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Akiko speaks about the continuing fight between the Japanese people and their government which has placed the financial interests of the nuclear power industry in Japan ahead of their well being and that of the health of their children. Arbitrary decisions have been made that allow children to be exposed to 20 times the pre-disaster radiation limits in order to lower the cost of evacuation and decontamination. She translates the sound track of a short documentary about the arbitrary "decontamination" policy that has divided families, ended marriages and left parents fearing for the future health of their children. One grass roots program has started based on lessons learned from Chernobyl; it brings children from contaminated zones to an uncontaminated resort where they can play outside and shed some of the contamination that they have absorbed.
As of December 1st, 2012 tens of thousands of Japanese are still internal refugees, some whose former homes and communities are contaminated to a level that they will be, for them, forever off limits.
In the Q&A she confirms that the Japanese government, over the opposition of scientists and it citizens, has begun incinerating radioactive debris from the tsunami, spreading radioactive particles through out Japan as a political solution to their national nightmare.
Akiko's story is unfortunately a harbinger of what we can expect in the Unites States when the next nuclear catastrophe occurs here. For it is the U.S. government, and the nuclear power/weapons industry dominated NRC, that is pressuring the Japanese government to down play the consequences and return to business as usual while burdening the public with the costs.
Beyond Nuclear, http://www.beyondnuclear.org
Nuclear Energy Information Service,
Friends of the Earth,
UChicago Climate Action Network,
International House Global Voices Program
Akiko Yoshida of Tokyo, Japan is a Nuclear and Energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth, Japan. Her files include Fukushima evacuation and compensation, and Japan's nuclear phase out. firstname.lastname@example.org