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Mayor of Aichi city apologizes to Fukushima town for not using fireworks

46 Comments

The mayor of the city of Nisshin in Aichi Prefecture, Kozo Hagino, has met the mayor of Kawamata town in Fukushima Prefecture to offer a formal apology for the last-minute decision not to use fireworks made in the Fukushima town during the Nisshin summer festival fireworks display last Sunday night.

Some 3,350 fireworks, including ones made in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, were set off, Fuji TV reported Friday. In previous years, fireworks made in Kawamata were also used, but this year, Nisshin residents voiced concerns about the possibility of radioactive material being brought to Nisshin from Fukushima and dispersed during the display. So the Kawamata fireworks were not used.

"I would like to apologize for failing to ensure that residents of Nisshin properly understood the situation," Hagino told a televised news conference. Kawamata Mayor Michio Furukawa said that cancellations like this at a time when Fukushima is trying to recover from disaster "are a great shame."

According to Fuji TV, inspections have confirmed that the amount of radioactivity in Kawamata is extremely low. Mayor Hagino said he wants to get confirmation that there is no risk, and thereby gain the understanding of the residents of Nisshin, so that the fireworks display can be rescheduled as soon as possible.

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46 Comments
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I think these people should worry more about the rice they are about to consume coming out of Fukushima, Niigata and Yamagata. There is a much greater risk of radioactivity being in that than a handful of fireworks. I know people are being very vigilant about what rice they buy for their homes, but what about all the companies that use rice in their products, are they going to be as careful, or will they look to find the best deal, which will probably be the rice from these prefectures.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think they should've used their fireworks. It would've been more radiant on a clear night but anyway. We should worry about their food. Ban that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sorry but no, don't use them and don't apologize for looking after the safety of your residents. I am getting sick and tired of people thinking they need to apologize for choosing the safe option. I have no problems with "supporting Fukushima" as long as it doesn't case health problems for others. Keep your food, keep your fireworks, keep your trees, keep your soil... Why people of that area don't get why the rest of us don't want their stuff is beyond me.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

So what if the residents of Nisshin did want to fireworks used. Afterall risk or no risk it is them that have to live there and its them that would be at risk (if there was a risk). I dont believe that there is anything to apologize for as it comes down to choice, and its good to see people actually voicing concern about these things (even if unfounded). The problem is there has been that much disinformation put out there by TEPCO and the government people are now making decisions based on rumor rather than fact, if anyone is to blame maybe we should be looking deeper than this issue and pointing the finger squarely at those controlling the information. Maybe if they had been honest, straightforward and timely in the release of information from the outset then we wouldnt be in this predicament where people and communities dont know what to believe and make ill informed decisions.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Havent the people of Fukushima got enough problems without treating them like lepers

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"are a great shame"

if he'd said deeply regretable I'd have been more inclined to believe him

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Christina O'Neill

Havent the people of Fukushima got enough problems without treating them like lepers

2 questions for you, how is not using a product made in Fukushima treating them like lepers? And will you be eating produce from that area? If not then you are also treating them like lepers.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I'm with Marie on this. What happened to better safe than sorry? I know countless Japanese people who shun Chinese products for all sorts of reasons (even though of course all foreign food and so on is tested), but being careful about Fukushima products is suddenly offensive???

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Nisshin residents voiced concerns about the possibility of radioactive material being brought to Nisshin from Fukushima and dispersed during the display. So the Kawamata fireworks were not used

And people critisized Danica Patrick for voicing concern about potential radioactive issues. But Japanese are allowed to have similar concerns, and that's OK.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Spidapig24

You don't see the difference between fireworks and consumables in regards to their (potential/perceived) radiation hazard?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Spidapig24

I hope for your sake that you are intentionally being argumentative/annoying and can recognize the difference and severity of the radiation risk (potential or perceived) between fireworks and consumables.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Perhaps the fireworks should never have been offered, and yes Spidapig24 I would not consume contaminated products, I just feel the gift of the fireworks was accepted then rejected at the last minute, The gift was donated in good faith and perhaps a quite and private refusal early in the proceedings would have been more diplomatic.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

" Nisshin residents voiced concerns about the possibility of radioactive material being brought to Nisshin from Fukushima and dispersed during the display. So the Kawamata fireworks were not used."

A prime example of a little democratic choice in action. He should NOT apologise to Fukushima for listening to the will of those who elected him! rather Fukushima should apologise to Aichi for trying to force them to use (and buy and people have the right to buy/boycott if they want to). Whatever the risk is or isn't people dont feel comfortable using Fukushima products. Why should they? Who uses Chernobyl fireworks? Tuen Fukushima should apologise to the world for what they are doing and stop doing it:

The one who lacks understanding (as if we were all too stupid to know what is going on - we u derstqnd perfectly!) are those bullies who are forcing radiation on us. Democracy said NO!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

And Micheal Morris right

Little radiation is likely in those fireworks; the rice and food is a bigger concern, and so is incenerating radioactive rubble

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Summer festival fireworks display in late September? A little off-season no?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is a difference between acceptable risk and paranoia.

It seems to me that people are paranoid and seeing as how the lemming effect dictates what actions to take in case their is even an iota of doubt apologizing afterwards is the only path left.

In a manner of speaking it's enlightening to see the discrimination that Japanese are putting on to other Japanese within their own country. Now, hopefully though I have serious doubts, some are going to understand better how many in the foreign community have felt for years. Being discriminated against only for where you are from or who you are. Maybe, if they can make that leap of understanding, ever the optimist I am.

(Don't misunderstand that either please, it means that if there is any hope at all for this country to understand that it isnt so totally unique from the rest of the world, instances like this are great chances for people to learn and educate themselves about what's actually going on instead of always keeping their heads in the sand.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a ridiculous issue, but consumers have a right to choose. Not to worry about the rice, though, mates. They've checked it. And they've never lied to us before. All's fine!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Total paranoia! The residents who "voiced concern" amounted to 20 people. They demanded to have certification that the fireworks were safe DESPITE the fact they knew the fireworks had been stored indoors since they were made. They clearly do not get how anything can be comtaminated, which sadly is a common theme here. Agree with Zichi that there has been an atmosphere created that generates paranoia - but it isn't just the governement and TEPCO, if the media started more balanced reporting it would help.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

USNinJapan2

Spidapig24 You don't see the difference between fireworks and consumables in regards to their (potential/perceived) radiation hazard?

Actually try reading my post again. I was pointing out that given the poor information flow about what is and isnt safe is what has led to this situation. I didnt actually say it was unsafe at all. And yes there is a big difference between fireworks and consumables but given the misinformation out there and a lot of it comes from TEPCO and the government people are jumping to conclusions about what is and isnt safe.

The point l was making when l mentioned to Christina about the food was she said the people of FUkushima where being treated like lepers so l assumed she eats, drinks, uses items manufactured in Fukushima otherwise her comment was hypocritical.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It doesnt help things either when people in the government are dumb enough to make comments to stir the pot of misunderstanding.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People who left the prefecture have problems renting accommodation and finding schools for their children, because some are refusing to accept children from Fukushima.

Awful, isnt it? We have 2 Fukushima kids in my sons class, and recently at a meeting one of the mothers read out loud a letter to everyone saying how worried she was about coming here from Fukushima and how much she appreciates everyones kindness and support - half the room were in floods of tears, including the men!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It is astounding how the human mind can conjure up all sorts of insane thoughts.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don't think there's anything to apologize for either, although they should have said they would not use the fireworks from the get-go instead of initially saying they would and then not using them. Personally I'd worry more about food imports and mislabeling than about fireworks that would only be handled by those setting them off, but still, people have a right to be concerned, and that concern should not be ignored to simply mollify the people of Fukushima. If the people of Fukushima are upset about exports being banned or people refraining from using things from Fukushima, they should take it up with the prefectural government and TEPCO (in an angry fashion). If I'm staff at a restaurant and hand a customer food that doesn't look appealing I can't expect them to eat it just because it would make the cook feel bad if they sent it back.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Interesting. We have comments from people accusing people of treating people like lepers and claiming they are over reacting. Safe than sorry, no? If the government and TEPCO were actually honest with testing and food products and whatnot, I think people wouldn't have to "over react". As it is, the people of Nisshin should be worried and have a right to voice that concern.

Offering fireworks is nothing more than a PR event for Fukushima and the pity party they seem to think will sell their goods and help their economy recover regardless of the safety of them - um, hello tainted beef, veggies, milk... anyone? I am all for supporting the PEOPLE of Fukushima, helping them relocate, get back on their feet but keep the possible contaminated goods in one place. In the long run, it is better for the country and the population.

I would also like to know why the mayor felt the need to meet this guy. Pick up the phone and save the flight money!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why did he go to Fukushima for? One phone call would have done it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

EPIC FAIL!!

What a MORON...apologizing simply for being cautious about his own people...these smegma bureaucrats never cease to amaze me.. Paranoia or not, I rather be safer than sorry when it comes to my children's health. would you? unbelievable that some people would rather spread radiation, if any, in order to keep the yen coming!!

What a disgrace!!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Paranoia or not, I rather be safer than sorry when it comes to my children's health. would you?

Acceptable risk blue, you have a greater chance of getting hit by a car walking across the street here than ingesting enough radiation from a fireworks display. Of course it all comes down to choices, but COMMON SENSE has taken a backseat to paranoia and almost hysteria amongst people that are seeing irradiated objects from anything that comes from Fukushima and that's just pure ignorance and bull.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Totally perplexed by the growing paranoia here. It just isn't logical. And peopel saying that they support the people of Fukushima, wouldhelp them relocate, but atthe same time consider items made there and stored indoors away from radiation competely to be contaminated?? So are the people contaminated too? Should they stay in Fukushima?

Do yourselves (and everyone) a huge favour and talk to some scientists. Understand what is realy happening and get on with life (it is too short anyway).

No one is saying that this is a perfect situation, and there are going to be bumps and shocks as we move forward, but drop the theory that everything in Fukushima is tainted please. And even if it is, try and understand the actual risk (if any) to your health.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Yubaru

I don't mind about the fireworks at all, honey....I'm aware that not EVERYTHING is irradiated..you know? for example, I'm a kimono collector so..should I stop and boycott all the silk material, tsumugi, etc. just because of the radiation? LOL I'm more concerned about the food than anything else for that matter... The only thing that I despise here is that this idiot had to take a flight to bend over and apologize? why not using the phone? Also, if it was me, I'd have NO problem buying some goods as long as they are not comestibles. There is no need for me to shun anything or anybody, but apologizing for trying to be cautious is way beyond me! oopps I forgot I was born here...it can't be beyond me!! -_-

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There was an interesting program about a guy that is trying to build and market a cheap and reliable Geiger-counter. His will cost around 10.000Yen(uses an Iphone appli) and will be JIS certified.

They showed his development process, etc and the problems he faces. He said and demoed that most geiger-counters in the range of 30.000-50.000Yen are NOT calibrated(JIS certfified) and thus give widely varying readings(they tested all at 14 spots in fukushima).

Some were giving a reading of double or half the actual levels.

When he took his home-build reader for a test-certification he was within required the +-20% limit.

Was an interesting program.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How is having fireworks from Fukushima supporting the people of Fukushima? Sorry but please.

Indeed I could get hit by a car while crossing the street. But I do stop and look both way just to be safe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Very clearly an overreaction regarding the fireworks, come on for christs sake!

Me, I am glad the guy went & said sorry for the over reaction, very VERY NICE. As it is extremely rare for any politician to MAN-UP when they are wrong, good for him.

Fukushima has enough bad stuff to deal with, the initial reaction was STUPID, IGNORANT, again Hagino-san thx for manning up!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One person's paranoia is another person's caution, but the common denominator is mistrust, and that stems from the poor testing and misleading information that people have had to put up with over the past six months. Accepting the fireworks would have been a show of solidarity, a boost to the morale, but poor testing has led to a loss of confidence in most things 'Fukushima'. However, for me, the saddest thing as noted before is the rejection of evacuees from Fukushima - men, women and children - just when they need the most help. A true and shameful ignorance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Michael J. Morris Sep. 24, 2011 - 07:54AM JST

I think these people should worry more about the rice they are about to consume coming out of Fukushima, Niigata and Yamagata.

Yamagata's background radiation level is much lower than the prefectures on the Pacific coast, all the way down past Tokyo. The mountain ranges that give this prefecture it's name also protected it from the dispersed radionuclides.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

STAR VIKING- - are you postively sure about that ? You ever thought about the wind currents ( upper & lower atmosphere ) the radiation levels reached California Coast. I think you should re think your answers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Isn't it the Kawamata Mayor's job to confirm the safety of their products and convince people from other prefectures that their products are safe? Why should the mayor Nisshin apologize??? Duh....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is the attitude we are seeing now: "What is a few more becquerels ?"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GWS

Very clearly an overreaction regarding the fireworks, come on for christs sake! Me, I am glad the guy went & said sorry for the over reaction, very VERY NICE. As it is extremely rare for any politician to MAN-UP when they are wrong, good for him. Fukushima has enough bad stuff to deal with, the initial reaction was STUPID, IGNORANT, again Hagino-san thx for manning up!

I completely disagree, the mayor should not have apologized, firstly the fireworks from Fukushima where not used because the citizens of Nisshin complained about them so the local government didnt use them. So the mayor was actually listening to the people who elected him. Was the non use of the fireworks the right thing? Given the state of information that has been supplied by the authorities yes, the people of Nisshin have (as does anyone else) the right to question something that is happening in there city. Was there a risk from using the fireworks? More than likely not, however looking at this disaster and its handling as a whole who knows truly what is and isnt safe these days. All that happened was the people of the city of Nisshin said we do not want these fireworks used that is their choice and one they are totally entitled to make. Rather than apologize the mayors of both cities should be taking up the root cause with the J Government, i.e the lack of reliable, timely, accurate reporting coming from both the J Government and TEPCO. Afterall that is where the whole problem stems from for without that there would be no confussion or half baked concerns.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The only thing that I despise here is that this idiot had to take a flight to bend over and apologize? why not using the phone?

Ahh come on now you should know the answer to this one yourself. Making a phone call doesnt get the same press and face time coverage in the media, plain and simple.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I said "one phone call would have done it". It was meant to avoid press coverage and not the other way around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was meant to avoid press coverage and not the other way around.

“I would like to apologize for failing to ensure that residents of Nisshin properly understood the situation,” Hagino told a televised news conference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

whiskeysourSep. 25, 2011 - 04:37AM JST

STAR VIKING- - are you postively sure about that ? You ever thought about the wind currents ( upper & lower atmosphere ) the radiation levels reached California Coast. I think you should re think your answers.

Not 100% sure, as that's not possible. However, I have thought about the wind currents - Yamagata is surrounded by large mountain ranges - that provides a barrier to low-altitude winds. High altitude winds tend to take things far away, not deposit them close to where the contamination originated - as you said, radionuclides reached the coast of California. By the way, California is to the east of Yamagata, and Yamagata is to the west of the Pacific Coast - not in line with the winds blowing towards California.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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