The Guardian, Oct. 27, 2013: For decades, the 62-year-old horse breeder [Tokue Hosokawa] barely registered that his farm was just 40 kilometres north-west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. [...] Like several other farmers in Fukushima, Hosokawa ignored a government order to exterminate all of his horses and cows. [...] “Just after the accident one of the horses gave birth. When I saw that foal get to its feet and start feeding from its mother, I knew there was no way I could leave.” [...] in January this year, he noticed that several among the 30 that remained, mainly foals, had become unsteady on their feet. [...] Within weeks, 16 had died in mysterious circumstances. Autopsies on four of the horses found no evidence of disease and tests revealed caesium levels at 200 becquerels per kilo – four times higher than the government-set safety limit for agricultural produce, but not high enough to immediately threaten their health. [...] “I’m worried that we’ll find more dead horses this winter.” [...]
KEYSTONE, July 25, 2013: Since the beginning of 2013, 16 horses including foals died in succession within 6 months. Experts performed autopsies on dead carcasses, but they couldn’t find a main cause of the horses’ sudden deaths. The health center of Fukushima inspected the horses and took blood tests, and the results showed that the causes were neither infectious deseases nor parasitic worms. But the symptoms were all very similar. Once the horses became unable to walk, they died within several weeks. [...] “I live here thanks to my horses, so I can’t leave here without them. I’m very sad when they die. My daughter tried to kill herself feeling depressed about their deaths. There is no future in this life,” he says. The word “Restoration of Fukushima” has spread around Japan, but reality is somewhat different.
Photographer Kazuma Obara, Sept. 16, 2013: This May, he tried to reveal the cause of their sudden death, and he decided to euthanize a horse whose symptom was similar to the other dead horses. And femoral muscle was detected cesium 200 becquerel/ kg by the researcher veterinarian Dr.Hiroyuki Ichikawa. They are studying this data tying to find the effect for their sudden death. [...] Japan becomes such a pathetic country. After the accidents, my family fell apart. My daughter tried to commit suicide… I am relieved that she survived. When I saw the foals, I entertained a flicker of hope. but even these foals died… There is no future. Nobody want to live without future. Here is Japan. Do you think it is really okay with this situation in Japan?” He said. [...]
Published: October 27th, 2013 at 3:31 pm ET