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Koizumi backs sick U.S. sailors who blame Fukushima radiation

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"TEPCO denies any link between the illnesses and radiation, saying the radiation levels are too low."

OMGosh.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

My respect for Koizumi. He was an honest and principled prime minister, and has played an outstanding role as an ex-PM. He reminds me a lot of Jimmy Carter.

He has played a particularly positive and high-profile role in trying get Japan to come to grips with its military past, mending fences with Japan's neighbors, and speaking out against nuclear energy. Japan needs more like him.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Leaving aside the merits of the case and this article, it's almost inconceivable to me that USN warships which may engage in combat in areas where tactical nukes may be deployed, do not have the ability to detect radiation 24/7 to preserve the safety of the crew. Looks to me like the USN needs to address this issue. "Nobody told us" doesn't cut the mustard.Meanwhile, hats off to former PM Koizumi on this.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Nobody pays attention to an aged Japanese Don Quixote.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Could easily get donations by allowing fans to touch his magical hair. I believe Hillary Clinton gets $1,000,000 donations for pushing her wheelchair.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What's in it for him?

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

My respect for Koizumi. He was an honest and principled prime minister, and has played an outstanding role as an ex-PM. He reminds me a lot of Jimmy Carter. He has played a particularly positive and high-profile role in trying get Japan to come to grips with its military past, mending fences with Japan's neighbors, and speaking out against nuclear energy. Japan needs more like him.

There are some things in your post here I agree with and others I completely disagree with.

He was an honest and principled prime minister

I would disagree here. He deregulated the workforce hiring rules and regulations, allowing for the 40% non full time workers we have today. That's all on him. He was way too friendly with G W Bush, and it was he who first began sending SDF forces overseas on missions to Iraq. I also fail to see how principled he is. It was he, after all, who instigated the fingerprinting of foreigners in Japan, after which when he left office, he himself bought a home in Italy and lived there for a while. Living in a foreign country while fingerprinting foreigners hardly seems principled to me.

He has played a particularly positive and high-profile role in trying get Japan to come to grips with its military past, mending fences with Japan's neighbors

Completely disagree here. He, in fact, was the first PM to visit Yasukuni. He completely destroyed the relationship between Japan and China and SK. I remember the outroar that happened in 2001-2002 when he did that. It also was a shock to the general public here as no one had any idea that was on the agenda.

When it comes to nuclear energy, he was always pro nukes as a PM. It is only in his capacity as a private citizen now that he speaks out against it.

I commend his work as a post PM. He has done many good things, such as the article above states. His aid to these sailors truly commendable.

Japan needs more like him.

If he would continue down the trajectory he is on now then YES.
If he would revert back to the PM he was when he was in power then NO.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Since then, some servicemen and women have become sick with cancers, leukemia, thyroid ailments, brain tumors and other diseases, and they blame radiation. The ships to which they were assigned were in an area of the ocean in the direction of the radioactive plumes spewed from the Fukushima plant.

There was a lot more Japanese people who were in these plumes and they are not turning up sick. I have difficulty believing the US military folks are dying and have radiation related illnesses and not one reported case has occured in Japan. There is a disconnect in this story somewhere.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

TEPCO denies any link between the illnesses and radiation, saying the radiation levels are too low.

Yup. All those radiation-related illnesses and deaths among such a specific group of people who were in such close proximity - it's just a coincidence.

Disgusting.

I hope the judge rules in the service men's favor and doubles it.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Koizumi as ex PM has turned out to be a good guy, ready to expose the truth about Fukushima. Will he be Japan's Jimmy Carter.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Something fishy going on here with these sailors. The U.S. is a litigious society I think these deck-hands are just trying to make a quick buck, advised by some shyster ambulance-chasing lawyers. If their claims are true we would have more Japanese people turning up sick as well. Greed is what we have here, folks.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Nobody pays attention to an aged Japanese Don Quixote.

He was one of the most popular PMs ever, and as far as I recall was the third-longest running PM in post war history. If you think no one is paying attention to him, you're kidding yourself.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan steamed northward far off the coast to the EAST of the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The plume traveled north west as far as the border of Miyagi prefecture, then swung west and west south west and the wind veered and weaken. Tokyo was saved by that weakening and eventual dropping off of the wind. These plume traces can be easily found on the web.

The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. did not sail through the plume. The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan sailed in consort with many other U.S., Japanese and other country's vessels.

Only sailors from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan are reporting severe cancers and health effects which they relate to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Mr Koizumi is niether a doctor or expert on radiation inflicted cancers. He is an ex-polititian with an opinion.

Opinions are basically worth nothing in this kind of situation. Even mine.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

These sailors said that they have been suffering from fukushima radiation but Japanese local people living around the nuclear plants are not suffering from radiation at all. It seems that no one are suffering from radiation but some (not many) children had thyroid cancer later. These sailors are always on nuclear power aircraft carrier loaded with depleted uranium ammunitions there.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

There is absolutely no way that these servicemen could have been exposed to any amount of radiation that would affect their health. However, I'm not saying that they are suffering health issues. But that is normal in the population that was on board.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

TEPCO denies any link between the illnesses and radiation, saying the radiation levels are too low.

Are you kidding me? That statement is criminal.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

@Aly Rustom

Excellent assessment of Koizumi. Thumbs up, and I stand corrected.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Whether or not the Fukushima radiation was the cause, Tepco is scum and needs to be shut down after they clean up their mess. Its great that Koizumi is setting up a private fund.

Having said that though I'm against any public funds going into this:

A private owned factory next to my house blows up and the fire spreads to my house, volunteers (as far as I know, the J-Gov't didn't issue an official request for operation tomodachi, so the US servicemen came to help out of their own benevolent volitions) come put out the fire on my house, they get sick from the fumes (radiation), and I (taxpayer) have to pay for their med bills, while I'm still paying to rebuild my house and my life.

More like operation ATARIYA

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The USS Ronald Reagan is itself nuclear powered.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sailors are accusing but the US Navy officially will not. Wonder why?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good on Koizumi -- one of the few good politicians this nation has had, and the only good PM over the last couple of decades at least.

Shame on TEPCO, as usual... denying there is any link to young people suddenly getting sick and dying or radiation-like symptoms after having HELPED Japan and been lied to about the meltdown. Shame on Japan if it denies it, too. Some will get defensive and use the same old "attacking our culture" and "bashing" lines because they have no argument, and if they do, shame on them, too. This is something that should be acknowledged, apologized for, and the people who are still alive helped as much as possible. Koizumi is trying, and I'll take his "common sense" any day over the insanity of TEPCO and the people currently leading the nation.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

What's in it for him?

Paving the way for his son. Not the one he hasn't met, of course.

Aly, excellent post. Lots of people praise Koizumi but seem to forget all the bad he did - the big one being dispatch and really screwing over the working poor with contract work and no job security.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Excellent assessment of Koizumi. Thumbs up, and I stand corrected.

Aly, excellent post. Lots of people praise Koizumi but seem to forget all the bad he did - the big one being dispatch and really screwing over the working poor with contract work and no job security.

Thank you both very much for your kind words. Sensato, I hope I didn't come on too strong. I just feel exactly like tmarie said, that people seem to forget alot of the damage he has done. Again, thank you both very much.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

he has set up a special fund to collect private donations for the former service members,

Well, you wouldn't expect TEPCO or the J-Gov to do anything about it. They are still sitting on their thumbs and procrastinating about compensating the Japanese victims of the meltdowns.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I preferred Koizumi because he totally got Elvis.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The ships to which they were assigned were in an area of the ocean in the direction of the radioactive plumes spewed from the Fukushima plant.

They were over 100km North East of the radioactive plumes. Tokyo had more exposure than those guys.

Aircraft carriers routinely use drinking water from the ocean, which the lawsuit says was contaminated with radiation, and service members showered in and ate food cooked in such water. Some Navy personnel also flew on helicopters to the disaster zone.

1) The ocean wasn't contaminated with radiation and

2) The desalination units would have removed contamination if it was.

Also, the USS Reagan is a nuclear powered ship. It will have nuclear radiation sensors on the ship to detect problems with its own nuclear storage and nuclear safety officers. I would doubt that they would do nothing if radiation leakage alarms were going off.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He only charges $100 to hear his speeches. Shame shame shame on the Clintons. Perhaps they could donate a bit to these men and women that proudly served?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

As someone who was "in the plume," let me assure everyone that when people wonder why US sailors, who were not actually in the plume at all, start reporting all manner of ailments that Japanese are NOT reporting, your suspicions are entirely justified. I do hope that the sailors get fair treatment. I do hope that they are not simply making all this up. I do thank them for their hard work after 3.11. I do wish they had universal health care.

In my experience, there were perhaps two days where I thought it was best not to be outside. I also reported here on JapanToday how I was harvesting my lettuce at other times, and I ate it. Hysteria notwithstanding. Indoor radiation levels never got very high. Don't argue with me about it. I have clearly bet my life that I am right, and that most of you are wrong. Who among you can show similar commitment and conviction?

Specifically regarding Koizumi, I have to say that I am sad to see him slide like this. It happens a lot in Japan. It is simply guilt. Every Japanese politician or bureaucrat, while doing his duty for the state, has to push against whiners and claimers and it wears them down. After they leave office, they change their hair color, join weird religious or quasi-religious movements, and make rambling public apologies to all the people they have made promises that they broke. I have seen it a hundred times. It is uncomfortable to watch because it is in direct proportion to... their feelings of guilt, and it does not help anyone or absolve anyone. Koizumi is not being rational. He simply wants to use someone else's money to say thank you to US sailors. Somebody get him a La-Z-Boy and a dish of jelly beans.

Same for Kan really. At completely the other end of the political spectrum, his swan song was rejecting his background in Science to get touchy feely and suddenly believe anti-nuclear protesters' dubious claims. He has a nice retirement set up now, with various speaking engagements describing his helicopter adventures. People will ignore his disastrous administration before 3.11, which suits him just fine.

Anyway, they are both wrong. For us, the living. The not-yet-dead. We need to have a way of generating electricity that will not increase CO2 emissions. We need cheap power. We need to live our lives. However much Koizumi's rant might ease his contorted conscience, he is wrong. He and Kan will be dead by the time climate change shows its worst effects. He is being irresponsible by claiming sincerity now and dooming others to his disastrous point of view, even though he will not have to suffer the consequences of that point of view, or even justify it rationally.

Finally, most posters seem titillated that he flagellates TEPCO. Please realize everyone that TEPCO will simply fund all claimants by burning more coal and raising their rates for residences. You want TEPCO to pay? Well, take out your wallets and purses. The money will come from somewhere. You want lower CO2 emissions? Good luck with that.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Nobody pays attention to an aged Japanese Don Quixote.

I think quite the opposite. Everybody is paying attention.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

5Speedracer5: "You want TEPCO to pay? Well, take out your wallets and purses."

That, or you could start doing what intelligent nations do and STOP paying the company for its mistakes, making them pay or go bankrupt, and jailing the people responsible for the disaster -- and they ARE responsible for it. But in Japan? Nope. Reward them by bailing them out time and again, and allowing those in charge to leave, with golden parachutes, and get even more lucrative jobs in the same field. Why did Shimizu run if there was no risk and he was not responsible?

But YOU can always stick with the "shouganai" attitude, Speedracer, and keep paying while you shrug.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Many Japanese people got sick and died too. Some were relatively long, in their 40s. None of it was made public. I know a person from their communities who gives talks about the suppression that has been going on. According to him, many such people had to remain silent or lose the temporary housing they received after evacuation. There has been tremendous pressure on these to not talk. The deaths are not even investigated. So many have been covered up. It is good that at least Americans do not remain silent and may break this glass.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@5SpeedRacer5Sep. 08, 2016 - 11:29AM JST

I am glad you wrote your post and agree with all you said. Though I was not in one of the plumes of Fukushima, as a young child, I was in an area which was rained on by the clouds saturated with particles from Chernobyl. At that time, my eldest cousin was 3 months pregnant. It was in May, leafy vegetables were on the table all the way through spring that year and the years after that. My cousin’s child, just as the other children at the time - and I mean “all” because in a small town there is no way to hide it if something abnormal happens - was born fine and is a handsome man now. My friends have all had children without any physical or mental defects and, thankfully, all of them are healthy and enjoying their childhoods and teenage years.

About Koizumi and Kan. Absolutely agree. While the first set deregulations which turned disastrous for a large part of the workforce in Japan the second’s time in office was a fiasco brought by his lack of experience, good judgement and strength as a leader.

As for electricity and TEPCO. You are absolutely right. But still there are many who love the dream of “clean” energy. Nothing wrong with having a dream. However, believing that we can achieve this dream tomorrow or at the latest by the end of this week is way beyond reasonable.

In my experience, there were perhaps two days where I thought it was best not to be outside. I also reported here on JapanToday how I was harvesting my lettuce at other times, and I ate it. Hysteria notwithstanding. Indoor radiation levels never got very high.

I wonder what the other JT posters’ reaction was to the above.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

TEPCO denies any link between the illnesses and radiation, saying the radiation levels are too low.

That's easy to say. Also is the quickest way to try duck a lawsuit they know it's coming.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The supposedly deceptive TEPCO radiation readings were not from TEPCO, whose detectors were down because there was no power. The readings were from detectors provided by the US embassy (that is how Ross became well known so quickly). They should be talking to the US government.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Go Ko! Always liked him...something about his style or something.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

What kind of Navy command doesn't think about the water it takes in with this incident? Seems to me that Navy command is responsible for this.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Even CNN had pictures of US sailors swabbing the decks of their ships because of ...........radioactive contamination. To say there wasn't any danger goes against the facts. The people of Fukushima have experienced nosebleeds,fatigue,alopecia,cysts,teeth loss etc Can all these be linked to radioactive contamination?

Time will surely tell.........

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What kind of Navy command doesn't think about the water it takes in with this incident? Seems to me that Navy command is responsible for this.

They don't just suck in seawater and pipe it directly to the sinks and showers. They process it through filters and distillation which would remove much of any contaminants. Not as thorough as the processing going on at the plant site but for the low levels that sampling showed where they were, completely sufficient.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Droll Quarry: Cases have been reported, just not in your daily news coverage. On FB search: Evacuate Fukushima

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Typical litigious American mentality. Nevermind that US has highest rates of heart disease in the world and has fostered a dog-eat-dog system where it's literally every man for himself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

kwatt: Sailors are accusing but the US Navy officially will not. Wonder why?

Quashed in State Department?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What kind of Navy command doesn't think about the water it takes in with this incident? Seems to me that Navy command is responsible for this.

Too true. And obviously they wouldn't use radioactive water because it's dangerous. What gives?

The water in the sea near Fukushima was not dangerously radioactive. And even then the desalination plants would make it even safer. (Safer than safe.)

The USS Reagan is a nuclear powered vessel and as such will have radiation sensors to detect leakages. The crew were probably the safest people in the area because if they detected high levels of radiation, they would leave the area.

I'm not calling the people seeking compensation liars, but human nature irrationally tries to make sense of patterns and people who get sick try to find a pattern. (Must be the radiation!) It's the same as a mother who gets her kid vaccinated and later finds out that the kid has autism. There is no way to convince her that the vaccination didn't cause the autism.

With the number of people on the USS Reagan, of course many of them will get sick later in life. But there is absolutely no reason to suspect radiation poisoning.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Smith's comments to me are interesting, but he could not be more wrong. I will get to them later. I was pretty careful in my comments to note that these sailors are perfectly welcome to make their claims and have their day in court. I would be very surprised if their medical claims could stand up to objective scrutiny, especially because people in Fukushima are not showing any such symptoms or conditions, and they have been monitored closely from day 1 by competent people.

Now, let's back up to talk about wallets and purses, and let this sink in deep. I pay zip for electricity. That's right. I walk the walk while all you pseudo-greenies who are so opinionated are talking the talk. Now when I look at all the poseurs talking big about making the utility pay, I KNOW that the money is going to come from rate payers, not like me, LIKE YOU. You are simply hooked on your electricity drug, all of you, and you are too lazy to do anything about it. It is WHY FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI was built in the first place, people! You wanted cheap power, and TEPCO gave it to you. But now... well now you are already paying surcharges for renewable energy and for fossil fuels, in addition to higher rates. You are paying that as a direct cost of nuclear hysteria that you have fomented. I'm not. YOU ARE. And YOU will pay for decommissioning the nuclear reactors too. Not me. I did the green thing. YOU will pay it as a result of your anti-nuclear hysteria and its distortion of policy.

It is a sick burn on all pseudo-green poseurs. You did it to yourselves. And you will pay the bill. And everyone else you did it to can blame you. I did the right thing from day one. I did it because it was the right thing to do. Installing solar is worth a million Smith impotent anti-nuclear anti-utility rants in the grand scheme of things. I am off the hook. And you are most definitely on the hook.

I have grown up. I took responsibility for myself. I don't have any illusions that utilities are some evil entity. They are companies sanctioned by GOVERNMENT to serve the PUBLIC. And that is what they do. TEPCO is not going to go bankrupt because it serves a necessary function for a fee. You rely on that function and you pay a fee. That institution is not going to change, so people can just stop whining. Don't like it? Then stop using electricity. Cut yourself off from the grid in protest. You can do it for lots of good reasons. Why don't you? Oh yeah. Because you TALK a good game. I bet there are some people who have gone off grid to protest TEPCO, but not on this site. This is the site where people complain without doing anything about anything. They want to change the world, but can't change themselves.

Your accusation that I have a a "shougenai" attitude is so far off the mark. I have taken responsibility as NOBODY here has. I have staked my well being, as well as that of my family and virtually all of my property, on the notion that all of this radiation hysteria is entirely false. And you know what? I am right. I have been right from day one, and I am right now. I have been rewarded for paying close attention to the correct information and ignoring hysteria.

Just for fun, Smith. Tell me ONE nation. Any time in history. That has shut down an electric utility. Just one. You mention "intelligent" nations doing some such thing. I think it has never been done. Ever. Mostly because it is not intelligent at all. The plain truth is that TEPCO has provided cheap power on a stable basis for generations. It was pursuing a nuclear policy that had the tacit support of the entire nation. It did the best it could. Their work since 3.11 has SAVED countless lives, and they are responsibly cleaning up. I think most grown-ups feel that way.

That is how I see it. And I live that way. If I were the least bit insincere in my beliefs, I would not live here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most of the plaintiffs were from the USS Ronald Reagan (says a Japanese newspaper). Ship's complement is about 3,200 + 2,480 = 5,680 (says wikipedia). 400 of 5680 = 7 percent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most of the plaintiffs were from the USS Ronald Reagan

Yet there were other ships that were much closer to the plant site for much longer and their crews don't show anywhere near this % of 'radiation injured' sailors. Also the helicopter crews that flew repeatedly even closer to the site don't show anywhere near this %. And the Japanese workers at the site don't show anywhere near this %. Common sense says people closer to the site would show a larger % of effects, yet they don't, why?

Nosebleeds can be a radiation exposure symptom, but only for massive acute doses. If they received such a large dose they would have been incapacitated in a hospital within hours or days and most of them wouldn't have survived. Also if that level of radiation had existed it would have effected EVERY crew member, it isn't like a virus where only some people catch it, massive acute radiation exposure effects everyone exposed.

As to the other complaints, most of them are not known to be caused by radiation. A few of them can be caused by low level chronic radiation exposure, but they can also be caused by other things. Also those effects generally take 5 or more years to show up while most of these sailors claim their illnesses happened/started within a year or less. And again wouldn't common sense say that the Japanese workers and people who lived much closer to the site than any of the sailor ever where, would show many a times greater % of effected patients?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mike presents organized criticisms. Nosebleeds are so general. Don't people get them from eating chocolate?

One must also consider that this is a class action suit. That means that, simply put, it is a lawyer organized, lawyer generated lawsuit. Anybody who had any symptom or who claims to have had some symptom might as well sign on. They will never have to take a stand in any courtroom or testify to anything. No one has to perjure themselves. All they have to do is hope for a settlement. Then the lawyer takes her cut and everyone gets paid. It is the way these things are done nowadays. Jaczo at the US NRC paved the way for the suit by claiming many things about Fukushima that were just not true. And he made those statements in front of the US Congress. Now Koizumi is laying the groundwork for a plausible assertion that these people have radiation sickness.

All the lawyer has to do is prove the likelihood that these people were poisoned by TEPCO. Koizumi helps that effort immensely. In this civil case, they don't even have to prove it "beyond a shadow of a doubt."

I predict a settlement. After the lawyers get their share, there will not be much left. But really, it is the lawyers doing all the work, right?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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