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Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer in 15 Prefectures


A member of a fund that helps children with thyroid cancer explains the prefectures to be covered by its offer to defray medical costs, at an event in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Monday. 

Thyroid cancer fund to defray costs for young patients in Fukushima, 14 other prefectures

A fund supporting children with thyroid cancer said Monday it will pay part of the medical costs for young patients in Fukushima Prefecture and elsewhere in Japan.

The fund, called 3.11 Children’s Fund for Thyroid Cancer, will offer up to ¥200,000 to each patient 25 and under in 15 prefectures mainly in northeastern and eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

The regions were selected in accordance with various atmospheric dispersion models for radioactive iodine spread during the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011.

The fund will accept applications between December and March. After review, it will provide ¥100,000 for each case and additional ¥100,000 for relatively serious patients. A second round of applications will be accepted again from April.

The fund was initially promoted by politicians including former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa, and supported by celebrities such as actress Sayuri Yoshinaga. It has received ¥20 million in donations from the public since September.

Some Japanese researchers published a report attributing most of the thyroid cancer cases found among children and adolescents after the disaster began to radiation spewed by the triple core meltdown at the tsunami-swamped Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

Private fund to help young thyroid cancer patients

A Japanese private foundation will offer financial aid to young people who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The foundation said on Monday it will provide a lump sum of 100,000 yen, or about 900 dollars, starting next month.

People aged 25 years old and younger who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, including suspected cases, are eligible for the aid. They should be residents of Fukushima or one of the 14 other prefectures in eastern Japan.

The foundation says it has raised about 20 million yen in public donations to help them.

Fukushima Prefecture has been conducting medical checkups for about 380,000 children aged 18 or younger after the 2011 accident. 175 have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or are suspected cases.

The foundation’s representative, Hisako Sakiyama, says these young people will have to live with the risk of cancer for many years. She says the foundation wants to provide psychological support as well.

Applications for the financial aid will be accepted through March next year.

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Public fund may help decommission Fukushima



TOKYO — Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering a public fund to ensure progress in the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, ministry sources said on Saturday.


METI is specifically considering a new fund at the government-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation, the sources said.

A massive earthquake and tsunami hit the northeastern part of Japan on March 11, 2011. The twin natural disasters also triggered the meltdowns at the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 units of the nuclear plant.

According to the sources, the new fund would provide necessary financial support to Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings, or Tepco, the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, to help it carry out the decommissioning work.

Tepco would have to eventually repay any money to the national government, but over a long period, the sources said. The sources also said that the scheme under consideration would minimize the public burden while ensuring steady progress in the decommissioning work.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation currently has a majority stake in Japan’s largest utility.

It is said that removing melted nuclear fuel and other decommissioning work will take several decades to complete. The work is estimated to cost a few trillion yen (tens of billions of dollars).

As things stand now, Tepco will be able to secure around 2 trillion yen ($19.6 billion) to implement the decommissioning work.

If the exact cost of the decommissioning work is determined and if Tepco takes the accounting step of booking reserves in a lump sum to cover the cost, the utility’s liabilities could exceed its assets.

If Tepco were to fall into such a financial crisis, the decommissioning work as well as compensation payments to victims could be stalled. This would delay the reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture.

July 31, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment