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Japan scraps mascot promoting Fukushima wastewater dump

Japan scraps mascot promoting Fukushima wastewater dump, Guardian, , Justin McCurry in Tokyo, Thu 15 Apr 2021 

‘Little Mr Tritium’ was meant to help win support for release of contaminated water into sea.   The Japanese government has been forced to quickly retire an animated character it had hoped would win support for its decision this week to release more than 1m tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.

Although the water will be treated before being discharged, it will still contain tritium, a radioactive hydrogen isotope represented on a government website by a cute fish-like creature with rosy cheeks.

The character’s appearance in an online flyer and video on the reconstruction agency’s website angered Fukushima residents.

“It seems the government’s desire to release the water into the sea takes priority over everything,” Katsuo Watanabe, an 82-year-old Fukushima fisher, told the Kyodo news agency. “The gap between the gravity of the problems we face and the levity of the character is huge.”

Riken Komatsu, a local writer, tweeted: “If the government thinks it can get the general public to understand just by creating a cute character, it is making a mockery of risk communication.”

Social media users named the character Tritium-kun – or Little Mr Tritium – an apparent reference to Pluto-kun, who appeared in the mid-1990s to soften the image of plutonium on behalf of Japan’s nuclear industry.

Spare a thought for Pluto-kun, or Little Mr Pluto, who appeared in the mid-1990s to soften the image of plutonium on behalf of Japan’s nuclear industry.

With his cherubic face and green helmet bearing the chemical symbol for plutonium, Pluto-kun fell out of favour after an appearance in an animated educational film in which a boy who downs a glass of plutonium, with no apparent ill-effects.   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/12/kumamon-japan-mascot-plutokun     2013]

The reconstruction agency, which oversees recovery efforts in the region destroyed by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, removed the promotional material on Wednesday, a day after it first appeared…….https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/15/japan-scraps-mascot-promoting-fukushima-wastewater-dump

April 17, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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