Tokyo Contaminated & Not Fit for Habitation, Doctor Says
All 23 districts of Tokyo contaminated with
radiation from the Fukushima meltdown, worse than at Chernobyl after the accident, and blood cells of
children under ten are showing worrying changes; the WHO, the IAEA & the
Japanese government cannot be trustedSusie Greaves
In July 2014 Dr Shigeru Mita wrote a letter to his fellow
doctors to explain his decision to move his practice from Tokyo to Okayama city
in the West of Japan . In it, he appeals to their sense of duty to answer
the anxieties of parents in Japan who do not believe the information coming
from the authorities. He says “I must state that the policies of the WHO,
the IAEA or the Japanese government cannot be trusted.” and “if
the power to save our citizens and future generations exists somewhere, it does
not lie within the government or any academic association, but in the hands of
individual clinical doctors ourselves.”
Mita claims that all 23
districts of Tokyo are contaminated, with the eastern area worst affected - up
to 4 000 Bq/kg. (The becquerel is a unit of radioactivity. One Bq is
the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays
per second.) These findings confirm what the nuclear physicist
Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Nuclear Education found in 2012, when he picked
up five random soil samples in Tokyo from between paving stones, in parks and
playgrounds. The levels of contamination were up to 7 000 Bq/kg; in the US,
anything registering these levels would be considered nuclear waste .
While practising in Tokyo,
Mita also discovered changes in the white blood cells of children under 10.
Independent science & independent reporting
in Japan outlawed
December 2013, the Japanese parliament passed a bill whereby public officials
and private citizens could face ten years in prison for divulging “special
state secrets”, and journalists, five years, for seeking to obtain classified
information. The bill is widely interpreted as a way of preventing sensitive
information about Fukushima (among other topics) reaching the Japanese public
and by extension the rest of the world .
The independent organisation Reporters
without Borders has downgraded Japan in its world press freedom index from 22nd
place in 2012, to 53rd in 2013 and to 59th in 2014, following
the passing of the state secrets bill. Reporters without Borders say that Japan“has
been affected by a lack of transparency and almost zero respect for access to
information on subjects directly or indirectly related to Fukushima” .
Nuclear lobby put in charge
the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) whose mission is to promote the
peaceful uses of the atom, signed agreements with Fukushima Prefecture,
Fukushima Medical University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
These “Practical Arrangements” have in effect, handed over the management of
the post-accident situation at Fukushima and its health consequences to the
nuclear lobby. Among other clauses regarding cooperation and funding, we read
that “The Parties will ensure the confidentiality of information classified by
the other Party as restricted or confidential” .
this should come as no surprise. Anyone who doubts the heavy hand of the
nuclear lobby in the “management” (i.e. minimisation) of nuclear
accidents should read the account by the physicist Bella Belbéoch entitled
“Western responsibility regarding the health consequences of the Chernobyl
catastrophe in Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia” . The initial Soviet cover
up of the accident is well known. Less well known are the “stages of
submission” in which the IAEA forced the Soviets to accede to their demands to
minimise estimates of the health effects of the accident. In a series of
manipulations and bullying tactics, they forced the Soviet officials to divide
their estimates of the health effects by a factor of 10. One Soviet delegate,
Legassov, committed suicide, a few days after he capitulated to the IAEA
demands, on the 26th April 1988, the second anniversary of the Chernobyl
A travesty of reporting on risks and cancers
the nuclear lobby reacted to Fukushima? A preliminary assessment published in
2012 by the World Health Organisation (but actually emanating
from the IAEA) managed to draw optimistic conclusions, while ignoring two critical groups, the workers at the
TEPCO plant, and the people who were evacuated from the immediate area (See
Report on Fukushima a TravestySiS 55). Then in 2013, the UNSCEAR report 
describedthe risks of people developing thyroid
cancer, leukaemia and breast cancer as barely discernible, even though the
rates of childhood thyroid cancer in Fukushima prefecture are already 40 times
what would be expected . The UNSCEAR report has been
criticised by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
because it consistently underestimates the radiation dose received, underestimates internal radiation, ignores the
vulnerability of the human embryo to radiation, ignores hereditary effects, ignores
the unreliability of the dose received by workers at the stricken plant, and only
considers some cancers as potential health effects, whereas the experience of
Chernobyl shows that every vital organ and system of the body is affected .
Raising the ‘safe’ limit of radiation
people are faced with a government whose response to the dangers of the
radiation was to increase the acceptable limit from 1 mSv/year to 20 mSv/year
and who are now encouraging people to move back into areas that had previously
been evacuated. (The millisievert is a unit of radiation dose. Before the
Fukushima accident, Japan, like the rest of the world, respected the limit of 1
mSv/year recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection
(ICRP).) Meanwhile, the nuclear lobby wants to see the resumption of nuclear
power in Japan as quickly as possible. This is not an atmosphere in which
doctors are encouraged to report health effects that could be the result of
radiation, and certainly not in Tokyo, whose residents have been led to believe
that they have nothing to fear.
Changes in white blood cells in children
work as a general practitioner in Tokyo in the 1990s. In the letter to his colleagues explaining his decision to
move his practice from Tokyo to Okayama City, he claims that
contamination in the eastern part of Tokyo is 1000-4000 Bq/kg and in the
western part, 300-1000Bq/kg. He compares these levels with Kiev, in Ukraine,
after the accident at Chernobyl, of 500 Bq/kg, and with measurements taken before
the 2011 Fukushima accident at Shinjuku, the site of the Tokyo municipal
government of 0.5 - 1.5 Bq/kg. He says that “Tokyo
should no longer be inhabited, and that those who insist on living in Tokyo
must take regular breaks in safer areas”.
thyroid ultrasound tests for parents who are concerned about the health of
their children but he is now concerned about the results of another test on
children under 10, the differential white blood cell count. This test is undergone
routinely by workers in the nuclear industry who are exposed to radiation. Blood
is produced in bone marrow, which is one of the organs most vulnerable to radiation. The
white blood cells consist of five different kinds of cells, neutrophils,
lymphocytes, eosinocytes, basophils and monocytes, and it is the relative
numbers of these five cell types that is examined. Mita has found a decline
in neutrophils in children under 10, in areas that are not considered to be
highly contaminated or even contaminated at all. His patients come from
Northern Kanto, the area around Tokyo and including Tokyo itself .
pediatricians’ general textbook says that the reference value of neutrophils for
healthy children (6-12 years old) is between 3000 and 5000. 3000 is
considered as the threshold value.” Mita says. “But
the mean value of neutrophils of the children who have visited our clinics
since the accident has decreased to 2500. ... It is lower than the
threshold value of 3000. I think this points at a serious problem.”
Mita explains that although the decrease in
neutrophil does not directly cause lowered immunity, it is “the last bastion of
the immunity system” and could play a role in fatal illnesses such as septicaemia
in the case of aggressive colds. “In the summer of 2011,
there were many children with bloodshot eyes; and what we saw most were
children with dark circles under the eyes. We also had increased
occurrence of sinusitis. Previously, these patients got better soon after
they were given proper treatment; however, we are seeing more cases of
sinusitis accompanied with mild case of asthma continuing for longer
periods. And when these children spend some time in the West, they get
better.If at all possible, I
would like them to move away from East Japan.”
adults, he has found increased nosebleeds, hair loss, lack of energy,
subcutaneous bleeding, visible urinary haemorrhage, skin inflammation, and
coughs. He has found an increase in infectious diseases such as influenza,
hand, foot and mouth diseases and shingles. “We
also see more patients with diseases that had been rare before; for example,
polymyalgia rheumatica is a disease common among those above age 50 and
contracted by 1.7 people out of every 100,000. Before 3.11, [the date of the
accident at Fukushima] we had one or less patient per year. Now, we treat
more than 10 patients at the same time.” Dr Mita wonders “Could these be the same symptoms of muscle rheumatism that
were recorded in Chernobyl?”
Mita says that the radioactive contamination of Tokyo is increasing because of
the Japanese government’s policy of transporting radioactive waste from the
Fukushima zone all over Japan for incineration or burial. The Japanese
government and the nuclear authorities claimed that filters on the stacks of
the incineration plants would remove most of the radioactivity, but this is not
the case, and in the opinion of many, it is adding to the contamination. Arnie
Gundersen, for instance says, “They are creating 100 to 1000 times more
radioactive material by burning debris than keeping it in concentrated form” .
talking about his perceptions of the changes in health of a population living
in an area that is not considered contaminated. It will be all too easy to
dismiss his findings. He himself is not optimistic. He acknowledges that to
prove any of his suspicions would require teams of doctors, and
expensive research projects to compare groups of people, their radioactive
contamination and the illnesses from which they suffer. That’s something simply beyond the reach of any single
physician. In other words, “it’s impossible under the present state to
collect the kind of data that would be printed in a prestigious science
magazine. Still, as long as I know that something strange is clearly
happening, I can’t just sit here doing nothing.”
And here is Professor Yablokov talking about the difficulties that
doctors and scientists experienced in the Chernobyl territories, to prove a
correlation between radiation and illness : “The demand by IAEA and WHO
experts to require “significant correlation” between the imprecisely calculated
levels of individual radiation […] and precisely diagnosed illnesses […] is not,
in our view, scientifically valid. […]We believe it is scientifically incorrect
to reject data generated by many thousands of scientists, doctors and other
experts who directly observed the suffering of millions affected by radioactive
fallout in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, as “mismatching scientific protocols.”
It is scientifically valid to find ways to abstract the valuable information
from these data.” Yablokov goes on to list the ways in which this could be
But it was not done in Belarus,
Ukraine and Russia, and, in this way, the true health consequences of the
Chernobyl accident remain hidden. The 2 million people, including 500,000
children still living in the worst contaminated areas around Chernobyl suffer a
myriad of illnesses. (According to the Ministry of Health and Sciences in
Belarus in 2000, 85% of the children in the contaminated areas were ill,
whereas that figure was 15% before the accident in 1986 .)
Mita has made a brave decision. The
pressure on health professionals and other citizens in Japan to remain silent
about the health consequences of Fukushima, will lead to a health catastrophe
there - not now, but in the decades to come.
Belbéoch B. Responsabilités
occidentales dans les conséquences sanitaires de la catastrophe de Tchernobyl,
en Bélorussie, Ukraine et Russie. In Radioprotection et
Droit nucléaire (eds. I Rens, J Jakubec, E George). Collection SEBES, 1998.
English translation: Western responsibility regarding the health consequences
of the Chernobyl catastrophe in Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia. http://www.dissident-media.org/infonucleaire/western_responsability.html
for Social Responsibility USA et al. Critical Analysis
of the UNSCEAR Report “Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the
nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.”
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Berlin,
25 August 2014, http://ippnw-students.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/UNSCEAR-Critique.pdf
AV, Nesterenko VB and Nesterenko AV. Consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe
for public health and the environment 23 years later. Proceedings
of the New York Academy of Sciences 1181, 2009,
UN Human Rights Council. Seventh session. Point 3.
A/HRC/7/NGO/33 22 February 2008.
Rory Short Comment left 25th September 2014 11:11:30 If for no other reason than the undermining of the integrity of the State and its officials we should reject nuclear power. it is a recipe for social self-destruction if nothing else.
Mike Thurgood Comment left 25th September 2014 11:11:42 I cannot argue about the fact of the increase in childhood illnesses as these are the results of positive observations. But whether the Fukushima disaster can be blamed in this instance, I would like to see data on the wind direction during the period of non-gaseous radioactive airborne releases from the Dai-Ichi nuclear plants.
There's also no comments on whether the alleged radioactivity might have occurred on other occasions, eg when it is claimed that radioactive wastes were transported through Tokyo districts, or if there were leaks from tanks on vehicles why contamination should have spread very far. Have the transport tanks been examined to see if there are any evidence of leakages from them.
What has to be clearly and scientifically eliminated or confirmed are sources of claimed radioactive contamination which has spread through Tokyo.
Have specific radionuclides of the claimed radioactive contamination been positively identified to have been sourced from fission products?
So there are all sorts of questions which have to be answered for radioactivity from the Fukushima disaster to be positively identified as the source of the problem. I have come across no such evidence. None of the references give a clue in their titles that they deal with this aspect of the childhood health problem.
Perhaps someone can enlighten me.
Todd Millions Comment left 28th September 2014 21:09:47 Beyond these catastrophic and grave concerns,other items in this demand attention such as-Apparently restart of the nuc power plants was ordered by H.Clinton via the state dept.The hand picked succesor for Japanese PM by same,has a father whose connections to unit731 of the imperial occupation of China,shouldn't be ignored.As the core blow ups both disperse and bio accumulate(While no actual offical measurements of either are done),It will smear effects from other chronic posions the state deptment is contracted too assist in inflicting on us-"Ecocide R Us".The balooning stampede of all our goverments to kiss their way on to this gravy train of postoffice and retirement-consulatancy and board of director paybacks, appears to be the only way to burst this bubble.We don't have the time for that.
Curt Clay Comment left 1st October 2014 20:08:24 Todd M is correct re the placement of "doctors" from unit 731, a horrendous torture and vivisection camp akin to anything the Nazis had, to positions of power in Japanese society.
The US conspired with Japan to keep it all secret at the end of the war, in exchange for the "medical" data.
Katharine Hamnett Comment left 3rd October 2014 12:12:07 Childhood thyroid cancer rates in Fukushima before the meltdown were 1 in 1m.There are now 37 confirmed cases in 300,000 children.This is the a 29,000% increase.
Todd Millions Comment left 10th October 2014 05:05:02 Thank you for your clarification Mr Clay. I'm afraid its rather worse than that-my family has a victum of the experiments you refer to.But protection by the americians for this was payed for by this units practical and practiced (in china on multiple occasions.)application of hanta virus on the yalu river during the Korean war.This has being reported as the payment for the americians too allow the 'peaceful' nuc power program that has now (like the germ warfare)blown up in all our faces.Its like when I was a child and my bestest buddy was a canadain of japanese extraction imprisioned as a child and my german extracted grandmother who needed some one to take the fall(it was pds).But this is objectively of the highest stakes.Rather than merely seeming to be to a child.We need the super tankers and fabris dracoens moored to store the contaminated water and these should have being deployed 3 years ago-tell the japs they are embargoed otherwise.And do it.