Japan: Young Parents Leave Towns 50 Km From Fukushima I Nuclear Plant

“A high-ranking Soma government official explained the slowness of the city’s response to evacuating citizens from the Ishida district, saying, “Since the national and prefectural governments had not designated the district for evacuation, we couldn’t actively encourage the residents to leave.”

Why? Because those sheeple government officials are afraid to lose their job and tell the truth to those parents about their criminal Kan government and TEPCO.

Young parents moving away from areas near damaged Fukushima plant (Mainichi Japan, June 11, 2011):

FUKUSHIMA — Young parents are moving away from towns near the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant as areas of high radiation continue to be discovered, raising fears over the effects on young children.

Around 50 kilometers northwest of the power plant is Soma city’s Tamano district, located at the foot of Mount Ryozen. Developed soon after the end of World War II, the area is covered with rice paddies.

“I can’t stop thinking about the power plant. I can’t smile or laugh with all my heart,” says Aki Ohashi, 30, tearfully as she cares for her children in her home here. She says that at a health checkup she was strongly recommended to have medical and psychiatric therapy.

After the explosion at the No. 1 reactor unit on March 12, Aki and her husband Masahiro, 30, took their 5-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter and fled their home in Soma to stay with parents in Fukushima city.

However, rising radiation levels were detected even in the city of Fukushima. Considering their farm work and deciding that they couldn’t flee any further away, the Ohashis decided to return to their home in the Tamano district.

About one month later, on April 22, the government designated an area covering the Tamano district and the adjacent village of Iitate as needing evacuation because it was predicted people there could be exposed to over 20 millisieverts of radiation over the course of a year. Residents were asked to leave by the end of May.

The city of Soma was pressed by residents at a city forum to help with the evacuation. Three days later, radiation measuring devices from the city finally arrived in the Tama district. Measurements were taken at kindergarten and elementary and junior-high schools. The regular soil in playgrounds at the schools was measured at a maximum of 3.3. microsieverts per hour, and there was surface soil under some gymnasium rain gutters that measured at over 100 microsieverts per hour.

There are older people in the area who raise livestock and, fearing baseless harm to their products’ reputation, tell people not to talk too much about radiation. However, the radiation measurements had increased the anxiety of parents of young children in the area.

At a university lecture conference in late May, Aki says she was told by another mother, “I’ve heard that we should evacuate our children.” After the city began introducing residents to temporary housing they could evacuate to, the Ohashis applied for one of the houses. The Tamano district community, which had been focused around its schools, began losing its children.

“The school sports festivals and the Bon dance will probably be canceled this year. At this rate, this town is going to become a lonely place,” says a 71-year-old man living near an elementary school.

The same anxiety has visited the Ishida district in Date city, which borders the Tamano district on the west. On April 10, it was announced that there was a location here where it was predicted residents could have exposure to over 20 millisieverts per year of radiation.

Almost two months later, on June 5, the government’s nuclear disaster response headquarters held a conference for residents. They stressed that by international standards, in times of nuclear disaster 20 millisieverts per year is at the bottom of a range (20 to 100 millisieverts per year) of radiation exposure it is recommended to try to limit residents to. However, residents were not satisfied with this explanation.

“Even after radiation over 20 millisieverts per year was found here, you still haven’t told the area it should evacuate. Tell us what’s dangerous and what isn’t,” said one resident.

Takayoshi Tashiro, 27, was another resident who spoke out, asking if pregnant women would be safe.

Takayoshi and his wife Ayano, 26, had a baby girl half a year ago. She is now pregnant with another child, who is due to arrive in fall. The Tashiros searched for an apartment in a low radiation area within Date city, but they were unable to find one. In late May, the city began collecting evacuees’ requests for housing, and it was decided that the Tashiros would move into public housing in late June.

“We wanted to move sooner. How much radiation have we been exposed to? Will our daughter, or the child my wife is pregnant with, be OK?” worries Takayoshi.

On June 3, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology announced that there were four locations with over 20 millisieverts per year of predicted radiation outside of the areas designated for evacuation. The value for the Tamano district has yet to be calculated and released.

A high-ranking Soma government official explained the slowness of the city’s response to evacuating citizens from the Ishida district, saying, “Since the national and prefectural governments had not designated the district for evacuation, we couldn’t actively encourage the residents to leave.

The national government’s nuclear disaster response headquarters has commented that, “We want to confer with local governments over whether it is necessary to recommend more areas to evacuate.”

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