“Japan Forced to Talk About Fukushima Radiation After Nosebleed Comic” — read full article at Mashable
” More than three years have passed since the Fukushima disaster, but local officials remain extremely sensitive to any attempts at political satire or even critical commentary regarding the event.
A comic that recently depicted one of its characters as suffering from a chronic nosebleed after a visit to the Fukushima power plant has been suspended indefinitely after outrage from Japanese officials. The illustration, which was published by the long-running Japanese manga called “Oishinbo,” has now renewed discussion around the issue of health and safety as it relates to traveling to Fukushima and consuming products from the region. …
“There is freedom of speech and freedom of expression in Japan,” Suga said.
“But anything that is communicated should be based on facts and accurate information.”
Despite Suga’s comments, the issue of press freedom in Japan has become somewhat complicated in recent months. Late last year, the Japanese government enacted a strict new state secrets law that outlines stiff penalties, including up to 10 years in prison, for public servants and journalists who publish leaked information.
With the potential for possibly valuable leaks about the status of the region now greatly reduced, the official attention now directed toward even comic book commentary on sensitive topics may serve to only heighten the concerns of some already harboring doubts about the region’s relative safety. … ”
“‘Oishinbo’ editor defends manga” — read full article at The Japan Times
” The editor of “Oishinbo” defended on Monday the decision to depict characters in the cooking comic book as potentially hurt by radiation in Fukushima, calling it a “meaningful” attempt to sound the alarm about the grim, and largely overlooked, reality of life in the prefecture.
In Monday’s installment of the series — now suspended indefinitely — Hiroshi Murayama, who is also managing editor of the weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine the series runs in, includes an afterword in which he writes of feeling a strong pang of responsibility for the outrage caused by recent issues of the manga. …
Murayama said the story line was meant to spotlight the truth that “parts of Fukushima are indeed dangerous and uninhabitable” and “some local people are worried about health problems linked to radioactive fallout.”
Their voices, he said, are rarely heard because they are reluctant to complain of sickness for fear of being branded as “overly squeamish.” …
Monday’s issue devotes 10 pages to laying out the opinions of 13 experts and municipalities.
One of them, Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, says that from a medical point of view the connection between nosebleeds and radiation exposure can’t be entirely ruled out.
Backing Kariya, he adds: “The government is not only indifferent to taking responsibility for the accident, but determined to erase it from people’s memory.” Such irresponsibility, he insists, is “almost criminal.” … “
“Outrage derails manga series ‘Oishinbo’ for Fukushima nuclear crisis depiction” — read full article at Jiji via The Japan Times
“Shogakukan Inc. will suspend its “Oishinbo” manga series after recent installments came under fire for suggesting residents of Fukushima Prefecture had been sickened or hurt by radioactive fallout from nuclear disaster, sources said.
“Oishinbo” will not appear in the publisher’s weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine starting from the May 26 issue, the sources said Saturday. Shogakukan was to announce the decision in Monday’s issue.
Monday’s issue will contain comments by the weekly’s chief editor, Hiroshi Murayama, who is expected to note his responsibility for the criticism, while adding he and other editors will work to better review such depictions in the series.
The upcoming issue will devote 10 pages to the opinions of 13 experts about the scenes in question. It will also run letters of protest from the Fukushima Prefectural Government, the town of Futaba, which cohosts the damaged nuclear plant, and letters from both the city and prefecture of Osaka. … ”
*The following articles were originally posted on May 13, 2014.
” Politicians at the national and local level have taken offense with depictions of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in a long-running manga series that until now had focused on food and gourmet cooking.
Installments of “Oishinbo” published in the April 28 and May 12 editions of the weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine also touched a nerve among those in Fukushima who felt the representations jarred with reality. … ”
” Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara has criticized a manga story for linking nosebleeds to exposure to radiation […] He underscored the importance of keeping unfounded rumors in check [and] that doctors with special knowledge have denied a causal relationship between exposure to radiation after the nuclear accident and nosebleeds. ”
” Katsutaka Idogawa, 67, [Futaba’s] former mayor […] is featured in the popular comic series “Oishinbo.” […] Idogawa says his nose bleeds regularly and that there are many others in Fukushima who have developed similar symptoms. […] Idogawa told a news conference on May 9 in Tokyo […] his nose bleeds every day, especially in the mornings. “There is no way I would retract my comments in the manga,” Idogawa said. Responding to Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara […] Idogawa commented, “The minister has no business with my physical condition.” ”
” […] after I got back [from Fukushima] and was having dinner, I suddenly started bleeding from my nose, and it wouldn’t stop. I thought, “what on Earth?” I’ve rarely ever had a nosebleed so it was quite a shock. After that, I had nosebleeds at night for days after. But when I went to the hospital, they said “there’s currently no medical connection between nosebleeds and radiation” and they severed a capillary in my nose membrane with a laser. Also, after I went, I felt a great deal of fatigue. The staff who went with me and the chief of Futaba-machi suffered from nosebleeds and fatigue. They say the radiation levels are low so there’s no harm, but I wonder about that. ”
” It is possible that those who have supported me would walk away from me. I don’t understand why people criticize the truth which I have collected data in Fukushima 2 years and I write it as it is. Do people want to close my eyes against the truth and write something good lies for somebody or other? […] I can only write the truth. I hate self-deceiving. Today’s Japanese society is surrounded by the atmosphere of hating inconvenient truth and desiring lies of feeling good. ”