Day 282 “It’s safe, kids. Gargle with the tea.”

Radiation in Japan: Saitama Forces School Children to Gargle with Sayama Tea to Prevent Flu

The “cold shutdown/accident is over” declaration by PM Noda on December 16 must have been a signal that unleashed the cold shutdown of intelligence in many parts of Japan. Here’s one from Saitama Prefecture.

Sayama City, known for its “Sayama-cha” brand green tea, has been suffering as high levels of radioactive cesium continue to be detected from its teas. As if to help the city and dispel “baseless rumors” that are scaring the consumers from buying Sayama tea, Saitama Prefecture has just started forcing school children to gargle with powdered Sayama tea as an effort to instill good behavior in preventing cold and flu.

Problem: radioactive cesium has been detected from green tea grown in Sayama, some exceeding the national provisional limit of 500 becquerels/kg by a wide margin. In fact, it is rare to find Sayama tea without any radioactive cesium.

The latest testing done by Saitama Prefecture shows continued detection of radioactive cesium from almost all teas grown in Sayama.

Nonetheless, parents of the children who goes to school in Saitama received the notice like this:

It says:

Gargling with Sayama-cha

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in the matter of educating our children. It is the time of the year again to do the gargling using Sayama tea to prevent influenza, and the powdered tea has been distributed [to the school]. Catechin, one of the main ingredients in green tea is said to prohibit the influenza virus. Therefore, our school will conduct “Let’s gargle with Sayama tea” event as follows. We ask for your understanding and cooperation.

As an aside, the powdered Sayama tea distributed this time has been tested at a testing laboratory and confirmed safe.

1. Purpose of “Let’s gargle with Sayama tea”

By doing the gargling using Sayama tea every day, to prevent the influenza infection, to form a desirable health habit, and to have a healthy, cheerful school life.

2. How to “Gargle with Sayama tea”

1) All children must each bring a cup to school to be kept in the classrooms: The cups are to be kept inside bags that children will bring, and children are to take the cups home over the weekend, wash them well, and bring them back to school the following week.

2) Each classroom is to have a supply of powdered Sayama tea: The classroom teachers are responsible for the storage and safe keeping of the tea.

3) All children will continue to gargle with Sayama tea once a day: After the PE classes and playing outside, children are supposed to dissolve powdered Sayama tea with tap water to make the solution, and gargle.

3. Please have ready:

A cup for gargling (cup made of plastics so that it doesn’t easily break)
A bag to put the cup in.

“Let’s gargle with Sayama tea” will start on Thursday December 15. We apologize for any inconvenience, but please have the cup and the bag ready by then.


The whole thing reads like an extremely cynical joke.

“To form a healthy habit” with radioactive cesium tea powder?

“Apologize for inconvenience” of being party to subject their children to the known radioactive risk?

And insistence on tap water. Many public schools in Japan only allow tap water for drinking, for educational purposes. It was fine until March 11.

A dumb bomb exploded over Japan, for sure. Or maybe this is one of the effect of radiation exposure. I wonder what the parents did in Saitama Prefecture.

The following is my translation of an article from the #87 issue of the Chernobyl Children’s Fund, Japan, Newsletter which is published every three months. See past issues (in Japanese) at 

It’s rather long, so it might take me a few entries to cover it all, but will do it when I can. Also, this is not a word-for-word translation, but rather a summary of the most important points in the article. Again, as I am an amateur translator, no guarantees of complete accuracy (but I can do better than Google Translation 😉

The Children of Chernobyl Newsletter – (1)

Five days to a week after the accident, many things happened.

If you had been a journalist, when the accident happened, what should you have done? If you had been a doctor, when the accident occurred, what you should have done first? If you had been a parent…? If you had been a government worker…? If you had been a physicist….? What should you have done first?

The Chernobyl #4 reactor has been covered in concrete, but it is breaking down. It is in need of a new dome. The company that makes the dome happens to be the same company that builds nuclear power plants. So, whether the plant operates or doesn’t, the company will make money.

This year in February, I went to Chernobyl again. These few years, I met with doctors and patients, evacuees, and what impressed me the most was, of course, that there were high levels or radiation, but also in this place where’d they declared everything safe, in the remaining towns left behind, are the children with diseases.

After the accident occurred in Fukushima on March 11, we left Tokyo on March 12. The roads were clogged because of all the traffic. We arrived in Koriyama on the night of March 12. March 13, we left Koriyama and headed toward Fukushima power station. In Futaba-cho the needle on the Geiger counter I was carrying went off scale. It was a Geiger counter that could measure 100 microseiverts. The only way to know if there was radioactivity was to look at the Geiger counter. It was the first time I had seen a geiger counter not be able to give an accurate reading. In all of the about 50 times I had been to Chernobyl, I had never seen this happen.

At the time, the government was saying, “It’s safe, it’s safe. Yes, just a little radiation. Not to worry. There is no immediate effect.”

So, people within the 20 km limits were told, “Just as a precaution, you will evacuate, but there’s no radiation, and you don’t need to worry.” Some people thought it was for 2 or 3 days. On the third day, the sky was beautiful. They thought, since they’re saying there’s no problem, they thought they could return home to get bank books, feed their pets, water the plants in the greenhouse. So the people there had absolutely no idea there was such a high degree of radiation, because NHK TV kept announcing it was safe in their “It’s safe” campaign.

Three journalists had Ginger counters. That was when we found the needlepoint off the scale. All three Geiger counters. Of the three, one of them was able to measure 1,000 microsieverts. It, too, went off scale. If a Geiger counter that is built to measure to 1,000 microsieverts goes off scale, there is no telling just how much radiation there was.

Under such conditions, the government kept saying it was all right, and caused more people to be exposed to radiation because of it.

Because the government originally said it was safe, just a few days later, they couldn’t turn around and claim that it wasn’t, so they kept building lie upon lie.


[to be continued]


Mainichi: 16.8 uSv/hr at park in Tochigi — Crowded with families during holidays — 100 km from Fukushima

Google Translate: East earthquake: Tochigi 16.8 micro Sv / hour at 5 cm above ground radiological surveys in the park Nasunogahara, Mainichi, Dec. 15, 2011:

Nasushiobara Council, to demand measures to County

Nasushiobara 千本松 prefectural pollution is a concern of the first radioactive nuclear accident Fukushima “Nasunogahara Park” (59.4 hectares) for 14 days, the City Council Special Committee on Radiation (Chairman Nobuyuki Sekiya) is 25 points was measured, the radiation is measured from a point close to 17 micro-Sieverts per hour 1. However, the high point of 5 cm. But that agreement and demand measures such as decontamination and radiation dose for the County Show.

Of 25 points, more than 1 micro sievert detected at the point 13 of the 5 cm height. Maximum is not part of the leaves and soil drains gathered in front of the parking lot at the corner of the park, we detected 16.8 micro Sv per hour measured at 5 cm in height. In addition, the 3.8 microseconds forest at the same height in mSv and 2.6 mSv on soil micro entrance, on artificial turf was 2.39 micro sievert.

The park is a vast entertainment facilities using natural, athletic, and auto-camping, tennis courts, swimming pool, and the like, crowded with their families on holidays with children. Nuclear accident opportunity, citizens worry about radiation contamination, but was rising calls for measures including the closure, the county did not indicate specific measures.


Other facilities in the city that displays a measured amount of radiation. County to achieve this agreement, asked to display the amount of radiation in the park, high point has been determined to take measures such as decontamination measures and restricted access. One of the committee is “Citizens had been pointed out, and that, but had a higher number. County should take immediate measures,” he said.

The poster above reads:

Noda: It’s over.


Everything you say is rumor.

(Updated) Protesters Swarm the Square in Central Tokyo Where Noda Is to Give Speech

(Update-2) Here’s the scenes at the square, in three parts, recorded live by Yasumi Iwakami’s crew (here,herehere). It looks both the political left and the right were up against the Noda administration and shouting at the administration officials together. And old and young, somewhat reminiscent of the scenes that I watched earlier this year in Egypt.

The net media is laughing at Noda, who turned back on the way to the square, as “saved by Kim Jong Il”.

(Update) PM Noda turned back to the Prime Minister’s Official Residence on the news of the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, who died from working too hard for the people. Ostensibly (for both Noda and Kim).

Protesters say they were unjustly withheld by the police from coming into the square while the DPJ dignitaries were making speeches.

Read entire article at:

“Cold shutdown” is a lie!


  1. There’s too much (money) to be lost if nuclear is found to be dangerous. Thus, the playing down of anything hazardous.

  2. terra213 said:

    ok, first they feed their children ridiculous amounts of mercury from dolphin meat, now their gargling a nice mix of cesium and green tea…. & i thought my school was hell. and if asian countries are suppose to be so smart, how do they not see the future consequences of their actions

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