First published on October 11, 2013 To conclude, let me reiterate our way of viewing the current situation where the contaminated soul meets the contaminated body as they always should.
A Letter to All Young Athletes Who Dream of Coming to Tokyo in 2020
Some Facts You Should Know About Fukushima
by TAKASHI HIROSE.
On September 7, 2013, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, to the 125th session of the Olympic Committee, the following:
“Some may have concerns about Fukushima. Let me assure you, the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.”
This will surely be remembered as one of the great lies of modern times. In Japan, some people call it the “Abesolute Lie.” Believing it, the IOC decided to bring the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo.
Japanese government spokespersons defend Abe's statement by saying radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean have not yet exceeded safety standards.
This recalls the old story of the man who jumped off a ten-story building and, as he passed each story, could be heard saying, “So far, so good.”
We are talking about, remember, the Pacific Ocean—the greatest body of water on earth, and for all we know in the universe. Tokyo Electric Power Company—TEPCO—has been pouring water through its melted-down reactor at Fukushima and into the ocean for two and a half years, and so far the Pacific Ocean has been able to dilute that down to below the safety standard. So far, so good. But there is no prospect in sight for turning off the water.
Here are eight things you need to know:
1. In a residential area park in Tokyo, 230 km from Fukushima, the soil was found to have a radiation level of 92,335 Becquerels per meter. This is a dangerous level, comparable to what is found around the ④ Chernobyl zone (the site of the nuclear catastrophe in 1986). One reason this level of pollution is found in the capital is that between Tokyo and Fukushima there are no mountains high enough to block the radioactive clouds. In the capital, people, who understand the danger, absolutely avoid eating food produced in Eastern Japan.
2. Inside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactors #1 - #3, the pipes (which had circulated cooling water) are broken, which caused a meltdown. This means the nuclear fuel overheated, melted, and continued to melt anything it touched.
Thus, it melted through the bottom of the reactor, and then through the concrete floor of the building and sank into the ground. As mentioned above, for two and a half years TEPCO workers have been desperately pouring water into the reactor, but it is not known whether the water is actually reaching the melted fuel. If a middle-strength earthquake comes, it is likely to totally destroy the already damaged building. And as a matter of fact, in the last two and a half years, earthquakes have continued to hit Fukushima. (And as an additional matter of fact, just as this letter was being written, Fukushima was hit by another middle-strength earthquake, but it seems that the building held up one more time. So far, so good.) Especially dangerous is Reactor #4, where a large amount of nuclear fuel is being held in a pool, like another disaster waiting for its moment.
3. The cooling water being poured into the reactor is now considered the big problem in Japan. Newspapers and TV stations—that previously strove to conceal the danger of nuclear power—are now reporting on this danger every day, and criticizing Shinzo Abe for the lie he told to the IOC. The issue is that the highly irradiated water is entering and mixing with the ground water, and this leakage can't be stopped, so it is spilling into the outer ocean. It is a situation impossible to control. In August, 2013, (the month prior to Abe's IOC speech) within the site of the Daiichi Reactors, radiation was measured at 8,500 micro-Sieverts per hour. That is enough to kill anyone who stayed there for a month. This makes it a very hard place for the workers to get anything done. In Ohkuma-machi, the town where the Daiichi Nuclear Reactor site is located, the radiation was measured in July, 2013 (two months before Abe's talk) at 320 micro-Sieverts per hour. This level of radiation would kill a person in two and a half years. Thus, over an area many kilometers wide, ghost towns are increasing.
4. For the sake of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, an important fact has been left out from reports that go abroad. Only the fact that irradiated water is leaking onto the surface of the ground around the reactor is reported. But deep under the surface, the ground water is also being irradiated, and the ground water flows out to sea and mixes with the seawater through sea-bottom springs. It is too late to do anything about this.
5. If you go to the big central fish market near Tokyo and measure the radiation in the air, it measures at about 0.05 micro-Sieverts—a little higher than the normal level. But if you measure the radiation near the place where the instrument—that measures the radiation of the fish—is located, the level is two or three times greater (2013 measurement). Vegetables and fish from around the Tokyo area, even if they are irradiated, are not thrown away. This is because the level established by the Japanese government for permissible radiation in food—which if exceeded must not be sold—is the same as the permissible level of radiation in low-level radioactive wastes. Which is to say in Japan today, as the entire country has been contaminated, we have no choice but to put irradiated garbage on the dinner table.
The distribution of irradiated food is also a problem. Food from near Fukushima will be sent to another prefecture, and then sent on, relabeled as produced in the second prefecture. In particular, food distributed by the major food companies, and food served in expensive restaurants, is almost never tested for radiation.
6. In Japan, the only radiation from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactors that is being measured is radioactive cesium. However, large amounts of strontium 90 and tritium are spreading all over Japan. Strontium and tritium's radiation consists of beta rays and are very difficult to measure. However, both are extremely dangerous: strontium can cause leukemia, and tritium can cause chromosome damage.
7. More dangerous still: in order, they say, to get rid of the pollution that has fallen over the wide area of Eastern Japan, they are scraping off the top layer of the soil, and putting it in plastic bags as garbage. Great mountains of these bags, all weather-beaten, are sitting in fields in Eastern Japan, subject, of course, to attack by heavy rain and typhoons. Eventually, the plastic will split open and the contents will come spilling out. When that happens, there will be no place to take them.
8. On September 21, 2013 (again, as this letter was being composed), the newspaper Tokyo Shimbun reported that Tokyo governor Naoki Inose said at a press conference that what Abe expressed to the IOC was his intention to get the situation under control. “It is not,” Inose said, “under control now.”
It's a sad story, but this is the present situation in Japan and in Tokyo. I had loved the Japanese food and this land until the Fukushima accident occurred. But now...
What are the Olympics for?
Do you want to come to Tokyo and enjoy sports surrounded by polluted air and water?
Do you want to eat irradiated food?
Because of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi's Reactors, Japan today is in an abnormal condition never before experienced by mankind.
My best wishes for your health and long life.
(Please translate this into the language of your country and pass it around.)
An American's Point of View
by Randall Tillotson
I am an American visitor to this website. Mr. Hirose's alarming message has already been introduced in many websites based in the U.S., but since these reproductions have all been abridged, presumably for space reasons, I used Hirose's original text and all photos embedded in it, and took the liberty of editing some of his sentences for the sake of clarity.
How ironic that the first country attacked with atomic weapons from a foreign country is now in the position whereby sources within their own country are poisoning the citizens with the same deadly material. The weakness of the post-World War II government by submitting to the pressure of the American nuclear industry is now coming back to haunt the people, like a demon emerging from within the earth in one of those silly Japanese sci-fi movies—gigantic freakish monsters that were mutated by radiation. These were supposed to be warnings of the danger of nuclear radiation. No one heeded the warning.
Also, I wouldn't be surprised to hear Abe say that “I wouldn't have allowed nuclear power plants to be constructed. It was what the previous governments did. You're not being harmed by our government. It was those fools in the past. We're being killed by the dead. That's what you call really bad karma.” His lack of responsibility for this nightmare is typical of a sociopath. He and the TEPCO management will never accept responsibility for any of this disaster, and it appears that they have a symbiotic relationship—one neurosis feeds the other.
Even as Mr. Hirose attempts to warn the world about this nightmare from which the Japanese can't awaken, I don't think he's gone far enough in describing the absolute danger to humanity. One commentator is describing this disaster as “The Mouth of the Dragon, as mentioned in biblical scripture.” Beginning in November of this year, TEPCO will begin moving from an aerial water storage tank 1,300 spent fuel rods. When they were placed in this idiotic location, they were guided into place to within 10 millimeters by a computer that stored the exact location of each rod. That computer is now dead, so each rod will have to be moved by human control. As Helen Caldicott warns us, if just one rod is dropped and its cladding gets breached and catches fire, this could potentially cause the entire site to catch fire and release the equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshimas. If this worst case scenario happens, all life in Japan would end forever. In fact, Helen Caldicott gives the chilling warning that the Northern Hemisphere would have to be evacuated, an unlikely possibility. What countries would accept all of these people, especially if they were heavily contaminated?
As for Abe's gigantic lie that Tokyo is safe and Fukushima is under control, a few days after the IOC granted Tokyo the franchise for the Olympics, he openly reversed himself, and asked the global scientific community to come to Japan and help resolve this dangerous situation. In other words, he's admitting that TEPCO hasn't got a clue about how to safely resolve this seemingly unresolvable problem. As is typical with the nuclear industry in every country, secrecy by management is mandatory. Thus, all we can do now is hold our breath as November comes, and hope that this next crisis—the transfer of the spent fuel rods—passes without incident. I try to keep a realistic view of situations like this, and remember the words of swordsman Miyamoto Musashi: Pay your respects to the gods and the Buddhas, but don't rely on them.” We're on our own.
I'm addressing this to all American and other foreign nationals that are potential Olympic team members and game tourists. Please consider consider what's written here and do your own research. Every day, more and more information is being exposed that show the Japanese government and TEPCO have been criminally covering up the true danger in this area of the planet. As athletes and coaches, you will have to live in a radio-active contamination zone: breathing radio-active air, eating food that is radio-active, and drinking and bathing in water that is radio-active. The scientific community has guidelines for daily, weekly, monthly, and annual exposures to radio-active contamination. There are also lifetime maximum exposures to consider, and if contaminated, how will you decontaminate yourself? Would you consider going to an Olympic game venue if it was only 230 km (140 mi) from the site of the Chernobyl disaster? According to Wikipedia the exclusion zone around Chernobyl is 2,600 km.
After reading Hirose's article that notes that Fukushima's contamination is equal to Chernobyl's, this large exclusion zone should be a warning to all athletes, coaches, and visitors. Yet, the Japanese government is ignoring this fact, even at the municipal village level. The exclusion zone at Fukushima should be at least equal to or greater than Chernobyl's.
Therefore, I would urge all persons considering going to Japan for these games to reconsider the insanity and irresponsibility of the IOC for choosing this site, and begin now to lobby the national Olympic committee in your individual country with the goal of immediately canceling the franchise for Tokyo, and demand that the IOC find a safer location. Once Japan gets the infrastructure in place and the the 2020 date gets closer, it will be too late to alter this location. It must be stopped now and moved. Otherwise, you athletes and coaches will be placed in a double-bind: do you go into a zone of poison and fulfill your dream but possibly get cancer later in life, or do you refuse to go and protect your life but face potential ridicule? Choose life, your life. Either lobby to get the games moved, or choose not to join your Olympic team. Don't let these insane people trick you into being a sacrificial lamb. Let this '60s chant be your mantra: “Better active today, than radio-active tomorrow.”
A Japanese Point of View
by Yu Yamamoto
My take on Mr. T. Hirose's open letter to the young around the world is basically the same as Mr. R. Tillotson's. But let me add something here from my point of view.
Very few are better-versed in the profound and far-reaching implication of the nuclear disaster at TEPCO's Fukushima No.1 Plant than Hirose, the author of Fukushima Meltdown: The World's First Earthquake-Tsunami-Nuclear Disaster (2011). But among other things, what made me feel an urge to do the best we can to help Hirose's effort is his love of life and confidence in humanity. In his letter he writes, " I had loved the Japanese food and this land until the Fukushima accident occurred." If you don't love, or didn't love and now aren't missing, someone or something in this world, there's no point in fighting against anyone or anything.
It is true I share with Hirose the same resentment against the Prime Minister for his abEsolute lies and insatiable vanity, but our goal can't be just to ruin a despicable politician, or anyone else for that matter. Instead, we are going to save someone or something else.
Unfortunately, most of our fellow countrymen have turned a cold shoulder on us. That is no accident because it's these people who selected Abe and his predecessors as their leaders. In that sense they do deserve any consequence of the man-made disaster.
It's against this backdrop that we are now focusing more on sending our message to peoples outside Japan. We are still hopeful that some of them will realize it's next to suicidal to participate in the 2020 Olympics, and take necessary actions before it is too late.
This is THE ISSUE ABOUT THE GAMES, and not A GAME ABOUT AN ISSUE.
To conclude, let me reiterate our way of viewing the current situation where the contaminated soul meets the contaminated body as they always should.