Fukushima: Hawaii-based nonprofit group says “every single person” they hosted from Japan has had health problems — Global Research, Nuclear Hotseat podcast

Interview with Vicki Nelson, founder of Fukushima Friends (nonprofit organization which facilitates trips to Hawaii for Fukushima radiation refugees), Nuclear Hotseat hosted by Libbe HaLevy, Jun 9, 2015 (at 16:30 in):

Vicki Nelson, founder of Fukushima Friends (emphasis added): We have a home that’s open for them to come and experience some time of respite and eat different food. What we’ve been experiencing also is that every single person that comes has reaction to the change as soon as they come here. There’s been people who have vomited, they’ve been having nosebleeds, they’ve been dizzy, they’ve been very ashen in color.

Libbe HaLevy, host: This is once they have left Japan? In other words, it is the lack of the radiation that allows them to then have these reactions?

Nelson: It’s like it is expelling from their body. There’s diarrhea, there’s nosebleeds— almost every single person has had nosebleeds on their pillow. I find blood, and they don’t want to tell me that they have these reactions, they’re embarrassed. Tokiko’s son [from Koriyama, Fukushima] vomited the whole first week practically, and had diarrhea. We actually took him to the hospital because we felt that he was dehydrated. They did run tests, and they said yes he was dehydrated. So he was kept overnight at the Hilo hospital on the big island and cared for. ”

Global Research source

Nuclear Hotseat #207: Fukushima kids and moms escaping radiation – Hawaii’s Fukushima Friends and Japan’s Komoro Homestay

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” Meeting hosted by Andrew Cash, member of Canadian parliament, Dec 2012 — Japanese mother (at 2:12:30 in):

“My home town is Sapporo [northernmost island in Japan]… In my city, no one thinks about radiation. I found a group of escaped mothers from Tokyo and the Fukushima area, and I was very surprised… Most of them had thyroid problems, or eye problems, or nose bleeds… They are very worried about it. In Japan we knew about the meltdowns two months after the meltdowns happened, so we can have no information about radiation. Now the government is telling us to eat food from Fukushima. We can’t rely on government. The TV said Fukushima is safe, no problem… Fukushima is good to live. They want to invite a lot of tourists to Fukushima.” “

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Struggling TEPCO to gain additional funding from 3 national megabanks — The Asahi Shimbun

” In a show of confidence, the nation’s top three banks and other financial organizations who have been funding embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co. have agreed to extend 280 billion yen ($2.26 billion) in loans to the utility for the fiscal year.

The entities concluded that TEPCO, the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, has been successful in cutting costs.

The utility has secured a pretax profit and been in the black for two years in a row, even without the restart of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture.

TEPCO plans on becoming a holding company in the next fiscal year comprised of three subsidiaries that will split its fuel supply and thermal power generation, electric power transmission, and electricity retailing into separate businesses.

Shareholders will vote on the plan at their meeting on June 25.

The banks and other lending institutions have expressed support for the plan, saying they believe the utility’s decision to separate its power generation and transmission businesses before its competitors do so will strengthen its ability to compete in the industry after power deregulation is introduced nationwide.

TEPCO had been asking the banks and other financial bodies for funding to help with debenture redemption and capital investments.

For the two years starting this fiscal year, it said it needs a total of 1.3 trillion yen to fund the projects. The company also plans in fiscal 2016 to issue its first debenture since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

However, TEPCO has been unable to significantly improve its profitability without the restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, as its ongoing cost-cutting efforts have limits. ”

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Dr. Josh Park’s courage at Fukushima — Robert Hunziker via Counterpunch

” Disasters have an uncanny way of bringing out the best in humanity. In the aftermath of tragedy, compassion, understanding, compatibility, accommodation, and accord usually lead the way forward. That’s when remarkable people stand out in the face of adversity. Therefore, it is extraordinarily unfortunate that Japan’s government choses to dishonor its own citizenry as well as its lost heroes like Dr. Josh Park in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In the aftermath of Japan’s worst tragedy since WWII, the government of Japan enacted The Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, Act No. 108 promulgated on December 13, 2013. The law “almost limitlessly widens the range of what can be considered confidential,” Nobuyuki Sugiura, Managing Editor, Tokyo Head Office, Asahi Shimbun will continue to respond to the public’s right to know, The Asahi Shimbun, December 7, 2013.

Furthermore, according to the newspaper, Asahi Shimbun: “Every organization has information that it cannot make public. And Japan already had laws to protect such information,” which leads to the question: What’s going on? Did the Fukushima nuclear disaster open up the country to new foreign threats, similar to the raison d’etre for enactment of the Public Security Preservation Law of 1925, which gave the Japanese government carte blanche to outlaw any form of dissent. Thereafter, Japan established the “Thought Police” with branches all over Japan and overseas to monitor activity by alleged socialists and communists (in case you’ve ever wondered where George Orwell got his insane ideas).

After all, the new secrecy law allows bureaucrats and politicians to “designate state secrets to their liking” (Asahi Shimbun). What???

As such, the new secrecy law is 100% subjective, not objective, as the distinction of integrity crumbles apart. Those who leak secrets will face up to 10 years in prison. Does this foreboding message to the citizenry of Japan have anything to do with the Fukushima nuclear disaster? Why is it necessary? Why pass an act that promotes discord, suspicion, mistrust, and lack of confidence in public institutions at the very time when consolation is needed more than ever?

This one enactment by the government of Japan takes the breath out of all of those whom labored so hard to help others in time of dire need. It is a slap in the face, a form of ridicule expressive of totalitarianism at its lowest.

Nevertheless, in stark contrast to the government of Japan taking the low, low, low road in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Dr. Josh Park, who passed away from cancer in 2013, sacrificed his personal health by taking the high road to help the less fortunate in the aftermath of the disaster. His bravery and self-sacrifice symbolizes an eternal memorial at cross-purposes to the government’s acts of intimidation in the face of horrendous tragedy, which, in and of itself, may be the final tragedy.

Regrettably, in the midst of horrendous tragedy the country’s stripped of its élan vital as its soul vanishes into thin air.

Dr. Josh Park

In 2012 Josh Park earned a doctorate in ministry from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California. He passed away on June 28th, 2013 after a lingering battle with cancer. He was 61.

For nearly twenty years, Dr. Park spent countless hours in parks and in train stations caring for Tokyo’s homeless, always there with snacks, hot coffee, rice balls as he converted his backpack into a stool, sitting and consoling wayward street people.

He started Yoyogi Park Sidewalk Chapel with a local Japanese pastor. He saved lives; he converted lost souls to a better way, a bright shining light, he preached the word of God, and he gave his life to a better cause. He took the high road.

His son sent a compassionate letter on June 20th: “I recently read your article titled “What’s Really Going On At Fukushima.” I just wanted to take the time to thank you for your brave and honest reporting concerning the Tohoku disaster that has relatively been ignored by the mainstream media. It’s shocking to see how blind the global community is concerning this crisis, and journalists like you are so vital in breaking that veil of lies spun by Japan and the nuclear power industry.”

“My late father was one of the first volunteers to help with the cleanup and disaster relief….” As a full time IMB missionary for Japan, he was asked to help. “There was absolutely no mention of radiation hazards, and none of the team members were equipped with the required protective gear… Now my father and his co-leader, another full time missionary… passed away from a rare form of cancer. They were both in their 60s… their love for the Japanese people spurred them to take on the responsibility. They were both cleared medically to help, and neither had cancer before….”

Ever since his loss, a misty image of Dr. Josh Park, the man who always had a hot drink and something to eat for those in the street surely hovers over Yoyogi Park Sidewalk Chapel. Assuredly, if a higher power is actually a part of life’s journey, then a vague, opaque, vaporous image of Dr. Park must be there. It is likely that many of the heartbroken homeless have already seen this ethereal image of Dr. Josh Park whilst standing before Yoyogi Park Sidewalk Chapel and felt something special in their hearts as a tears stream down their cheeks.

Dr. Josh Park touched more lives than anybody will ever know. After all, nobody was readily available to count the number of people he cared for and pulled out of the abyss, rescued from certain suicide, given renewed hope, a guiding light towards self-respect, something to strive for beyond wallowing in sorrow. Yes, his compassionate strength touched tens, hundreds, maybe thousands, nobody will ever know how many for sure because when a man nobly, selflessly, benevolently gives of himself to save even one, it is like a miracle, as if the clouds spread apart exposing a golden, glowing hand, reaching down and blessing the chivalry of those who give of themselves.

Eternally, his personal story is woven into the fabric of the streets, part of the oral history of the street people of Tokyo like Masahi Takahashi, a homeless man who lost his job and lost all self-respect, but today, thanks to Dr. Park, Masahi Takahashi is janitor at the homeless church, a group leader of homeless Bible study in the park. And he mentors young homeless men. He’s rediscovered his courage, his being, self-worth. Because of Dr. Park, he reconstituted self-respect.

Is it possible to find a more worthy accomplishment than helping, assisting, guiding someone to find their true essence, their mission in life, a reason for living? Dr. Josh Park’s mission is a testament, a tribute to this innate goodness within humanity.

Whereas, far too often, society at large, when unwittingly organized to legislate, is shallow, insincere, contrived, hollow, and scared, leading to coercive measures that bully people, intimidate the citizenry, and browbeat society, all of which is symptomatic of weakness, not strength. When tragedy strikes, a nation needs strength of leadership, not cowardly acts to hide behind.

Above all, the Fukushima nuclear disaster brought out the best in individuals whilst exposing the worst of authorities. In striking contrast, Dr. Josh Park was brave, a strong man who was not scared.

By Robert Hunziker

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Japan asks China to ease food import restrictions introduced after Fukushima nuclear disaster — South China Morning Post

” A Japanese farm ministry official met a senior Chinese official in charge of food inspection on Friday to request the easing of restrictions on food imports introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, sources said.

A director general at the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries used the meeting in Beijing to stress the safety of Japanese food, the sources said.

China banned imports of food produced in 10 prefectures in Japan including Miyagi, Nagano and Fukushima following the nuclear crisis.

The beginning of such talks reflects an improvement in relations between the two biggest Asian economies.

Ties had deteriorated after the Japanese government bought a major part of the Japanese-administered Diaoyu Islands – known as Senkaku in Japan – in the East China Sea, from a private Japanese owner in 2012. The islands are claimed by China.

Both countries’ leaders have met twice since November, indicating a thaw in their tense relations.

The sale and use of Japanese food products has dropped sharply at department stores, supermarkets and restaurants in China since the import ban went into effect.

But potential demand remains strong for such products.

The two countries are expected to set up another meeting of higher-ranking officials.

In another development, Beijing is set to hold a press conference on the arrangements for a grand military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of second world war, another grievance between the two nations.

Qu Rui, deputy director of the Military Parade Leading Group, is scheduled to attend the press conference.

The parade, to be held in September, is seen as an attempt by Beijing to exert pressure on Japan over wartime disputes.

But Beijing has said the parade is not targeted at any particular country.

China has said it will invite leaders of other nations to attend the parade.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to be a guest, but it is not known if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be invited. ”

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Editorial: No more half-baked plans for decommissioning Fukushima reactors — The Asahi Shimbun

” For the first time in two years, the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. have announced a revised mid- to long-term road map for decommissioning nuclear reactors at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power station. The removal of spent nuclear fuel from storage pools at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors will be delayed by up to three years.

The government and TEPCO explained this delay is due to their new policy of “risk reduction over speed.”

This delay, right from the start, must mean that the old road map was poorly planned.

Are the government and TEPCO really able to now foretell that the delay will be three years at most? And why was risk reduction not their top priority until now?

The government and TEPCO must draw concrete lessons from all the delays to date and apply the lessons to the long-term decommissioning road map.

Spent nuclear fuel in the fuel pools must be removed to a safe place as soon as possible. Delays in its removal are caused by the time-consuming preparatory work of debris removal and decontamination of workspace floors.

In autumn 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared in his 2020 Olympics bid speech that the situation was “under control.”

Since then, it has become abundantly clear that the situation is anything but under control, and that the previous decommissioning road map failed to accurately assess the high level and extensive spread of radiation contamination.

Removing debris releases radioactive substances into the atmosphere, possibly causing them to spread beyond the plant grounds. Delays in decontamination expose workers to higher doses of radiation and limit their working hours.

Although nobody knew the amount or exact location of melted fuel in the reactors, the old road map indicated the “flooding method” of removal, meaning the containment vessels of the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors were to be filled with water. This method is similar to the usual removal method.

But probing the conditions of the containment vessels by various means revealed the difficulties of stopping the water leakage and problems regarding earthquake-proofing. It is only natural that the new road map proposes to reject the flooding method for the time being and study other removal methods over the next two years.

What we do not understand is why the government and TEPCO continued to reject the recommendation of outside experts to study the matter more broadly.

Last month, TEPCO announced the “completion” of processing a massive amount of highly contaminated water that had collected in clusters of storage tanks. But work is still continuing on separating radioactive substances from about 300 tons of highly contaminated water, which is generated every day. Any water still contaminated by unremoved tritium continues to remain in the tanks.

The decommissioning of reactors after a nuclear disaster is a truly challenging task that Japan has never experienced before.

The government and TEPCO must proceed by prioritizing risk reduction while explaining the situation to the local communities and the nation at large to win their understanding of the decommissioning work itself. ”

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