Monthly Archives: July 2012

Hontou ni okotteiru.

(They’re really angry.)

Yep. A Sunday evening. Most folks have to get to work early on Monday morning. You’d think they’d want to be home relaxing, watching the Olympics. Yet they turn out in droves to say no to nuclear power and nuclear plant restarts. They argue with the few politicians that came out to support them. They bring their children to this historic protest. They spill out into the streets, past the police, and surround the Diet building. Then, at 8:00 p.m., they disperse and go back home, quietly and peacefully. 

Only in Japan.

The average person does not have guns. There is still a certain respect for life and honor of others (for the present, though even that has changed over the years) and, most importantly, a sincere desire to leave a better world, not one filled with radiation and sickness, for the children, not only of Japan, but worldwide. 

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Antinuclear protestors march through Tokyo, surround Diet building

Candle-holding antinuclear protesters surround the Diet building in Nagatacho, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, on July 29. (Mainichi)
Candle-holding antinuclear protesters surround the Diet building in Nagatacho, in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, on July 29. (Mainichi)

Tens of thousands of angry citizens from all walks of life marched through Tokyo and surrounded the Diet building under scorching heat on July 29, demanding the government scrap its decision to reactivate nuclear reactors and break its dependence on nuclear power once and for all.

Article continues at:

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Recorded video of the protest at dusk from the helicopter above the Diet building…



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Nuclear power hard to justify in cheap gas world: GE

(Reuters) – Nuclear power has become hard to justify as the shale gas revolution creates an abundance of natural gas that makes it the fuel of choice to back up renewables, the chief executive of General Electric told the Financial Times on Monday.

A sharp rise in shale gas production in North America in the past five years has pulled U.S. natural gas prices down close to 10-year lows and could turn the country into a gas exporter soon.

Large conventional offshore gas findings in Europe and Africa in the past two years, vast existing reserves in Russia and Central Asia and increasing production inAustralia also mean gas is abundant elsewhere as well.

At the same time, nuclear power has come under pressure following the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima reactor during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, with countries such as Germany and Switzerland pulling out of nuclear power generation.

“They’re finding more gas all the time. It’s just hard to justify nuclear. Gas is so cheap and at some point, economics rule,” the newspaper quoted GE CEO Jeff Immelt as saying in an interview on Monday.

Article continues at:


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Construction of tsunami defenses delayed at Hamaoka nuke plant

NAGOYA — Chubu Electric Power Co. announced July 30 that construction of tsunami defenses at its suspended Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Shizuoka Prefecture will be delayed by a year, pushing the completion date back to December 2013.

The rescheduling is the result of unforeseen difficulties in installation work, including the installation of emergency power equipment. The total cost of construction is expected to remain unchanged at about 14 billion yen.

“Reactivation (of reactors at the plant) will be delayed because of this, and it will be quite tough on finances,” the utility’s president, Akihisa Mizuno, told a news conference.

After construction is completed, the utility hopes to win understanding from local bodies and other related parties in restarting reactors at the plant. However, as a result of the setback, the schedule for restarting the reactors remains in doubt.

Power company officials said that delays had been seen in the installation of a platform 40 meters above sea level for gas turbine power generators, and an emergency seawater intake facility next to the reactor buildings. Officials said that the spot where the platform was being installed was narrow, and cables for the water intake facility and generators were getting tangled.

Construction of a seawall standing 18 meters above sea level — a main feature of the tsunami defenses — would be completed as scheduled in December 2012, officials said.

July 31, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

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From ENENEWS at:



AP: Link between nuclear weapons and nuclear power is “becoming increasingly clear” says Japan professor — Nuclear power industry not thrilled people are talking about it

Title: Japan pro-bomb voices grow louder amid nuke debate
Source: Associated Press
Date: July 31, 2012


as Japan weighs whether to phase out nuclear power, some conservatives, including some influential politicians and thinkers, are becoming more vocal about their belief that Japan should have at least the ability to make nuclear weapons.

The two issues are intertwined because nuclear plants can develop the technology and produce the fuel needed for weaponry, as highlighted by concerns that nuclear power programs in Iran and North Korea are masking bomb development.


Shigeru Ishiba, former Defense Minister and current lawmaker told The Associated Press

  • “Having nuclear plants shows to other nations that Japan can make nuclear weapons”

Hitoshi Yoshioka, professor of social and cultural studies at Kyushu University

  • “The recognition that both nuclear issues must be addressed is heightening in Japan”
  • The link between the two is “becoming increasingly clear”

Tatsujiro Suzuki, vice chairman at the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, a government panel that shapes nuclear policy

  • “If people keep saying (nuclear energy) is for having nuclear weapons capability, that is not good”
  • “Technically it may be true, but it sends a very bad message to the international community”



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IAEA inspects reactor building at Onagawa plant

A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency has begun inspecting facilities at a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan to assess damage from last year’s March 11th earthquake.

Article continues at:


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TEPCO receives public funds injection


Tokyo Electric Power Company has received one trillion yen or around 13 billion dollars in government funds, putting the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant under effective state control.

The power company asked for taxpayer money to bolster its finances under a rehabilitation program created with a state-backed bailout fund in May.


Article continues at:


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From ENENEWS at:


Ex-Chief at Fukushima Daiichi bleeding to brain — Undergoes emergency brain hemorrhage surgery

(Subscription Only) Title: Ex-Fukushima plant chief Yoshida suffered bleeding to brain: TEPCO
Source:  Kyodo News
Date: July 30, 2012

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday that former Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant chief Masao Yoshida last week suffered bleeding to the brain and underwent emergency surgery.

“His condition is serious, but there’s no threat to his life and he’s conscious,” Executive Vice President Zengo Aizawa said at a press conference, while refraining from commenting further on Yoshida, who played a key role in handling the nuclear crisis at the plant last year.

Yoshida felt ill last Thursday and was taken to a hospital where he was found to be suffering bleeding to the brain, according to Aizawa.

Jiji Headline: “Masao Yoshida, Ex-Chief at Fukushima N-Plant, Undergoes Brain Hemorrhage Surgery”


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57-year-old former chief of Fukushima plant had brain hemorrhage after becoming ill while out last Thursday — “Symptoms are serious” says Tepco — Hemorrhagic syndromes increased 9-fold after Chernobyl

Follow-up to: Ex-Chief at Fukushima Daiichi bleeding to brain — Undergoes emergency brain hemorrhage surgery

Title: Ex-Manager of Fukushima N-Plant Has Brain Hemorrhage Surgery
Source: Jiji Press
Date: July 30

[Tepco] said Monday that Masao Yoshida, former manager of the company’s disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, underwent an emergency surgery following brain hemorrhage last Thursday.

Yoshida, 57, complained of illness on Thursday afternoon when he was out and was sent to hospital, where the surgery was performed, according to the company.

The surgery was successful, TEPCO said, adding that Yoshida remains conscious and there is no threat to his life although his symptoms are serious.


See also: Study: Children’s respiratory problems at 700% previous levels, Hemorrhaging at 900% in areas contaminated by Chernobyl meltdown

Hemorrhagic syndromes increased in frequency 9-foldand were manifest as alimentary hemorrhage causing melena or subcutaneous hemorrhage. The pre-accident incidence was 0.5-1.0%, increasing to 4.4% (Polessky) and 5.1% (Chechersky) in 1990.




Not a whole lot of news out there today… Bet the gov’t is happy MSM is having a field day with the olympics (small “o” in my book). Still, can’t pull the wool over 200,000 in Tokyo, eh?

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IAEA experts start probe at Onagawa plant

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency has begun inspecting a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

The Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture was one of several that were hit by the March 11th earthquake last year.

The team’s goal is to collect data on the quake’s impact on the plant’s structure and electric systems.

The team comprises 18 earthquake and building experts. It began by discussing work procedures with officials of the plant operator, Tohoku Electric Power Company, and the Japanese government.

Article continues at:

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Hmm, not sure about this next one. Any scientists out there who can confirm this? Seems a bit out there to me….

Fukushima’s Melted Reactors 500 Days On


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And a wrap-up on yesterday’s surround-the-diet protest from EX-SKF at:

July 29 “Surround the Diet Building” Protest Drew Anywhere from “Thousands” to “Two Hundred Thousand” People, Depending on Who You Ask

(UPDATE) AP’s reporter sent me a tweet saying “Even though the opening says “thousands”, “10,000” is mentioned in the article and even the event with 200,000 people is mentioned in the article.” Yes they are, and that’s what I quoted below. I’m asking her why the opening was “thousands”.


Photo from Mainichi, showing part of the crowd that may have been “several thousands” to “200,000” (Mainichi has 11 photographs of the protest at their site):

AP’s Japanese reporter in Tokyo says “thousands” of people:

TOKYO (AP) — Thousands of people formed “a human chain” around Japan’s parliament complex Sunday to demand the government abandon nuclear power — the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations on a scale not seen in the nation for decades.

The reporter Yuri Kageyama notes later in the article that July 16 protest in Yoyogi Park drew “nearly 200,000” thanks to celebrities leading the pack, and says the Sunday crowd was smaller:

Similar demonstrations have been held outside the prime minister’s residence every Friday evening. The crowds have not dwindled, as people get the word out through Twitter and other online networking. A July 16 holiday rally at a Tokyo park, featuring a rock star and a Nobel laureate, drew nearly 200,000 people.

The crowd appeared to be smaller Sunday. Kyodo News service estimated it at about 10,000 people. Participants said they came from across Japan, underlining the widespread appeal of the protests.

Reuters’s foreign reporters in Tokyo says “tens of thousands“, and also notes the defeat of an anti-nuclear candidate in the gubernatorial election in Yamaguchi Prefecture held on July 29:

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of peopleprotested against nuclear power outside Japan’s parliament on Sunday, the same day a proponent of using renewable energy to replace nuclear following the Fukushima disaster was defeated in a local election.

The protesters, including old-age pensioners, pressed up against a wall of steel thrown up around the parliament building shouting, “We don’t need nuclear power” and other slogans.

On the main avenue leading to the assembly, the crowd broke through the barriers and spilled onto the streets, forcing the police to bring in reinforcements and deploy armored buses to buttress the main parliament gate.

The Metropolitan Police says (remember, there is no “official” number form the police on any demonstration) “ten and several thousands“, according to Mainichi. TBS says “15,000“, quoting their police source.

The organizers, who discouraged people from showing up on Friday to concentrate on the July 29 event, says “200,000”. One of the organizers tweeted that she was going to focus on media handling (giving interviews) at the event, but did see the actual protest.

She was also tweeting about the Friday protest that she and her friends disapproved of, saying the number of 2,800 was “just about right”, to which others responded by saying that was just too low.

The July 29 protest did produce two arrests. As Reuters and TBS News note, the protesters had a scuffle with the riot police when people flooded the streets, and two protesters were arrested for obstructing the police in the performance of their duties.

Interestingly, unlike the previous protests at the PM Official Residence on Fridays, BBC and NPR (National Public Radio in the US) have been reporting this particular protest repeatedly. I wonder if someone has gotten smarter and is contacting the foreign media to prompt better coverage.


Lots of coverage on yesterday’s protests around the Diet:

Anti-nuke protesters surround Japanese parliament

YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer
Updated 05:25 a.m., Sunday, July 29, 2012

TOKYO (AP) — Thousands of people formed “a human chain” around Japan’s parliament complex Sunday to demand the government abandon nuclear power — the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations on a scale not seen in the nation for decades.

Also Sunday, voters went to the polls in a closely watched election for governor of southwestern Yamaguchi prefecture, where an outspoken anti-nuclear candidate was running. Japanese media reported his loss late Sunday, citing exit polls, although official results had not been tallied.

Protesters said they were angry the government restarted two reactors earlier this month despite safety worries after the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in March last year. The reactors were the first to return to operation since May, when the last of Japan’s 50 working reactors went offline for routine checks.

Banging on drums and waving balloons and banners, protesters marched from a Tokyo park and lined up along the streets around the parliament building chanting, “Saikado hantai,” or “No to restarts,” and later lit candles.

“All these people have gotten together and are raising their voices,” said Shoji Kitano, 64, a retired math teacher who was wearing a sign that read, “No to Nukes.”

Kitano said he had not seen such massive demonstrations since the 1960s. He stressed that ordinary Japanese usually don’t demonstrate, but were outraged over the restarting of nuclear power.

Similar demonstrations have been held outside the prime minister’s residence every Friday evening. The crowds have not dwindled, as people get the word out through Twitter and other online networking. A July 16 holiday rally at a Tokyo park, featuring a rock star and a Nobel laureate, drew nearly 200,000 people.

The crowd appeared to be smaller Sunday. Kyodo News service estimated it at about 10,000 people. Participants said they came from across Japan, underlining the widespread appeal of the protests.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda defended his decision to restart the two reactors at Ohi nuclear plant in central Japan as necessary to maintain people’s living standards. Other reactors are also expected to go back online, one by one.

Reports from government and legislative investigations of the Fukushima disaster have done little to allay people’s fears. A recent probe blamed a “Japanese mind-set” which it said had allowed collusion between the plant’s operator and regulators.

Adding to protesters’ frustrations is the support nuclear power has received from regional governments where the plants are located. They said they planned to vote anti-nuclear candidates into office to effect change.

Typically, relatively poor rural and fishing areas, far from Tokyo, have been chosen for construction of nuclear plants, with residents won over with jobs and subsidies. There is a plan to build a nuclear plant in Yamaguchi prefecture, but doubts are growing over whether that can be carried out.

Tetsunari Iida, a candidate in Sunday’s Yamaguchi gubernatorial election, opposes that plan and nuclear power in general. Kyodo and other Japanese media said Iida was defeated by old-guard candidate Shigetaro Yamamoto, a former bureaucrat who is more conciliatory toward the government’s energy policy.

At the Tokyo protest, however, hospital worker Mika Ohta vowed to vote for anti-nuclear candidates in the next election.

“There is nothing good about nuclear power. It is expensive, gets workers radiated and creates waste,” she said. “I’m opposed to this government in every way.”


Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at

Read entire article with photos at:

An anti-nuclear protester wearing a mask, marches near the Japan’s parliament complex in Tokyo, Sunday, July 29, 2012. Thousands of the protesters rallied to demand the government abandon nuclear power after the accident last year in northern Fukushima. Photo: Shizuo Kambayashi / AP


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Japan anti-nuclear groups protest at parliament

(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power outside Japan’s parliament on Sunday, the same day a proponent of using renewable energy to replace nuclear following the Fukushima disaster was defeated in a local election.

The protesters, including old-age pensioners, pressed up against a wall of steel thrown up around the parliament building shouting, “We don’t need nuclear power” and other slogans.

Article continues at:

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Anti-nuclear rally surrounds Japan parliament

Thousands of protesters form “human chain” to demand government ditch nuclear power after last year’s Fukushima crisis.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:


Reuters: Tokyo protest breaks through barriers and spills onto streets as tens of thousands gather — Police forced to deploy armoured buses to buttress Parliament’s gates (VIDEOS)

UPDATE: NHK: 200,000 people gather in Tokyo say organizers (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Title: Japan anti-nuclear groups protest at parliament
Source: Reuters
Date: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:31am EDT

SOURCE: Kyodo News

* Crowd breaks through barriers


Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power outside Japan’s parliament on Sunday


On the main avenue leading to the assembly, the crowd broke through the barriers and spilled onto the streets, forcing the police to bring in reinforcements and deploy armoured buses to buttress the main parliament gate.


(see link above for video)

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NHK: 200,000 people gather in Tokyo say organizers (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Follow-up to: Reuters: Tokyo protest breaks through barriers and spills onto streets as tens of thousands gather — Police forced to deploy armoured buses to buttress Parliament’s gates (VIDEOS)

Title: Large anti-nuclear rally held in Tokyo
Source: NHK World
Date: Jul. 29, 2012

A large rally has been held in Tokyo to protest the restart of a nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.


They included elderly people and women with children.


In the evening, they gathered around the Diet building while holding candles. Some scuffles broke out between the protesters and police officers.


The organizer said 200,000 people took part. Police said the figure was 14,000.


 (see link above for photos)

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Fukushima Radiation News July 29, 2012 Anti-nuclear rally held in Tokyo Evacuation Drills Protests


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 From the Japan Times at

Click on the link for photos.


Antinuke demonstrators form human chain around Diet building

Ordinary citizens by the hundreds join activists in human chain


Staff writers

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people including ordinary citizens and antinuclear activists gathered in Tokyo Sunday afternoon to form a human chain around the Diet building, calling for the abolition of nuclear power plants and putting more pressure on the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

In the past, protest rallies around the Diet were usually organized by political parties and labor unions. But like many other rallies organized in the aftermath of the triple meltdowns that erupted in the Fukushima disaster, Sunday’s was attended by many nonactivist citizens.

“This is really a very hot summer, but although none of the nuclear power plants of Tokyo Electric Power Co. are operating, we’re not short of electricity in Tokyo,” said Keiko Ochai, an author who is among the organizers of the rally.

“We have to push for the halting of the Oi nuclear power plant, and need to keep the government from restarting other nuclear power plants,” she said, referring to the nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture at which two reactors have been reactivated following safety checkups mandated in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Protesters gathered at around 3:30 p.m. at Hibiya Park in Chiyoda Ward under a scorching sun with hand-made signs and banners in their hands.

After marching roughly 1.5 km through the Uchisaiwaicho district and close to JR Shinbashi station, the protesters surrounded the Diet building holding candles and penlights to put more pressure on lawmakers to stop the planned reactivation of more nuclear reactors.

The organizer, Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes, an association of antinuclear citizens’ groups, initially planned to provide candles to every participant, but with the number of attendees ballooning, they decided to hand them out only to those who were able to stand near the main entrance of the Diet building.

Some of the participants said they were attending an antinuclear rally for the first time.

Maya Yamaguchi, 25, from Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, said she was concerned about the issue and wanted to hear what others were saying. She signed an antinuclear petition and wrote about it on her Facebook page, which was picked up by her friend, Yuri Inomata, 27, who invited her to join her at the rally.

Inomata, from Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture, now believes that many people have changed their attitudes toward antinuclear demonstrations.

“I think more people realize that this issue concerns ourselves,” she said. “It’s important for us to keep raising our voice,” she said.

Kotaro Kikuchi, 22, a student from Iwate Prefecture, said he travelled to Tokyo on Sunday morning with his friend, but with a somewhat different aim than participating in the rallies.

“I guess most of the people who gathered here want to say ‘no’ to the restart of nuclear reactors. But I came here to say ‘no’ to “fuhyo-higai” (the damage caused by groundless rumors) that the Tohoku region has been suffering from” since the triple-meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, Kikuchi said.

Kikuchi, who was participating in a demonstration for the first time, said the Tohoku region won’t recover if rumors continue to circulate based on groundless fears of radiation, which he says is making people shy away from the area.

“I’ve heard that some boards of education decided not to choose Tohoku as a destination for school trips,” Kikuchi said. “When I heard that, I really thought we have to raise our voices. Otherwise, Iwate Prefecture won’t be revitalized.”

Kikuchi said that the nuclear crisis that led to the rumors and subsequent damage should never be allowed to happen again.

Laurent Mabesoone, 43, a French haiku poet from Nagano Prefecture, said he and his wife, Toyo, 42, and their 4-year-old daughter also arrived in Tokyo on Sunday morning to participate in the rally. Living only 60 km away from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, he expressed his opposition to restarting idled power plants.

“If the same kind of accident happens at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, it’d all be over. We should not allow the restart of the power plant,” he said.

Mabesoone said he kicked off an antinuclear campaign in Nagano Prefecture on Friday. “Over 100 people gathered. We will continue to hold the demonstration in Nagano every Friday to coincide with Tokyo. . . . From reactions on Twitter and Facebook, I guess the number will grow more,” Mabesoone said.

“I believe it’s time to raise our voices. Otherwise, there won’t be a future for us,” his wife said.

If we continue to raise our voices, our wishes will eventually be heard by the government, she added.



Antinuclear rally to encircle Diet with candlelight

TOKYO (Kyodo) — People took to the streets in central Tokyo Sunday to protest the resumption of two nuclear reactors at the Oi power plant on the Sea of Japan coast after all of the nation’s reactors were shut down following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi complex.

After marching from Hibiya Park, they will encircle the Diet building with candlelight, while several lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties as well as the Australian Green Party will address them in front of the main gate of the Diet building.

Article continues at:

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Live coverage at:


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Voting starts in Yamaguchi governor’s race, focus on nuclear plant

YAMAGUCHI, Japan, July 29, Kyodo

Voting in the Yamaguchi gubernatorial election started Sunday, with attention focused on the planned construction of a nuclear power plant in the western Japan prefecture.

The election is a de facto two-man race between prominent renewable energy proponent Tetsunari Iida, 53, who calls for scrapping plans to build a nuclear plant in Kaminoseki, and former senior bureaucrat Shigetaro Yamamoto, 63, who claims he will suspend the plan in the wake of events at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Yamamoto, a former official at the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry backed by many municipality leaders, is seen as having the upper hand over Iida, who has sought to garner support from unaffiliated voters by running as an independent.


Read the entire article at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Head of internal medicine at Japan hospital astonished by Fukushima thyroid exams — Immediate evacuation required in high contamination areas — “A violation of human rights for those exposed”

Title: Position Statement: What Is Currently Happening to Fukushima Children?
Source: Michiyuki Matsuzaki, M.D.
Translated by: Fukushima Voice
Date: May 19, 2012

Michiyuki Matsuzaki, M.D., Internal Medicine Department, Fukagawa Municipal Hospital, Hokkaido, Japan

  • April 2010  Head of Internal Medicine Department, Fukagawa Municipal Hospital, Hokkaido
  • April 2012  Professor of Clinical Administration, Asahikawa Medical University, Hokkaido
  • May 2012  Special member of Cancer Policy Board, Hokkaido Prefecture


When the above four studies are tallied in one table, it becomes obvious that the result of the thyroid examinations of children in the “Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey” is astonishing. This is because one-third of the children had developed “ cysts.” A “cyst” is a fluid-filled sac. Cysts don’t mean there is an immediate chance of developing thyroid cancer. However, it is apparent that something extraordinary is happening inside the thyroid gland, such as inflammation or changes in cellular properties.


Summarizing the thyroid ultrasound examination results from Japan and overseas, prevalence of “cysts” detected in children around the age of 10 is approximately 0.5-1.0%.

The fact that 35% of Fukushima children (average age around 10) have thyroid cysts strongly suggests that these children’s thyroid glands are negatively affected by undesirable environmental factors.

There is a strong concern that waiting for further analysis of above data and the completion of follow-up examinations will lead to irreversible health damages in these children.

Consequently, it is strongly desired that small children living in Nakadori (adjacent to the coastal region) and Hamadori (the coastal region) in Fukushima receive immediate implementation of preventive measures such as evacuation and more frequent screening examinations.

Based on above findings, a letter from Shunichi Yamashita to thyroid specialists all over Japan, instructing them not to offer second opinions to concerned families, can only be considered a repressive conduct: a violation of human rights for those exposed to radiation and current patients.


It is clear that an immediate evacuation from highly contaminated areas is imperative in order to prevent a possibility of irreversible health damages in children with future potential for life and improved health.  This is the lesson we must all learn from the tragedy of Chernobyl.

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If You Love This Planet

July 27th, 2012

Arnold Gundersen with the latest on Fukushima: its effects on Japan, and the global risks posed by the No. 4 reactor

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NISA dismisses fears over failing Genkai reactor strength


The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, overriding expressions of concern from experts, concluded July 27 there is no problem with the strength of the pressure vessel of the Genkai nuclear power plant’s aging No. 1 reactor.

Read the entire article at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Asahi: Fukushima nuclear disaster is affecting every region of the world – Japanese Professor

Subscription Only) Title: NAGASAKI PEACE SYMPOSIUM: Fukushima disaster figures big in discussions
Source: Asahi AJW
Date: July 28, 2012

With “The road to nuclear weapons abolition” as its theme, the annual International Symposium for Peace, held alternately in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, has offered a venue for calls to scrap the world’s nuclear arsenals.[…]

During the panel discussion, Nobumasa Akiayama, an associate professor of Hitotsubashi University andresearcher with the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Accident, said Japan must fully reflect the fact that it is responsible for a nuclear disaster that is affecting every region of the world.

“It became clear that Japan failed to learn from safety lessons from the Three Mile Island accident and the Chernobyl disaster, and unfortunately, many countries planning to expand nuclear power generation are reluctant to learn lessons from Fukushima, because it would mean they need to impose tighter regulatory measures,” Akiyama said. “We are now asked to solve this problem.”


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Occupy Tokyo Night Protest Action July 27th 2012

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Article discussing the plates that are colliding off Shizuoka.

駿河湾で巨大津波の可能性 海底にひずみ蓄積

2012/07/22 23:30




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Nuclear Power Causes Cancer: What Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

Nuclear power, frequently mentioned as one option for meeting future energy needs, would pose a health threat to Americans if a meltdown occurred. But despite meltdowns at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and many other near-miss accidents, there is another dirty little secret the nuclear industry doesn’t want you to know. Cancer risk from nuclear plants aren’t just potential risks, they areactual risks.


The claim that low doses of radiation are harmless has always been just a claim. It led to practices like routine diagnostic X-rays to the pelvis of pregnant women, until the work of the University of Oxford’s Dr. Alice Stewart found that these X-rays doubled the chance that the fetus would die of cancer as a child. Many studies later, independent experts agreed that no dose is safe. A 2005 report by a blue-ribbon panel of the National Academy of Sciences reviewed hundreds of scientific articles, and concluded that there is no risk-free dose of radiation.

Read the entire article at:




July 29, JST 13:30− @Ch9 Kick-off event of Green Party in Japan

July 29, JST 15:30− @Ch1 Huge nonukes demo around national parliament

July 29, JST 16:30− @Ch3 See the huge nonuke demo from the sky!


Hydrangea Fridays: Voices from the Heart

Jacinta Hin

Jacinta Hin was born in the Netherlands, and has been living in Japan since 1989. She works in the field of human resources and personal coaching.

I have not participated in a demonstration for over 30 years, nor in any other form of active social engagement. Over the past decades, the closest I have come to any form of protest was the occasional opinion shared over the dinner table or a glass of wine with friends, mostly for entertainment or for the purpose of honing my debating skills.

And even when the initial post 3/11 anti-nuclear demonstrations in Japan started to gain ground, I joined once or twice only, when nothing else was on my schedule and an enthusiastic friend would take the lead in getting a group together.

But then the Tokyo Friday protests against the restart of the Oi Nuclear Plant started and something changed for me.

I now have it on my weekly agenda and everything else makes place for the time and place. Fed up with my own half-hearted engagement, one Friday evening I just went by myself, which, for the rather shy person that I am, not really at ease in groups and crowds, took a little courage.

 Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:


Red Cross Team said “We were told by headquarters not to provide medical care for those exposed to radiation” after 3/11 -Hospital Worker


Title: What Really Happened in Fukushima A Report From a Medical Care Provider
Source: FukushimaVoice
Date: Jul 27, 2012

What Really Happened in Fukushima A Report From a Medical Care Provider

Part 2
Thursday, December 22, 2011

Please let me explain about what happened immediately after the earthquake.

On March 11, 2011, we began to have more and more evacuees from Futaba-machi.


We accepted both inpatients and outpatients without any manual or instruction for medical care for radiation exposure. However, Fukushima University Medical School Hospital only accepted the seriously injured (essentially refusing to accept evacuees) and the Red Cross medical team said “we were told by the headquarters not to provide medical care for those exposed to radiation.”

They stayed for three days, but the Red Cross medical team went to another prefecture without seeing any patients.

More and more evacuees were coming in. There was a talk of making this hospital a screening center in order to provide adequate screening examinations, but it was stopped by Fukushima University Medical School. By the way, what was called screening examination was contamination examination of body surface by gamma survey meters.


Incidentally there is something important I would like to add. There was a “thyroid examination” of children from Iitate-mura and Kawamata-machi at the end of March, 2011, but it was just like this screening examination. Of course there was nothing abnormal found. The children had taken a shower and changed their clothes beforehand.


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Obsession with a safety myth

The government-commissioned panel charged with investigating the nuclear crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant submitted its final report to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday. The report made clear that obsessed with the myth of nuclear safety, both Tepco and the regulators lacked capabilities, organizational setups and mental preparedness to cope with a massive accident.

“Because the government and the power utilities, including Tepco, were biased by the safety myth, thinking they would never ever face such a serious accident, they were unable to realize that such a crisis could occur in reality. This appears to be the fundamental problem,” said the Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co.

A big question is whether the government and the power industry have really liberated themselves from the myth and have a humble attitude needed in handling nuclear technology. The decision by the government and Kansai Electric Power Co. to restart the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at Kepco’s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture appears to point to the contrary.

Article continues at:

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Q: Would you want your children to grow up in a country with 54 nuclear reactors and seismic activity over 100 days that looks like this?

Seismic activity, 19 April 2012 – 28 July 2012


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From ENENEWS at:

Japanese Writer, Professor: “Extreme increase of mortality caused by cardiac disease” in Fukushima — Death rate “might give the creeps to some people”

July 27, 2012 post from Ryuichi Akiba translated by Dissensus Japan:


It’s a report of the investigation on population shift and causes of death of the year before and January and February of this year.


It can provide valuable figure how much the extremely large amount of fallout released from Fukushima Daiichi damaged public health and life.

The “cause specific death rate” deserves careful attention.


The figure might give the creeps to some people.


In fact, the data shows that the number of death increased by 12.5% and the number of death caused by cardiac disease increased by 14.6% after the Fukushima nuclear accident.


What does the extreme increase of mortality caused by cardiac disease mean?

Dr.Yury Bandazhevsky of Belarus examined the people exposed to radiation and the people who had died of Chernobyl and clinically identified the association between Cesium radiation and cardiac disease.


We can’t either determine or deny the morbidity and mortality increased only because of radiation released from Fukushima Daiichi.

We need to pay attention to the next months’ vital statistics to figure this out.


What is needed most is clinical or epidemiologic study; statistic or report by independent doctors and researchers. We need many Bandazhevskys to save the children of Japan and all over the world.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry yesterday released its monthly vital statistics of February 2012:

  • The number of death was up 12.5 percent (=12695 people) compared to the same month of the year before
  • The number of death caused by Malignant Neoplasm was up 7.7% (=2066 people) from the same month of the year before
  • The number caused by cardiac disease was up 14.6% (=2585 people)

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Isn’t this ironic? Using “Nuclear Power” in order to combat global warming which continues unabated, raising temperatures of the water used to cool Nuclear Power Plants, thereby reducing the amount of energy produced, requiring dependence ON OTHER SOURCES OF ENERGY. How about solar, folks?

Bloomberg News

Heat Sends U.S. Nuclear Power Production to 9-Year Low

By Christine Harvey on July 26, 2012
Nuclear-power production in the U.S. is at the lowest seasonal levels in nine years as drought and heat force reactors from Ohio to Vermont to slow output.Generation for the 104 plants in the U.S. fell 0.4 percent from yesterday to 94,171 megawatts, or 93 percent of capacity, the lowest level for this time of year since 2003, according to reports from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and data compiled by Bloomberg. The total is down 2.6 percent from the five-year average for today of 96,725 megawatts.“We’ve had a fast decay of summer output this month and that corresponds to the high heat and droughts,” Pax Saunders, an analyst at Gelber & Associates in Houston, said. “Plants are not able to operate at the levels they can.”FirstEnergy Corp. (FE) (FE)’s Perry 1 reactor in Ohio lowered production to 95 percent of capacity today because of above- average temperatures, while Entergy Corp. (ETR) (ETR)’s Vermont Yankee has limited output four times this month. Nuclear plants require sufficient water to cool during operation, and rivers or lakes may get overheated or fall in times of high temperatures and drought, according to the NRC.Article continues at:
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From ENENEWS at:

Report: Radiology technician said test anomalies began to show in Kanto during summer of 2011

Follow-up to: Fukushima Medical Care Provider: Hospital president says people will be healthier after radiation exposure from triple meltdowns — “There is no argument allowed”Title: What Really Happened in Fukushima A Report From a Medical Care Provider
Source: FukushimaVoice
Date: Jul 27, 2012

What Really Happened in Fukushima A Report From a Medical Care ProviderPart 1
Wednesday, December 21, 2011I am a medical care provider. At my workplace we began taking care of patients from the evacuation zone from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the evening of March 11, 2011.[…]I have also learned the following from a radiology technician in mid-March, 2011. Test anomalies began to show in Kanto summer of 2011 also. But in mid-March, X-rays for a particular patient began to show white spots. They didn’t show up if the patient was undressed. They didn’t show up in X-rays of other patients who were examined at the hospital. This particular patient was actually not even an evacuee but a resident who lived 45 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.The technician initially thought they were dust specks, but they were clearly bright spots. It was determined that clothes hung up to dry outside must have radioactive materials attached to them. This “finding” was reported as such to the hospital president as well as the prefectural office. At the time we had no idea what was going on at Fukushima Daiichi, and it was reported as a proof that “the radioactive materials have reached as far as here,” but it was never publicized.[…]


Fukushima Medical Care Provider: Hospital president says people will be healthier after radiation exposure from triple meltdowns — “There is no argument allowed”

Title: What Really Happened in Fukushima A Report From a Medical Care Provider
Source: FukushimaVoice
Date: Jul 27, 2012

What Really Happened in Fukushima A Report From a Medical Care Provider

Part 1
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I am a medical care provider. At my workplace we began taking care of patients from the evacuation zone from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the evening of March 11, 2011.

The president of the hospital where I am employed says people live longer when irradiated and Fukushima people now will be healthier because of radiation hormesis. There is no argument allowed. Since this statement comes from a physician, many people believe this in Fukushima.

Those who were contemplating on evacuating from Fukushima are now in a mental state that is not even conducive to thinking about it any longer. This was becoming obvious beginning in April or May, 2011, and it might have been a coping mechanism for mass psychology and dangers. However, it is entirely different now. I feel they are no longer capable of avoiding dangers.

This is what I heard from a clinical laboratory technician at work. Thyroid ultrasound examinations for children, which have already been done in my town and which will be held in other cities from now on, are being performed by Fukushima University Medical School Hospital laboratory technicians who have only done blood tests before. In other words, they are being done by people who have never used ultrasound equipment before.

Technicians are being dispatched from Fukushima University Medical School. For instance, there is a whole body counter car stationed in Kawamata-machi, Date district, where a part of the town is a deliberate evacuation area. There are physicians and clinical laboratory technicians stationed there, and they are all young.

Currently there is “that” Yamashita stationed at Fukushima University Medical School. After being dismissed as the radiation advisor for Fukushima prefecture, he became a vice president for Fukushima University Medical School.

The reason not a single Fukushima physician even mentions medical care for radiation exposure is because of the power of Fukushima University Medical School. Physicians in Fukushima who are not self-sufficient are not allowed to provide medical care for radiation exposure, and those who are self-sufficient left Fukushima.


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Nuclear agency deems aging No. 1 reactor at Genkai plant safe until 2033

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has deemed that the idled No. 1 reactor of the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture, whose pressure vessel is feared to have deteriorated more than expected, will remain safe until 2033 — 58 years after the start of its operations, agency officials have announced.

NISA’s view is inconsistent with the government’s general policy of decommissioning nuclear reactors 40 years after the start of their operations for safety reasons. The assessment is expected to influence a review of the government’s policy by a new nuclear power regulatory body that the government will launch in September.

Article continues at:

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Fukushima disaster worker says subcontractors siphoned money from wages

A man hired to help bring the disaster at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant under control has accused subcontractors of forcing him to work under illegal conditions and skimming off part of his wages.

The 45-year-old Nagasaki Prefecture resident has filed a claim with the Tokyo Labor Bureau accusing Nichieidouryoku Co. of dispatching him to a subcontractor through at least one other subcontractor and forcing him to work under a bogus contract.

The man has also filed a petition with the Nagasaki Labor Bureau against four lower-level subcontractors, complaining that they skimmed off part of his wages.

Article continues at:

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Political parties perplexed over anti-nuclear protests

Demonstrators brave the rain to call for the suspension of reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in front of the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on July 6. (Mainichi)
Demonstrators brave the rain to call for the suspension of reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on July 6. (Mainichi)

Political parties are growing increasingly perplexed over highly publicized weekend protests in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo against the restarting of nuclear reactors, remaining at a loss over how to communicate with the demonstrators, who are self-motivated.

The anti-nuclear protests have attracted tens of thousands of people every Friday evening. They are characterized by the fact that most protesters are individuals acting of their own free will, rather than protesters acting at the will of organizations.

Article continues at:

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Antinuclear group begins annual meetings in Fukushima

FUKUSHIMA, Japan, July 28, Kyodo

A major Japanese antinuclear group on Saturday kicked of its series of annual conventions for the second straight year in Fukushima, the capital of Fukushima prefecture where the nuclear plant disaster occurred last year.

Some 1,050 people, including those affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident as well as survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, took part in the first of the events through Aug. 9 on the theme of breaking with nuclear power generation. Participants marched through the city calling for a nuclear-free society, according to the organizer Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs, known as Gensuikin.

At the outset of the one-day meeting, the participants offered a silent prayer for the victims of the bombings and of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan and triggered the meltdown of three reactors at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

Read the entire article at:

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Ministry tries to justify withholding SPEEDI fallout forecast data from public


The science ministry claimed Friday it was appropriate to withhold radiation fallout forecast data from the public immediately after the meltdown disaster started at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in March 2011 because the data were “based on assumptions.”

Article continues at:

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Radioactive Japan: “Peach Project Junior – Let’s Get Cheer From Children!” and Save Fukushima!

That this sort of events still goes on 16 months after the start of the worst nuclear accident in the country is surprising. Or not surprising. I don’t know any more. Do you?

It is a leaflet for an event called “Let’s Get Cheer (or Energy, Vitality, ‘Genki” in Japanese) from Children!”. The event is sponsored by an NPO called “Fukushima Stakeholders Coordinating Council” (I don’t know if there’s an official English name, so it is my translation of the name) set up in May this year. This is the same entity that will be holding a seminar in August on how to“decontaminate” your “soul” (heart, thinking).

It is supported by the Fukushima prefectural government (decontamination countermeasures department), the Board of Education in Date City, and JA Date Mirai (ag producers co-op), and co-sponsored by the Liberal Democratic Party-Kizuna Faction of the Ibaraki City Assembly in Osaka Prefecture.

They are looking for twenty 5th and 6th graders from Ibaraki City to go on a two-day trip (August 16, 17) to Date City in Fukushima Prefecture at a cost of 4,000 yen each. 4,000 yen will cover the lodging and insurance. Transportation costs will be paid by the organizers.

What they are going to do in Fukushima?

August 16:
Soon after arriving at Fukushima after spending 5 hours on the train, go visit Decontamination Information Plaza in Fukushima City set up by the Ministry of the Environment. Then, move to Date City, and enjoy all the peaches they can eat. They stay in Date City overnight.

August 17:
Socialize with school children in Fukushima, take a group photograph at the Decon Information Plaza, and go home to Osaka.

The place they will spend the night in Date City is a public hostel located in Tsukidate-machi, where 1,050 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from the rice harvested last year. Date City is famous for its peaches, but they were found with high levels of radioactive cesium last year. Fruit tree “decontamination” of stripping the tree barks must have worked this year.

Article continues at:



The protests continued today. I stopped by the one in Nagoya. Looked like more folks than last week, probably over 300 standing in mid-80 degree weather and sweltering. A couple of things were different tonight, though…

1) I walked around the corner to the side nearest Denny’s, and a police officer instructed me to go stand over on the other side, toward the Circle-K because the Denny’s side was for the supporters of Nuclear Power. Yes, they were there tonight, just a handful, but it was clear that the police wanted to keep them separate from the rest of the crowd. So, I went over to the opposite end of the continuum, standing way back outside the main group. As I was watching, a man on a bicycle rode past chanting “Saikado sansei” (In favor of the restart). He turned and rode around the corner, and no one paid much attention to him. I later heard that there was some sort of scuffle with the supporters of NPP, but I didn’t see anything unusual.

2) “Takahama hairo” (Shut down Takahama permanently). A new chant added to today’s protest.

See the link below for more on that bit of news:

Kepco pushes Takahama restart


TSURUGA, Fukui Pref. — Kansai Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that the utility wants to see two reactors at its Takahama nuclear power plant restarted now that two reactors at its Oi complex, also on the Sea of Japan coast in Fukui Prefecture, have gone into full operation.

Article continues at:

More news tomorrow.