. No one else gives a shit whilst their little worlds continue to function...and TPTB are adamant in continuing those little worlds and keeping the ants working and spending.

Who needs the powers of a repressive state apparatus when the ideological state apparatus is so strong and the public so wanting to believe their masters? I am reminded of the Dr. in Milan Kundera's Unbelievable Lightness of Being. You can count figures like this on one hand in Japan...Kodama, Koide, Takeda, Ultraman. These are people who actually love this country, these people. Yet their wisom falls on deaf ears. People dont want to comprehend the truth. Imagine that. People dont WANT to comprehend the truth because it compromises their place and their role and their country, economy, riches, dreams.
Japanese hate disorder. Without which there can be no re-birth.

Anonymous said...

It overall sounds like japanese children belong to the government / state. future robot that needs to be trained ... nevermind if it's going to be a bit radioactive.

Anonymous said...

That is one way to see things, but even if Japan is a bit an extreme case, I would feel it happening the same in other countries. Well, indeed, it already happened in other countries...

But also, one can see the effect of a full liberal democracy: political power is weakened by economic lobbies.

So, nobody can take any global decisions, or even listen to the population.

By the way, the government is place for only a few months, so...

Anonymous said...

"But also, one can see the effect of a full liberal democracy: political power is weakened by economic lobbies."

And you suggest what; Benevolent Dictatorship?

Anonymous said...

It's too late for all those people near the plant. They waited too long to get their shit together.

Give it a year or less...game over.

FigNewton said...

As I mentioned before, my daughter's school allowed her to bring bento and water after my wife met with the principal in April. Now, this is widely accepted; a note was sent to all parents before the beginning of this term. But my daughter's school is the exception.

They still have 'pool days', where the kids swim in the open air swimming pool. Our daughter skips those days.

We only have a month left in Japan, and I'm trying not to leave bitter. Japan has been a wonderful home for us the last ten years. I'm trying not to let the last six months form my lasting impression. But I'm finding this difficult.

Japan is an amazing country with great people and deep culture. Unfortunately, the 'culture' can work against them when leadership and quick decisions are required.. Consensus building takes time. I guess I don't have the patience.

Bruce Hayden said...

A benevolent dictatorship would be much preferable to the clusterfuck in the USA right now. Shrub and Obomba were/are nowhere near benevolent.
Fascist oligarchy is really the correct term. The Japanese have a long history of absolute submission to authority. We haven't, and may yet
overthrow these criminals. Hopefully enough Japanese will grow a pair and and overthrow their corporate fascist enemies also.

Anonymous said...

city hall officials smart, children dumb. there is a real opportunity for children to learn. schools need to show movies like oliver twist & read stories by Upton Sinclair, that would get them wise.

Masher1 said...

Is anyone feeling the "Radiation Experement" Vibes surrounding this whole event?

If one were to ask Why are the children who are the most at risk being left in the contamination what would be realized?

I see a real nasty test going on right under everyones noses and nothing seems to outrage anyone enough to get off there asses and ACT!

So sad.

Anonymous said...

this sounds like TREASON.
i cant think of any other law covering destruction of your own population.

does japan have the death sentence?
if not, build a prison near fukushima to hold them until they die from "natural" causes.

Anonymous said...

Yes recently, last year, the Japanese government restarted the death sentence, if you research with which case they started to begin with, you will get even more mad about all this...

It seems they are following an agenda.

Nguyen_ducThuan said...

We, Yokohama residents are now facing new threat from Yokohama city local government and some professors (Dr. Karaki from Tokyo Univ. and Prof. Inoue from Yokohama city Univ.). Yokohama city held the public meeting on this Monday that had lectures by these professors. They said the situation in Yokohama becomes quite safe ( radiation level in the air comes back to standard before disaster ) and if you eat contaminated beef 10 times worse than the national standard, risk of cancer will be very little than smoking risk! Yokohama city's bureaucrats made their newspaper for public relations which mentions about this meeting lectures and they are planning to post this all Yokohama families on 10th.
Please see below links ( sorry only in Japanese ) :

This says "There is no clear evidence to raise the risk of cancer even if you would get 100mSv radiation."
We do protest these disinformation which misleads people in Yokohama especially children, mothers and pregnant women.
Please say NO to Yokohama city! Please send your friends these unbelievable bad situations that surround us.

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