Fukushima Photographer: “We have seen how it’s affecting children already, and no one knows exactly what’s going on” — We can only rely on nuclear experts in Germany, France, U.S.

Published: February 27th, 2013 at 3:53 pm ET
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Title: Inside the Abandoned Radioactive Towns of Japan
Source: Vice Magazine
Author: Christian Storm
Date: Feb. 27, 2013

You might remember that way back in March 2011, a major tsunami struck the northeast shores of Japan, devastating the country and causing the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s cooling systems to break down, which resulted in the worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl. Even if you don’t recall that disaster, photographer Toshiya Watanabe does. His family home, Namie, where his mother and cousins still lived, was directly in the path of both the rising waters and the waves of radiation that came after. Nowadays, the town and all the others like it in the disaster zone sit abandoned, unchanged in the past two years, like a ghost town where the ghosts are nuclear-charged stray dogs and cattle. Toshiya has traveled back to his hometown many times, documenting the changes he saw, or lack thereof. We chatted with him about visiting the “no-go zone” that is now his hometown. [...]

What do you think about Japan and the world’s reaction to what happened? Do you think they downplayed the effects? Do you or your family have any health problems because of your proximity to the reactor?

[Toshiya Watanabe:] As for the accident at the power plant, neither the government nor TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) have been telling us the truth from the start. The government has again and again said they will do something about the nuclear accident, but most people don’t buy it. We can only rely on nuclear specialists in Germany, France, and the United States to tell us the dangers we face. It’s the same with health hazards. We have seen how it’s affecting children already, and no one knows exactly what’s going on. I think we, as citizens of Japan, have been worried ever since the day the tsunami hit. There is no way of telling what is true, and we simply don’t know who we can trust anymore. [...]

Full interview here

See Watanabe’s photos here

Published: February 27th, 2013 at 3:53 pm ET
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13 comments to Fukushima Photographer: “We have seen how it’s affecting children already, and no one knows exactly what’s going on” — We can only rely on nuclear experts in Germany, France, U.S.

  • weeman

    Trust your instincts, as their is no one else you can trust, despicable I would like to believe my government is there to protect and inform us, this certainly makes me wonder what the good a bill of rights really is and the whole fabric of civilization is on the verge of collapse due to greed ie money and power.
    The meek may inherit the earth unfortunately you are not going to want it.

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    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      spot on weeman! I hope they aren't talking about "trusting" the same scientists & researchers who've accepted money to lie for the nuke industry of their countries of origin??!! There's far fewer "good" and honest members of the international nukester community than there are "paid liars"!! I suspect those who use that all-encompassing,"pet" term they use in response to public concern about radiation(amongst other "toxic") matters hints as to where they REALLY stand (or PAID to!)= "no IMMEDIATE concern for public health" following questionable or sketchy,incomplete data with more questions still remaining than any answers(?)!! EVERYTHING about the nuke industry whether govt. or industry or so-called "protective" agency data & findings is wrought with lies & trickery and holds potentially fatal impacts on those who always thought they could count on SOMEONE(?)to look out for theirs & their loved ones well-being BEYOND our monetary value. TPTB still manage to find ways to exploit their public/victims via soaring profits for cancer,etc. treatments & Big Pharma,etc. STILL profits from and whenever a region hit hard by the cancer spikes starts showing a decrease in the profits from poisoning they just open a couple valves & vent local NPP's to "speed up" the mortality rate so they can hurry up and steal the irradiated pennies from their dead victims eyes! If TPTB can't or won't tell us the truth-then who's to say my "suggestions" are false??!!~DTA~ :| ~**

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  • harengus_acidophilus

    Always the same lie:

    > a major tsunami (…) causing the Fukushima Daiichi
    > Nuclear Power Plant’s cooling systems to break down

    NOT the tsunami, the earthquake was it!
    Broken tubes don't hold water …


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  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    Here's an article on childhood cancer and the significant lack of care kids are getting around the world:

    'Childhood cancer is a neglected disease'


    The article doesn't mention how the hospitals and doctors in Japan are under government orders NOT to treat children for two years after thyroid nodules are first diagnosed.

    Let them get really sick first, then in two years they won't get any treatment at all. Like Europe is doing to the old people, to cut down on medical expenses.

    Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

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    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Are you in the US? Say goodbye to healthcare very, very soon:

      '50 Signs That The U.S. Health Care System Is About To Collapse'


      Report comment

      • We Not They Finally

        National health care makes healthcare COLLAPSE? Good luck with that logic. That's the problem with liberatarians. They think me, me, me. National health care does not interest them. It's helps people besides themselves — "the others."

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        • razzz razzz

          We Not They Finally: You are fundamentally flawed. If you desire the security of a bureaucratic medical structure versus the simplicity of a free market system then why is it necessary to force taxes on every working person to pay for it (Congress exempted itself and Federal employees from the new healthcare laws)?

          A perfect example is Japan where their government dictates who gets tested for Fukushima fallout and who qualifies for treatment. Is this medical care?

          Private funding will now flee the new socialize taxpayer supported US healthcare system which will hurt future advances in medicine or did you think that far ahead?

          Don't worry, those are all rhetorical questions. I know you have a warm and fuzzy feeling with a nanny state.

          Report comment

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          The idea behind my comment earlier regarding US healthcare was it is going to take two critical blows. First, reduced funding. That is a reality we are facing. Second, increased demand over the next few decades as birth defects and cancer continue to rise in the FUKU wake. I am not upset about helping pay for others coverage, we do that already in one way or another.

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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Radiation is invisible and penetrates without warning. And nobody warns you, thanks to nuclear.

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  • razzz razzz

    16Penny: You seem to do your share around here, maybe you can find out where the 'Incorporated NPO Okinawa Kumi No Sato' "Donate" button is at. I think they need to link with Paypal, too.

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    • 16Penny 16Penny

      Here, Thanks to Google Translate I can read Japanese! It is choppy but they give you an account number and paypal:

      "How to raise money overseas

      Donations from outside of Japan, is accepted by the method of current here.

      Remittances 1 |. Postal remittance to the bank
      to transfer money to the flow of the procedure from outside of Japan Post Bank, please refer to the website of the Post Bank. Remittance by bank remittance fees are the description is different, so please be careful.

      ◆ Post Bank | remittance from abroad to Japan (in English)


      When remittance procedures, individual items mentioned will be here.

      [/ Payee Account Number Beneficiary's account number]
      [/ Name of Account Holder Account Holder recipient]
      recipient's address [/ Payee Address]
      Takeuchi BLG 402, one-37-19Matstubara, Setagaya, Tokyo 156-0043, p
      / Payee Telephone Number] [recipient phone number

      Please note that we may not be able to send money remittance bank due to the content, the remittance details, please be sure to check at the bank (Bank remittance).

      immediately if you have a Paypal account ID, you can donate to the "village of Okinawa and ball."
      Log in to Paypal, please send donations to the following email address. sounds@ray-light.net Also, please fill in the corresponding column "sphere and the…

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      • 16Penny 16Penny

        To get to Paypal button:

        From any page, the support button is the middle button on the row that contains "HOME" and "ENGLISH". 5th button in from right or left.

        Click the green link next to the "2."

        Scroll down to Paypal Icon.

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  • razzz razzz

    Thanks for doing that 16Penny, researching and finding the PayPal information. So much easier to donate electronically esp. if the receiving end is setup as a nonprofit then you have a record for tax purposes.

    With PayPal if both email addresses are signed up with PayPal accounts the sending email address and receiving email address is all you need to send money as a donation, gift or personal funds transfer or of course to pay for merchandise. If you are selling an item privately, you draw up a little description or basic conditions for the sale in the 'note box' and send it off to the buyer as a billing for payment…Other than that PayPal sucks.

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