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Tepco worker’s thyroid cancer is recognized as a work-related

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Tepco worker’s thyroid cancer is recognized as a work-related

Japanese labor authorities have recognized the thyroid cancer of a man who worked at Tepco’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as a work-related, it was learned Friday.

It is the first time that thyroid cancer has been recognized as a work-related illness caused by radiation from the plant after it was damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

This is the third case labor authorities have linked to radiation exposure for workers at the Fukushima plant. The two previous cases involved leukemia.

At a meeting Friday, a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry panel of experts presented for the first time criteria for recognizing thyroid cancer as a work-related disease from radiation, including doses of 100 millisieverts or more and a period of five years or more between exposure to radiation and the development of cancer.

Based on the criteria, a labor standards office in Fukushima Prefecture concluded that the cancer of the employee, who is in his 40s, was caused by radiation from the plant.

The man joined Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. in 1992 and worked at several nuclear power plants for over 20 years.

After checking reactor instruments and carrying out other duties at the Fukushima No. 1 plant from March 2011 to April 2012, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in April 2014. His cumulative radiation dose after the accident stood at 139.12 millisieverts.

According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection, lifetime cancer mortality rises by about 0.5 percent for those exposed to a dose of 100 millisieverts.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/17/national/tepco-workers-thyroid-cancer-recognized-work-related/#.WFUH-lzia-c

Thyroid cancer compensation for Fukushima plant worker

A man who developed thyroid gland cancer after working at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has for the first time won the right to work-related compensation.

While the case ranks as the third time a worker at the Fukushima plant has been recognized as eligible for work-related compensation because of cancer caused by radiation exposure, it is the first instance involving thyroid gland cancer.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced its decision Dec. 16.

The man in his 40s, an employee of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., worked at the Fukushima plant after the triple meltdown triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. He was diagnosed with thyroid gland cancer in April 2014.

The man worked at various nuclear plants, including the Fukushima facility, between 1992 and 2012. He was mainly involved in operating and overseeing reactor operations.

After the March 2011 nuclear accident, the man was in the plant complex when hydrogen explosions rocked the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor buildings. His duties included confirming water and pressure meter levels as well as providing fuel to water pumps.

The amount of his accumulated whole body radiation exposure was 150 millisieverts, with about 140 millisieverts resulting from the period after the nuclear accident. Of that amount, about 40 millisieverts was through internal exposure caused by inhaling or other ways of absorbing radioactive materials.

Along with recognizing the first work-related compensation involving thyroid gland cancer, the labor ministry also released for the first time its overall position on dealing with compensation issues for workers who were at the Fukushima plant after the accident.

The ministry said it would recognize compensation for workers whose accumulated whole body dose exceeded 100 millisieverts and for whom at least five years have passed since the start of work involving radiation exposure and the diagnosis of cancer.

Ministry officials said the dose level was not a strict standard but one yardstick for recognizing compensation.

According to a study by TEPCO and a U.N. scientific committee looking into the effects of radiation, 174 people who worked at the plant had accumulated whole body doses exceeding 100 millisieverts as of this past March.

There is also an estimate that more than 2,000 workers have radiation doses exceeding 100 millisieverts just in their thyroid gland.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201612170027.html

First thyroid cancer case in Japan recognized as Fukushima-related & compensated by govt

A man who worked at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan during the disastrous 2011 meltdown has had his thyroid cancer recognized as work-related. The case prompted the government to finally determine its position on post-disaster compensation.

The unnamed man, said to be in his 40s, worked at several nuclear power plants between 1992 and 2012 as an employee of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. He was present at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant during the March 11, 2011 meltdown. Three years after the disaster, he was diagnosed with thyroid gland cancer, which the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed on Friday as stemming from exposure to radiation.

The man’s body radiation exposure was totaled at 150 millisieverts, almost 140 of which were a result of the accident. Although this is not the first time that health authorities have linked cancer to radiation exposure for workers at the Fukushima plant, it is the first time a patient with thyroid cancer has won the right to work-related compensation.

There have been two cases previously, both of them involving leukemia.

The recent case prompted Japan’s health and labor ministry to release for the first time its overall position on dealing with compensation issues for workers who were at the Fukushima plant at the time and after the accident. Workers who had been exposed to over 100 millisieverts and developed cancer five years or more after exposure were entitled to compensation, the ministry ruled this week. The dose level was not a strict standard but rather a yardstick, the officials added.

As of March, 174 people who worked at the plant had been exposed to over 100 millisieverts worth of radiation, according to a joint study by the UN and the Tokyo Electric Power Company. There is also an estimate that more than 2,000 workers have radiation doses exceeding 100 millisieverts just in their thyroid gland, Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun reported.

The 2011 accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant was the worst of its kind since the infamous 1986 catastrophe in Chernobyl, Ukraine. After the Tohoku earthquake in eastern Japan and the subsequent tsunami, the cooling system of one of the reactors stopped working, causing a meltdown. Nearly half a million people were evacuated and a 20-kilometer exclusion zone was set up.

https://www.rt.com/news/370650-thyroid-cancer-fukushima-plant-radiation/#.WFZfzwMDsFM.facebook

 

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan recalls 37 food products from Japan’s radiation-affected area

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Taiwan recalls 37 food products from Japan’s radiation-affected area

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) A total of 37 Japanese food products have been pulled from store shelves in Taiwan, after they were found to have come from Japan’s radiation-affected areas, Taiwanese authorities said Friday.

As of Thursday, 50,316 pieces of these products have been recalled, with many of them being soy sauce and wasabi packets that came with Japanese natto, or fermented soybeans, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA launched an inspection of food products from Japan on Dec. 12, after two brands of Japanese natto were found to contain packets of soy sauce from Ibaraki Prefecture, one of the five prefectures from which food imports have been banned.

Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures after the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

Of the 37 products, 22 have tested negative for radiation contamination, while 15 are still being screened, according to the FDA.

Under Taiwan’s ban, even food products that test negative for radiation are restricted from being sold here, as long as they came from one of the five Japanese prefectures.

Among the recalled products is a brand of natto called “Hiruzen Nattou,” which was imported by Deep Cypress Co. (柏泓企業). The soy sauce and wasabi packets that were served with the product were found to have been made in Chiba Prefecture, said Wei Jen-ting (魏任廷), an official with the FDA.

The product was sold in supermarkets in department stores such as SOGO and Shinkong Mitsukoshi, Wei said.

Meanwhile, many of the 37 products were imported by Yumaowu Enterprise Co. (裕毛屋企業), according to the FDA.

Chiu Hsiu-yi (邱秀儀), director of the FDA’s Northern Center for Regional Administration, said the FDA will step up inspection of food imported from Japan and will ask importers and distributors to list the place of origin, including the prefecture, on the product label in Chinese.

If companies refuse to abide by the rules, the FDA said it will reveal their names to the public.

Failure to provide Chinese labeling could also result in a fine of between NT$30,000 (US$937) and NT$3 million, the FDA said, adding that the public can call the hotline 1919 to report such cases.

The recall of Japanese products comes amidst strong opposition to the Taiwanese government’s hopes of lifting the ban on food exports from at least some of the five affected areas if they are found to be free of radiation.

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201612160020.aspx

 

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Unsourced Japanese snacks removed from shelves

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Two kinds of snacks sold at a shopping mart chain in Taoyuan were found to have come from unidentified source in Japan and have been ordered removed from shelves, health officials from Taoyuan City Government said Friday.

The officials said they launched an inspection of labels of origin on food imported from Japan on Dec. 9, checking a total of 707 food products in 273 shops.

On Thursday the Chinese labels of two snacks sold in Poya LivingMart identified them as having come Gifu prefecture, but the original labeling said they were from Tochigi prefecture, one of the radiation-affected areas from which food imports are banned in Taiwan.


After checking the manufacturer’s official website, the product was found to have been manufactured in Tochigi and Iwate, not Gifu.
Health officials have instructed the shop to stop selling the products immediately.

Poya Living Mart’s 11 outlets in Taoyuan have removed a further 214 packages of related food.

The incident came at a time of growing public concern over the safety of food products from five radiation-affected prefectures in Japan.

Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown following a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011.

Following reports that the government is planning to lift the ban on food imports from four of the radiation-affected prefectures, though not Fukushima, several brands of Japanese natto containing packets of soy sauce from Chiba and Ibaraki were recently found in local retail outlets. They were also ordered removed.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3053224

 

 

 

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation has reached U.S. shores

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Tanks holding radiation contaminated water at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan.

Its official. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has samples of Fukushima-sourced cesium-134 in salmon off the Pacific Coast of Oregon. Given cesium-134 has such a short half-life the source is linked to the on-going leaks from Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. While the amount is still very, very low, it remains a concern given the Fukushima disaster is still not contained after more than five years.

SALEM, Ore. — For the first time, seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected on the West Coast of the United States.

Cesium-134, the so-called fingerprint of Fukushima, was measured in seawater samples taken from Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach in Oregon, according to researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Because of its short half-life, cesium-134 can only have come from Fukushima.

For the first time, cesium-134 has also been detected in a Canadian salmon, according to the Fukushima InFORM project, led by University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen.

Should we be worried? In both cases, levels are extremely low, the researchers said, and don’t pose a danger to humans or the environment.

Massive amounts of contaminated water were released from the crippled nuclear plant following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. More radiation was released to the air, then fell to the sea.

Woods Hole chemical oceanographer Ken Buesseler runs a crowd-funded, citizen science seawater sampling project that has tracked the radiation plume as it slowly makes its way across the Pacific Ocean.

The Oregon samples, marking the first time cesium-134 has been detected on U.S. shores, were taken in January and February of 2016 and later analyzed. They each measured 0.3 becquerels per cubic meter of cesium-134.

Buesseler’s team previously had found the isotope in a sample of seawater taken from a dock on Vancouver Island, B.C., marking its landfall in North America.

In Canada, Cullen leads the InFORM project to assess radiological risks to that country’s oceans following the nuclear disaster. It is a partnership of a dozen academic, government and non-profit organizations.

Last month, the group reported that a single sockeye salmon, sampled from Okanagan Lake in the summer of 2015, had tested positive for cesium-134.

The level was more than 1,000 times lower than the action level set by Health Canada, and is no significant risk to consumers, Cullen said.

Buesseler’s most recent samples off the West Coast also are showing higher-than background levels of cesium-137, another Fukushima isotope that already is present in the world’s oceans because of nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

Those results will become more important in tracking the radiation plume, Buesseler said, because the short half-life of cesium-134 makes it harder to detect as time goes on.

Cesium-134 has a half-life of two years, meaning it’s down to a fraction of what it was five years ago, he said. Cesium-137 has a 30-year half-life.

A recent InFORM analysis of Buesseler’s data concluded that concentrations of cesium-137 have increased considerably in the central northeast Pacific, although they still are at levels that pose no concern.

It appears that the plume has spread throughout this vast area from Alaska to California,” the scientists wrote.

They estimated that the plume is moving toward the coast at roughly twice the speed of a garden snail. Radiation levels have not yet peaked.

As the contamination plume progresses towards our coast we expect levels closer to shore to increase over the coming year,” Cullen said.

Even that peak won’t be a health concern, Buesseler said. But the models will help scientists model ocean currents in the future.

That could prove important if there is another disaster or accident at the Fukushima plant, which houses more than a thousand huge steel tanks of contaminated water and where hundreds of tons of molten fuel remain inside the reactors.

In a worst-case scenario, the fuel would melt through steel-reinforced concrete containment vessels into the ground, uncontrollably spreading radiation into the surrounding soil and groundwater and eventually into the sea.

That’s the type of thing where people are still concerned, as am I, about what could happen,” Buesseler said.

Scientists now know it would take four to five years for any further contamination from the plant to reach the West Coast.

Tracking the plume

Scientists are beginning to use an increase in cesium-137 instead of the presence of cesium-134 to track the plume of radioactive contamination from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster. These figures show the increase in cesium-137 near the West Coast between 2014 and 2015.

Graphic courtesy Dr. Jonathan Kellogg of InFORM, with data from Dr. John Smith, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Dr. Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fukushima-radiation-has-reached-us-shores/ar-AAlkXUr?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

 

 

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December 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear worker at Fukushima gets compensation for thyroid cancer

thyroid-cancer-papillaryThyroid cancer compensation for Fukushima plant worker http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201612170027.htmlBy YURI OIWA/ Staff Writer December 17, 2016 A man who developed thyroid gland cancer after working at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has for the first time won the right to work-related compensation.

While the case ranks as the third time a worker at the Fukushima plant has been recognized as eligible for work-related compensation because of cancer caused by radiation exposure, it is the first instance involving thyroid gland cancer.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced its decision Dec. 16.

The man in his 40s, an employee of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., worked at the Fukushima plant after the triple meltdown triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. He was diagnosed with thyroid gland cancer in April 2014.

The man worked at various nuclear plants, including the Fukushima facility, between 1992 and 2012. He was mainly involved in operating and overseeing reactor operations.

After the March 2011 nuclear accident, the man was in the plant complex when hydrogen explosions rocked the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor buildings. His duties included confirming water and pressure meter levels as well as providing fuel to water pumps.

The amount of his accumulated whole body radiation exposure was 150 millisieverts, with about 140 millisieverts resulting from the period after the nuclear accident. Of that amount, about 40 millisieverts was through internal exposure caused by inhaling or other ways of absorbing radioactive materials.

Along with recognizing the first work-related compensation involving thyroid gland cancer, the labor ministry also released for the first time its overall position on dealing with compensation issues for workers who were at the Fukushima plant after the accident.

The ministry said it would recognize compensation for workers whose accumulated whole body dose exceeded 100 millisieverts and for whom at least five years have passed since the start of work involving radiation exposure and the diagnosis of cancer.

Ministry officials said the dose level was not a strict standard but one yardstick for recognizing compensation.

According to a study by TEPCO and a U.N. scientific committee looking into the effects of radiation, 174 people who worked at the plant had accumulated whole body doses exceeding 100 millisieverts as of this past March.

There is also an estimate that more than 2,000 workers have radiation doses exceeding 100 millisieverts just in their thyroid gland.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016, health, Japan | Leave a comment

Clean-up costs for Fukushima nuclear wreck now set to double

TEPCO: Fukushima nuclear clean-up, compensation costs nearly double previous estimate at $250 billion http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-17/fukushima-nuclear-clean-up,-compensation-costs-nearly-double/8127268  By Tokyo correspondent Rachel Mealey   The total cost of decommissioning the stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima and providing compensation to victims has nearly doubled, with a new estimate placing the cost at $250 billion.Five and a half years after the nuclear disaster, the painstaking work of cleaning up the radioactive disaster zone is progressing very slowly.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | Leave a comment

Taiwan to hold off on plans for problematic Japanese food imports

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Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇)

 

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) The government is to put on hold a planned opening of food products from radiation-affected prefectures in Japan amid public misgivings about food safety, a Cabinet spokesman said Friday.

Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said in a news conference Friday that the Cabinet “has to first ensure a sound inspection and management mechanism,” before talking about any opening to food products from the affected areas of Japan.

Hsu pointed out that Premier Lin Chuan (林全) has stressed the importance of “rebuilding public trust in the government’s management of food safety,” after presiding over a cross-agency meeting the previous day.

The premier also said that “without a sound inspection and management mechanism, there can be no question of such an opening,” according to Hsu.

Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown following a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011.

Amid reports that the government is planning to lift its ban on food imports from the radiation-affected prefectures except for Fukushima, several brands of Japanese natto containing packets of soy sauce from Chiba and Ibaraki have recently been found in Taiwan.

Hsu said that although food products from Fukushima and the surrounding prefectures are banned, there are composite packaging foods, such as the condiment sashets in packages of instant noodles, that have not been subjected to scrutiny.

“The government will review the issue and plug the loopholes,” Hsu said.

Before establishing a sound management mechanism, the government will not make a decision, “and there is no timetable for any such opening,” Hsu said.

He said that there will be three more public hearings on imports of controversial Japanese food products, saying that holding the public hearings is significant in three ways.

They are aimed at establishing a model for future public hearings, then at clarifying false information, as the public has seen all kinds of rumors flying recently.

The public hearings will also be presided over by civic groups rather than by government officials as in previous hearings, in a bid to collect views from the public on how to plug loopholes for the reference of the government, he said.

Sheu Fuu (許輔), director of food safety office under the Executive Yuan, said that all questions raised by the civic groups will be discussed and clarified one by one.

The Cabinet held 10 public hearings on the safety of Japanese products around Taiwan from Nov. 12-14 after announcing them Nov. 10, but critics saw them as essentially being held for show to pave the way for lifting the ban.

Questions were raised about why the government seemed in such a rush to hold the hearings, and some of them ended in chaos amid protests.

Sheu said that if the public still cannot accept the situation after the three public hearings, the government will review the contentious points, and if it cannot resolve such points and effectively manage food safety, “it will not rule out the possibility of maintaining the current ban.”

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201612160007.aspx

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima evacuee poll finds kids in eight Yokohama-area households had experienced bullying

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YOKOHAMA – Eight households that evacuated from Fukushima following the 2011 nuclear disaster said their children have experienced bullying at their new schools, according to a survey of 61 families suing the government and the nuclear plant operator.

Of the 61 households, 30 have children in elementary or junior high school, and eight said their children had been verbally abused or even physically assaulted at schools in and around Yokohama, according to sources involved with the lawsuit.

One of the sources quoted a plaintiff as saying that person was “unaware of a causal relationship between evacuation and bullying.” But the source also noted there may also be more bullying because some children don’t want to talk about being bullied.

In reality, it seems there are more cases,” the sources said in a statement.

Lawyers conducted the survey after it was revealed last month that a 13-year-old in Yokohama was bullied by classmates after evacuating from Fukushima, and called “germ” and extorted for money while at elementary school.

That bullying case drew public attention, prompting the Yokohama Board of Education to investigate.

Among the children of the eight households citing bullying in the survey, a male student was told such things as “Keep away from us!” and “Fukushima people are idiots,” while attending a junior high school in Kawasaki, the sources said.

The survey did not count as bullying cases in which parents said their children did not get accustomed to their new schools or could not make friends, the sources said.

In the lawsuit filed with the Yokohama District Court, 174 plaintiffs from 61 households are demanding ¥4.07 billion ($34.4 million) from the government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant where three reactors melted down after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/16/national/social-issues/fukushima-evacuee-poll-finds-kids-eight-yokohama-area-households-experienced-bullying/#.WFQRJFzia-c

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 Newly Erected Platform’s Enigma

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A bird’s eye view of Units 1 and 2 from the hill

 

On December 15, 2016, the newly elected Kashiwazaki mayor, Mayor Masahiro Sakurai, who has called for a conditional restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, one of the world’ largest nuclear plants, when he was elected mayor of this coastal city in Niigata Prefecture, northwestern Japan on Nov. 20, visited the Fukushima daiichi nuclear plant.

TEPCO, operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, eager to restart reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, invited him to tour the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant, so as to show him that they fully control the situation there.

During the election campaign, Masahiro Sakurai said he would “approve a restart of the halted nuclear plant if safety is confirmed and certain conditions are fulfilled.”

One condition is the construction of a road that residents can use for evacuation in case of an emergency at the nuclear plant. Masahiro Sakurai also promised to start decommissioning older reactors at the plant.

Tepco made Mayor Sakurai visit the Fukushima Daiichi plant site, some of its buildings, its central control rooms 1 and 2, and the land side frozen by the impermeable ice wall.

On the same day, Tepco released 6 photos of Mayor Sakurai’s visit. One of the pictures was taken while Sakurai viewed  Units 1 and 2 from the hill, it shows a new platform erected by Tepco around unit 2. This new platform with extensive stairwells and levels running the length of the building, might be part of some work to remove the refueling floor so as to replace it with a defueling building.

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No information was yet provided by Tepco regarding that platform purpose.

Source : http://photo.tepco.co.jp/date/2016/201612-j/161215-01j.html

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Food Products Imported from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Zone Recalled in Taiwan and Hong-Kong

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Muji ready meals, natto food products imported from Fukushima nuclear disaster zone recalled in Taiwan

TAIPEI – Two types of Muji ready meals were removed from shelves in Taiwan after they were found to have come from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Japanese lifestyle store removed 638 packets of the products from Tochigi prefecture voluntarily, Taiwan’s China Times reported on Wednesday (Dec 14).

The two products are the conger eel rice kit and the crab rice kit, said Ms Qiu Xiu-yi, northern district head of the Food and Drug Adminstration of Taiwan.

Muji Hong Kong said on Thursday that it was recalling the two products, following the reports in Taiwan. 

“In consideration of customers’ concern, Muji Hong Kong has removed the related products from sales floor immediately and is recalling the related products,” it said on its website. “Customers can bring their purchased products to Muji stores in Hong Kong for refund.”

In Taiwan, natto or fermented soybean products imported by Yu Mao Trading were also found to have come from Chiba prefecture, another affected zone.

Five natto products, or 1,465 items in total, were recalled.

Companies which do not report the origin of food imports accurately can be fined NT$30,000 to NT$3 million (S$1,350 to S$135,0000), the Taiwanese report said.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/muji-ready-meals-natto-food-products-imported-from-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-zone

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Another Fukushima evacuee bullied at school: support group

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KAWASAKI, Kanagawa — A high school student who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster was bullied at a junior high school here, according to a legal team supporting evacuees.

The Kawasaki Municipal Board of Education has stated that there are currently no cases of bullying toward any pupils who have evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture in any of the city’s elementary or junior high schools. Since the student in question has come forward about bullying, however, the education board has begun an investigation into junior high school graduates as well, which would include this pupil.

According to the legal team, the pupil entered Kawasaki Municipal Junior High School in April 2012, and was verbally abused by classmates who told him, “People from Fukushima are stupid,” and, “Don’t come near me.” He was also punched and kicked, the team said. The pupil’s family consulted with the school but no solution was reached as his classmates denied any bullying.

The pupil’s parents appeared at the Yokohama District Court for a class action lawsuit filed by evacuees to demand compensation from the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, and stated that although they have had a tough time over the past few years, they have received support from people around them.

At this lawsuit, the parents of a boy who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to an elementary school in Yokohama said, “My son stopped attending school as a result of bullying.”

Meanwhile, it has been learned that another male student from Fukushima Prefecture was bullied in Yokohama.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161215/p2a/00m/0na/015000c

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Taro Yamamoto Defends Fukushima Victims’ Rights

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Taro Yamamoto of the Liberal Party is a member of the Chamber of Deputies. He is one of the few parliamentary members defending the rights of victims of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.
The Association Nos Voisins Lointains 3-11 translated the questions of Taro Yamamoto to the Chamber of Deputies’ Special Commission on Reconstruction on 18 November 2016*. The content of his questions reveals the inhuman situation faced by the victims in the framework of the Japanese government’s return policy .

 

Taro Yamamoto’s questions (video in Japanese)

 

Taro Yamamoto
Thank you. I am Taro Yamamoto from the Liberal Party. I would like to ask questions as the representative of a parliamentary group.

Declared on 11 March 2011, the state of nuclear emergency has not yet been lifted to date, 5 years and 8 months after the accident at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Today, I will address a subject that is well known by the members here present.

I will start with the subject of the radioactivity controlled area. This is a demarcated area frequented by workers with professional knowledge who are exposed to the risks associated with ionizing radiation, such as an X-ray room, a research laboratory, a nuclear power plant and so on.

Here is my question. There are rules that apply to controlled areas of radioactivity, are not they? Can we eat and drink in such a controlled area?

Government expert (Seiji Tanaka)
Here is the answer. According to the Ordinance on the Prevention of Risks from Ionizing Radiation**, eating and drinking are prohibited in workplaces where there is a risk of ingesting radioactive substances orally.

Taro Yamamoto
Of course, it is forbidden to drink or eat there. So it’s obvious that it’s not possible to spend the night there, is it? Even adults cannot stay for more than 10 hours.

You are well aware of the existence of this Ordinance. This is a rule that must be respected in order to protect workers exposed to risks related to ionizing radiation in establishments such as hospitals, research laboratories and nuclear power plants, isn’t it?

It contains the definition of a radioactivity controlled area. This is Article 3 of the Ordinance in File No. 1. It states that if the situation corresponds to the definition described in Article 3/1 or to that specified in Article 3/2, the zone shall be considered as a controlled area and a sign shall be posted there. I will read parts 1 and 2 of this article.

1: The area in which the total effective dose due to external radiation and that due to radioactive substances in the air is likely to exceed 1.3mSv per quarter – over a period of three months! When the dose reaches 1.3mSv over a period of three months, a zone is called “controlled radioactivity zone”.

Part 3/2 refers to the surface density in the attached table.
Here is File No. 2. What will it be if we do the conversion of the density of the surface per m2?

Government expert (Seiji Tanaka)

The conversion gives 40,000Bq/m2

Taro Yamamoto
Thus, with 40 000Bq / m2, the zone is classified as a “controlled zone of radioactivity”. It is therefore necessary to monitor not only radioactivity in the air but also the surface contamination, ie the ground dose of radioactive substances, ie other elements in the environment, and to manage the area in order to protect workers from radiation-related risks, isn’t it?

A radioactivity controlled area is defined both by the dose rate of the ambient radioactivity and by the surface density of the radioactive substances. The point is that the risk in a situation where the radioactive substances are dispersed is quite different from that in the situation where the radiation sources are well identified and managed.

At present, the evacuation order applied to the evacuation zones following the nuclear power plant accident is lifted when the ambient radioactivity dose rate becomes less than 20mSv / year.

Here is my question. Concerning contamination, apart from the dose rate of ambient radioactivity, are there any conditions to take into account in order to lift the evacuation order? Please answer yes or no.

Government expert (Takeo Hoshino)
Here is the answer.
Concerning the conditions necessary for the lifting of the evacuation order, as far as the radioactivity measurements are concerned, it is only the certainty that the annual cumulative dose rate of ambient radioactivity is less than 20 mSv.

Taro Yamamoto
You did not understand. I asked you to answer yes or no. Are there any other conditions other than the dose rate of ambient radioactivity? To lift the order of evacuation below 20mSv / year, what are the conditions regarding the contamination?

The fact is that regarding contamination, there are no other conditions than the dose rate of the radioactivity in the air. This is abnormal. You, who belong to this Commission, certainly understand to what extent this situation is abnormal.

In the definition of a radioactivity controlled zone, apart from the dose rate of radioactivity in the air, account is taken of the substances dispersed and then deposited, that is to say contamination in the soil etc., which means a criterion of 40 000Bq / m2 is established for surface contamination.

However, in the return policy to return populations to territories where the annual cumulative dose rate is less than 20mSv / year, the condition of soil contamination is not considered necessary.

The latter is not an evaluation criterion, the only criterion used is the dose rate of the ambient radioactivity. Politicians and officials who consider this to be a regular situation do not deserve to receive wages paid from tax revenues.

Our job is to protect the life and property of the people. Now, you lighten those conditions. You create, at your discretion, a rule that is less stringent than that applied to workers with a professional knowledge of radioactivity. What are you doing !

Following the Chernobyl accident, laws have been established in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, measuring both the dose rate of radioactivity in the air and the contamination of the soil. Why ?

That goes without saying. This is because it is difficult to grasp the amount of irradiation suffered by the population only with measurements of ambient radioactivity. In Ukraine, with 5mSv / yr, a measure corresponding to that of the controlled radioactivity zone, the population is evacuated, and even with 1mSv / year which corresponds to the limit of the average dose rate for the public, ‘they have the right to move out. This law known as the Chernobyl law is still in force.

On the other hand, what is the situation in Japan? According to the Cabinet decision of June 2015, the evacuation order is lifted if the dose rate in the air is less than 20mSv / year. There is no problem ! For example, if you stay 24 hours in a controlled area of radioactivity, you are exposed to a dose of 5.2mSv / year.

However, the criterion for the lifting of the order and the return of the population is 20mSv / year or less. The zoning is determined by a dose 4 times that of a controlled zone of radioactivity.

Go back, live there, continue your life, rebuild, what is this! I can find no other expression than “completely twisted”.

Can we still call it the State? I think it’s better to call it the mafia. It’s so inhuman!

The government appears to have adopted dose limits of 20 to 100mSv as recommended by the ICRP*** on radiation exposure limits after an accident. However, when considering the health effects on the population, the most reasonable would be to adopt 1mSv, the lowest dose measurement for radiation limit for public health, according to the global consensus.

The right to evacuate must be granted to the population until the dose rate falls below 1mSv / year. The right to decide when to return belongs to the victims. Why do you determine zoning as you wish? The State must make every effort to reduce the dose as close as possible to 1mSv / year, maximum dose in a normal situation. Then the State, the administration should warn the people, and let them make their own decisions. That would be the fairest way. The State should behave like this.

Who is responsible for this accident? It is TEPCO. Who supported it? It is the State. It is clear who the perpetrators of the crime are. And yet, only the charges of the criminals are being relieved. If it is permissible to develop zoning and associated rights to the convenience of the criminals, this world is a hell then.

In the town of Minamisoma in the coastal region of Fukushima Prefecture, three types of evacuation zone were established after the earthquake. In July 2016, the evacuation order was lifted in the “evacuation order lifting preparation area” and in the “restriction of housing” area. There is only one home with two people remaining in the “area where the return is difficult”.

According to the State, 90% of the territories of Minamisoma are safe.

There is a group called “The Measurement of Environmental Radioactivity Around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant”**** composed mainly of residents of Minamisoma. Since 2012, its members are taking measurements of soil contamination in the vicinity of the neighborhoods of the members and in residential areas. They provided the information. Please look at File No. 3. You see a colored map ( Note from the translator: see the map here, https://dunrenard.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/the-minamisoma-whistleblowers-fukushima/ )

This is the map of soil measurements collected and measured in the territories where the decontamination works have been completed. The colors show the levels of contamination. The blue colored area indicates where the contamination measurements are below 40 000Bq / m2, ie below than the level of a radioactivity controlled zone. There is only one, at the right bottom. Apart from this one, at all other places, the colors show corresponding measurements above the measurements of a controlled zone of radioactivity. There is even a colored place in gray where the measurements exceed 1 000 000Bq / m2. There are people living there!

Compared to the extraordinary ambient radioactivity dose rate observed immediately after the accident, the dose rate of radioactivity in the air decreased considerably. It is not the same order of magnitude. However, according to the inhabitants, even with 0.1μSv / hr of ambient radioactivity dose rate, soil measurements may still be equivalent to those of a radioactivity-controlled zone.

It is senseless that only the dose rate of ambient radioactivity should be taken into account as a condition for lifting the evacuation order. It is so irresponsible and neglectful. It is exactly the opposite of protecting the life and property of the people. People do not live floating in the air at 1 meter above the ground*****. They sit down, lie on the ground, they stop to chat, standing or sitting. Children do not play on asphalted roads only. They can venture into the bushes. Children play freely. There are some who put soil in their mouth. Remember how you were when you were still a child. Gutters where contamination is concentrated provide one of the favorite playgrounds for children.

Mr. Masuchika Kono, a member of the above-mentioned project group, who was with the Engineering Department of Kyoto University, a specialist in nuclear engineering, a graduate of radiation manipulation, collected soil at the Minamisoma Michi-no-eki roadside (service and parking area), and passed it through a sieve of about 100 microns.

The measurements showed 11 410Bq / kg of Cs. These dust rises with the winds and the passages of the vehicles. In daily life, dust is inhaled by the people. You do not take internal radiation into account, do you? You calculate the amount of internal radiation by applying just a coefficient, but do not include internal radiation in real life.

Some people self-evacuated from areas outside the evacuation areas under evacuation order, as they consider that the State policies do not protect the children, their lives. To these persons, within the framework of the Disaster Relief and Disaster Relief Act******, dwellings – “temporary accommodation”******* – were made available.

However, in March 2017, next year, the free housing provision will be suspended. You are telling them that there is no more problem; Why then stay evacuated? That’s it, isn’t it? Those displaced from areas outside evacuation areas under evacuation order fled because their home and living environment are contaminated as a result of the TEPCO nuclear accident.

However, since their homes are located at some distance from the nuclear power plant, they were not included in the evacuation zones that the state established unilaterally. As a result, these displaced persons receive no public support except the provision of free housing. And even this aid will stop in March 2017.

It’s incredible to stop helping them. Moreover, what does it mean to stop the provision of free housing in March? It is the season when mobility is at its highest in the year. You expel them, force them to relocate at the time of the year when rents and costs become more expensive! You have no compassion. You are ruthless!

Here are some testimonies:

“I am afraid of the investigators of the Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture visiting door to door. I hide under the cover for fear of hearing the ringing at the door. When I opened the door, the investigator stuck his foot into the door so that I could not close it. With a loud voice so that all the neighbors could hear, he shouted at me “you know very well that you can only live here until March”. I know, but I cannot move. “

The next person. “The Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture demands that we move out in a fierce and haughty manner. We had to leave our home because of the accident at the nuclear power plant. I do not understand why they are expelling us again. I gave in to the pressure, and I filled up the Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture housing application, but it was against my will. Psychologically, I can not accept the fact, and it causes me pain. They are forcing me to move into a prefecture owned housing where no one from Fukushima lives close by. It’s like abandoning the elderly in a mountain. “

The following testimony. It is a home where just a mother and her young children live. The other members of the family remained in Fukushima. They lead a double life. “If there is no more free housing provided, there is no resource to pay the rent. The only dream left to my child is his piano lesson. Do not take away that dream. “

The next person. “The deadline has not arrived …”

(Note from the translator : Taro Yamamoto can no longer hold his tears) Who does something like that? I beg your pardon. Who orders such a thing? It may be admitted that the State would ask local governments to carry out polite negotiations with the displaced. No, it is nothing but expulsion. Does not the State intend to stop such a situation? I do not allow you to say that you did not know. You see the problem before you now!

“Constant phone calls, visits without notice, and they shout at me asking what my intention is. They send documents to file, and leave passing notices in the mailbox. I am completely exhausted, physically and psychologically. “ This is understandable. They continue to live like that since the explosions of the nuclear power plant, and 5 years and 8 months later they are tracked down in a similar situation. To what extent do you want to tear the hearts of the victims? It is enough for the State to take a decision. This person says that the metropolitan prefecture of Tokyo has asked him to leave the housing, because the prefecture must return that housing for civil servants in March. It is monstrous that the State asks the Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture to evict the evacuees and restore the house in proper condition.

These were testimonies of displaced people.

According to my research, to date there are 9327 vacancies among the housings for civil servants in the region of Kanto, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture and 6 other prefectures. It is enough for the State to take a decision, it can solve the problem, at least partially. Why should the inhabitants be expelled? Is it because, if there are tenants, those buildings could not sold during the financial bubble of the Olympic Games? It’s too cruel.

On April 4 last year, according to the newspaper Mainichi shinbun, the state does not request reimbursement from TEPCO for the rents of dwellings “considered as temporary housings”. Commission member Iwabuchi mentioned earlier that the government will oblige TEPCO to pay for the costs of the decontamination work. Why don’t you ask TEPCO to pay the rents? These people are the victims!

Finally, I would like to ask to the Minister. I would like you to answer two questions.

1st: You said that this is what the Fukushima prefecture wants. However, you are in a position to make suggestions to the Fukushima Prefecture. Please talk it over again. This situation is really irregular.

2nd: Please listen to the voices of the displaced. I think you have almost no opportunity to hear the voices of self-evacuees coming from locations outside the evacuation areas. Until then, you were too busy. Perhaps the people around you got acquainted with their testimonies. Please listen to them yourself. Today, too, they are here. There’s a break after this session. Could you give them 5 minutes? If you give us just 5 minutes today during the break, you can talk with the self-evacuees.

I would ask you to answer these two questions.

Secretary of State (Masahiro Imamura)
As I have already said, I am willing to consult with the prefecture of Fukushima, and I would like to ensure that the people concerned are not hurt. I will see to its smooth progress.

You said that self-evacuated people are here. I also have a plenary session after and I do not have time, but I will listen to them.

President (Mitsuru Sakurai)
Mr. Yamamoto, you have exhausted your time.

Taro Yamamoto
Thank you.
Please keep your promise. Thank you very much.

Credits to Kurumi Sugita from the Nos Voisins Lointains 3.11 Association for the japanese to french translation (http://nosvoisins311.wixsite.com/voisins311-france)

French to english translation by Hervé Courtois (Dun renard) from the Fukushima 311 Watchdogs (https://dunrenard.wordpress.com/)

* Source : Site web de Taro Yamamoto

** Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards, Ministry of Labour Ordinance No. 41 of September 30, 1972, Latest Amendments: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ordinance No. 172 of July 16, 2001

*** International Commission on Radiological Protection

**** Fukuichi shûhen kankyôhôshasen monitoring project

***** The measurements of ambiant radioactivity are taken at 1 meter above the ground.

****** Saigai kyûjohô, Law of assistance in case of disaster , laws N°118 of octobre 18, 1947

******* Minashi kasetsu jyûtaku. Rental housing managed by private agencies inhabited by evacuees whose rent is borne by the central government or local governments.

 

December 14, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | 3 Comments

New Fukushima evacuee bullying case emerges at Tokyo school

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Garbage taken home by a bullied student in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward (Provided by the student’s mother)

After school bullying cases emerged recently in cities including Yokohama and Niigata, another student who was evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear disaster has come forward.

The latest case, at a junior high school in the capital’s Chiyoda Ward, involved the victimized student being intimidated into paying for three other students’ sweets, juices and other goods, worth about 10,000 yen ($87).

The case came to light after the student and the student’s mother reported the bullying to the school.

It is regrettable that bullying existed at this school. I will do my utmost to prevent it from happening again,” said the principal of the Chiyoda Ward government-run school.

The victim told The Asahi Shimbun that some students had begun to utter the taunt “hinansha” (evacuee) around summer 2015.

This year, the name-calling escalated, and the bullies started making insulting and threatening remarks such as, “You don’t have money as you came from Fukushima,” “Can’t you pay the bills for us as you are poor?” and “I will reveal that you are an evacuee.”

The bullies then manipulated the victim into paying for their doughnuts, juices and other goods.

The picked-on student was also pressured by the student’s tormenters to take home their trash, which they did by putting it into the student’s school bag.

At school, the student’s textbooks and notebooks went missing. Some of them were found in a corner of the classroom with ripped pages.

Since my elementary school days, I have been bullied on the grounds that I am an evacuee. I was not able to tell that to anybody. It was painful. I thought that if I can silence other students with money, I will do it,” the student said.

In late November, the student’s mother noticed all the garbage in her child’s school bag. Finally the student told the mother what had been happening, and then reported the case to the school, along with the mother.

The school investigated 15 pupils but was not able to confirm that the victim has been bullied on the grounds that the student was an evacuee from Fukushima Prefecture.

However, three of those investigated admitted that the student had paid their bills. The school confirmed that the bills totaled about 10,000 yen.

The school said that it did not investigate the missing books, as it was not clear when they had disappeared.

I had thought that the school would investigate who dumped them,” the mother said of the missing books, adding, “I want the school to deal with the case by paying more consideration to the bullied student.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201612130064.html

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Nuke crisis compensation costs tacked onto power bills to face 4 tril. yen cap

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The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry is set to limit the amount of additional costs of compensating those affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, tacked onto “wheeling charges” that power companies pay to use power lines, to 2.4 trillion yen, sources close to the ministry said.

The amount would eventually be added to power charges that consumers pay. Moreover, the ministry admitted that the total amount to deal with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, which it estimates at 21.5 trillion yen, will certainly increase further.

The ministry made the disclosure at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) panel on the issue on Dec. 12 in response to concerns expressed by LDP legislators that the cost of dealing with the crisis could rise.

The estimated total amount of compensation for the Fukushima crisis, which had been estimated at approximately 5.4 trillion yen in 2013, has grown to about 7.9 trillion yen.

Following the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, a system has been established under which Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, and other major power companies contribute funds for compensation payments in proportion to the outputs of their nuclear plants.

In order to secure funds to cover an increase in the total compensation cost from 5.4 trillion yen, the ministry has proposed to a panel of experts on decommissioning of the Fukushima plant and compensation payments that the additional cost be added to wheeling charges. Not only major power companies but new market entrants would be required to foot the bill, which would eventually be added to power charges paid by consumers.

The ministry explains that it aims to require market newcomers to foot part of the compensation cost in order to “prevent consumers who have benefited from nuclear power by major power companies from switching to new power companies to avoid footing the compensation cost.”

However, some experts have pointed out that such a move would run counter to the liberalization of the power market designed to spur new market entries.

Moreover, since the industry ministry is authorized to set the amount of wheeling charges at its own discretion without going through Diet deliberations, some members of the experts’ panel and the LDP have voiced concerns that the amount of compensation costs passed onto consumers could unlimitedly snowball.

In response to such concerns, the ministry is considering obligating power companies to clearly show the amount of compensation cost each consumer is required to shoulder in detailed statements on power charges. Moreover, if the amount of compensation were to increase further, the ministry would consider other measures to cover the additional cost, which could also increase the burden on consumers.

The industry ministry has also disclosed that the estimated cost of dealing with the accident, which it released on Dec. 9, does not include the expense of creating hubs for reconstructing affected areas where residents are unlikely to be able to return in the foreseeable future and that of disposing waste to be generated when fuel debris is removed from the crippled reactors.

Therefore, the estimated total cost of dealing with the aftermath of the disaster, which has almost doubled from 11 trillion yen as of 2013 to 21.5 trillion yen, will certainly increase further.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161213/p2a/00m/0na/012000c

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

More Evacuees Sue Govt, TEPCO over Fukushima N-Accident

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Fukushima, Dec. 12 (Jiji Press)–A group of 295 people, mainly nuclear disaster evacuees, on Monday joined lawsuits against the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. over the Mach 2011 meltdowns at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
Filing their suit with Fukushima District Court, the plaintiffs, many of whom were evacuees in and outside Fukushima Prefecture, demanded that the government and TEPCO pay compensation and restore conditions before the nuclear accident.
The group, made up of men and women from minors to 89 years old, said they were forced to evacuate and deprived of their peaceful lives because of the accident at the power plant in the northeastern Japan prefecture.
The team joined those who filed similar suits against the government and TEPCO in March 2013, raising the total number of plaintiffs to some 4,200.
At a news conference after the latest suit was filed, plaintiff Akemi Eda, who evacuated from the Fukushima Prefecture town of Namie, noted recent incidents in which children evacuated from the prefecture due to the accident have been bullied at schools.

http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2016121200599

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima faces wall to hosting Olympic baseball

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The world governing body for baseball and softball is calling on the organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to secure “a second stadium in the metropolitan area,” and is making it a prerequisite for the body to approve a plan to hold some games for the additional event in Fukushima Prefecture, it has been learned.

The organizing committee is finding it difficult to accept the idea of setting up “a second stadium” and negotiations are bound to reach a deadlock. The decision to make Fukushima an Olympic venue may have to wait until next spring or later.

The request from the World Baseball Softball Confederation was made known in a letter sent to the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Yoshiro Mori, the president of the organizing committee, revealed the content of the letter in an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Wednesday. Mori is attending a board meeting of the International Olympic Committee held in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The IOC board approved of the plan to make Yokohama Stadium in the city of Yokohama the main venue for the additional event, but the decision on Fukushima was deferred.

According to Mori, the letter stated that the three possible venues in the prefecture – stadiums in the cities of Fukushima, Iwaki and Koriyama – were worthy candidates, but also set two conditions in order for the WBSC to approve the plan: to upgrade the stadium to be decided such as by turfing the infield and to secure a second stadium in the metropolitan area.

The IOC currently has plans to divide the six participating national teams into two groups for the preliminary round, so that eight to 10 games will be held in total including the final. The WBSC, on the other hand, intends to make the qualifying games a round robin of all six teams, which would likely increase the total number of games to from 17 to 19. With this in mind, the world body is hoping to add a second stadium to the event, such as Seibu Prince Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, or Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba.

Mori made it clear after the IOC board meeting that he would oppose the idea of a second stadium in the metropolitan area. He explained that the organizing committee has an understanding with the IOC that hosting an Olympic event in a disaster area should be considered separately as part of ongoing restoration efforts. “We have reconfirmed with the IOC that the principle of one venue still stands,” he said.

Financial concerns are another reason for opposing the second stadium plan. A senior official of the organizing committee said, “The budget will likely swell, and therefore, it would be difficult [to accept the idea].”

Mori had discussions with IOC President Thomas Bach at a luncheon on Wednesday. The IOC side informally told Mori that it backs the idea of hosting events in Fukushima and also that it will hear from the WBSC about the matter. The Japan side intends to continue negotiations with the WBSC while working in tandem with the IOC, and hopes to reach a conclusion at an IOC board meeting to be held next spring or later.

Deferring the decision to host the event in Fukushima will likely hinder preparations for the event, such as modifying the stadium and securing operation fees, and may put unwanted pressure on the disaster area.

The IOC board meeting on Wednesday came to a conclusion on the venues of five other additional events, including karate and surfing.

According to the decision, karate will be held at Nippon Budokan in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, while skateboarding and sport climbing will take place in the Odaiba and Aomi districts in Koto Ward, Tokyo. Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya, Chiba Prefecture, is the venue for surfing.

The organizing committee informed the board of its plan to cap the total cost of holding the Games at 2 trillion yen ($17.5 billion) and promoted Japan’s efforts to cut down costs.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-wp-oly-baseball-3ba3f012-bd5a-11e6-ac85-094a21c44abc-20161208-story.html

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment