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Fukushima's Nuclear Plume Is Heading Toward My SoCal Beach

Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Not a lot of good news has been coming out of Japan lately. This week at the United Nations COP 19 climate talks meeting in Warsaw it was announced that Japan will renege on its carbon emissions pledge. This means that instead of lowering its emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 its emissions will actually increase based on 1990 levels. The reason Japanese officials give is because of the shutdown of its fifty nuclear power plants, which will mean more reliance on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs.

Of course, the shutting down of the nuke plants is not a bad thing, especially in light of the Fukushima disaster which until very recently seems to have been suffering from a bit of a news blackout by the mainstream corporate media. This is especially troubling given the imminent passage of a new censorship law in Japan that could make reporting news about Fukushima a crime in the name of protecting state’s secrets (gee, sound familiar?).


How much you know about the situation on the ground at the crippled Daiichi plant depends on how much you are intentionally seeking the information. Many people I talk to still don’t seem to fully comprehend the scope of the problem, likely because it hasn’t dominated the evening news. There is a lot to know but the most troubling facts are 1), that 300 tons of radioactive water have been spilling into the Pacific Ocean every day and is seeping into the groundwater; 2) the clean-up process is so risky that it continues to be delayed and has been called the world’s It’s also been called “the potentially the biggest ticking time bomb in human history.”
1. 300トンの放射能汚染水が太平洋に毎日流れ出ていて、地下水に染み出ており、
2. 収束過程があまりにも危険で作業が遅延し続け、それはまた世界的に「人類にとって最も大きな時限爆弾となりうる」とも言われています。

The crisis is obviously bad enough for the Japanese, but what keeps me awake at night is the radioactive plume making its way across the Pacific. It worries me because I live in a Southern California beach community, and as surfers committed to a healthy lifestyle, my family and I spend a lot of time in the ocean. I think also of the many Native nations in the US and Canada whose ancient ways of life depend on the “big waters” of the Pacific and this is just the newest threat to those ways.


Perceptions of the seriousness of the radioactive plume (to say nothing of the radiation being released into the atmosphere) seem to, not surprisingly, run along ideological lines between those who support nuclear energy and those who don’t. On the anti-nuclear side, high profile experts such as Helen Caldicott and David Suzuki mince no words about the danger it poses, especially to the North American west coast, to say nothing of all the life in the ocean. Other more conservative industry experts tend to downplay the seriousness of the radioactive plume, saying the ocean will dilute the radioactive particles to negligible levels. Naturally, they are critical of the anti-nuke voices.

The proliferation of nuclear energy is a symptom of the insanity of Western-based modern science. It is reflective of a people who have so little respect for life that they are willing to sacrifice their own grandchildren’s generation to satisfy today’s desires for wealth, all in the name of progress and the betterment of humanity. That is what happens when you deem acceptable a technology that produces a waste byproduct so toxic and dangerous that not only is it impossible dispose of safely, but it remains life threatening for tens of thousands of years.

Although Japan was victimized by America's use of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it has fully embraced the values and technology of Western (i.e. Euro-American) culture. But in Fukushima’s wake a growing chorus of Japanese intellectuals is denouncing Japan’s attachment to nuclear power. Professor Mitsui Murata, former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, said in a video widely circulating the internet that “the Japanese people realize from experience that nuclear energy generates unacceptable calamities…Japan must assume the historic role of promoting denuclearization, both civilian and military.”

In another fascinating documentary which highlights two of Japan’s top philosophers, Fukushima is characterized by the renowned Takeshi Umehara as a “civilization disaster,” because “civilization” as we know it is based on Western philosophic ideas. “Humanity cannot survive with Western philosophy,” Umehara declares. He calls for Japan to turn to its ancient ways of thinking to escape the “dead end of Western philosophy” and build a new civilization. Inspired by ancient Buddhist concepts and those from Japan’s indigenous Ainu people, Umehara embraces principles very similar to the principles of indigenous peoples in the US. For example, the concepts emphasize a nature-centered existence where everything in nature has a spirit and humans and nature are interconnected. It also stresses that recognizing the continuity with an enduring past translates to a reverence for nature that is required in order for life to go on.


To me this sounds an awful lot like our concept of thinking ahead 7 generations in order to take right action today. Humanity’s addiction to nuclear power, like its addiction to fossil fuels, must end. And this is the number one lesson from Fukushima.





The ocean is broken

Oct. 18, 2013, 10 p.m.

IT was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it.

Not the absence of sound, exactly.

The wind still whipped the sails and whistled in the rigging. The waves still sloshed against the fibreglass hull.

And there were plenty of other noises: muffled thuds and bumps and scrapes as the boat knocked against pieces of debris.

What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded the boat.

The birds were missing because the fish were missing.


Exactly 10 years before, when Newcastle yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen had sailed exactly the same course from Melbourne to Osaka, all he'd had to do to catch a fish from the ocean between Brisbane and Japan was throw out a baited line.

"There was not one of the 28 days on that portion of the trip when we didn't catch a good-sized fish to cook up and eat with some rice," Macfadyen recalled.

But this time, on that whole long leg of sea journey, the total catch was two.

No fish. No birds. Hardly a sign of life at all.

"In years gone by I'd gotten used to all the birds and their noises," he said.

"They'd be following the boat, sometimes resting on the mast before taking off again. You'd see flocks of them wheeling over the surface of the sea in the distance, feeding on pilchards."

But in March and April this year, only silence and desolation surrounded his boat, Funnel Web, as it sped across the surface of a haunted ocean.

North of the equator, up above New Guinea, the ocean-racers saw a big fishing boat working a reef in the distance.

"All day it was there, trawling back and forth. It was a big ship, like a mother-ship," he said.

And all night it worked too, under bright floodlights. And in the morning Macfadyen was awoken by his crewman calling out, urgently, that the ship had launched a speedboat.

"Obviously I was worried. We were unarmed and pirates are a real worry in those waters. I thought, if these guys had weapons then we were in deep trouble."

But they weren't pirates, not in the conventional sense, at least. The speedboat came alongside and the Melanesian men aboard offered gifts of fruit and jars of jam and preserves.

"And they gave us five big sugar-bags full of fish," he said.

"They were good, big fish, of all kinds. Some were fresh, but others had obviously been in the sun for a while.

"We told them there was no way we could possibly use all those fish. There were just two of us, with no real place to store or keep them. They just shrugged and told us to tip them overboard. That's what they would have done with them anyway, they said.


"They told us that his was just a small fraction of one day's by-catch. That they were only interested in tuna and to them, everything else was rubbish. It was all killed, all dumped. They just trawled that reef day and night and stripped it of every living thing."

Macfadyen felt sick to his heart. That was one fishing boat among countless more working unseen beyond the horizon, many of them doing exactly the same thing.

No wonder the sea was dead. No wonder his baited lines caught nothing. There was nothing to catch.

If that sounds depressing, it only got worse.

The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear.

"After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead," Macfadyen said.

"We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.

"I've done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I'm used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen."

In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.

"Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it's still out there, everywhere you look."

Ivan's brother, Glenn, who boarded at Hawaii for the run into the United States, marvelled at the "thousands on thousands" of yellow plastic buoys. The huge tangles of synthetic rope, fishing lines and nets. Pieces of polystyrene foam by the million. And slicks of oil and petrol, everywhere.


Countless hundreds of wooden power poles are out there, snapped off by the killer wave and still trailing their wires in the middle of the sea.

"In years gone by, when you were becalmed by lack of wind, you'd just start your engine and motor on," Ivan said.

Not this time.

"In a lot of places we couldn't start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That's an unheard of situation, out in the ocean.

"If we did decide to motor we couldn't do it at night, only in the daytime with a lookout on the bow, watching for rubbish.

"On the bow, in the waters above Hawaii, you could see right down into the depths. I could see that the debris isn't just on the surface, it's all the way down. And it's all sizes, from a soft-drink bottle to pieces the size of a big car or truck.

"We saw a factory chimney sticking out of the water, with some kind of boiler thing still attached below the surface. We saw a big container-type thing, just rolling over and over on the waves.

"We were weaving around these pieces of debris. It was like sailing through a garbage tip.


"Below decks you were constantly hearing things hitting against the hull, and you were constantly afraid of hitting something really big. As it was, the hull was scratched and dented all over the place from bits and pieces we never saw."

Plastic was ubiquitous. Bottles, bags and every kind of throwaway domestic item you can imagine, from broken chairs to dustpans, toys and utensils.

And something else. The boat's vivid yellow paint job, never faded by sun or sea in years gone past, reacted with something in the water off Japan, losing its sheen in a strange and unprecedented way.


BACK in Newcastle, Ivan Macfadyen is still coming to terms with the shock and horror of the voyage.

"The ocean is broken," he said, shaking his head in stunned disbelief.

Recognising the problem is vast, and that no organisations or governments appear to have a particular interest in doing anything about it, Macfadyen is looking for ideas.

He plans to lobby government ministers, hoping they might help.

More immediately, he will approach the organisers of Australia's major ocean races, trying to enlist yachties into an international scheme that uses volunteer yachtsmen to monitor debris and marine life.

Macfadyen signed up to this scheme while he was in the US, responding to an approach by US academics who asked yachties to fill in daily survey forms and collect samples for radiation testing - a significant concern in the wake of the tsunami and consequent nuclear power station failure in Japan.

"I asked them why don't we push for a fleet to go and clean up the mess," he said.

"But they said they'd calculated that the environmental damage from burning the fuel to do that job would be worse than just leaving the debris there."










"Oceans at the Tipping Point" Teaser, Narrated by Harrison Ford from Ocean Health Index on Vimeo.







Lots of sea birds washing up dead posted on Facebook

Birds washed up


Dear U ! ~ I feel You !!

Dear U!

Bathing in the light

Swimming in the wind

believing I pursue

such a life

The day of encounter

is my anniversary

ごめん おおげさ?
Isn't it such a big deal?

But that is my true feeling

U are my miracle

U are my hope

Even in the deep darkness

or at the dead end

二人なら 軽いね
can feel easy with U

We Laughed

and Cried together

So feel me wherever U are

That's all I want

Wake up in the morning

Fall in sleep at night

Everything was so blessed

That's how I felt

Just a laughter

made me cry

ごめん 大げさ?
Isn't it such a big deal?

But that is my true feeling

Feel your true joy

Feel your true pain

Wish such a life

would last forever

want nothing else

U are my miracle

U are my hope

Feeling you wherever I am

That's all I want

Even when everyone else in the world

would be against you

I always could understand U

U would be blessed

Believe me

Even though you forget

I never do

would give my life away to anyone

without hesitation to save U

U are my miracle

U are my hope

I really wish

you smile wherever U are

That's all I want

That's ALL I wish





More pressing news than Ford drama

Caledon Enterprise
ByKay MacDuffee/Country Roads

Nov 13, 2013

Kay M

Have you had enough scandal and mayor bashing for now? I have.
もうスキャンダルも市長のバッシングもうんざりですか? 私はうんざりです。

CBC news bulletins every half hour repeating the same sordid stuff forced me to hit the ‘off’ button after almost two weeks of tawdriness. Call it news fatigue. I’ve had it, even if the story hasn’t.

The support that Toronto’s mayor still draws from “Ford Nation”, I find both puzzling and distressing. He and political leaders of his ilk are cheapening the values of a morally lazy electorate. In the words of journalist, Mitchell Anderson, Ford “makes it respectable to indulge our ugliest instincts”. Anderson calls it the dumbing down of democracy.


“Like a pair of drunks egging each other on, Ford and his die-hard supporters are enabling each other's bad behaviour that goes far beyond mere substance abuse.”

It doesn’t help that the city I love has become the laughing stock of the international news scene and juiciest of gossip for political satirists. Thank you Mr. Ford. And now would you please step down?

What disappoints me most is that there are so many issues that the media could and (in my estimation should) be covering other than this feeding frenzy on scandal that appeals to our lowest instincts.

BC and Alberta premiers made an announcement about moving tar sands oil between the provinces last Tuesday (Nov.5) while the media was on its ‘all Rob Ford all the time’ kick. Premiers Redford and Clark have apparently reached an agreement that makes Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline ‘a real possibility’.


I heard not a word about it on mainstream media, and the cynic in me believes that was intended timing.

But perhaps the most pressing and disturbing information that goes unreported is the urgency of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant situation. 72,000 gallons (300 tons) of contaminated water are flowing out of this facility daily into the Pacific Ocean in this unfolding disaster.

While much of the world has continued with their lives forgetting about the Fukushima disaster, scientists from across the world who have been monitoring the radiation leaking out of Fukushima Plant, have found that the rate of flow has actually been increasing dramatically, causing a major global threat to all living flora and fauna.

The radiation in the surrounding area is 18 times greater than was reported. To put this into practical terms, you or I would last four hours before collapse.

The West coast of North America is already experiencing Fukushima radiation, according to CBS news. The Wall Street Journal is projecting that the disaster could take 40 years to clean up.

According to physician, Helen Caldicott who has been researching nuclear radiation for decades, we are in a nuclear crisis and have been since March 11, 2011.

TEPCO, the phenomenally corrupt and inept Tokyo Electric Power Co. that owns and manages the Fukushima plant ‘has no plan’ and ‘does not know what they are doing’, says American, Dale Klein, head of Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee.


He, in fact, said this to Naomi Hirosi, head of TEPCO, face to face. And now Japan, always reluctant to request foreign help, has in desperation brought in some of the world’s nuclear experts to try to put out the fires – literally.

In the next few weeks, TEPCO is planning to remove some of the more than 1400 unfathomably dangerous and damaged fuel rods, and according to nuclear researcher Christina Consolo, “If one of those MOX fuel rods is exposed to the air, it will kill 2.89 billion people on the planet in a matter of weeks.”

I am always reluctant to spread bad news, but the truth must be told. I have read and researched the facts on this story from many sources and it keeps coming up the same. This, despite the fact that after each CBS news story reporting radioactivity signs on the US West Coast, the reporter adds with a cheery smile, “But you can still play and swim on the beaches here”. Or “But you may still eat (the contaminated) bluefin tuna.”

We wouldn’t want to interfere with ‘the market’.

I suggest that, at the very least, Japanese seafood products should be avoided. I plan to avoid any food stuffs imported from Japan.

As the world turns, we find more and more reasons to ‘eat local’ and stay informed.

And more and more often, mainstream media is not the best source of information.

I also suggest being proactive. Today we must take responsibility for our own lives – how we think, act, be, in the world has a ripple effect. Blaming doesn’t work. That is the victim mentality.

Being the peace, sending love and compassion out into the ether to every living thing on this planet is an act of grace . . . a gift for sender and receiver.

And it’s easy. Close your eyes. Breathe. See your heart getting bigger. Focus on love. Whoosh!












The Next Wave

Broadcast: 05/11/2013
Reporter: Mark Willacy


WILLACY: It’s been more than two and a half years since the earth shook and the waves came, and like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, Fukushima became an infamous place name for nuclear cataclysm. It’s been a huge and devastating drama but it’s fair to say it’s been the defining story during my time here in Japan.
ウィラシー: 地面が揺れ波が来て、チェルノブイリやスリーマイルイアイランドのように福島が原子力破局の忌まわしい地名となってから2年半以上がたちました。それは巨大な破壊的なドラマでしたが、私がここ日本にいる間の話を限定したと言っても良いでしょう。


“As you can see it picked up this giant fishing trawler and just dumped it on the dock”.


I’ve witnessed the awesome natural power of the earth and sea.

“Thousands are dead here there’s no doubt about it. It’s just a matter of trying to find the victims but I’d imagine that the vast majority will never be found”.

I’ve been stunned by brazen and often clumsy efforts to cover up and lie about the effects and extent of the radioactive damage.


“But a company that was once regarded as a champion of industry is now denounced around here as a wrecker of homes and livelihoods and a symbol of corporate greed and cover ups”.

And amid the loss I’ve also seen some happy endings. [locating the boy on the bike in his classroom]

And as I prepare to head back in one last time before I leave this posting, it’s abundantly clear many aspects of this epic, unfolding tragedy are yet to be written – the nuclear fallout will see to that.

This will be my 23rd trip to Fukushima since the disaster and my 5th time inside the no-go zone, so I know the drill - and like previous visits it’ll be fleeting, necessarily so.

[driving into the no-go zone] “Well we’ve just crossed through the checkpoint into the nuclear no go zone, that’s the 20 km exclusion area around the shattered Fukushima reactors. And we, like the people who used to live here, are only allowed in for five hours. That’s because the radiation levels are still very high”.
(立ち入り禁止内に入っていく) 「えぇ、私たちはたった今確認ポイントを越え放射能立ち入り禁止地区に入りました。粉砕した福島原子炉周辺の20km避難地区です。そして、かつてここに住んでいた人たちのように、私たちは立った5時間しか留まることを許されていません。放射能レベルが未だにとても高いからです。」


This is Okuma – once home to eleven thousand people. Now it could easily be the set of a Japanese science-fiction movie. Here, in a well-to-do part of town, spacious new homes are abandoned and empty and are starting to decay. Cars remain where they were parked in 2011. A town that once thrived on the jobs and power of the nuclear plant next door is now a post-apocalyptic radioactive ghost town, one with a very determined ghost hunter.
ここは大熊町です。かつては1万1000人の家がありました。今では、日本の科学フィクション映画の舞台に容易にすることができるでしょう。 ここは町内でも裕福な家が並ぶ場所で、広く新しい家が置き去りにされ、空っぽで、腐敗し始めています。車は2011年に駐車されたところに残っています。かつては隣の原発の仕事と力で繁栄していた町は、今では黙示録の放射能ゴーストタウンとなり、ここに一人決意に満ちたゴーストハンターがいます。


NORIO KUMURA: ““Because the body of Yuna has not yet been found I come here to search. I always have inner conflict. Some say what I am doing is a self -destructive act. Even though I can’t find her now, if I never find her, I’ll always feel sad. I am determined to find her, but frankly speaking this is more for myself”.
キムラのりお: 「ゆうなはまだ見つかっていないので探しに(来ています。)いつも葛藤があって。周りの人からは自虐的な行為だから、なんていう方もおるんですけど、ただ、見つからないとしても、自分でやってないとやっぱり、なんていうんですかね、申し訳ないっていうか。。絶対に見つけだすんだ、っていう決意もありますけど、正直自分のためですね。」


WILLACY: Norio Kimura is on a dogged, one-man mission improbable – to find the remains of his seven year old daughter – the only tsunami victim from Okuma still not accounted for.
ウィラシー: キムラのりおさんはありえそうもないたった一人の根気強い使命を帯びています。自分の7歳の娘の遺骨を見つけること。大熊町でまだ確認されていないたった一人の津波の犠牲者です。

NORIO KUMURA: “This is where I can come to feel closer to my three dead family members. If possible, I want to return here before I die”.
キムラのりお: 「いなくなった3人と近づける場所であるんで。。できれば自分が年取って死ぬまでの間に戻ってきたいですね。」

WILLACY: On the 11th of March 2011 a tsunami five storeys high ed over this shoreline. It destroyed every home in this seaside suburb of Okuma town, triggered meltdowns at the nuclear plant just 2 km up the coast and it swept away three of Norio Kumura’s family.


NORIO KIMURA: “We are allowed to return home once a month. And because the body of Yuna has not been found yet I come here to search. I am determined to find her. Yuna’s name comes from the sea. It means calm ocean”.
キムラのりお: 「月に一度の一時帰宅が許されてて、今日はゆうながまだ見つかっていないので、ゆうなを探しに・・・絶対に見つけ出すんだ、っていう決意。。。海のイメージ。ゆうなの名前。静かなオーシャン。」 

WILLACY: Norio Kimura and his older daughter Mayu were on higher, safer ground – the rest of his family were not. The body of Norio Kimura’s father was recovered shortly after the disaster, while the remains of his wife were later found floating 40 km out in the Pacific. Despite the high radiation levels here near the plant, he’s vowed never to abandon the search for his youngest child Yuna.
ウィラシー: キムラさんと上の娘のまゆちゃんは高台の安全な場所にいました。残りの家族はそうではありませんでした。木村さんの父親の遺体は災害後まもなく発見されました。一方、妻の遺骨は40kmはなれた太平洋で後に見つかりました。原発近くのここでは放射能レベルが高いのですが、キムラさんは決して末娘のゆうなちゃんの捜索を放棄しないと固く誓っています。


NORIO KUMURA: “Even though people tell me that I can’t go in because of the radiation, my sense of guilt that I can’t find Yuna doesn’t go away. I haven’t submitted the death notification for Yuna yet. She’s the only missing person left from Okuma. It remains that way”.
キムラのりお: 「放射能で入れないんで仕方ないって言われても、やっぱり探してやれないっていうのは自分のゆうなに対する後ろめたさっていうのは全く消えるわけではなくって。。まだゆうなの死亡届出してないんですよね。いまだに大熊町の行方不明者1って、一人なんですよ。そのまま残ってて、なんか。。。」

WILLACY: Norio Kumura will seize upon any lead that presents. As we filmed him, a man combing the coast not far from where Yuna was swept away finds a bone he thinks is human.
ウィラシー: キムラのりおさんは手がかりになりそうなものは何でも飛びつきます。彼の映像を撮っているとき、ゆうなちゃんが流されたところからさほど遠くない海岸を捜索していた一人の男性が、人間のものだと思われる骨を見つけました。

MAN: “I think you’d better ask the police to investigate this”.
男性: 「一応ちょっと、鑑識、まぁ警察にだして見てもらったほうがいいかなと思うんですけど。」

NORIO KUMURA: “I don’t know what kind of bone it is so I won’t rejoice just yet. If it’s found to be a human bone it would encourage me to keep searching”.
キムラのりお: 「それがなんの骨だかわかんないし、嬉しさって言うのはなかなかこみ上げてこないですね。それが結果として人の骨だったっていうことが分かれば、やってよかったな、って多分思うと思いますけどね。」

WILLACY: And as a father trudges on in search of clues to a little girl lost, the mothers of Fukushima are holding on ever so tightly to their little daughters and sons – hoping some things won’t be found. Some of the children here at Hirata Hospital weren’t even born when the nuclear disaster erupted but that doesn’t mean they’re out of harm’s way.
ウィラシー: 一人の父親が亡くした小さな女の子の手がかりを探し足を引きずり歩いているとき、福島の母は小さな娘と息子たちをいつになく硬く握っています。何かが見つからないように望んでいるのです。ヒラタ病院では、原子力災害が勃発したときでさえ何人かの子どもたちが産まれましたが、それは無事に、という意味ではありません。


TOMOKO KOIKE: “The people who have information are the authorities. I want them to disclose more information. We do not know the real situation. We don’t know what’s going on. I can’t trust them”.
コイケともこ: 「情報を持っているのは、行政の人たちだったりするので、ちゃんともっと公表してほしいなぁ、ってのは思います。どうなってるのか全く分からない状況、何がなんだかわからないような、私たちには、ことになっているので、信用できない。」

WILLACY: Tomoko Koike is the mother of 4 year old Saki and 2 year old Yuta who was born just a fortnight before the Fukushima reactors melted down.
ウィラシー: コイケともこさんは4歳のさきちゃんと福島原子炉メルトダウンのたった4日前に生まれた2歳のゆうたくんの母親です。

TOMOKO KOIKE: “My children had never contracted influenza before, even without vaccination. But they contracted it last year. Their vulnerability to illness has increased. When I think about their future I am depressed and often feel anxiety”.
コイケとこも: 「インフルエンザとか、予防接種してなかったりしたんですが、かかることなかったんですけど、そういうのに去年かかってしまったりして、抵抗力がちょっとなくなって。将来のことを考えるとどうなっちゃうんだろう、って不安な気持になることは多くあります。」

WILLACY: Mrs Koike has brought her kids in for yet another series of radiation tests. She’s one of many parents worried about thyroid cancer. Her children have already been screened and cleared in tests run by the Fukushima local government - but a follow up screening here at the private Hirata Hospital, revealed cysts on the thyroid gland of 4 year old Saki.
ウィラシー: コイケさんは彼女の子どもたちをまだ他の一連の放射能検査に連れて行っていません。彼女は甲状腺癌を心配している多くの親の一人です。彼女の子どもたちは既に福島県による検査で調べて何もないとされていました。しかしその後私立のヒラタ病院で診てもらい、4歳のさきちゃんの甲状腺にのう胞が見つかりました。


TOMOKO KOIKE: “A couple of cysts were found. I was very shocked. I don’t know whether the examination by the prefecture was sloppy, or that she wasn’t examined properly.
コイケともこ: 「2個のう胞が見つかったんですけれども、ショックですよね、やっぱり。県の検査がちょっとずさんといいますか、ちゃんと診てもらえなかったのか・・」

DR AKIRA SUGENOYA: “When I look at Fukushima now, the number of thyroid cancer cases in people under 18 is quite high. It’s happening fast”.
スゲノヤあきら医師: 「福島のを見てると、18歳までですけども、結構数が多いんですよね。早くでてます。」


WILLACY: Akira Sugenoya knows not to jump to conclusions over links between the Fukushima radiation and thyroid cancer, but he’s deeply concerned by what he’s seeing. After all, he’s a former thyroid specialist who spent five years operating on hundreds of Chernobyl children suffering from thyroid cancer.
ウィラシー: スゲノヤあきらさんは福島の放射能の甲状腺癌を即関連付けるべきではないと分かっていますが、自分が目にしていることに深い懸念を抱いています。結局のところ、彼は甲状腺癌で苦しんでいるチェルノブイリの何百人もの子どもたちを5年間に渡って手術してきた、元甲状腺専門家なのです。

DR AKIRA SUGENOYA: “I care because I went to Chernobyl and I saw each child so I know the pain they went through”.
スゲノヤあきら医師: 「現地に言って僕はひとりひとりの子どもたちを見て、その切ない気持とか辛い気持を知ってるから。。」


[addressing school children] “It is very regrettable that the Fukushima nuclear plant accident happened in Japan”.
学校の生徒たちへの話: 「福島の原発事故は、日本ではああいう事故がおこってしまったことは、大変残念なことで。。。」


WILLACY: Now mayor of Matsumoto City, Akira Sugenoya believes Japanese children won’t fall victim to thyroid cancer to the same extent as Chernobyl where 6,000 children were found to have contracted thyroid cancer.
ウィラシー: 今では松本市の市長であるスゲノヤあきらさんは日本の子どもたちが、6000人の子供たちから収縮した甲状腺癌発見されたチェルノブイリと同じ規模にまでの犠牲にはならないだろうと考えています。

DR AKIRA SUGENOYA: [addressing school children] “ I think from now on our problems will increase”.
スゲノヤあきら医師: 「分かります?今そこで元気な人が死んでくんだよね。」

WILLACY: But there’s clear evidence rates have risen. Before the disaster in 2011, the rate of thyroid cancer was between one and two cases in every million children. Now, with about two hundred thousand children screened so far in government ordered tests, there have been 18 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer and 25 suspected cases – an unusually high rate.
ウィラシー: しかし、比率が上がっているという明確な証拠があります。2011年の災害前、甲状腺癌にかかる率は100万人の子供たちのうち1人か2人でした。今までのところ、政府が命じた検査を受けた約2万人の子供たちのうち甲状腺癌のケースが18件、25件が疑いがあるという、異常に高い率です。

DR AKIRA SUGENOYA: “The doctors in Fukushima say that it shouldn’t be coming out so soon, so it can’t be related to the nuclear accident. But that’s very unscientific, and it’s not a reason we can accept”.
スゲノヤあきら医師: 福島の先生たちは、こんなに早く出るはずがないからこれは事故と関係ないって言われているけれども、それはもう非科学的な・・・なかなかその、僕らにとってみたら受け入れられるような理由じゃないですよね。」

WILLACY: Other Chernobyl veterans, like doctor of internal medicine, Minoru Kamata, also believe the spike in cases should be thoroughly investigated.

DR MINORU KAMATA: “The point is what when thyroid cancer was found in a few children last year, the Fukushima health investigation committee immediately declared that it was unrelated to the nuclear accident. That attitude is wrong for a doctor or scientist. I’m saying there might be a relationship – so we should speed up screenings and carry out high quality examinations, which so far are lacking”.
カマタみのる医師: 「要は福島県の県民健康調査の委員会が、昨年癌の子どもが、甲状腺癌の子どもが何人か出たときに即座に関係ありませんっという風に言い切ったこのスタイルは医者として、あるいは科学者としては正しいスタイルじゃなくて、関係があるかもしれないといって、だから、スピードアップして質の高い検診をしたほうがいいと。全てそこが欠けているんですね。」


WILLACY: Not everyone is worried. Far from Fukushima, Professor Geraldine Thomas is a specialist in the molecular pathology of cancer in Imperial College London. She also helped establish the Chernobyl Tissue Bank which analyses samples from people exposed to radiation, after the nuclear disaster in Ukraine in 1986.
ウィラシー: 全ての人が心配しているわけではありません。福島から遠く離れたロンドンのインペリアル・カレッジの分子病理学専門家であるジェラルディーン・トーマス教授です。彼女はまた、1986年のウクライナでの原子力災害の後、被曝した人々からとったサンプルを分析するチェルノブイリ体内組織バンクの設立を手伝いました。

PROFESSOR GERALDINE THOMAS: “Following Fukushima I doubt that there’ll be any rise in thyroid cancers in Japan and this is simply because the amount of radio-iodine that was released post-Fukushima was much, much less than released post-Chernobyl. Absolutely if you look for a problem, especially if you’re using incredibly sensitive technique which is what the Japanese are actually doing, you will find something. You will find part of that problem and you have to be careful you don’t over interpret that and worry people unnecessarily”.
ジェラルディーン・トーマス教授: 「福島の後、日本で甲状腺癌が上昇するとは疑問です。それは単に福島の後放出された放射性ヨウ素の量がチェルノブイリで放出された量よりずっとずっと少ないからです。もし問題を探そうとすれば、特に日本がやっているような非常に精度のよい技術を使えば、何かが見つかることは間違えないでしょう。それは問題の一部を見つけるということでそれを過剰に解釈し、人々を不必要に不安にさせるのは注意深くなければなりません。」


WILLACY: Professor Thomas believes that unnecessary worry and fear has driven parents to make unnecessary choices.
ウィラシー: トーマス教授は不必要な不安と怖れが、親たちに不必要な選択をさせてしまうと考えています。

PROFESSOR GERALDINE THOMAS: “And even post-Fukushima some women were having abortions because they were worried. The radiation would have done nothing to their prospective offspring, but the fear that that radiation was going to do something, tipped them over into having an abortion which nobody likes to know about.
ジェラルディーン・トーマス教授: 「そして、福島の後でさえ、心配だからと中絶している女性もいるのです。放射能は彼女たちの生まれている子孫に何をすることもないでしょう。しかし、放射能が何かをするのだという怖れが誰も知りたいと思わない中絶へとつまずいてしまうのです。」

MEGUMI MATSUMOTO: “While I am alive and my son is alive radiation will not disappear. It will remain. That’s what I’m worried about”.
マツモトめぐみ: 「なくならないで、私が生きている間。この子が生きている間もなくならない可能性があるから、ずっと心配なんですけど。」


WILLACY: Back at Hirata Private Hospital, another mother Megumi Matsumoto, has brought her 2 year old son Rui in for a thyroid screening.
ウィラシー: ヒラタ私立病院に戻ると、もう一人の母親、マツモトめぐみさんが2歳の息子、ルイくんを甲状腺検査に連れてきていました。

MEGUMI MATSUMOTO: “I’ve never received a notice for a test from the prefectural government so I had to take action by myself and bring my boy here to have a test”.
マツモトめぐみ: 「県は、まだ一回も通知がきてないので、自分がやるしかないっていうことでここで検査しています。」

WILLACY: The critical point about thyroid cancer is that if it’s detected early enough, it can almost always be treated successfully so it’s important the authorities are transparent upfront. With parents like Megumi Matsumoto they’ve been anything but candid.
ウィラシー: 甲状腺癌で重要なのは、もし十分に早期に発見されれば、ほぼうまく処置することができるということです。なので政府がマツモトめぐみさんのような親たちには透明性をもち、正直であることが重要です。しかし彼らは、淡白以外のなにものでもありませんでした。

MEGUMI MATSUMOTO: “I want to believe them but I can’t. I am worried about what will happen in the future”.
マツモトめぐみ: 「信じたいけど信じられないって言うのもあるし、この先どうなるか、って心配のほうがちょっと多いかなって言うのはあります。」

WILLACY: As so often has been the case as I’ve covered the Fukushima story, secrecy is the default position of the authorities. The Fukushima government refused our formal requests for age breakdowns and more detailed information concerning thyroid cancer victims since March 2011.
ウィラシー: 福島のことを頻繁に伝えるごとに、秘密主義が政府の基本姿勢です。福島県は2011年3月以来の甲状腺癌の犠牲者についての年齢別、更なる詳細情報の公式要請を拒絶しました。

DR AKIRA SUGENOYA: “I don’t know why, but they’ve hidden it. They don’t show the data clearly so it arouses suspicion. I’m still very angry. It’s because I’m a thyroid specialist and I’d like to know what’s happening next”.
スゲノヤあきら医師: 「それ、どうしても分からないんですけども、伏せちゃってるんですね。データをはっきりやらないから疑惑を生んで、相当高いんじゃないかな、っていうふうに思わせちゃうのは。。だから僕は非常に腹が立つわけです。ってのは、僕自身が、たとえば甲状腺のスペシャリストであれば、次こういうことどうなってるんだ、っていう風に思うわけですよね。」

DR MINORU KAMATA: “It was disclosed that the Fukushima health investigation committee was having several secret meetings. Up until now, I feel the response to this issue has been unthinkable for a democratic nation”.
カマタみのる医師: 「県民健康調査委員会の秘密会議とかいくつかあって、それを暴露されて、今までの対応は、なんかとても民主主義国家の対応をしてたとは思えないような感じがしますね。」

WILLACY: When Fukushima’s local governing authorities are not being accused of a cover up, they’re being accused of staging very visible, very expensive and very elaborate exercises in futility. Across large open tracks of land and in isolated hotspots, heavy machinery is stripping top soil in an effort to decontaminate the earth. Of course it’s an impossible task. This is largely a mountainous and heavily forested region and no one knows precisely where the contamination ends.
ウィラシー: 福島県は隠蔽の罪に問われてはいません。無益なことに目に見えて出費のかなりかさみ、とても入念な計画が責められています。広い開けた土地の跡や孤立したホットスポット中で、重機が土地を除染するために表面度を剥いでいます。もちろんこれは不可能な作業です。ここは広い山々と多くの森のある地域で、どこで汚染が終わるのか正確に知る人はいません。


KAZUYA TARUKAWA: “Farmers work in the contaminated soil from sunrise to sunset every day. We inhale contaminated dust and I think in five, ten years there will be some kind of effect on the body”.
タルカワかずや: 「農家は朝日が昇って、日が沈むまで汚染された土の上で毎日仕事をしてます。汚染された土ぼこりも吸い込むだろうし、これから先5年10年したら何かしら体に影響がでるんじゃないかとそういう風には思っています。」


WILLACY: Kazuya Tarukawa grows organic rice, fruit and vegetables on a farm 60 km from the nuclear plant. That’s well beyond the no-go zone and yet it’s been declared a radiation hotspot.
ウィラシー: タルカワかずやさんはオーガニックの米、果物、野菜を原発から60kmの農場で育てています。立ち入り禁止地区からは十分離れていますが、放射能ホットスポットと宣言されています。

KAZUYA TARUKAWA: “I don’t think the soil will ever be the same as before the nuclear accident – not while I’m still alive”.
タルカワかずや: 「これが、原発前の環境にもどるまでには私が生きているうちには戻らないと思っています。」

WILLACY: Tarukawa’s family has cultivated this land for eight generations and when the radiation drama unfolded, he was running the place alongside his father.
ウィラシー: タルカワさんの家族はこの土地を8世代に渡り耕し、放射能のドラマが明らかにされたとき、彼は父親と一緒にこの土地を経営していました。


KAZUYA TARUKAWA: “My dad often said, if an accident happens, it can’t be controlled by human beings and it can’t be stopped. Why did the only country in the world that suffered two atomic bombs build so many nuclear plants? After watching what happened at the Fukushima plant he said, see it happened just as I told you. Japan is a stupid country”.
タルカワかずや: 「万が一事故が起きたときに、人の手でコントロールできない。暴走したら止められない。そういうのを日本中に建てて、世界でも唯一原子爆弾2個も落とされた国が何でこんなに原発建ててるんだべ、とはよく言ってたんですね。福島原発がああゆうふうになったのを見て、ほらみろ、俺が言うとおりになったべ。日本は馬鹿な国だって、ほんとに言ってました。」


WILLACY: In the frenzy of panic and regulation that erupted around the crippled nuclear plant, Kazuya Tarukawa’s father Hisashi was banned from taking his harvest to market. With financial pressure mounting, he slipped into a deep depression.
ウィラシー: パニックの狂乱と崩壊した原発の周りに勃発した規制の中、タルカワかずやさんの父、ひさしさんは自分の収穫を市場に出すのを禁じられました。財政的圧力がのしかかり、深いうつ状態に沈みこんでしまいました。

“The morning after being told by the authorities that he could no longer ship or sell his produce, Kazuya Tarukawa’s father rose very early. He came out here to look at his crops and to survey his land. It was then he made a fateful decision.


KAZUYA TARUKAWA: “I woke up and started work again. I went out the back. There was a rope slung around a tree and he was hanging there. I gripped his belt and lifted him up and tried to take the rope off his neck but he was too heavy. I went and got my mother and she took the rope off while I lifted his body”.


WILLACY: No sooner had Tarukawa buried his father than the ban on selling the farm’s produce was lifted. When testing soon revealed other rice farms in his district had radioactive contamination above the government’s safe limit, authorities continued to encourage Tarukawa to keep growing and to keep selling. Tarukawa says while his produce had contamination levels under the government limit, his conscience was still burning.
ウィラシー: タルカワさんが父親を埋葬してまもなく、農場の作物の販売禁止が解かれました。同じ地区の他の米農家が政府の限界値を超える放射能汚染が、検査をしてすぐ明らかになったとき、政府はタルカワさんに作物を育て、売り続けるように奨励しました。タルカワさんは自分の作物が政府の限界値より汚染が低い一方でで、良心が痛んでいると言います。

KAZUYA TARUKAWA: [local government meeting] “How do we keep going? Earlier I asked where your dignity went”.
タルカワかずや: 「農家に何の活力がありますか。」


WILLACY: He felt complicit in a cover up and angrily confronted local government officials at a district meeting.
ウィラシー: 彼は隠蔽における共謀を感じ、地域の会合で県の役人と憤りをもって向き合ったのです。















KAZUYA TARUKAWA: “The consumers assume there is no radiation in the food they buy. What do you say about this? We farmers know better. We feel guilty about growing it and selling it. We won’t eat it ourselves, but we sell it”. [applause]
タルカワかずや: 「買って食べる人は、放射能ねぇと思って食ってるっぺ。どうなの。俺らは分かってるんだよ。罪の意識があんの、作ってたって。自分は食わないけど、他の人に食わせてんの。

WILLACY: The official advice to sell continues. Local consumers have no idea if the food they’re buying eating and feeding their children is ultimately toxic.
ウィラシー: 役人は売り続けるようにアドバイスします。地元の消費者は自分たちが買ってい食べている、子どもたちに食べさせている食物が究極的に毒であるとは全く知りません

KAZUYA TARUKAWA: “To ship produce knowing there’s radiation in it, makes me feel like I’m committing crime as a producer”.
タルカワかずや: 「数字あるの分かってて出荷するって言うのは、生産者としてほんとに罪を犯しているような気持になります。」

WILLACY: Tarukawa’s father, Hisashi, is one of at least 80 people whose suicide has been recognised by the government as being a direct result of the nuclear meltdowns. And for the first time the nuclear power station’s owner, TEPCO, has admitted culpability, conceding that the disaster did play a part in the farmer’s death. But it’s a shallow concession. TEPCO still won’t apologise.


KAZUYA TARUKAWA: “I want a representative of TEPCO to come here and offer incense sticks before my father’s shrine”.
タルカワかずや: 「東京電力の代表がうちの墓前にきて線香あげてもらいたいと今でも思っています。」

WILLACY: High in the Japanese northern alps, Hakuba is a dramatically different landscape, a place of stunning forests, soaring mountain peaks and clean fresh air. It’s just the way Norio Kimura likes it – far from the poisoned environment and dreadful scarring events of Fukushima.
ウィラシー: 日本の北アルプス、白馬は劇的に他と違う眺望で、魅惑的な森、聳え立つ山頂、綺麗で新鮮な空気がある場所です。それが、ただキムラのりおさんは好きです。毒された環境、酷く恐ろしい福島事故から遠いところです。


Norio Kimura is now building a new home for his surviving daughter Mayu. He wants her well away from the radiation and to help her recover if that’s possible from the loss of her mother and sister. At his mountain home he receives news the small bone found during his recent visit to the no-go zone was not human. It’s another setback but his quest goes on, encouraged by earlier finds like this shoe he knows belonged to his younger daughter. It’s now a heartbreaking keepsake in a chest of family memories.


NORIO KIMURA: “It’s not something that I can substitute for her. Of course it’s a precious thing but it’s not something that makes me feel better or glad”.
キムラのりお: 「本人に変えられるものはない。だからそんなにこう、もちろん貴重なものではあるんだけど、とても気持をやわらげるとか、よかったって思えるようなものではない。」

WILLACY: For a man who has suffered and survived natural and nuclear calamity, these are the foundations of a fresh start. But he can never be at peace until his youngest daughter is found.
ウィラシー: 自然災害や原子力惨事に苦しみ生き残った一人の男性にとって、これらは新しいスタートの基盤です。しかし彼は末娘が見つかるまでは決して幸せにはなれないのです。

NORIO KIMURA: “I know it’ll be very hard to find Yuna. But I can’t stop looking for her. I’ll only stop when Yuna is found, or when I die”.
キムラのりお: 「ゆうなが見つけられるって言うのは本当に厳しい状況だってのは分かってるんですけど、やっぱりそれはそうは言っても気持ち的にやめるわけにはいかないって言うのもあるし、おそらくやめるとしたら自分が死ぬときかゆうなが見つかるとき以外には考えられないです。」







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