Jan 25, 2012

Do you really believe this flyer from Fukushima? People in Fukushima seem to be subject to different standards then the rest of the country.

This is a translation of a flyer that was recently distributed to people living in Fukushima prefecture.Apparently it is intended to convince people about the safety of Fukushima to  prevent exodus.

It’s not a duty of parents to escape from Fukushima.

Let’s calmly think about how to establish a stable life filled with a peace of mind and safety.

Radiation exposure in children and Japan Pediatric Society:

1.       We have the results of cumulative dose measurements of radioactive iodine, carried out in late March, 2011, in thyroid gland of children living in high radiation areas who were unable to evacuate early.  No child had reached a dose that can potentially cause thyroid cancer.

2.       Annual radiation exposure is 1 mSv in Iwaki City and 5 mSv in Fukushima City and Kooriyama City.  The radiation fallout in Kooriyama City in March did not seem to be a dangerous amount at all.

3.       Current radiation levels show radioactive rays (beta and gamma) from radioactive material (mostly cesium) on the ground.  It is becoming more obvious that the current levels would not cause issues such as cancer in the future.

How to conduct a daily life from now on:  especially in dealing with radioactive cesium.

1.       Radioactive cesium on the ground should not be a concern for children playing outside unless they are in super-hot spots.  Since there is hardly any radioactive material in the air, there should be no problem opening windows.

2.       It will be better not to ingest radioactive cesium from food, but even if ingested cesium will be excreted from the body with about 80 days of half-life.  Extreme limitation of food is more worrisome in terms of causing the nutritional imbalance.

Please value your relationships with people and health of your body and mind.

1.       Please value your relationships with your family, especially your father.

2.       During evacuation, please value your relationships with those close to and related to you.

3.       Please value your relationships with those you know through economy, child-rearing, education, and hobby.

4.       Please recognize that dangers (physical and mental) caused by relocation and excessive moves during daily lives could surpass dangers of radiation exposure.

Health Check-up

Even if you think you are okay, it is better to have regular check-ups for a peace of mind.

Jan 18, 2012

Symptoms in a family who lived in Namie-machi, a 10-kilometer zone.

We experienced the earthquake in Namie-machi, Fukushima.  We slept in our car at a nearby park.

In early morning, we evacuated to Tsushima in Namie-machi following an official evacuation order.

We evacuated to Fukushima-City.  When we went to a convenience store near the evacuation center, there was a burning pain and a sensation of heat on my face as if I was sunburned.  I had a headache.

I (age 43) had an iron taste in my mouth like blood.  I had fatigue.  My body felt too heavy to move, so I slept all day long.  My eyes had a foreign body sensation as if there were glass fibers in them.  At night, my husband (age 43) and I had severe headaches.

Our younger son (age 8) had nose bleeding.  We spent most of the day inside to avoid being outside.

We evacuated to Furukawa-City, Miyagi.  The younger son had diarrhea.  The older son (age 15) had fatigue.

We evacuated to Towada-City, Aomori.

Late March, 2011
I have difficulty speaking.  The older son revealed he had been having diarrhea for a while.

Early April, 2011
The younger son developed asthma after having cold-like symptoms.  We took him to a pediatrician.  He was diagnosed with “asthma” and given asthma medications (bronchodilating patch, mucolytics, antibiotics, acute medicine, bronchodilator, steroid disc inhaler).  It took almost 2 weeks for his recovery.  Later I had similar symptoms which got better after 10 days.

Mid April, 2011
I experienced a marked decrease in memory, concentration and decision-making ability.  I had increased gray hair and hair loss.  My throat felt like I had something stuck in it.  The older son’s diarrhea subsided.

Late May, 2011
I discovered a mass in the front of my throat area.

Early July: We returned home temporarily.
I had headaches and an iron taste in my mouth like blood.   I felt hot like I had sunburn.  I felt fatigued.  My uvula was swollen and I could hardly swallow my saliva for 3 days.

Late December, 2011, to early January, 2012
The older son stayed in Iwaki for a visit.  He felt fatigued and lethargic after returning home, and he has not been able to attend school.

In the beginning of the evacuation, all we had was the clothes on our backs.  We hardly had any money, and we could not do anything for our health.  Since the fall of 2011, when our life began to settle down, we have been eating low-chemical apples with skin on them, brown rice every other day, and as much fermented food like miso as possible.  Currently we no longer have such symptoms as headaches, nose bleeds and diarrhea.  I still have “strange” sensation in my brain.  It’s sometimes hard for me to find words to say or to concentrate.  I have difficulty remembering what just happened a moment ago.  My eyesight severely declined.  Also, I see black spots in my visual fields, which are quite uncomfortable.
I thought keeping a record of what happened to us since the evacuation on my blog might be stimulating to the brain.  I have been trying to write sentences, recall and remember things, but each day my brain wants to do it less and less.  My memory is becoming vague.  I can hardly renew my blog.

Excerpted from “Namie-machi Rhapsody.”
Record of events since the evacuation.

Jan 17, 2012

From Hokkaido: Twins that got radiation exposure from riding in a contaminated car

From Hokkaido:  Twins that got radiation exposure from riding in a contaminated car
My name is Hiro, and I live in Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido.  I am a registered nurse who manages a care facility.  My older brother lives in the same town, so I have closely watched his 13-year-old twin sons grow up.  When the nuclear accident happened in March, I knew there would be serious consequences.  I immediately got a radiation detector and began taking anti-radiation protective measures.  At the end of March, the twins’ maternal grandparents who lived in Kawauchi-mura in Fukushima relocated here.  At the time they said their car had been decontaminated, so we thought nothing was amiss.  The twins ended up riding in this car numerous times.  From here on, please follow this timeline presentation.

Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

Fukushima Dai-ichi Reactor #1 explosion
Grandparents who lived in Kawauchi-mura did soup-run in Kawauchi-mura.

Grandparents did soup-run in Kawauchi-mura again.

Fukushima Dai-ichi Reactor #3 explosion
Grandparents evacuated from Kawauchi-mura.  They took their Subaru Forester to buy gasoline, but the gasoline was unavailable.  They left Forester at home and took Mitsubishi Minica [shown in this picture http://2011kazu.web.fc2.com/minika.html]  to Kooriyama’s evacuation center.

Grandparents stayed at Kooriyama’s evacuation center.

Grandparents left the Minica near Kooriyama’s evacuation center and evacuated to the eldest son’s house in Yokohama by Shinkansen (bullet train).

After retrieving the Minica from Kooriyama, grandparents relocated to Hokkaido near their eldest daughter.    From this point on, twins rode in their grandparents’ Minica as they were shuttled to places.

May 2011             
Twins K and Y both were confined to bed for several days due to fatigue at the same time.

June 2011            
Twins K and Y both were confined to bed for several days due to fatigue at the same time.

Mid July 2011     
Twins K and Y both were confined to bed for several days due to fatigue at the same time.

Grandparents temporarily returned home to Kawauchi-mura in order to collect their possessions and Forester.  They left Hokkaido on 

and arrived at their home in Kawauchi-mura on 

They brought one car (Forester) and their belongings to Toma, Hokkaido.  During this time period, they did not take any particular anti-radiation protective measures.  During their absence, the Forester was outside for four and a half months [since the explosions in March].  Twins began to ride in the Forester several times from this point on.

Twins K and Y once again were confined to bed for a day for fatigue and not feeling well.

Early August       
Twin Y began to be confined to bed.  Twin K was somewhat improved.

Twins received medical care for nausea, headache, fatigue, night sweat and lethargy.  Blood tests were normal.

Twin K began to have right calf pain. Twin Y began to have twitching.

A family friend, Mr. H, detected a radiation level of up to 0.9 microsievert/hr near the radiator of Minica. http://2011kazu.web.fc2.com/minika002.html(Ultimately this finding was the beginning of a sequence of events to avoid the worst case scenario for the twins.)  I returned home immediately to check on the twins.  Twin Y was found to have abnormality in Life Energy Testing (LET) around his head.  (LET is used in Kai therapy found here:http://kainet.fem.jp/wkn2/modules/tinyd0/.)

Cupping (Vankey) treatments were done in Sapporo.  From this point on, home therapy using Vankey or Kai therapy was done on the twins daily.

Mid September 
Twin Y began to have difficulty walking.

Late October      
Twin Y’s twitching improved to be almost unnoticeable. (It was only felt if you touched his chest with your palm.)

Exchange of parts in the contaminated cars was discussed in person with Asahikawa Toyopet and Asahikawa Honda, but the request was refused by both dealerships.

Exchange of parts in the contaminated cars was discussed with Asahikawa Suzuki by phone, but the dealership said they couldn’t deal with cars with radioactive contamination.  The Minica’s external radiation levels were measured again. http://2011kazu.web.fc2.com/minika001.html

The twins saw a neurologist at a hospital in Hokkaido.  No abnormal findings in neurology exam and testing of motor functions.  However, because of the history of symptoms such as twitching, difficulty walking, muscle pain and atrophy happening to both twins at the same time, the physician acknowledged the possibility of radiation as the cause and agreed to fill out medical certificates. http://2011kazu.web.fc2.com/shindansyo.html

Asahikawa Mitsubishi agreed to change the car parts, and the Minica’s contaminated parts were retrieved.  http://2011kazu.web.fc2.com/minika005.html   At this time, dust collected underneath wiper blades (inside the front deck garnish) registered a maximum of 2.6 microsievert/hr using DP802i.

Late November                
Twin Y’s twitching improved to the point it wasn’t obvious externally.  (You couldn’t feel it when you touched his chest, but he could still feel a very small amount inside himself.)

Dust collected previously was retested with SOEKS-01.  It registered 3.03 microsievert/hr.  Even with an aluminum plate shielding beta rays, it still registered 0.62 microsievert/hr.  Note: this dust was only a few grams in quantity.

This few grams of dust was measured using the Becquerel Monitor LB200 http://www.berthold-jp.com/products/isotope/pdf/lb200_web.pdf at the Hokkaido Civilian Radiation Testing Center http://hokkaidouhousyanousokuteijyo.web.fc2.com/.  It registered almost 12,000 becquerels.   http://2011kazu.web.fc2.com/minika004.html (The machine would not measure over 10,000 becquerels, and the cloth that was used to wipe this dust  registered 9,331 becquerels on first try and an error message on second try.  A very small amount of dust was scraped off this cloth, measured separately and registered 2,405 becquerels.)  The dust was sent to the Isotope Research Institute in Yokohama. http://www.radio-isotope.jp/

The result of analysis by the Isotope Research Center was as follows: Cesium 137 = 3,587 Bq,  Cesium 134 = 2,907 Bq,  Total Cesium = 6,494 Bq     Assuming the dust sample was approximately 5 grams, this would mean about 1,300,000  Bq/Kg of total cesium.                                             

This concludes the timeline of the events.

Currently the twins’ health condition changes daily, waxing and waning. They often are confined to bed due to fatigue, headaches and leg pain.  I think their immune function might be extremely low.  One uses a cane to go to school if he feels well enough, but the other hasn’t been able to attend school since summer.

We worried about making their situation public on the web.  What would happen to their future? Would they be discriminated against due to their radiation exposure?

Seeing how hard they are fighting against their circumstances, we decided we couldn’t just stop here.
We could not sit still thinking about many others who might have radiation exposure just like them from riding contaminated cars.  We decided to release the information with a hope to save even just one more person.

As my brother wrote on his website, we are not thinking about legal actions. At any rate it is our desire to inform people of this fact so that they can prevent radiation exposure.  All we want is for people to protect against radiation.

After careful consideration, if you don’t see any problems with the content, please spread this information to as many people as possible.

Thank you for reading this.

My brother’s website: http://2011kazu.web.fc2.com/

My wholehearted request to all the Japanese people:
We really went through a lot of worries and anguish trying to decide whether to make public all this information about the twins.  I kept thinking about how I would clear the path for their future and how they themselves would pursue the path to their future.

Twenty-three years ago, when Hokkaido was facing a huge controversy over issues surrounding the Kashiwa nuclear plant and the highly radioactive waste products in Horonobe, I was a college senior trying to comprehend the issues, frantically thinking about them and causing an action, despite my young age.

Kashiwa, Horonobe, Rokkasho, Onagawa, Fukushima, Tokai, Ooi, Mihama, Monju, and Shimane… I visited all these nuclear plants, stared at this inorganic monster of “nuclear power,” and hoped to stop all of them eventually.

However, immediately after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the day I was afraid of finally came.

The first thing I did was to apologize to the twins who are the youngest of my four children, “I am really sorry I couldn’t stop the construction of the nuclear power plants.”

Staring at the images of explosions of Fukushima Dai-ichi’s reactors 1 and 3 dumbfoundedly, I fell into terrible despair. However, there was no time to remain stunned.  It’s because the distance between Fukushima and Hokkaido meant very little in the case of a nuclear accident.

Available information was confusing, but I determined that this was going to bring damages far worse than the Chernobyl accident, guessing from pieces of news reports as well as the knowledge I acquired 23 years ago.   My friends and I prepared so that we could confine ourselves to homes for a month or two, in order to protect our children from iodine 131.  (We didn’t actually confine ourselves to homes.)  I told the children to see which way the wind was blowing.  I told them never to get wet from the rain.

However, they got radiation exposure from unexpected places and became ill.  As reported on my site, there is hardly any question that their radiation exposure originated in the contaminated cars.

I worried about how to act as a parent and as a human being, regarding this whole sequence of events.

First, of course, the utmost priority was given to how quickly and completely the twins would recover from these symptoms of radiation exposure.

It was almost 7 pm on 8/30/2011 when my friend Mr. H. first called me after realizing the car had high radiation levels in some places.  (I shudder to think what would have happened if the call came a day later.)  I immediately drove to the site in darkness and verified the high radiation levels with a radiation detector.  Then I rushed home to check on the twins who had been often ill. I contacted my friends who were in alternative and natural medicine to find the most effective methods to treat them with. 

The next day I had a work commitment that I couldn’t miss due to deliveries for my business.  Even while making deliveries, I contacted them to figure out a treatment method to eliminate radioactive material from the body.

I told the children not to ride in the contaminated cars and told my wife to immediately tell the grandparents about the contamination.  Two days after the discovery, I took Twin Y, who had more severe symptoms, to a Vankey (similar to cupping) teaching facility in Sapporo.

The twins had repeated episodes of being confined to bed due to fatigue and lethargy in the absence of fever for several days at a time in May, June and July.  In mid-August, Twin Y began to have twitching.  In September they began to have walking difficulty in addition, but the twitching slowly subsided.
Twin Y’s walking difficulty persists as of December.  Twin K’s right calf pain and atrophy still persist.  However, since they stopped riding in the contaminated cars and began treatments, they have not had episodes of bed confinement due to an extreme fatigue.

They were seen by doctors 3 times as of December, and they said there was no medical treatment available and all they could do was observation and follow-up.

(I would like to write about various modalities of natural medicine done on them on a daily basis some other time.)

This problem is not limited to my children.  There may be tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of contaminated cars operated all over Japan.  Unless we immediately stop them, there would be more children exposed to radiation.  The twins, through radiation exposure (probably through inhalation) developed such symptoms as fatigue, lethargy, twitching, walking difficulty, muscle pain and muscle atrophy, but not everyone develops the same symptoms.  It usually cannot be predicted how the radioactive material inside the body works: where it accumulates, what it weakens, what kind of symptoms it might cause along with co-existing infections.  I think it could lead to a wide variety of illnesses.  Unless you recognize the facts of radioactive contamination, you will only receive an ordinary, routine diagnosis of colds or something like that, and you will be given usual medications, when you or your children develop some symptoms.  It is extremely difficult to assess individually whether the symptoms are due to radiation.  It’s not until one year, or five, ten, or twenty years later, when there is enough statistical data available that they might say that it might be due to radiation.  Do you want your child to be just one of the statistical numbers?

I was in anguish.

For me, revealing this fact meant that the twins might face such hardship as “discrimination” in the future.

The reason I decided to disclose the issue, despite such anguish, was because their smiling faces made me certain that they would not want to live a future life of fearing radiation exposure and discrimination, silently suffering.

There is one thing I would like to request of everyone who is reading this on my site here.

Please know the level of contamination in your car, your backyard, and your living space.  The aerial radiation level is absolutely not sufficient!

Even if the ambient radiation level is 0.2 to 0.3 microsievert/hr, there is a possibility that several thousand bequerels to several tens of thousands bequerels of contamination could exist right nearby.  That’s why the government only refers to the ambient radiation level when they talk about such things as the degree of contamination, decontamination, and evacuation zones.

Please, investigate fully the contamination and keep a record of the measurements as proof.  Otherwise the issue will remain clouded.

When we took measurements, parts of the car that were easily washable, such as metal plates, only registered the level around 0.1 microsievert/hr. However, parts such as gaskets were 0.2 to 0.5 microsievert/hr, and the intake port such as the root of wiper blades registered 1 to 2 microsievert/hr with just a swipe of dust from the area registering several thousand becquerels of radiation.

The total amount of radioactive contamination of this car is estimated to be several hundred to several million becquerels.

You should not let your children near such a place.  You cannot just scrap or discard such cars.  This car is already radioactive waste.

There is a movement to force local governments all over the nation to accept debris that has a similar level of radioactive contamination as this car.  This absolutely needs to be stopped.  Actual soil contamination measurements have revealed that areas from Iwate to the north to the entire Kanto area, Shizuoka, Nagano and Niigata to the south have exceeded what’s legally referred to as a “radiation controlled area”.  (Aerial radiation survey results by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology are too low compared to the actual soil measurements.)

I hope more people evacuate the contaminated areas.  Please, absolutely do not remove any contaminated objects from contaminate area.  The twins have proven what would happen as a consequence.

I don’t want their pain to be in vain.

I will repeat one more time.

Get out of denial and recognize the contamination.  And please protect yourself, your children and friends from contamination.

Decontamination is dangerous and at this point in time just meaningless.

First, evacuate.  Or help evacuate others.

Anti-nuclear activities and new alternative energies can come after evacuation and recognition of the facts.  That’s all you have to do.

If you do that, nuclear power plants will stop on their own.  The development of alternative natural energy sources will advance on its own.  If you don’t protect your own children now, when would you?

This country will not protect its own people.

You are the only one that can protect yourself

I am the only one that can protect myself.

I will defer such a thing as legal actions.  I wrote what I really wanted to tell you here.  I ask from the bottom of my heart…..

2011.12.20 kazu

Jan 15, 2012

What's really going on in Japan   A letter to inform foreigners of situations in Japan.

This letter was written in an attempt to convince school officials to cancel annual school trips to Japan where the students in a public Japanese language immersion program participate in cultural exchanges.
I am an osteopathic physician originally from Kyoto. I have been in the US since 1983, attending college and medical school. I am quite fully bilingual in terms of writing and reading.

I am currently involved with this site which collects voluntary narrative case reports from those who have symptoms as a result of the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident.

 This site has an English site where monthly reports are posted, and I have just done the translation of reports into English. The diagrams are still being worked on, but you can read the reports here. https://sites.google.com/site/fukushimareport/ 

I have been spending countless hours gathering and researching information regarding what's really going on in Japan since 311. I had to educate myself in what radiation contamination meant as well as the difference between internal and external radiation exposure. In my medical training, I never received much information about radiation.

The Japanese government has been absolutely terrible in how they have managed almost everything since 311. People were not informed of dangers of radiation exposure shortly after 311. As you might recall, it wasn't until May that the government admitted there had been 3 melt-throughs. By then, people had been exposed to radiation.

This article from Canadian Medical Association Journal sums up the irresponsible responses of the Japanese government so far. http://www.cmaj.ca/site/earlyreleases/21dec11_public-health-fallout-from-japanese-quake.xhtml

The concept of internal radiation exposure has been suppressed ever since Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing for political reasons so that atomic weapons development could and would continue. Researchers who studied low-dose radiation contamination had their studies suppressed and unfunded. Organizations such as ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) have gone along with this. Both promote the use of nuclear power. WHO (World Health Organization) has signed something with IAEA so that they would not interfere with IAEA's official announcements. Those researchers whose work was suppressed are mostly represented in ECRR (European Committee on Radiation Risk), whose general position is that there is no safe level of radiation and that hot particles ingested or inhaled cause internal radiation exposure.

The general consensus even amongst medical personnel who deals with radiation is that people should not have symptoms unless the radiation levels were much higher than what had been seen in Fukushima. I now know this is because what physicians have been taught was based on ICRP standards. I also know this is inaccurate.

The physicians and scientists in Japan are split in deciding what's really harmful to people. However, when you look at who is saying what, you begin to see that those who say high radiation levels are not harmful or people cannot possibly be having symptoms right now have some hidden connections to entities that are pushing nuclear energy.

Also, keep in mind how things work in the Japanese society. Those professors and scientists belonging to institutions often do not have freedom to speak their own minds. Thus very few people have been able to speak out the truth to inform the public about what's really going on.

Those who are anti-nuclear have had their activities monitored by the government. Same for the anti-nuclear groups. It is extremely inconvenient for the Japanese government to admit that people can be harmed by the presence of nuclear reactors, even the ones that have fallen apart in Fukushima. As the Japanese nuclear industry, including Tokyo Electric or TEPCO, is scheduled to build nuclear power plants in Vietnam. I had never been particularly an anti-nuclear activist, so I don't want you to think I am biased. I am just telling you the facts. (However, I am definitely not pro-nuclear.)

So in a nutshell, the government does not really seem to care about the well-being of the people there. Otherwise why would they not evacuate Fukushima children? (I have read that it was because there was not enough money.) It is just insane for children to have to wear dosimeters to attend school. Also, the Japanese government's decisions are based on ICRP findings, so that's why people are still allowed to live in areas of high radiation levels including not only Fukushima but also Kanto regions.

The government's standard for radiation levels in food has been set at the level that is reserved for a total nuclear holocaust when nothing would be uncontaminated. That's what has been going on in the last 10 months. 

For your information, University of California at Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering tested rainwater, tap water, milk, vegetables and fruits after 311, and you can see the results here. There was a “fallout” here in the U.S., but the radiation levels detected are nothing compared to what’s found in Japan. http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/UCBAirSampling/
FoodChain In Japan, if the radiation level is below the set standard, the food could be declared "uncontaminated" which is technically not true. Our families and friends in Japan are eating contaminated food, most of them unknowingly because they believe what the government says. Those who are more knowledgeable are watching what they eat, choosing food from the western part of Japan. Even then, it's difficult to avoid contamination. In the name of patriotism, consumption of Fukushima products is encouraged and even considered a virtue. Yokohama was one of the cities which had decided early on to "help out" Fukushima by using their products in school lunches.

School lunches all over seem to be serving things that should be avoided because they are known to show radioactive contamination early on, such as milk and mushrooms.

Hotels and restaurants, and I am sure airline food industry, would tell you that their food is within the safety limits set by the governments. Those limits are simply too high. It's like a Russian roulette. You don't know how much radiation is in what you eat unless you know how much is in each ingredient and prepare meals using such ingredients. This is difficult to accomplish, as ordinary geiger counters cannot measure what's contained in food. In Belarus, there are many regional testing centers where people can take food in for testing before deciding to eat, say, handpicked berries, or homegrown vegetables. There is a few such civilian testing centers in some towns in Japan, but it is not widespread enough for such testing to be a routine daily procedure for everyone.

Also, the label on the fresh food that shows where they were made seems to be forged quite often. Rice produced in Fukushima was snatched up at a cheap price by middlemen to be sold to food industry. Same for Fukushima peaches.

People in Hokkaido and western parts of Japan might not pay attention to what they eat as they think they are safe because they are far from Fukushima. The aerial and soil levels of radiation may be nearly normal in those places. However, in a country like Japan where goods quickly circulate from one end to another, unknowingly contaminated products are on the shelves all over the country. So in this case distance means very little.

You might think a few weeks stay would pose minimal risks, especially when the families and friends seem to be living an ordinary, almost pre-311 life there. I disagree. I can't guarantee this, of course, since nobody really knows what's in the food there anymore, but a few weeks of eating possibly contaminated food could cause enough internal radiation exposure to cause harm. I am not even talking about thyroid cancers and leukemia, although that could certainly happen. Internal radiation contamination means radioactive particles are in the body and remain in the body, emitting radiation at a close proximity to cells and DNA. I have copied an e-mail I sent to someone regarding internal and external radiation exposure at the end.

In Belarus, where the Chernobyl accident had a profound effect, only 10 to 20 % of children are born healthy, even 25 years after the accident. This is because the soil there is contaminated and food grown ends up being contaminated. In Belarus, toddlers might die of heart attacks. Premature aging is seen: children are having the type of illnesses you might see in older adults, such as hypertension, diabetes, cataracts, heart diseases, kidney diseases, etc. Sudden deaths are common. Of course congenital deformity and all kinds of cancers are happening.

It might be difficult to accept all this information when the most of the country seems to be going about in a usual manner. There has been an increase in sudden deaths which are not covered by media. You can see this blog, which is a partial English translation of Kota Kinoshita's blog. He is a journalist who covered the Tokaimura accident, so he knows about the dangers of radiation contamination, and he has been continuously calling for evacuation of Tokyo and Kanto region.


His Japanese blog is here.

It's not just sudden deaths. People are definitely having symptoms. I have seen many stories of bloody noses, cough, sore throat, metallic taste(these radioactive materials are basically heavy metals), fever, fatigue, bruises, skin eruptions, headaches, diarrhea, menstrual irregularities, etc., by people from Tokyo and Kanto area. Some of these have also been reported by those who live in the western parts of Japan.

Also, I would like to mention the reactor #4 at Fukushima Dai-ichi, which is collapsing. A few more strong earthquakes, and that reactor would go. Already the January 1 earthquake seems to have caused some damage, since radiation levels were high on January 2.


 (For your information, normal radiation level here in Portland is 0.14 microsievert/hr. This has been confirmed with Reed College's nuclear reactor lab and also my Geiger counter. In Tokyo and Kanto region, normal level is lower than this due to a different geological formation. Thus in Tokyo 0.14 would be considered high. In Kansai and western part of Honshu, normal level is higher than Kanto region but lower than Portland. However, you cannot just compare these levels only without taking into consideration what’s in soil, water, and food.)

 This map shows a natural radiation level in each prefecture prior to 311. The unit shown is microsievert/hr.


図1「はかるくん」による測定値の都道府県別平均  (財)放射線計測協会

It is anticipated that the Japanese government will not tell the truth about the danger, once again, until people have been exposed to radiation.  When the reactor #4 collapses, that would be an unprecedented event of nuclear fuel rods totally exposed to the air, which would make Kanto and Tohoku regions uninhabitable and greatly pollute the rest of the world.

Please remember that the government's declaration of so-called "cold shutdown" at the end of 2011 was meaningless.  Technically speaking, current Fukushima Dai-ichi, with the nuclear fuel melting through the ground, is incapable of being in a state of cold shutdown, as such a process is only attainable when the protection around the fuel is still intact.  What they really mean is that the cooling water isn't boiling.  However, this would quickly change if there were more damages to the reactors.

Those of us who have been closely watching Fukushima Dai-ichi know it's just a matter of time before the reactor #4 collapses in such an earthquake-prone country as Japan.  The government will never forewarn the people there so as not to cause panic.

Another matter to consider is the incineration of debris which might be radioactively contaminated.  The government is trying to spread the debris to all regions of the country.  Once again, the legal limits set by the government for the radioactive contamination of debris itself has been raised since before 311.  If the debris is contaminated, radioactive material will be released in the incineration process. Tokyo has already begun the incineration, and Indeed people have been reporting increased radiation levels.  Now that more people own Geiger counters, some have reported spikes in the middle of the night, when the nearby waste management facility might be incinerating them.  So-called filters do not catch all the radioactive material released.  This link shows which prefecture has accepted the debris.


Lastly, I would like to remind you that the government testing has been limited to iodine and cesium mostly.  It is suspected there are more varieties of radioactive material that have been released from Fukushima Dai-ichi.  As you might know, plutonium has been detected.  If there is cesium, strontium is expected to exist, but testing for strontium is apparently cumbersome and thus not routinely done.  This only tells you that you absolutely cannot rely on the "safety standards" set by the government.
I am sorry this was a lengthy e-mail, but the fact is there is so much you need to know to fully comprehend the situation there.  I almost guarantee that the people in Japan you are communicating with will disagree with what I wrote here, simply because they have no idea what's going on.  It is sometimes easier to see the whole picture from the outside.  When you are in the midst of this, you are just trying to do daily routine, not having enough time to surf the net for information gathering.  Relying on TV and newspaper will not give you correct information.  Also, you don't want to admit that your life is about to be drastically changed due to certain unpleasant facts, and I get an impression that many there simply do not want to know.  The truth is the Japanese government should have declared national emergency when those reactors exploded.  They should not be silently exposing foreign visitors to radiation.

Everyone needs to learn what internal radiation exposure means.

Here's a good presentation.

What you typically hear is that a certain level of radiation is equivalent to a transpacific flight or an X-ray.  This entails only the external radiation exposure where rays of radiation pierces through the body, which is what happened to people who were exposed to rays of radiation coming from the atomic bombs.  These rays cause breakages in DNA structures.  At really high doses, cellular breakages are so severe that people quickly die.  So far it is claimed that nobody has died this way from Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, although it is not quite accurate.  There are unconfirmed reports of deaths of the workers, such as those 2 workers who stepped in contaminated water in one of the reactor buildings.

A human body would try to correct the damage, but sometimes a mistake happens, which leads to genetic mutations of cells, causing cancers.  Keep in mind that this can happen not just with radiation but also with other environmental toxins.

When cells are bombarded with lots of radiation, the body has no time to repair the damage.

Internal radiation exposure is an entirely different matter.  This cannot and should not be compared to flights and X-rays.  This happens when you inhale or ingest contaminated matter.
This actually happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, too, but the internal radiation exposure was not acknowledged by authorities for political/military reasons.

There was a speech by Dr. Shuntaro Hida, who was a young military doctor in Hiroshima at the time of bombing.  He said that the US military told the Japanese government to not acknowledge anybody with who suffered radiation illnesses internally at a lower dose.  The United States was trying to develop atomic weapons then, and health consequences from low-dose exposure would be against the international treaty, hindering the weapons development.
The video can be seen here.  It’s in Japanese.
Also another Hiroshima survivor, Dr. Shoji Sawada, has been researching the internal radiation exposure.

The Japanese government is going by the standards set by ICRP which is an organization geared towards USING nuclear power.
IAEA is also an organization that promotes "safe" use of nuclear power.
Their purposes are not people's welfare but the development of nuclear power.

Thus the danger of radiation has constantly been underplayed.

What happens when you ingest contaminated food or water or inhale contaminated air is that you put radioactive material inside your body.

In the first video, Marco Kaltofen talks about hot particles.  Once you inhale those, it's really difficult to get rid of from the lung tissues.  The radioactive material keeps emitting rays of radiation at zero distance to cells.

Cesium mimics potassium chemically.  Strontium mimics calcium.
Potassium is all over the body due to something called a sodium-potassium pump in cells.  So the body takes up radioactive cesium just like it takes up potassium.  (It's commonly taught that cesium mostly accumulates in muscles, but this is inaccurate.) 
Dr. Yury Bandazhevsky, a Belarussian physician, did autopsies on those who died after the Chernobyl accident and found accumulation of radioactive cesium in almost all organs.  Because his research was proving the damage caused by internal radiation contamination, he was arrested for false charges and imprisoned for 7 years and deported.  He is in exile in Russia.
Cesium can accumulate anywhere there are muscles such as heart and uterus, and also affect almost all organs as sodium-potassium pumps are ubiquitous.  It's also known to accumulate in pancreas, causing or worsening diabetes.  Strontium is taken up by tissues such as bones and teeth that ordinarily take up calcium.  Blood cells are formed in the bone marrow, so strontium affects formation of new blood.  Strontium and uranium are known to bind DNA, emitting radiation right where the genetic material is.

Iodine tablets as radiation pills work by letting thyroid gland take up nonradioactive iodine so that radioactive iodine is not taken up by the body.  This only helps with prevention of thyroid cancer.

For your information, the Japanese government isn't testing food or soil for strontium as this is extremely difficult.  However, if cesium is detected, you just assume there is strontium there, too.

It's not just thyroid and other cancers or leukemia which results from radiation contamination.

Radiation creates excess free radicals in the body, which in turn go through a chain reaction to cause lipid peroxidation of cells.  This destroys cellular membranes of any cells in the body.  When the cellular membranes are destroyed, cells lose integrity.  Can you see how this would lead to malfunctioning of different types of cells, causing symptoms such as severe nosebleeds, diarrhea, etc.?

So the internal radiation exposure can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, but mainly your immune system is over-worked by trying to deal with the insult.

Actually we ARE exposed to some radiation all the time, as there is naturally occurring radiation from our geological formation.  It has been part of the human evolution.  Potassium has a certain percentage of radioisotope that occurs naturally.  That's why bananas and seaweeds have some radiation.  However, human bodies know what to do with the naturally occurring radiation.  Our bodies do not absorb them unnecessarily.

Artificial radiation as a result of nuclear fission is a different matter.
Radioactive cesium, strontium, plutonium, etc., only come out of nuclear reactors.
We actually have radioactive cesium in our soil all over the world not only from the past nuclear testing and bombing and also from nuclear reactors.

Theoretically, our body's immune system can handle a little bit of radiation.  It would be like you had a mild illness, and if you go and rest the immune system would take care of it.  However, if the insult is over the body's threshold, the immune system can't handle it so well.  This threshold varies in each individual.  That's why some develop symptoms and some don't.  Children have lower thresholds.  I am told eating contaminated food for a few days might be enough to overload a child's body.   Rapidly dividing cells as in developing fetuses and children won't have time to repair the damage to DNA before dividing.  This leads to higher likelihood for genetic mutations.  These genetic mutations are not only permanent but passed onto their offspring 100%, defying the usual Mendel’s law of genetic transmissions.
I still spend several hours each day looking through some blogs and twitter logs, and I have seen many reports of sudden deaths in teens up to the elderly.  There is no way to confirm that those deaths are from radiation, but when many people begin to report more sudden deaths amongst their families and friends, you wonder why.  Cardiac arrests, arrhythmia, and brain hemorrhages are being reported as causes of such sudden deaths.  There were lots of mycoplasma pneumonia, persistent cough, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, and bacterial meningitis reported in those who were ill.

It is commonly believed amongst health care professionals that deal with radiation that at "low-dose" of radiation such as what's been detected in Tokyo, people should not have any symptoms.
Well, the danger of radiation is so underplayed that the health care professionals have been given incorrect information.  Otherwise they won't be able to use all the medical and dental X-rays.
It’s not just thyroid cancer and leukemia that might result from radiation exposure.  I have seen many stories of bloody noses, cough, sore throat, metallic taste (these radioactive materials are basically heavy metals), fever, fatigue, bruises, skin eruptions, headaches, diarrhea, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, menstrual irregularities, etc., by people from Tokyo and Kanto area.  Those who report the symptoms to doctors are ridiculed because they should not have any symptoms at the radiation levels they experienced.  Doctors in Japan, with an exception of a handful of brave doctors, do not have freedom to diagnose radiation-related illnesses unless the Ministry of Health creates a policy permitting it.  Apparently in the socialized medicine they have in Japan, the doctors have to follow the government policy or they will lose their medical licenses.

Just because people live far away from Fukushima and Kanto area, they are not free from any effects. 
Because the radioactive material has fallen on the ground, a caution should be taken to prevent any contamination through genital area.  This means not sitting on benches, ground, or grasses.  It means wearing sanitary napkins all the time to prevent genital contact with any radiation contamination.  By the way, there are some brands of sanitary napkins and diapers produced in factories in Fukushima which registered high radiation levels.

If you confer with prospective host families or school officials about these matters, they might tell you that you are over-reacting.  They just don't know.  A majority of the Japanese have no idea they are facing a nightmare of internal radiation contamination.  They likely will not realize it until they begin to experience physical issues.  By then it's too late.  They might have actually experienced vague symptoms, but they might not have connected them with radiation exposure since the government has wrongly "assured" them everything was okay.

Do you remember when H1N1 flu was going around a few years ago?

That summer many Japanese groups cancelled their trips here even though there was no reason to.
This would be the opposite of that, in a way, except this time the problem is way more serious and less obvious.  You can't just do a flu test in this case.  I believe if it was the US having the radiation issues Japan is having, the Japanese would cancel the trip instantly.

I think certain risks are inherent in life, and you have to still live your life despite it.  You can't just sit at home because you are afraid of car accidents, earthquakes, etc., but no matter what you decide, you should be able to make an informed decision.  You need to have correct knowledge of what you are dealing with.  Radiation is no joke.  You cannot beat the internal radiation contamination.  The best prevention is avoidance.