Day 411 Women and children first

In Japan, a Mothers Movement Against Nuclear Power

YES Magazine l Heidi Hutner  25 April, 2012

The Fukushima disaster has brought a powerful new demographic to Japan’s anti-nuclear movement: mothers.

Tomoi Zeiner by Heidi Hutner

Tomoi Zeimer and her adopted daughter. Photo Heidi Hutner

Pregnant With Fear anti-nuclear rally and march in NYC, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.

On the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese women in New York City gathered for a rally they called Pregnant With Fear of Radiation. Protestors wore fake pregnant bellies, or carried posters with images of pregnant women wearing face masks.

Well aware that fetuseschildren under five, and women are at the greatest risk from radiation exposure, mothers have emerged as a powerful voice in Japan’s growing anti-nuclear movement.

To call attention to their message, the mothers have organized marches, petitioned government officials, fasted, and held months-long sit-ins in public locations. They regularly wear symbols of maternity and motherhood in deliberately confrontational ways.

The mothers call for action on multiple fronts. Most immediately, they demand the evacuation of all the families of Fukushima, where radiation emissions continue. They ask for tougher safety standards for food and drink in Japan, and an end to the practice of spreading and burning radioactive rubble from the contaminated zone throughout the country’s various prefectures. And, to prevent future disasters, they call for the permanent closure of all nuclear power plants in Japan and throughout the world.

“I couldn’t wait anymore for someone else to take action.”

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Part 4,Inside Story of 311 Earthquake Mapping Fukushima 031212 211307

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Radioactive Japan: People Invited to Eat Cesium Beef from Iwate

This is the copy of the printed version of Fukushima Minpo on April 25, 2012, a local newspaper in Fukushima:

The reporter signs off as “Kyodo News”, but reading the postscript part of the article it is clear that this is the original Fukushima Minpo article. It was probably fed to Kyodo News, as Fukushima Minpo is a member of Kyodo News.

What does it say?

The series title in the upper right corner: “New Happiness in Japan – Measure”

The article title in the middle: “Think what “food safety” means”

The subtitle of the article: “Cesium beef offered at an event”

From this information, if you conjure up the image of the gist of the article as “OK, the happiness in Japan in post-Fukushima is to gladly eat beef known to contain radioactive cesium to help producers as long as it is measured and disclosed properly, and that’s food safety”, I’ll give you an A.

Quick translation (main article only, subject to revision later, maybe):

It was quiet in the office district on Sunday. It was March 11 afternoon, one year anniversary of the disaster. Couples with children, middle-aged men in jeans were entering a 12-story public building off the busy streets in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

On the tables in the kitchen that is used for cooking classes were the plates with hamburgers just cooked. Mitsuhiro Anada (age 40) told the people in the kitchen, “These contain 6 becquerels/kg [of radioactive cesium]. Please let me know if you don’t want to eat them. We have also prepared cesium-free ones.” About 30 people then sat at the table and started to eat.

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From ENENEWS at:

UPI: Active geological fault lies directly beneath Japan reactor — Yomiuri: “Extremely uncertain” if it can be reactivated

Title: Fault under nuclear plant feared active / Doubt cast on reactivation of Tsuruga plant
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun
Date: Apr 26, 2012

A panel of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has suggested that faults beneath the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, may be active–potentially putting the plant in violation of the government’s criterion that prohibits building nuclear reactors above active faults. […]However, the Great East Japan Earthquake changed the stress patterns applied to the layers of rock beneath Japan, and it may now be easier for earthquakes to be triggered by different mechanisms from past ones. Therefore, reexamination of past research on faults has become necessary. […]

Thus it has become extremely uncertain whether the plant’s reactors will be able to be reactivated.

Experts have also voiced doubts about interlocking active faults beneath Monju, a fast breeder reactor of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Tsuruga; Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari nuclear power plant; Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture; and Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Shimane nuclear power plant in Matsue. […]

Read the report here

Title: Fault lies beneath Japan nuclear reactor
Source: UPI
Date: April 25, 2012

An active geological fault lies directly beneath one of two reactors at a nuclear power plant in western Japan, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.The nuclear watchdog agency’s finding, announced Tuesday night, reverses an earlier assessment, and if the fault is confirmed as active, Japan Atomic Power Co. would be forced to decommission the No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, The Japan Times reported. […]

Read the report here

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Tokyo’s Hachioji city providing financial aid to March 11 disaster-relief volunteers

Hachioji City’s Council of Social Welfare in Tokyo is providing volunteers who have worked in the three most severely affected areas of last year’s March 11 triple disasters with financial aid.

Individuals who have worked in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures as volunteers after November 2011, are entitled to receive a maximum 10,000 per person, which is meant to cover their transportation, lodging and other expenses related to their disaster relief work.

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Shaken medical staff more likely to suffer PTSD

A survey of medical staff who were sent to areas hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan last year shows that the more emotionally shaken they were, the more likely they are to feel post-traumatic stress.

Researchers from the National Disaster Medical Center surveyed on a regular basis, 173 doctors and nurses who were sent to the disaster areas after March 11th last year.

Four months after the disaster, 6 percent of the staff reported flashbacks and other serious psychological aftereffects.

Many of them said they felt ashamed of becoming emotional during relief activities, or that they almost lost their self control.

Psychologist Yutaka Matsuoka says the survey results suggest many medical personnel are bound by a sense of duty that they must remain calm at all times as professionals.

He says that to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder, the medical staff should be informed before and after their activities that emotional stress is natural in difficult situations and that they should be given counseling.

Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:00 +0900 (JST)


1 comment
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