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Anger as Fukushima to host Olympic events during Tokyo 2020 Games

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An environmental activist wearing a gas mask takes part in a recent demonstration to mark the 6th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

The decision to hold baseball and softball matches in the city of Fukushima as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been criticised as a cynical manoeuvre by the Japanese government to convince the world that the 2011 nuclear crisis is over.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced on Friday that the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium will host softball and baseball matches during the Games.

Venues in Tokyo will host the majority of the sporting events, which will take place six years after a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off Tohoku, triggering a tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and the melt-down of three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which is less than 50 miles from Fukushima City.

In a statement, the committee said it believes that “the hosting of events in Fukushima will support recovery efforts in the overall Tohoku region.

“Matches played in the Tohoku region will be further evidence of Tokyo 2020’s commitment to bring sporting events to the recovering areas and will demonstrate the power of sport”, it added.

The statement makes no mention of ongoing efforts at the Fukushima plant to bring the reactors under control and recover the nuclear fuel that has escaped from containment vessels. Authorities estimate it will take 40 years for the site to be rendered safe.

Work is also continuing to decontaminate areas that were beneath the nuclear plume immediately after the accident. According to government figures, around 120,000 people are still not able to return to their homes because of the disaster.

“It’s fine for athletes and spectators to go to Fukushima for a couple of days to compete, but the Japanese government is using this to claim that everything is back to normal and that he evacuees should go back to their homes”, said Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan.

“It’s unconscionable”, she told The Telegraph. “To tell people that because the Games are being held in Fukushima that it is perfectly safe for people to go back to their homes, for farmers to go back into their fields, for children to play in the open air is just wrong”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/olympics/2017/03/17/anger-fukushima-host-olympic-events-tokyo-2020-games/

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s Upcoming Olympics

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Japan will hold soccer and baseball events in Fukushima Prefecture for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This is not a spoof. Effective March 2017, the Japan Football Association displaces Tokyo Electric Power Company’s emergency operations center at J-Village, the national soccer training center before the nuclear meltdown occurred.

To naysayers that say this is a joke, the answer is ‘no this is not a joke’. It is absolutely true Olympic events will be held in Fukushima Prefecture, thereby casting aside any and all concerns about the ongoing nuclear meltdown; after all that’s history.

Or, is it?

Here is the announcement as carried in The Japan Times some months ago: “The men’s and women’s national soccer teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will use the J-Village national soccer training center, currently serving as Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s forward base in dealing with the Fukushima nuclear crisis, as their training base, the Japan Football Association revealed Saturday.”

For those who missed the past few classes, Fukushima is home to the worst industrial accident in human history as three nuclear reactors experienced 100% meltdown, the dreaded “China Syndrome.” Molten core, or corium, in all of the reactors, highly radioactive and deadly, frizzles robots. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says it may take 40 years to clean up the disaster zone, but that is a wild guess.

Nobody on planet Earth has any idea where the radioactive molten cores are, within the reactor containment vessels or burrowed into the earth, and/or what happens next, e.g., there’s speculation that Unit #2 is rickety and could collapse from another big earthquake (Japan is riddled with earthquake zones, experiencing an earthquake on average every day) thus collapsing, which leads to an untold, massive disaster, rendering the city of Tokyo uninhabitable.

According to Dr. Shuzo Takemoto, Engr. / Kyoto University, February 2017: “The Fukushima nuclear facility is a global threat on level of a major catastrophe… The problem of Unit 2… If it should encounter a big earth tremor, it will be destroyed and scatter the remaining nuclear fuel and its debris, making the Tokyo metropolitan area uninhabitable.”

Numerous efforts by TEPCO to locate the melted cores have been useless. As of recently: “Some Nuclear Regulation Authority members are skeptical of continuing to send robots into reactors in the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant to collect vital data on the locations of melted nuclear fuel and radiation levels… investigations utilizing robots controlled remotely generated few findings and were quickly terminated” (Source: Nuke Watchdog Critical as Robot Failures Mount at Fukushima Plant, The Asahi Shimbun, March 24, 2017).

All of which inescapably brings to mind the following question: How could anybody possibly have the audacity to bring Olympic events to the backyard of the worst nuclear meltdown in history whilst it remains totally 100% out of control?

Answer: Japan’s PM Shinzō Abe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

According to Naohiro Masuda, the head of decommissioning, TEPCO does not know how to decommission the nuclear facilities. Meanwhile, ongoing radiation is a constant threat to air, soil, food, and water, e.g., state inspectors have discovered deadly high levels of cesium pooling at the base of Fukushima’s 10 big dams that serve as water reservoirs (drinking water and agriculture). For example, Ganbe Dam 27,533 Bq/kg and Mano Dam at 26,859 Bq/kg whereas Japan’s Environment Ministry’s safe limit for “designated waste” is set at 8,000 Bq/kg. That limit is for “waste,” not drinking water. (Source: High Levels of Radioactive Cesium Pooling at Dams Near Fukushima Nuke Plant, The Mainichi – Japan’s National Daily Since 1922, September 26, 2016.)

Japanese officials are ignoring the extraordinarily high levels of cesium at the bottom of the dam reservoirs because the top water levels do meet drinking water standards. The prescribed safe limit of radioactive cesium for drinking water is 200 Bq/kg. A Becquerel (“Bq”) is a gauge of strength of radioactivity in materials such as Iodine-131 and Cesium-137. As it happens, Cesium-137 is one of the most poisonous substances on the face of the planet.

Additionally, open storage and incineration of toxic and radioactive rubble is ongoing throughout the prefecture. In fact, the entire prefecture is a toxic warehouse of radioactive isotopes, especially with 70% of Fukushima consisting of forests never decontaminated, yet the Abe administration is moving people back to restricted zones that Greenpeace Japan says contain radioactive hot spots.

According to Greenpeace Japan, which has conducted 25 extensive surveys for radiation throughout Fukushima Prefecture since 2011: “Unfortunately, the crux of the nuclear contamination issue – from Kyshtym to Chernobyl to Fukushima- is this: When a major radiological disaster happens and impacts vast tracts of land, it cannot be ‘cleaned up’ or ‘fixed’.” (Source: Hanis Maketab, Environmental Impacts of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Will Last ‘decades to centuries’ – Greenpeace, Asia Correspondent, March 4, 2016).

With the onset of the Fukushima Diiachi meltdown, the Japanese government increased the International Commission on Radiological Protection guidelines for radiation exposure of people from 1 millisievert (mSv) per year up to 20 mSv/yr. As such, according to the standards set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, ICRP Publication 111, Japan’s Olympics will expose Olympians and visitors to higher than publicly acceptable levels of radiation. After all, the emergency guideline of 20 mSv/yr was never meant to be a long-term solution.

With the onset of Olympic venues in Fukushima, maybe that will open the way for the 2024 Olympics in Chernobyl. But, on second thought that will not work. Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone is 1,000 square miles (off limits for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years) because of an explosion in one nuclear power plant that is now under control whereas Fukushima has three nuclear meltdowns that remain, to this day and into the unforeseeable future, radically out of control and extremely hazardous.

Mystifying and Confusing?

Yes, it’s mystifying and confusing, but the games go on.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/12/fukushimas-upcoming-olympics/

April 13, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

2020 Olympic food suppliers lack necessary food safety certification

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As the organizers of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics work on ensuring that food provided during the tournament will be safe, the games face a huge shortage of domestic food producers with the necessary food safety certification.

The certification in question is known as “Good agricultural practice,” or GAP for short. Ever since the London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, the provision of GAP-certified food and drink to venues such as the Olympic Village has become increasingly important.

However, the number of producers in Japan who hold GAP certification is extremely low — partly due to high costs and a lack of knowledge about GAP among consumers. It is thought that less than 1 percent of food producers in Japan hold either the Global GAP or Japanese GAP certification.

This is an issue for producers because the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Games is on the verge of finalizing criteria for food safety during the tournament — with much of the criteria expected to revolve around GAP certification.

In response to the current shortage of GAP-certified producers in Japan, an official close to the government commented, “If we keep going at this pace, there is a real danger than there won’t be enough domestically produced food available during the Games.” This would be a great shame because the country has a multitude of wonderful food and drink on offer, such as “wagyu” (Japanese beef) and Japanese tea.

Furthermore, it is expected that about 15 million meals will need to be provided during the 2020 Olympics, so naturally, it will be an excellent opportunity to showcase Japanese food to the rest of the world.

There is a modified version of GAP in Japan — based on Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) guidelines — but just five of Japan’s 47 prefectures, including Shimane and Tokushima, follow it.

A British version of GAP known as “Red Tractor” was introduced prior to the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. In total, 80 percent of food producers who supplied the tournament in London picked up the Red Tractor certification by 2010. Such a system may well provide inspiration for Japanese farmers.

GAP is an important certification because it helps stop the mixing in of any improper substances during the food production process. For example, under GAP regulations, pesticides must be stored safely in a locked room. Also, any fluorescent lighting close to agricultural produce should be covered accordingly.

However, although GAP certification is undeniably well-intended, farmers wanting to apply must pay an annual registration fee in the region of several thousand yen per year, and depending on the size of the farm, there is a screening fee in the region of 100,000 to 400,000 yen per year. In addition, awareness about GAP is low among distributors and consumers, and the fact that GAP certification would not be accepted as a reason for raising food prices means that there are several hurdles for producers.

The government does plan to provide some financial support in this area, but for the time being, awareness across Japan about GAP certification remains a pressing issue.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170305/p2a/00m/0na/001000c

March 5, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Rebuilding Fukushima through Soccer

To expose children to possible radioactive nanoparticles without any protection just for the sake of propaganda to show that everything is safe and back to normal in Fukushima is irresponsible and criminal! All in the name of the recovery and reconstruction campaign organized by the Japanese  government to welcome all the tourists to come to “clean” beautiful Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics! Olympics to which Fukushima produce will be used to prepare the meals fed to the visiting athletes! All in the name of promotion and economic reconstruction! Alternate facts, total denial of reality being substituted to real facts and dangers. A total insanity!

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A former soccer training facility close to Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant has been used as a staging point for recovery work since the 2011 nuclear disaster, but that’s about to change.

Temporary dormitories for workers stand where there used to be a soccer field at the facility, called J-Village. The area is filled with memories for Shigenari Akashi, who worked as a coach for a junior youth team there for more than 10 years.

“National tournament finals used to be held here. Children from all over the country would practice hard, aspiring to play here,” Akashi says.

J-Village was Japan’s first national soccer training center. It opened in 1997 and over the years saw more than a million visitors. The complex was even used to train the national teams of Japan and Argentina.

But the nuclear disaster changed everything. The facility is just 20 kilometers from the plant, so Tokyo Electric Power Company rented it to set up an operational base for containing the accident.

“I was in shock and at a loss for words when I saw the Self-Defense Forces’ tanks here, and the gravel laid on the natural turf for the parking lot,” says Akashi.

At the end of last year, the moment he had been waiting for finally arrived as TEPCO began work to return the facility to its original form.

Fukushima Prefecture has even bigger plans — tt wants to build Japan’s first “all-weather soccer field” at the site. Part of the facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018.

The Japan Football Association has given the project its full support. The Japanese national team will use the new J-Village as its training base for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But there are bigger challenges than rebuilding. There are fears over radiation levels — in some areas they’re still higher than international standards recommend. So the J-Village operator has a plan.

“The construction work will focus on largely replacing the soil, a technique we expect will reduce radiation levels more than usual decontamination methods,” says Eiji Ueda, who is executive vice president at the facility. “We can emphasize how safe it is by hosting national teams from Japan or perhaps abroad for training.”

A town near J-Village was evacuated because of the disaster. Residents got the green light to move back a year and a half ago but few have returned as most of the evacuees still live in a neighboring city.

Akashi and his co-workers have been giving soccer classes for children, including some who lived near J-Village. But there are mixed feelings about playing there again.

“I want to use the new J-Village, but I live far away now, so it will be hard to go there very often,” says a boy at the facility.

“We still have the lingering memory of it being used as the staging ground for decommissioning work,” says one father.

For Akashi, he’s got a specific goal in mind.

“In reviving J-Village, we want to give back local people a gathering place and their sense of pride. We believe this will also help to revive Fukushima as a whole,” he says.

The clock on the J-Village scoreboard is stopped at 2:46 p.m., the moment the earthquake struck. The deep rift created over the last 6 years will need to be filled so that the clock can move forward once more.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/editors/3/rebuildingfukushimathroughsoccer/

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | 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

Northeastern Japan Asks Koike for Tokyo Olympics Support

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Northeastern Japan asks Koike for support

Prefectural leaders from northeastern Japan have asked the Tokyo governor for cooperation in supporting reconstruction of the 2011 disaster-hit region through the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The governors and vice governors of the 6 prefectures handed a letter to Yuriko Koike when they met in Tokyo on Monday.

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They hope the Tokyo Games will help revitalize areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The region’s recovery is a key theme for the Games.

The letter calls for the region’s festivals and traditional arts performances to be featured in events held in the run-up to the Olympics and Paralympics.

It also asks that the region’s wood materials be used at the Games facilities and food products at cafeterias in the athletes’ village.

The letter requests the torch relay course pass through the entire region so as many residents as possible will be able to take part in the run.

The governors said they hope the Games will contribute to bringing more foreign tourists to northeastern Japan.

They also said people in the region want an opportunity to express their gratitude to other countries for assisting in reconstruction.

Tokyo Governor Koike said the Games are the best opportunity to show to the world how the region has recovered.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161128_20/

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

Shame on TEPCO For Taking Kids into Fukushima Exclusion Zone for Damage Control Campaign

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On November 18, 2016, Tokyo Electric Power Company, a.k.a. TECPCO, took a group of 13 students wearing dosimeters from Fukushima High School into the exclusion zone around the hobbled Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant for an educational tour. It is the opinion of the EnviroNews World News Editorial Board that this is unacceptable, and should not happen again until all radiation is cleaned up at the site.

The Asahi Shimbun reported, “It was the first tour by youngsters since the disaster as plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. had deemed the radiation risk was too high.”

To be clear, epidemiology and medical science have firmly established there is no “safe” amount of radiation to be exposed to — period — end of story. With each subsequent exposure, no matter how small, the bombarded organism experiences an increase in cancer risk.

Knowing that science has firmly established that there is no “safe” limit of radiation to be exposed to, it is the opinion of the EnviroNews World News Editorial Board that TEPCO should be ashamed of itself for taking a class of high school students into the still radioactive exclusion zone around the crippled power plant as part of what has been a continuous damage control campaign since the accident’s inception. Furthermore, TEPCO should apologize to the families, and commit publicly to not take any more children into the exclusion zone until all radioactivity has been removed.

FUKUSHIMA’S EXCLUSION ZONE: STILL A VERY DANGEROUS PLACE

The exclusion zone around the demolished Fukushima Daiichi power plant is a dangerous place. But when a person goes there, the invisible dangers that lurk don’t threaten to kill or maim right away — the hazardous radioactive rays and particles around Fukushima threaten to kill or harm them at some point years down the road — and those same radioactive exposures can also predispose and mutate their unborn children and grandchildren with birth defects, disease and cancer.

The gestation period of cancers from radiation ranges from as low as four years, to as high as fifty years or more. If an 80-year-old person is exposed to radioactivity, it is likely that other causes, either natural or unnatural, will lead to their demise before maladies caused by radiation will. However, for a very young person subjected to radioactivity, this is not the case, and for this reason, again, TEPCO should be ashamed of itself for taking children who may want to later have children themselves, into the exclusion zone for a publicity stunt. A physical trip to the location is not necessary to educate youth about the Fukushima accident, or nuclear power in general. To make a physical trip to the site with children is highly irresponsible. Less risky means of education must be used instead.

TEPCO AND JAPAN’S CONTINUOUS DAMAGE CONTROL CAMPAIGN

To suggest that TEPCO has been engaging in a continuous campaign of damage control and coverup is not a stretch at all. Earlier this year, TEPCO finally confessed publicly that it lied to the press and the entire world immediately following the meltdowns, downplaying the severity, and not admitting full meltdowns had occurred until several months later, when in fact, the company knew within hours that meltdowns were underway. This blatant lie put many thousands at risk and hampered evacuation strategies. Shortly after the company’s admission, former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, and two former Vice Presidents, Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro were indicted for “professional negligence resulting in deaths and injury.”

Japan as a country, also has a serious PR problem with the ongoing Fukushima crisis — and that PR issue translates into economic problems, hence, Japan has done anything possible to slap a happy face on the disaster from the get-go.

Though it’s possible to display many examples of this, the country’s fervent and costly effort to host the 2020 Olympics, despite many concerns about Fukushima from the international community, may be the grandest. Japan has done much to stifle and stymie the voices of anti-nuclear protestors, while maintaining everything is “under control” at the rubbled plant. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is the opinion of the EnviroNews World News Editorial Board that TEPCO, and the Japanese government, should come fully clean, relinquish their pridefulness, and engage the international community for help in the cleanup effort.

FUKUSHIMA: A SPEWING NUCLEAR DRAGON STILL ON THE LOOSE

To be clear on another point: the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi is in no way under control — quite the opposite. It is still out of control in many regards. For example, the radioactive waste water pileup problem at Fukushima is beyond critical, as over 1,100 massive storage tanks have engulfed nearly the entire area, filling the crumpled nuke site to the brim with deadly radioactive water. The operator has on multiple occasions had to discharge large amounts of tainted H2O out to sea. Secondly on this point is the fact that deadly uranium and plutonium contaminated water have been leaching into the ocean from under the reactor buildings on a continuous basis due to groundwater seepage.

Japan is a country that has been torn to shreds by radiation poisoning, possibly more than any other. Furthermore, Japan is one of only a couple dozen or so nations on earth suffering population decline, but scarily, Japan’s population is starting to contract at an alarming speed due to a low birth rate. The last thing organizations need to be doing is risking the genetic integrity and fertility of Japan’s youths by taking them to nuclear meltdown ground zeros. TEPCO should hang its head in front of the media, apologize, and agree to engage in no further publicity stunts that endanger the country’s children.

NUCLEAR COMPANIES SHOULD BE LIMITED, OR KEPT OUT OF SCHOOL-BASED NUCLEAR EDUCATION ENTIRELY

On another relevant topic, EnviroNews has long taken issue with nuclear companies being invited to participate in the educational process on nuclear issues, as our research has shown that children’s opinions are easily swayed when “educated” on the topic by nuclear companies. Many of the campaigns we’ve seen represent borderline indoctrination on the pros of nuclear power, while typically failing to mention catastrophes and the practically boundless risks and uncleaned waste sites still plaguing the planet today. Teachers and administrators should use more discretion on a topic as controversial as nuclear, and recognize that the industry’s propaganda campaigns know no boundaries.

One of many examples of these industry-driven “nukewashing” campaigns was witnessed by EnviroNews when EnergySolutions, a nuclear waste disposal company stationed in Utah, “educated” a class of students in Salt Lake City about the “benefits” of radiation. Before the event around three-quarters of the class was opposed to nuclear energy, but when surveyed again after EnergySolutions was finished, around three-quarters of the students had changed their stance to a pro-nuclear position. Naturally, the teacher failed to bring in an educator from any anti-nuclear groups who would paint a different picture entirely. Sadly, the U.S. Government, via the Department of Energy (DOE), has also gotten involved in the nukewashing with a curriculum based program called, the Harnessed Atom.

With that stated, it is the further opinion of the EnviroNews World News Editorial Board that nuclear companies should be kept out of the educational process on nuclear issues entirely — or at least limited to situations where anti-nuke organizations are allowed to present opposing views on the dangers and downsides of nuclear simultaneously.

“The tour made me realize that we should arm ourselves with accurate information if we want to change people’s perceptions of Fukushima as a scary place,” said Keika Kobiyama, a first-year student in the Fukushima High School tour group. Sadly Keika, the leaking radioactive nightmare at Fukushima Daiichi is still a very “scary place,” and should be recognized as such — and if TEPCO told you otherwise, the company is, well, full of radioactive crap. 

http://www.environews.tv/world-news/editorial-shame-tepco-taking-kids-fukushima-exclusion-zone-damage-control-campaign/

 

 

 

November 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

World Baseball Chief Plays Down Fukushima Olympic Fears

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The president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation Ricardo Fraccari at press conference in Tokyo on Friday.

World baseball chief plays down Fukushima Olympic fears

The president of world baseball’s governing body on Friday played down fears that the sport’s top stars will refuse to play in Fukushima if the nuclear disaster-hit prefecture hosts games at the 2020 Olympics.

Olympic chiefs are currently considering a proposal to play part of the Tokyo 2020 baseball and softball competition in Fukushima Prefecture, which in 2011 suffered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years when the Great East Japan Earthquake triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The prefecture successfully hosted games at the Under-15 Baseball World Cup in the city of Iwaki this summer, and World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari believes senior teams will not be deterred from playing there in 2020 should its bid to host games be accepted.

This can be an issue, but from the data I received, the situation at this moment is not dangerous in Fukushima,” said Fraccari, who held talks with Tokyo 2020 organizers in Tokyo on Friday and will visit the prefecture on Saturday to inspect potential venues.

Even at the last Under-15 World Cup, only one country refused to come. But the rest were there. In three years — just now the situation is good, so I think from this point there won’t be any problem for countries to come to Fukushima.”

Fraccari must give his consent to the prefecture’s bid before it can be put before the International Olympic Committee, which will make a final decision when it holds its executive board meeting from Dec. 6 to 8.

Three venues in the prefecture are under consideration — Iwaki Green Stadium in Iwaki, Azuma Baseball Stadium of the city of Fukushima and Koriyama Kaiseizan Baseball Stadium in Koriyama.

From the perspective of the WBSC, I know the importance of baseball and softball in Japan, and I know how we can facilitate the recovery from the disaster,” said Italian Fraccari. “If the field in Fukushima has all the requirements, we can take it into consideration and analyze internally the possibility.

But I repeat, we have to check many things because we have to see how it’s possible to include it in the schedule, the distance, the fields. There are many issues and we won’t take any decision yet.”

Baseball and softball were voted onto the 2020 program as a joint bid after an absence of 12 years at an IOC session in Rio de Janeiro in August ahead of the Summer Games. The format of the competitions has yet to be decided.

Nippon Professional Baseball has agreed to suspend play for the duration of the July 24 to Aug. 9 Tokyo Olympics, but Major League Baseball has yet to say whether it will cooperate.

There is, even from the major leagues, a desire to be more international,” said Fraccari. “Now we are discussing, but before we discuss we need to have the details of the tournament, the details of the schedule. I think that we can find a solution to have the best games possible.”

Fraccari also played down suggestions that pressure to agree to Fukushima’s proposal, which was floated by IOC President Thomas Bach during a visit to Tokyo last month, will affect his decision.

I used to be an umpire, so I know what it means to be under pressure,” he said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/18/national/world-baseball-chief-plays-fukushima-olympic-fears/#.WC_RY7RBChA

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Olympics: No decision yet as world baseball-softball chief inspects Fukushima

World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari stopped short of issuing a verdict after inspecting Fukushima Prefecture as a potential host site of the 2020 Olympic baseball and softball competitions Saturday.

Fraccari scouted Azuma Stadium in Fukushima City and Koriyama’s Kaiseizan Stadium but insisted the purpose of his visit this time was to gather intelligence and not to reach a decision of any kind. The third city being considered is Iwaki, whose Green Stadium Fraccari has already visited.

“At the moment, I’m just collecting information of the stadiums,” said Fraccari, who met Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori ahead of his stadium tours.

“The problem for Fukushima is not just the stadium. We have to check about the transportation, the facility for the teams and the schedule.”

The 2020 organizing committee is looking to open the baseball and softball tournaments in the prefecture, with Japan set to play in the first game of both competitions.

Fraccari did not mention a deadline on when the competition format and the overall schedule would be made, but did say all the stakeholders would have to work fast, with the organizing committee aiming to finalize details at the Dec. 6-8 executive board meeting of the International Olympic Committee.

“Yesterday, it was a good meeting with Tokyo 2020,” he said. “We work very close with them, we cooperate a lot because both of us have the best interests in the Games in 2020.”

“We have to work very fast because we don’t have too much time. We don’t yet have a fixed deadline, for sure but we have to work very, very soon towards the entire Games (plan).”

Uchibori reiterated Fukushima’s willingness to stage the two sports.

“We want to express our strong desire to organize the events in Fukushima Prefecture,” Uchibori said to Fraccari in his native Italian.

“It will help unite the people of Fukushima, and help unite the prefecture and the world. They’re fantastic sports.”

Uchibori reassured Fraccari that the radiation levels in Fukushima, which was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and the nuclear power plant crisis that followed, are no different to that of major cities around the world.

“In almost all areas in the prefecture, the figures are the same as any of the world’s major cities,” Uchibori said.

http://kyodonews.net/news/2016/11/19/89076

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

Fukushima Facility to Become Soccer Training Camp for 2020 Olympics

Tepco to end operations at the J-Village complex by March

Facility to be used as training camp for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The base for the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear plant will be returned by March to its original use: the training camp for the Japanese national soccer team.

In a symbolic step in the struggle to contain one of the worst nuclear disasters, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. will return the J-Village facility — about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the crippled Dai-Ichi plant and just 7 kilometers from the current exclusion zone — to the prefectural government during the current fiscal year, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said Tuesday. It’s also a boon for soccer players who will use the complex as their training base for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The complex, opened in 1997 and shut down after March 2011 meltdown, will be fully reopened for players of “The Beautiful Game” in April 2019. It boasts 11 soccer pitches, a 1,200 square-meter gymnasium and a four-lane pool.

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J-Village when fully opened in 2019. JAPAN FOOTBALL VILLAGE Co. INC.

 

The hand-over is a shot in the arm for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has vowed the nuclear disaster will not impede the nation’s plans to host the 2020 Games. In September, the premier said the situation at Fukushima is “under control” and that there doesn’t need to be a review of measures to prevent contamination.

This promised handover of J-village would serve as a symbol of progress,” Daniel Aldrich, professor and director of the security and resilience studies program at Northeastern University in Boston, said by e-mail.

Tepco clearly hopes that this will show the nation that it is on track in the Fukushima accident clean up process,” Aldrich said. “However, a number of obstacles, including expanding costs for decommissioning, a lack of physical control over the contaminated groundwater at the site, and complaints about the decontamination process nearby will no doubt hinder the process.”

As Tepco begins in coming years to remove melted fuel at Fukushima, clean-up costs may rise to several hundred billion yen annually from the current 80 billion yen ($763 million), Japan’s industry ministry said in October. About 300 metric tons of water — partly from the nearby hills — flow into the reactor building daily, mixing with melted fuel and becoming contaminated, according to the company.

The utility used the soccer facility as a make-shift base for tasks from corporate communications to measuring the radiation exposure of employees. It even built temporary dormitories there.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-01/japan-s-soccer-team-to-return-to-base-used-for-fukushima-cleanup

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Protest at Japanese Embassy in Paris Against Fukushima Evacuees Forced Return and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Today October 22, 2016, in Paris, the French Green Ecology Party (EELV), Green Peace France and Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire, joined together to organize a Fukushima protest in front of the Japanese Embassy.

They denounced the Fukushima evacuees forced return by the Japanese government, and insisted that no one should be compelled to live in irradiated town with high level of radiation. That it is plainly criminal on the part of the Japanese Government.

Since Eastern Japan and Tokyo included, have been contaminated by the now five years and a half ongoing nuclear catastrophe at Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a catastrophe yet neither under control nor resolved,  the 2020 Olympics should be relocated somewhere else.

Some officials of the French Green Ecology Party (EELV) and personalities of Green Peace France and Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire attended the protest.  Among those were also present Yannick Jadot and Michele Rivasi, both Europe Ecology deputies at the European Parliament, one of the two to be the French Ecology Party presidential candidate at the coming French presidential election in 2017. Were also present members of the Japanese community.

 

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Michele Rivasi and Yannick Jadot

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October 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo 2020: Japan earthquake and nuclear disaster site could host Olympic events

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IOC president Thomas Bach is holding talks with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in the city

Tokyo 2020: Japan earthquake and nuclear disaster site could host Olympic events

Tokyo 2020 Olympic events could be held in part of Japan hit by the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in a bid to cut costs.

Rowing canoe/kayak sprint events and baseball/softball are among sports that could be moved 400km north of Tokyo.

The International Olympic Committee is holding talks with organisers after a review showed costs could exceed £23bn ($28bn) – four times the estimate.

But IOC president Thomas Bach said “we have to respect” athletes.

“The athletes are the heart and soul of the Olympic Games,” Bach emphasised.

The IOC began four-party discussions with the city government, Tokyo organisers and Japan’s central government on Tuesday in a bid to reduce spending on the Games.

The proposal to move some sports to the north-eastern area of Japan devastated by the earthquake was made in a review of expenses commissioned by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

The review recommends moving some sports from planned new venues to existing ones.

Several events have already been moved outside of Tokyo, with cycling now due to take place 200km from the village in the Shizuoka district.

Bach said he was confident cost reductions could be made, but suggested Tokyo should try to stay close to its original bid proposal of keeping the majority of venues within 8km of the athlete’s village in the city’s downtown.

He said moving events to the earthquake-hit area was one of several cost-cutting options being discussed, and that it could “contribute to the regeneration” of the region.

The most expensive Games to date are the London Games at £12bn and the Sochi 2014 Winter Games in Russia which cost £17.7bn.

The Rio Olympic Games cost £9.7bn, coming in 51% over budget despite cuts to ceremonies, venues and staff.

According to a recent study, no Games since 1960 has come in under budget.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/37703005

Bach: Events could be held in northeast Japan

The head of the International Olympic Committee has suggested holding some events of the 2020 Tokyo Games in areas of northeastern Japan that were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

IOC President Thomas Bach, now visiting Japan, met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Bach told Abe the IOC is thinking of holding some Olympic events in the disaster zone to contribute to revival efforts. He said this could show the world how the areas have recovered. Abe welcomed the idea.

Abe also promised the government’s participation in talks to cut costs for the games.

Bach had proposed 4-way talks by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the IOC, Tokyo 2020 organizers and Japan’s government.

Reporters later asked Bach if baseball and softball will be held in Fukushima City. Bach said it’s an option under consideration. He added that since the sports are very popular in Japan, having the country’s team play in the disaster zone would send a strong message.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161019_29/

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

High-school Students Continuously Put at Risk for Propaganda Use

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National route 6 which runs only a few km parallel to the coast where stands what is left of Daiichi Nuclear power plant, high-school students are cleaning up radiation.

14 high school students were picking up trash. 0.7μSv / h radiation measured by some citizens’ group at some of the places. With dust being blown, many high school students were walking still  without a mask.

The criticism that it could endanger the children, was ignored by Yumiko Nishimoto, president of the NPO “Happy load net” which organized that acttion, answering  “we are living here  every day.” .

Clean-up activities with an eye to the torch relay of the Tokyo Olympics. The priority is the “reconstruction”, and the health of children is secondary,  completely neglected.

The NPO responsible for such insanity argues that it helps them studying about radiation, that they do that every year.

Children are continuously being used to help the propaganda that everything is back to normal. But it’s a lie and it is borderline criminal. Shame on you Japan.

http://taminokoeshimbun.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-61.html

 

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

Tokyo governor visits alternative site in Miyagi Prefecture for 2020 Games’ rowing and canoe sprint

We are many to think that it is shocking, disgusting and very sad that after over5 & a half years they are still putting their greed above the health of those people who would participate and go to watch these games, not to mention their own people. They should have relinquished as soon as they knew that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster had contaminated a good third of the  country.

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Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike (left front) and Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai (left back) wave to the press as they inspect the Naganuma rowing course in the city of Tome, Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Saturday visited a boat race course in Miyagi Prefecture, a facility emerging as an alternative venue for the rowing and canoe sprint events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.

Based on this visit, I will start considering venues,” Koike told reporters after inspecting facilities at the Naganuma rowing course in the city of Tome, more than 400 kilometers from Tokyo. Miyagi is one of the prefectures in northeastern Japan hit hardest by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Games organizers and the International Rowing Federation had already approved the Sea Forest Waterway venue to be constructed on Tokyo Bay, but a metropolitan government cost review panel recommended last month that plan be reconsidered.

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee has raised concerns that costs could top ¥35.1 billion ($337 million) even if the rowing and canoe sprint events were held at the Naganuma rowing course. But Miyagi Prefecture Gov. Yoshihiro Murai argued Saturday in a television appearance that the overall cost is “estimated at around ¥15 to ¥20 billion.”

On the TV program, Murai also emphasized that most of the costs will be for “permanent facilities” after the Olympic Games, and that the prefectural government would shoulder the cost to remove temporary housing.

Last Wednesday, Murai visited Koike in Tokyo to convey his wish to hold the rowing and canoe events in Miyagi to show the world the recovery Japan has made since the 2011 quake and tsunami disaster.

Koike had told Murai that the Naganuma boat course was an option and she would “make a comprehensive decision” after visiting the site.

The organizing committee, however, has questioned the feasibility of holding those events at the Miyagi site, raising what they said are “nine problems,” including transportation, infrastructure and costs.

Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda has also said his prefecture is ready to host the rowing and canoe sprint events at Saiko Doman Green Park in the city of Toda.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/15/national/tokyo-governor-visits-alternative-site-miyagi-prefecture-2020-games-rowing-canoe-sprint/#.WANi3iQzYU1

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

Fukushima Backlash Hits Japan Prime Minister

Nuclear power may never recover its cachet as a clean energy source, irrespective of safety concerns, because of the ongoing saga of meltdown 3/11/11 at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Over time, the story only grows more horrific, painful, deceitful. It’s a story that will continue for generations to come.

Here’s why it holds pertinence: As a result of total 100% meltdown, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) cannot locate or remove the radioactive molten core or corium from the reactors. Nobody knows where it is. It is missing. If it is missing from within the reactor structures, has it burrowed into the ground? There are no ready answers.

And, the destroyed nuclear plants are way too radioactive for humans to get close enough for inspection. And, robotic cameras get zapped! Corium is highly radioactive material, begging the question: If it has burrowed thru the containment vessel, does it spread underground, contaminating farmland and water resources and if so, how far away? Nobody knows?

According to TEPCO, removing the melted cores from reactors 1,2 and 3 will take upwards of 20 years, or more, again who knows.

But still, Japan will hold Olympic events in Fukushima in 2020 whilst out-of-control radioactive masses of goo are nowhere to be found. TEPCO expects decades before the cleanup is complete, if ever. Fortunately, for Tokyo 2020 (the Olympic designation) radiation’s impact has a latency effect, i.e., it takes a few years to show up as cancer in the human body.

A week ago on September 7th, Former PM Junichiro Koizumi, one of Japan’s most revered former prime ministers, lambasted the current Abe administration, as well as recovery efforts by TEPCO. At a news conference he said PM Shinzō Abe lied to the Olympic committee in 2013 in order to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.

That was a lie,” Mr Koizumi told reporters when asked about Mr Abe’s remark that Fukushima was “under control,” Abe Lied to IOC About Nuke Plant, ex-PM Says, The Straits Times, Sep 8, 2016. The former PM also went on to explain TEPCO, after 5 years of struggling, still has not been able to effectively control contaminated water at the plant.

According to The Straits Times article: “Speaking to the IOC in September 2013, before the Olympic vote, PM Abe acknowledged concerns but stressed there was no need to worry: “Let me assure you, the situation is under control.”

PM Abe’s irresponsible statement before the world community essentially puts a dagger into the heart of nuclear advocacy and former PM Koizumi deepens the insertion. After all, who can be truthfully trusted? Mr Koizumi was a supporter of nuclear power while in office from 2001-2006, but he has since turned into a vocal opponent.

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo, Mr Koizumi said: “The nuclear power industry says safety is their top priority, but profit is in fact what comes first… Japan can grow if the country relies on more renewable energy,” (Ayako Mie, staff writer, Despite Dwindling Momentum, Koizumi Pursues Anti-Nuclear Goals, The Japan Times, Sept. 7, 2016).

Mr Koizumi makes a good point. There have been no blackouts in Japan sans nuclear power. The country functioned well without nuclear.

Further to the point of nuclear versus nonnuclear, Katsunobu Sakurai, mayor of Minamisoma, a city of 70,000 located 25 km north of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, at a news conference in Tokyo, said: “As a citizen and as a resident of an area affected by the nuclear power plant disaster, I must express great anger at this act… it is necessary for all of Japan to change its way of thinking, and its way of life too – to move to become a society like Germany, which is no longer reliant on nuclear power,” (Sarai Flores, Minamisoma Mayor Sees Future for Fukushima ‘Nonnuclear’ City in Energy Independence, The Japan Times, March 9, 2016).

In March of 2015, Minamisoma declared as a Nonnuclear City, turning to solar and wind power in tandem with energy-saving measures.

Meanwhile, at the insistence of the Abe administration, seven nuclear reactors could restart by the end of FY2016 followed by a total of 19 units over the next 12 months (Source: Japanese Institute Sees 19 Reactor Restarts by March 2018, World Nuclear News, July 28, 2016).

Greenpeace/Japan Discovers Widespread Radioactivity

One of the issues surrounding the Fukushima incident and the upcoming Olympics is whom to trust. Already TEPCO has admitted to misleading the public about reports on the status of the nuclear meltdown, and PM Abe has been caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, but even much worse, lying to a major international sports tribunal. His credibility is down the drain.

As such, maybe third party sources can be trusted to tell the truth. In that regard, Greenpeace/Japan, which does not have a vested interest in nuclear power, may be one of the only reliable sources, especially since it has boots on the ground, testing for radiation. Since 2011, Greenpeace has conducted over 25 extensive surveys for radiation throughout Fukushima Prefecture.

In which case, the Japanese people should take heed because PM Abe is pushing hard to reopen nuclear plants and pushing hard to repopulate Fukushima, of course, well ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics since there will be events held in Fukushima Prefecture. After all, how can one expect Olympians to populate Fukushima if Japan’s own citizens do not? But, as of now to a certain extent citizens are pushing back. Maybe they instinctively do not trust their own government’s assurances.

But, more chilling yet, after extensive boots-on-the-ground analyses, Greenpeace issued the following statement in March 2016: “Unfortunately, the crux of the nuclear contamination issue – from Kyshtym to Chernobyl to Fukushima- is this: When a major radiological disaster happens and impacts vast tracts of land, it cannot be ‘cleaned up’ or ‘fixed’.” (Source: Hanis Maketab, Environmental Impacts of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Will Last ‘decades to centuries’ – Greenpeace, Asia Correspondent, March 4, 2016).

That is a blunt way of saying sayonara to habitation on radioactive contaminated land. That’s why Chernobyl is a permanently closed restricted zone for the past 30 years.

As far as “returning home” goes, if Greenpeace/Japan ran the show rather than PM Abe, it appears they would say ‘no’. Greenpeace does not believe it is safe. Greenpeace International issued a press release a little over one month ago with the headline: Radiation Along Fukushima Rivers up to 200 Times Higher Than Pacific Ocean Seabed – Greenpeace Press Release, July 21, 2016.

Here’s what they discovered: “The extremely high levels of radioactivity we found along the river systems highlights the enormity and longevity of both the environmental contamination and the public health risks resulting from the Fukushima disaster,” says Ai Kashiwagi, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Japan.

These river samples were taken in areas where the Abe government is stating it is safe for people to live. But the results show there is no return to normal after this nuclear catastrophe,” claims Kashiwagi.

Riverbank sediment samples taken along the Niida River in Minami Soma, measured as high as 29,800 Bq/kg for radiocaesium (Cs-134 and 137). The Niida samples were taken where there are no restrictions on people living, as were other river samples. At the estuary of the Abukuma River in Miyagi prefecture, which lies more than 90km north of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, levels measured in sediment samples were as high as 6,500 Bq/kg” (Greenpeace).

The prescribed safe limit of radioactive cesium for drinking water is 200 Bq/kg. A Becquerel (“Bq”) is a gauge of strength of radioactivity in materials such as Iodine-131 and Cesium-137 (Source: Safe Limits for Consuming Radiation-Contaminated Food, Bloomberg, March 20, 2011).

The lifting of evacuation orders in March 2017 for areas that remain highly contaminated is a looming human rights crisis and cannot be permitted to stand. The vast expanses of contaminated forests and freshwater systems will remain a perennial source of radioactivity for the foreseeable future, as these ecosystems cannot simply be decontaminated” (Greenpeace).

Still, the Abe administration is to be commended for its herculean effort to try to clean up radioactivity throughout Fukushima Prefecture, but at the end of the day, it may be for naught. A massive cleanup effort is impossible in the hills, in the mountains, in the valleys, in the vast forests, along riverbeds and lakes, across extensive meadows in the wild where radiation levels remain deadly dangerous. Over time, it leaches back into decontaminated areas.

And as significantly, if not more so, what happens to the out-of-control radioactive blobs of corium? Nobody knows where those are, or what to do about it. It’s kinda like the mystery surrounding black holes in outer space, but nobody dares go there.

Fukushima is a story for the ages because radiation doesn’t quit. Still, the Olympics must go on, but where?

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/12/fukushima-backlash-hits-japan-prime-minister/

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

Iwaki mayor makes formal request for city to host baseball, softball games during 2020 Olympics

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Iwaki Mayor Toshio Shimizu on Friday presented a request to 2020 Tokyo Olympic organizers, seeking to host a baseball game and a softball game in the city in Fukushima Prefecture.

Shimizu submitted the request to Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, and Toshiei Mizuochi, senior vice minister of both the sports ministry and the Cabinet Office.

The request comes as Tokyo Olympic organizers are arranging to stage one first-round game each for baseball and softball in Fukushima Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, as part of reconstruction efforts.

They are said to be considering Iwaki, Fukushima and Koriyama cities as candidate sites.

The Iwaki municipal government wants the games played at Iwaki Green Stadium, which is occasionally used for Japanese professional baseball games and was the venue of the Under-15 World Cup baseball competition in July and August.

Shimizu expressed hope that the stadium will be chosen as an Olympic venue as that would “give hope and courage” to survivors of the quake and tsunami which also triggered a nuclear accident in the prefecture.

The main ballpark for the 2020 Summer Games is set to be Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa Prefecture.

In the request, Shimizu and the mayors of eight nearby towns and villages are also requesting that the Olympic torch relay run on National Route 6 in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2016/09/09/olympics/iwaki-mayor-makes-formal-request-for-city-to-host-baseball-softball-games-during-2020-olympics/#.V9L7VTX8-M8

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment