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Fukushima residents look for Olympic PR boost

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By Jim Allen

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Good for Japan. The Reconstruction Olympics will show the world that, well and truly, "Japan is back". I hope that the disaster-hit areas receive a huge economic boost. And that the terrible rumors are finished when the massive influx of foreign visitors comes to Tohoku and witness the recovery.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Happy to see this. However, Abe touted Fukushima as the major recipient of the benefits from the 2020 Olympics to the world and in his campaign drive and his support for the end of an ERROR Tokyo Governor Isihara. Despite this article, that promise of financial benifit seems to be getting lost in the hype to promote Tokyo. See BBC pay for news, never alludes to Fukushima or the graft, bribery and labor issues, Reality not getting invited to the party.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

you will not get a boost unless you own a hotel, eatery or train line.... keep dreaming

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Excuse my sarcasm, but, I don't expect any boost from the Olympics for Fukushima.

People (foreigners) still remember quite well what happened up there.

And they also still have Chernobyl on their mind!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The only benifit for Fukushima residents is they might get a short term job in Tokyo during the 2 week event and a T-shirt. Otherwise Fukushima is rightly or wrongly a no go zone linked to a nuclear disaster, that's never going to change no matter how many athletes prance around Tokyo.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Good luck to them. Japan's demographics mean that the number of people under 65 falls by a million a year. This is a huge challenge for domestic tourism. They have to attract a higher percentage of fewer people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So...have the effects of radiation mysteriously disappeared now?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

No matter how Japan Government slice it, the elephant in the room is Fukushima Daiichi NPP. It should have been entombed by the Government of Japan if they wanted good press or a positive public attitude toward Fukushima. The Government of Japan holds all the cards and they are ultimately to blame for Public Sentiment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As a tourist don't think visiting a Nuclear Disaster area is high on my list maybe if I had terminal cancer and an Olympic Tourch.....still not high on my list of places to see.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Teams forced to play at Fukushima are bringing their own food and water, and plan to stay away from Fukushima and bus in for the game day.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Samit Basu the players need to bring their own oxygen too, But that is not practical. No, the Government wants a pat on the back for the job they did for Fukushima.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fukushima is a very large prefecture and not all of it received radiation from the nuclear disaster. The radiation levels in the prefecture west of the exclusion zone are normal background levels.

While we all in Japan should remain concerned about the nuclear disaster its simply wrong to believe the whole of the prefecture has high radiation levels that all of the water and food is poisoned by radiation. Simply not true.

Some people should be ashamed of themselves for spreading mistruths.

The radiation from the nuclear disaster site reached prefectures like Nagano and Gunma. Some parts of Miyagi and Ibaraki.

The are many areas within the exclusion zones with high levels of radiation beyond the permitted limits and the government lifted the evacuation orders for towns when two thirds will be off limits for decades.

In 2017 there was a massive radiation leak from a plant in Russia, 100 times more than the total from Fukushima. The radiation swept across Europe.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2211511-gigantic-mysterious-radiation-leak-traced-to-facility-in-russia/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

For those really interested, a radiation map

https://jciv.iidj.net/map/

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"It's a chance to show that Fukushima has become vibrant again," he said at a game in Sukagawa between the Fukushima Red Hopes and the Tochigi Golden Braves. "I wonder how foreign people will view us. I want the place to be packed with foreign visitors, so that people will see we are doing well, and that they tell others. I'm excited to have the games here."

My image of Fukushima is of people who still need help. Farmers struggling to sell produce labelled Fukushima and people still stuck living in little prefabs. If Fukushima is vibrant like this man says, with his happy smiley baseball game as evidence, should I care about those people any more? It doesn't sound like he does.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The entire Olympic Games should have been held in Tohoku. Sendai has plenty of facilities and it wouldn't have been any more expensive than Tokyo.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

1.9 million people live in Fukushima prefecture. 3rd largest prefecture in area.

In the two years following the 2011 earthquake, 1,817 residents of Fukushima Prefecture had either been confirmed dead or were missing as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.

160,000 people were evacuated from the nuclear disaster. As of 23 February 2012, 62,674 Fukushima residents had evacuated from the prefecture. 50,000 live in temporary accommodation which is due to end next year.

"A delegation of 14 officials from 12 foreign missions in Japan visited Fukushima Prefecture on Tuesday, seeing areas hit by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster and interacting with local students."

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2019/07/4afabbf0bc95-officials-from-12-embassies-in-japan-visit-fukushima-school.html

Fukushima will continue to need the help of the people for decades to come. Fukushima housed the nuclear power plant which supplied Tokyo with electricity for many decades.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tohoku didn't bid for the Olympics, Tokyo did.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will do absolutely nothing for Fukushima. Athletes are still afraid to compete in Tokyo let alone taking a day trip to Fukushima.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cricky

if you believe your own comment then provide us with the evidence that the whole of the Fukushima prefecture is contaminated with radiation. I at least provided a link to a citizens map showing the radiation levels. There are others too.

The nuclear disaster site is limited to the nuclear plant. There are high levels of radiations in the towns next to the plant. There are also places within the 30 km exclusion still with hot spots of high radiation.

But the whole of the prefecture is not contaminated.

I agree that name Fukushima will be linked to the nuclear disaster just like Chernobyl is. Good case for splitting the prefecture and renaming it. Fukushima has only existed in name since 1882.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

it's Fukashima that's it's name

Except that it's not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is Fukushima all of a sudden safe from radiation exposure?

Dr Helen Caldicott, paediatrican, nuclear medicine expert and former Harvard professor of paediatrics, says it is insane that Tokyo is hosting the Olympics. Skip to 3:05 for her interview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0hgfBkIBDM

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Dr Helen Caldicott also claimed that the Fukushima nuclear disaster would kill most of the people in the northern hemisphere but didn't happen.

Best to skip her nonsense all together.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

and her husband William Caldicott, is a pediatric radiologist.

I have been against nuclear energy used for power generation for more than 50 years but I don't accept Helen Caldicott who predict the end of civilisation from nuclear contamination. Nor many the others of the same ilk and gang.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nothing from Helen Caldicott on the 2017 massive radiation leak from Russia 100 times greater than Fukushima and spread right across Europe. Nothing, astounding!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

if you believe your own comment then provide us with the evidence that the whole of the Fukushima prefecture is contaminated with radiation. I at least provided a link to a citizens map showing the radiation levels. There are others too.

The nuclear disaster site is limited to the nuclear plant. There are high levels of radiations in the towns next to the plant. There are also places within the 30 km exclusion still with hot spots of high radiation.

But the whole of the prefecture is not contaminated.

@Zichi - I don't think anyone believes the entire Fukushima prefecture is heavily contaminated with radiation. But is there any harm in being careful? Why would a visitor go anywhere near Fukushima?

The Japanese government and TEPCO are always denying and downplaying the extent of the problem, and they are now pushing to serve Fukushima farm produce to visiting athletes. Would you willingly eat produce/meat from Fukushima? Perhaps (I wouldn't). Would you devise your entire meal at home with Fukushima produce for a year? Probably not (you couldn't pay me to).

The Fukushima Prefectural Government has set its sights on promoting local farm products certified under Global Good Agricultural Practices (Global GAP), with an eye toward having them served to Olympic athletes in 2020.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/15/national/fukushima-high-hopes-certified-farm-produce-ahead-2020-games/#.XUEgtugzZPY

Even here is Australia I've stopped going to ramen restaurants after glancing at the kitchen and noticing Japanese labelled bags of rice and tins of corn.

Japan is banking on convincing the rest of the world that Fukushima's nuclear disaster is now all under control and is completely safe from the dangers of radiation outside the small exclusion zone, but they're not fooling anyone.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm sure Chenoval is a specific place and is just a small part of land, Fukashima is a prefecture and as such will forever be linked to radiation, that's just how it is. Can't just brush a nuclear disaster (ongoing) under the carpet.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Nothing from Helen Caldicott on the 2017 massive radiation leak from Russia 100 times greater than Fukushima and spread right across Europe. Nothing, astounding!

@zichi - I must say that was news to me. I had to read up on it. Wonder why it wasn't covered extensively in the news?

Sources I've read are conflicting, but a crucial piece of information is the half life of the radioactive material, about a year for the material found in Russia (Ru-106), vs 30 years for Fukushima (Cs-137). So saying that the 2017 Russian radiation leak is 100 times worse than Fukushima is misleading.

The half-life of Ru-106 is 374 days, meaning that in just over a year, half of the material will have decayed away. So the leak will still be detectable for five or six years, but it is unlikely to require any major environmental cleanup operation.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/21/russian-radiation-leak-everything-you-need-to-know

The initial nuclear accident from the Fukushima reactors released several radioactive isotopes, such as iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137. Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years and remains in the environment for decades.

Source: https://www.livescience.com/43631-fukushima-radiation-ocean-arrives-west-coast.html

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Zichi your point is valid as is mine Fukashima is forever linked to disaster of a nuclear kind. Rightly or wrongly if anyone says Fukashima the first thought isn't butterflies.

No one cares how big it is as a prefecture it's Fucashima thus poisoned for all time.

thankyou TEPCO.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Heckleberry

@Zichi - I don't think anyone believes the entire Fukushima prefecture is heavily contaminated with radiation.

Oh but many do, such as Dr Helen Caldicott or nearer to home, posters like Utrack certainly do.

But is there any harm in being careful? *

There is when it's not the truth. Do you even live in Japan?

Why would a visitor go anywhere near Fukushima?

Again are you talking about the Fukushima nuclear disaster plant or are you talking about Fukushima prefecture. I think you should be very clear on which one you mean.

Many tourists, foreign and domestic visit Fukushima prefecture and some are even visiting some of the disaster areas.

The Japanese government and TEPCO are always denying and downplaying the extent of the problem, and they are now pushing to serve Fukushima farm produce to visiting athletes. Would you willingly eat produce/meat from Fukushima? Perhaps (I wouldn't). Would you devise your entire meal at home with Fukushima produce for a year? Probably not (you couldn't pay me to).

Maybe in the early days of the disaster but since then there have been many extensive investigations which have been published and available online. I have read every one of them.

Certainly the government created a problem with the farm produce and I have stated all farm produce and fish from within the exclusion zone should be banned for the duration of the nuclear disaster.

The allowable levels of radiation in food was reduced to one tenth of the international standard. The produce is being tested for radiation contamination. There are also citizen groups, mothers within the prefecture doing the same.

Food from no other place in Japan is tested for radiation contamination. No other country is testing for radiation in its food.

I don't live in Fukushima I live in Hyogo and mostly buy local produce. I would eat Fukushima produce if I knew where in the prefecture it came from.

Even here is Australia I've stopped going to ramen restaurants after glancing at the kitchen and noticing Japanese labelled bags of rice and tins of corn.

So there we have it, you are living in Australia hence the Helen Caldicott link. I guess we won't miss your business but do check out the 2017 Russian radiation leak which spread across Europe to France, Italy, Spain, Britain. You might want to also avoid farm produce from there too.

The uranium mining has been a nice little earner for Australia and all the melted down fuel in the nuclear disaster comes from your country. Same as Australian coal, another nice little earner but killing millions from lung disease. Good Day Mate!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Cricky

the name of the prefecture is Fukushima, I believe since about 1882. Not Fukashima.

Not Fucashima.

So you would say the same about Chernobyl which is in the Ukraine so the whole of the Ukraine is forever linked to Chernobyl?

I'm sure Chenoval is a specific place and is just a small part of land, Fukashima is a prefecture and as such will forever be linked to radiation, that's just how it is. Can't just brush a nuclear disaster (ongoing) under the carpet.

You seem to know even less about Chernobyl (not Chenoval) than you do about Fukushima. The radiation levels from Chernobyl were 800 times greater than Fukushima and spread across Europe as far as Ireland. The Welsh farmers were banned from selling their sheep until a few years ago without first testing them.

80% of the radiation from Fukushima was blown out to sea. We got lucky on that one!

No one is trying to brush the nuclear disaster under the carpet. It's a very serious situation and will remain so for many more decades to come.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Heckleberry

2017 Russian radiation leak is 100 times worse than Fukushima is misleading.

I never said it was a 100 times worse. I said the released levels of radiation were 100 times more than at Fukushima.

According to Caldicott even low levels of radiation are a danger.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Zichi - so it is perfecly safe to visit Fukushima, as long as it is outside the exclusion zone? And the nuclear disaster is very much under control? And farm/sea produce from Fukushima is safe? Gee where have I heard that before I wonder...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/10395434/Japanese-PM-eats-seafood-caught-off-Fukushima.html

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201906110001.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi your point is valid as is mine Fukashima is forever linked to disaster of a nuclear kind. Rightly or wrongly if anyone says Fukashima the first thought isn't butterflies.

@Cricky - When I think of Fukushima/Fukashima the first thing I think of is the nuclear disaster. Second thing that comes to mind is the lovable 'Fukuppy' mascot.

No one cares how big it is as a prefecture it's Fucashima thus poisoned for all time.

The Fukushima apologists in this thread won't like it but Fukushima is the 21st century Chernobyl, in the minds of 99.9% of people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Heckleberry

if you knew the history of my comments, which are still mostly available, on the nuclear disaster then you would also know I have been very vocal about what has happened.

I am not a "Fukushima apologist" nor TEPCO or the government.

What's your beef with Fukushima? You don't live here and Australia does not import Fukushima farm and fish produce, so you don't eat anything from there.

No mention on the number of Australian uranium miners who have developed cancer and died. No mention of the Australian coal miners who developed black lung and died. No mention of how many Australians die very year from the sun radiation.

To date, one worker at the nuclear disaster site is listed as dead from exposure to radiation.

You ask a question is it safe to visit Fukushima and the answer is yes and I even posted a link to a citizen radiation map showing the levels across the prefecture. If you don't like there are many others online. Did you even check out the levels before asking your question or you don't care about the real truth just what you want to believe.

The levels across the prefecture are lower than most major cities. I have not checked the levels in Australian cities. How much radiation is allowed in Australian farm and fish produce. Ten times that allowed in Japanese prodeuce. All foods contain some level of radiation these days. Does your government test the levels/

You also ask if the nuclear disaster site is under control. That's a very difficult question to answer since it is a major level disaster. But I have followed it very closely since it happened because I actually live in Japan.

TEPCO have made good progress. The No4 reactor was empty of fuel and the spent fuel in the cooling pool removed. Though I think there many still be a number of damaged rods still there. A housing/covering was built by remote control over the badly damaged No3 reactor and have started to remove the spent fuel from the cooling pool by remote control. Probably will take two years at least.

The No2 reactor building has the highest levels of radiation probably due to the dislodged reactor vessel cover from the earthquake and explosions. A new cover over the No1 reactor. Reactors 5&6 were not damaged and are empty of fuel in the reactor vessels.

TEPCO has greatly reduced the radiation levels around the plant by cleaning up and laying thick steel plates on the ground. This allows for workers to wear less restrictive clothes. The reactor buildings and the area around them exceeds safe levels of prolonged exposure to the radiation. The level in the No2 reactor is 15 SIEVERT.

The entire site is fragile and what would happen if there were another powerful earthquake and tsunami. I don't have the answer. I don't think anyone does.

The ex TEPCO chairman and several directors are in court in Tokyo facing serious criminal charges.

Produce from Fukushima and six other prefectures is not exported from Japan to any country.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Zichi I'm not trying to denigrate a whole region but forever Fukashima will be linked to nuclear disaster. Chenoval what ever way you spell it. It's also a disaster.

And I will never buy anything that has a Fucashima brand ever or Chenoval ( spelling aside) For that prefecture it's over.

Would you like this juicy strawberry from Fukashima mmmmmm......no thanks

funny thing is I say no thanks then smoke. So probably not the best advocate.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Fukushima is a very large prefecture and not all of it received radiation from the nuclear disaster. 

I'll definitely not have what he's smoking. Blind unwavering love aside, shouldn't common sense prevail in cases such as these? How can you honestly believe this?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Cricky

then you will receive a greater does of radiation from a packet of tobacco than most places in Fukushima prefecture. If you or anyone else disagrees when just link to a current radiation map showing me so. Easy really! Show me on a map where the radiation is higher than permissible levels. Greater than 20 millisievert per year, outside of the exclusion zone.

Unfortunately its true that many people will link both Fukushima and the nuclear disaster. Unless you actually live in Japan its unlikely you can buy any produce from Fukushima.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All the current Nuclear radiation exposure map links of Japan that I could find.

https://safecast.org/tilemap/

https://jciv.iidj.net/map/

Pacific Ocean Map

http://ourradioactiveocean.org/results

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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