Day 407 Survivors

 So…. is it okay or isn’t it?

Chernobyl expert takes a look at Tohoku’s trees


Special to The Japan Times

Somewhere between downtown Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture, and the village of Ogisu an hour’s drive to the northeast, Dr. Tatsuhiro Ohkubo pulls over to buy a box of sakura mochi.

News photo
Science master: Ukrainian academic Sergiy Zibtsev, who has a wealth of experience dealing with radioactively contaminated forests, seen in Ogisu, Tochigi Prefecture, during his visit to Tohoku. WINIFRED BIRD

Back on the road, he passes one of the bright-pink rice cakes to the back seat for Dr. Sergiy Zibtsev, who is visiting Japan for the first time. His tall frame folded grasshopper-fashion into the small car, the Ukrainian forest ecologist bites into the salted cherry leaf wrapped around the rice cake.

“Mm,” he says. “What species is this?”

Ohkubo doesn’t miss a beat. “Prunus speciosa,” he says.

Ohkubo, 53, also a forest ecologist, can match Zibtsev thrust for thrust in Latin-laced banter. Despite the light mood, however, the pair’s mission on this late March morning is somber. They’re on their way to visit an organic farmer whose forests have been contaminated by radioactive fallout from the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant about 100 km to the northeast.

 Article continues at:


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How the media plays the debris card. From:

Japan’s Emperor Speaks About Disaster Debris, And the Media Edits

Friday, April 20, 2012

The emperor of Japan, during the annual Spring Garden Party that he hosts, talked to the governor of Miyagi Prefecture and asked him about the disaster debris. Depending on the newspaper you read, you would get a different idea on what the emperor may have said.

Not surprisingly, Tokyo Shinbun ( focused on the concern that the emperor expressed regarding the disaster debris disposal:


His Imperial Majesty talked about the disaster debris processing with Governor Murai [of Miyagi Prefecture], and said “There are dangerous substances in the debris, aren’t there? Like asbestos? I hope you would take ample precaution in processing [the debris]”, expressing his consideration for the health of the workers.

Surprisingly, Sankei Shinbun is the close second (


His Majesty asked Governor Yoshihiro Murai of disaster-affected Miyagi Prefecture, “There are dangerous substances in the debris, aren’t there?” He continued, “I hope you would take ample precaution in processing [the debris]”, showing his consideration.

Nikkei Shinbun’s focus is not his concern for the dangerous substances in the debris but the success of wide-area disposal of the disaster debris (;av=ALL):


His Majesty asked Governor Murai “How is the disaster debris?” The governor answered, “We are receiving the warm support from all over the country to accept the debris. We will try our best to process it quickly.”

If you understand Japanese, the above quotes are taken from this blog (, which also has a video clip from the news.

People may remember the emperor’s speech ( during the memorial ceremony of the March 11, 2011, in which he spoke to the people who perished in the disaster and addressed the concern of radioactive contamination.

Posted on 2012-04-21 09:34:57 by dun renard

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Babies born this year may be working at Fukushima Daiichi one day

via ENENEWS at:

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TOMODACHI – Ayaka Ogawa’s Remarks (日本語, English Subtitles)

(h/t Senrinomichi)

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From ENENEWS at:

More from Lead Investigator: “The ‘nuclear lava’ melted the bottom of the containment vessel, leaking a huge amount of fission gasses and particles to the air and water”

Follow-up to: Japan Times on Melt Through: “Molten ‘lava’ melted bottom of containment vessel,” says nuclear engineer given access by top official — Huge amounts of fission materials released into environment

Title: World is ignoring most important lesson from Fukushima nuclear disaster
Source: Christian Science Monitor
Author: Kenichi Ohmae
Date: April 5, 2012

[…] Yet another false assumption involved the containment vessel, an invention of nuclear engineers to assure nearby inhabitants that, if there were an unimaginable accident and fission products leaked out of the core, they would be confined inside and not leak out into the external environment. This long-held myth was also broken by Fukushima No.1, as the molten fuel dropped through the pressure vessel and the “nuclear lava” melted the bottom of the containment vessel, leaking a huge amount of fission gasses and particles to the air and water. […]

Yomiuri: “The worst-case scenario is a China syndrome” […] A China syndrome refers to a situation in which nuclear fuel in a reactor melts and goes through a containment vessel –Masao Yoshida, former chief of the Fukushima Daiichi plant

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Soccer ball in Alaska traced to tsunami-hit city

One of the 2 sports balls that washed ashore on an island off the US state of Alaska has been traced to a northeastern Japanese city hit by last year’s tsunami.

The soccer ball carries the name of an elementary school in Rikuzentakata City in Japanese along with the names of people.

The soccer ball and volleyball were found by David Baxter, who lives near Anchorage, on Middleton Island last month. They are believed to have been swept away by the tsunami and drifted across the Pacific.

A close look at a photo of the soccer ball shows a word of encouragement to a person named Misaki Murakami. The writing also says the ball was from 3rd graders at Osabe Elementary School in March 2005.

The volleyball also carried Japanese writing, including the name Shiori and what appear to be messages for her.

Baxter told NHK that he had so far failed to find the owners of the balls but that he hopes they are alive and well. He added that he wants to visit Japan to return the balls to the owners or families when they are found.

Sunday, April 22, 2012 13:02 +0900 (JST)

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Note from EX-SKF:

Persons who find an item they think may be related to the Japan tsunami are asked to take a picture, note the location and report it to

Read the entire article at:

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Slightly off-topic…


U.S. studied babies of A-bomb survivors

Photo shows a room where materials on survivors of U.S. atomic bombings and their babies are kept at Hiroshima University in Hiroshima on April 20, 2012. The United States has returned the materials after research. Internal documents of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, or AFIP show that organ samples and medical records of more than 1,200 babies of Japanese survivors of atomic bombings, born dead or who died shortly after birth, were sent to the United States for radiation research. (Kyodo)

1 comment
  1. Bhavana said:

    “During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the Allies of World War II conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. I would like to suggest a documentary “”Takashi’s Dream”” which tells the story of Takashi Tanemori, a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima, which killed his mother and baby sister instantly and later on his father through radiation. Currently he is an advocate for the doctrine of forgiveness.

    To watch the documentary online visit:

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