Entree: Death By Sushi, Main Course: Lethal Tuna Steak
Sushi restaurants have popped up in recent years everywhere in the world, with many Chinese restaurants rebranding themselves to ride the trend. Tokyo Tsukiji fish market is the biggest in the world and exports worldwide, with a reported 60,000 employees. Not only this culinary trend threatens complete extinction of dwindling tuna population, but contrarily to popular belief of a Japanese healthy diet, it was a hazardous treat from the start given the level of mercury in big fish like tuna. Most Japanese restaurants worldwide are fake who serve “sushi” with non-Japanese rice to indiscriminate patrons, whereas Japanese rice is so different that it is not a question of detail. Yet, this year and forever on, if you eat genuine sushi, you’ll be ingesting radiation-tainted rice and fish on top of the usual mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls. In Japan, expecting mothers are told by doctors that eating raw fish poses no special threat (even before 3-11), contrarily to many other countries. This sushi (and sashimi) death threat applies to anyone, anywhere, from New York city to London.
Of course, we are not talking about sudden death here, just leukemia, cancers, early heart attacks, etc. Oceans are getting so polluted by radiation alone (Cf. also the Atlantic Ocean thanks to Sellafield MOX plants spills in the UK, Russian nuclear tests in Baltic Sea, French and American nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean, etc.) that fish, seafood, seaweed, etc. consumption has become hazardous – but especially fish imported from Japan like tuna – so you may reconsider your tuna steak or carpaccio order and try some salmon from Norway.
As an expat, you may be tempted by exotic delicacies such as dolphin or whale meat: these bear the highest mercury and PCB levels. Dolphins especially are caught along the Pacific coast of Japan such in Taiji village, who received international media attention following the controversial movie “The Cove“. They migrate in waters where I roughly computed 1 exa-Becquerels (1 billion times 1 billion) might have already been dumped so far (Cf. Exa-Becquerel Now In Pacific Ocean ? on SurvivalJapan).
The following article from Asahi Shimbun gives credentials to some claims made earlier on in SurvivalJapan about mislabelling of fish catch in Japan and the hocus-pocus of fishing industry and their unethical practices :
Agency asks prefectures to specify where fish are caught
By KEIICHIRO INOUE / Staff Writer
October 07, 2011
Amid consumer concerns about seafood contaminated with radiation, the Fisheries Agency is asking seven eastern prefectures and maritime organizations to be more specific about where their fish are caught.
Under the current system, fishermen can simply write down the ports where they have taken their fish and other marine products as the locations for their catches. For example, if fish caught off Hokkaido end up at Kesennuma Port in Miyagi Prefecture, the fishermen can say the fish were caught off Miyagi Prefecture.
The agency on Oct. 5 sent a notice for stricter standards to the prefectural governments of Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba as well as fishing organizations, including cooperative associations.
It said the requirement was necessary because consumers’ interest in sea areas has grown because of the radioactive substances leaking from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
However, the notice is not legally binding.
“We will ask each prefecture for cooperation,” an agency official said.
According to the notice, fish and other marine creatures caught near the coast should feature labels mentioning the closest prefecture.
Other rules apply for fish that swim further out in areas that can cover two or more prefectures, such as bonito and saury.
If such fish are caught off Fukushima Prefecture, they should be labeled as: “Off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture.”
Fish caught in the Pacific Ocean off Hokkaido or Aomori Prefecture should also be labeled as such.
For fish taken from waters off Iwate Prefecture, fishermen are required to write, “Off the coast of the northern part of Sanriku.” They should write, “Off the coast of the southern part of Sanriku” for catches off Miyagi Prefecture.
Fish caught off Ibaraki Prefecture should be described as, “Off the coast of Hitachi or Kashima,” while Chiba Prefecture fish should be labeled: “Off the coast of Boso (peninsula).”
Catches in areas east of the 200 nautical mile line from the eastern Japanese coast should be described as: “Northern part (of sea areas) in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan.”
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This, from EX-SKF:
Toshio Kimura gave a talk at a rally in Kochi Prefecture on April 29. (That happened to be the day when the pro-nuke scientist rather cheerfully proclaimed that the Fukushima reactors had had meltdowns on a national TV.) He had long left TEPCO at the time of March 11 accident, but he used to work at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.
He evacuated with his family to Kochi Prefecture right after the accident.
(Translated and captioned by Tokyo Brown Tabby)
His talk continued but Tabby couldn’t find the video for that part. So, this is what he said after the video above ended:
As to the situation of the plant, 70% of the fuel in Unit 1 have melted. I haven’t looked at the most recent data, but the reactor pressure is increasing, the radiation dose inside the containment vessel is increasing, and iodine-131 is not decreasing. It has started to decrease a bit recently, though. All this means is there definitely has been re-criticality until recently. Because, as you know, the half life of iodine-131 is only 8 days. And yet, after more than a month from the accident, we still see an increase in the level of iodine-131. That itself proves there has been re-criticality, because otherwise iodine shouldn’t have been produced. A neutron hits the atom of uranium-235, the atom splits, and iodine-131 is produced. That’s how the nuclear fission occurs. And through the mechanism that can be explained by Einstein’s theory of relativity, heat is produced. The heat boils water to create steam, and the steam spins the turbin. The turbines are connected in series and drive the electrical generator to produce electricity. This is the mechanism of electricity generation.
Iodine-131 is not produced unless neutrons cause nuclear fission. That’s why I’m saying there has been re-criticality. Nuclear Safety Commission won’t admit it. TEPCO won’t admit it. The government won’t admit it. But really there has been re-criticality until very recently. This is the fact. Any professional with the knowledge of physics of nuclear reactor can tell. This re-criticality issue is one of the things they are hiding from you.
Another lie is that 0.24 microsievert/h is safe. This is wrong.
These are the things I wanted to tell you today. Here in Kochi, you don’t have to worry too much because Kochi is quite far from Fukushima. But please look at the radiation dispersion forecast by the German Weather Service. If you notice the north-east wind is blowing throughout Japan, don’t ever let children get wet in the rain. And women who want to have children in the future. Don’t let them go outside on such days. We, middle-aged men are okay, including me.
It’s because cesium-137 is dangerous. Its half life is 30 years. It’s dangerous because it tends to accumulate in muscles. Men have relatively more muscle. Even if cesium-137 gets absorbed inside their bodies, it spreads thinly throughout their muscles. On the other hand, women don’t have much muscle, and the absorbed cesium tends to concentrate in the organs like mammary gland and uterus. It may increase the incidence of breast cancer. But this is something you can prevent if you have the knowledge. If you have to go outside on such days, please wet the gauze inside the mask first and put on the mask before you go out.
Also, you have to be careful with iodine, too, while it is still released. Iodine accumulates in seaweed and it is easily absorbed from your hair. So, one way to prevent iodine absorption is to put on a hat so that your hair won’t get wet from the rain.
You haven’t heard about such things, have you? Nobody tells you that. The government doesn’t tell, either. But I wanted to let you know. That’s why I came here today.
I don’t want to talk too long, but one last thing.
I hear some wise old men protected a very beautiful fountain located within the radius of 30km from Chernobyl plant. How they protected it is mysterious. I studied nuclear energy intensively and I studied physics to some extent. But still I believe in an invisible power. Those wise old men didn’t evacuate after the accident. How did they protect the fountain? By prayer. I’m not sure how many of you believe in the power of prayer. But if you can believe in it, even if just a little, then please pray in the morning that the Fukushima-1 nuke plant may rest in peace. And remember, we’ve benefited from radioactivity because it produces electricity. So, please pray that the radiation will be neutralized and vanished by our sense of gratitude and our love. I hope we’ll pull together and pass that prayer over to the next generation.
That’s all I had to say. Thank you.
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Tokyo guarantees debris plan is safe
A plan to help rebuild the Tohoku region has sparked controversy in Tokyo after the metropolitan government said Sept. 28 it would burn and store debris and other waste from Miyagi and Iwate prefectures that could be tainted with radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
Tokyo plans to take about 500,000 tons of debris and waste from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures over a three-year period, starting with 1,000 tons from Miyako in Iwate later this month.
The metropolitan government says the contamination level of the waste is too low to pose a health risk for residents or workers at the designated landfill dump area 4 to 5 km off the Odaiba waterfront area in Tokyo Bay.
But of the 900 telephone calls and emails from residents commenting on the matter through Wednesday, about 730 were against the plan, while around 100 were supportive, the metropolitan government said.
“Radioactive materials should not be dispersed,” one message said, according to metropolitan official Kazumi Arai.
“Emotionally speaking, I don’t want to accept (debris),” another protest message said.
Breaking down the opinions, emotions are mixed among residents living near the disposal site. Some are worried but at the same time willing to share the burden to help victims in Tohoku.
Removing the mountains of debris generated by the March 11 tsunami is considered a must before rebuilding can get under way on the disaster-hit coast. The tsunami left behind an estimated 23 million tons in the coastal areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, exceeding by far the ability of local governments to deal with it.
Fires have frequently broken out in debris piles in many areas, and the odor and smoke have plagued nearby residents.
“I feel sorry” for the people in the devastated areas since they are living with mountains of unprocessed debris and waste, Kiyo Saito, a 89-year-old resident of the Odaiba district in Minato Ward, said. “It is good that (Tokyo) will store the waste.”
A 28-year-old housewife and mother of two living nearby said she is worried but willing to help the devastated areas rebuild.
“Since I have small children, I have a strong concern over the fact that radioactive materials are coming close,” she said, declining to be named. “But (the plan) is certainly inevitable.”
Tokyo plans to start transporting the debris from Miyako later this month by truck and rail to three to five private waste disposal facilities.
The burnable trash will be reduced to ash at the waste-disposal facilities and dumped in the landfill disposal site in Tokyo Bay off Koto Ward, south of the Odaiba waterfront district. The nonburnable waste will be dumped directly at the site, Arai said.
The metropolitan government stressed that the contamination level of the debris is so low that it can be safely processed and dumped without putting anyone’s health at risk.
Tokyo said the Iwate Prefectural Government last month detected 133 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in ash from waste incinerated in Miyako.
That is well below the government’s limit of 8,000 becquerels per kilogram and the 974 to 12,920 becquerels per kilogram detected in ash made by incinerators in June and July in Tokyo’s 23 wards, the metropolitan government said. Arai and the Environment Ministry said anything below 8,000 becquerels per kilogram is safe even for workers at landfills, let alone the nearest residents, who are several kilometers from the dumpsite.
If a landfill employee works four hours a day 250 days a year near waste containing that level of radioactive cesium, the Environment Ministry says his or her annual exposure to radiation projects to 0.78 millisieverts. According to a consensus of scientists, a one-time exposure to 100 millisieverts would increase one’s probability of death by cancer by 0.5 percent.
“We have made sure that safety will be maintained throughout the process,” Arai said.
Authorities will also recheck the contamination levels several times before waste is brought to the dumpsite, and if they are over the government limit, storage will be suspended.
Measures will also be taken to prevent waste from spreading outside of the landfill disposal facility. Waste and debris will be solidified with chemicals or cement before being sent to the Tokyo Bay site, the metropolitan government said.
Net fences several meters high surround the dumpsite.
Starting off the process in Miyako, Tokyo Environmental Public Service Corp., an organization affiliated with the metropolitan government, will check radiation levels at the waste separation site and inside each lead container, as well as the density of radioactive materials at the storage yard.
The organization will also measure radiation at the boundaries of the destination waste separation and compacting facilities in Tokyo a week before accepting the waste, and once a week while processing it. It will also check the radiation of the waste while in the lead containers and of the waste itself once during the processing period.
Then at Tokyo incinerators, it will check radiation levels outside the facilities, the levels in the ash after it has been placed in lead containers, and the density of radioactive materials in exhaust fumes from the facilities.
The metro government said radiation levels will also be measured once a week at the landfill.
Tokyo would be the first municipality outside Tohoku to accept disaster debris, the Environment Ministry said.
The metropolitan government claimed it obtained unanimous approval for the plan at a regular session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in June.
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Wondering what loopholes theTEPCO and the gov’t will find to get out of compensating the fishing industry…
Fish catch in tsunami-hit areas plunges as nuclear crisis dampens demand
SENDAI (Kyodo) — Fish catch at eight major ports in tsunami-hit northeastern Japan has plunged since April from a year ago, down by as much as 85 to 99 percent in volume in five of the areas, as consumers continue to shun fish from the region due to fears of radioactive contamination, local officials and fishery cooperatives said Friday.
While damage to equipment by the March 11 tsunami was also behind the sharp decrease in fish hauls at major ports in Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, fishermen and fish market officials say the nuclear accident at the radiation-leaking Fukushima Daiichi plant was largely to blame.
“Fish from Chiba and Ibaraki are all caught from the same areas of the sea, yet only ours aren’t selling well because they are labeled ‘Fukushima.’ It’s absurd,” said a fish market official at Fukushima’s Onahama fishing port.
Others in the fisheries industry said the sales total, including those for exports to China and South Korea, have also dropped as buyers beat down prices because of the nuclear accident.
Of the eight major fishing ports, only Miyagi’s Shiogama saw an increase in catch and sales, thanks to relatively little damage to its port facilities from the tsunami and an increase in fishing boats that have diverted from nearby ports where they could not land hauls.
According to a Tokyo-based national association of fisheries wholesalers, the decrease in catch in northeastern Japan is unlikely to trigger an immediate supply shortage or price hikes as hauls from other parts of Japan are making up for it.
The fisheries industry is a major economic pillar of many coastal communities in northeastern Japan.
(Mainichi Japan) October 7, 2011
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Osaka residents voice radiation concerns over Fukushima-made bridge girders
OSAKA — Residents of Kawachinagano in Osaka Prefecture have expressed concerns over radiation from girders made in Fukushima Prefecture, which will be used for a bridge construction project as part of National Route 371’s bypass linking here with Wakayama Prefecture.
The local reaction led Osaka Prefecture to suspend the work in late July to ensure the safety of the steel bridge girders from Fukushima, which has been rocked by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, by measuring their radiation doses. But because there are no national safety standards for civil engineering materials such as bridge girders, the Osaka Prefectural Government is considering asking the central government to set safety standards for such construction materials at an early date.
According to Osaka’s Tondabayashi civil engineering office, a firm in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, won the order to build and install the bridge girders, each measuring 55 meters in length and 8 meters in width, for about 125 million yen. The bridge girders were manufactured in a factory in Koriyama in February this year and had been kept outdoors on the factory’s premises.
Bridge piers made by another firm were installed in July as part of the bridge construction project, and the Osaka Prefectural Government was scheduled to take delivery of the Fukushima-made bridge girders in September to complete the project in February next year.
But during a briefing by the Tondabayashi civil engineering office for local residents in late July, some residents took issue with possible radiation contamination from the bridge girders and asked the Osaka government to ensure their safety. The prefectural government later received similar messages of serious concern from other residents.
A private inspection entity checked the bridge girders and found the amount of radiation to be 0.7 millisieverts, as compared to an annual limit of 1 millisievert for ordinary residents set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.
The prefectural government will decide later this year how to deal with the issue after measuring radiation doses at the construction site and consulting with experts. A prefectural government official in charge of the matter said, “There are no national standards for civil engineering materials and there is no way to prove the bridge girders’ safety. We plan to ask the state to draw up national standards.”
Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto told reporters on Oct. 6, “We want to release data so as not to cause unjustified harmful rumors.”
(Mainichi Japan) October 7, 2011
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In case you missed it a while back…
Fukushima Pref. fireworks ditched over radiation fears
The Yomiuri Shimbun
NISSHIN, Aichi–An annual fireworks festival in Nisshin, Aichi Prefecture, decided not to use any fireworks produced in Fukushima Prefecture after local residents expressed concern that such products could spread harmful radioactive materials.
The organizing committee of the Nisshin Dream Festival, which was held Sunday night, said it initially planned to use fireworks made in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures during the festival’s fireworks display, to reflect the theme of reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
However, the committee received about 20 e-mails and telephone calls on Friday and Saturday from residents who were concerned that fireworks made in Fukushima Prefecture could be tainted with radioactive material from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“Do you really have no concerns about radioactive contamination?” asked one resident. Another asked, “Do you have any information that guarantees the safety [of using Fukushima Prefecture fireworks]?”
The Nisshin city government is represented on the organizing committee.
The Aichi-based company assigned to set off the fireworks for the show told the committee it did not have a dosimeter, and therefore could not conduct radiation checks on the fireworks before the event.
The committee decided Saturday not to use 80 high-speed fireworks that were produced in Kawamatamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, during the show.
Fireworks made in Aichi Prefecture were used in their place.
Nisshin Mayor Kozo Hagino said: “We’re very sorry for people in Fukushima Prefecture because of this. We planned the festival to encourage areas affected by the disaster and chose a fireworks company in Fukushima Prefecture [to participate].
“But, at the same time, we had to respond to the concerns of our residents. The committee couldn’t give a green light to using the fireworks from Fukushima Prefecture.”