Harvard Website: Media blindly reports Tepco’s false radiation levels, says Fukushima official; Press won’t report truth — “It’s still scary” in Tokyo, people move away due to hotspots; “Environment abruptly changed for half of Japan” (VIDEO)

Published: January 6th, 2014 at 12:35 pm ET
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Scholars at Harvard, Interview with Hisashi Shoji of Fukushima Prefecture, K. Lee Lerner, Apr. 7, 2013: Hisashi Shoji drives a taxi in areas just outside the Fukushima exclusion zone. [...] Shoji isn’t allowed to live in his home located about 40km from the power plant [...] Shoji says he stopped believing media reports long ago, and that he distrusts local media as much as the national press. “They are all pretty much the same. It’s hard to trust anything in the media [...] They don’t report the truth.”

Scholars at Harvard, Interview with local Fukushima official Yoshitomo Shigihara, K. Lee Lerner, Apr. 7, 2013: Shoji’s distrust of the media reports was echoed by Yoshitomo Shigihara, a kuchou, akin to a county commissioner, in Nagadoro, one of 20 wards within Iitate. [...] The extent of radiation poisoning remains a contentious issue. Shighara claims that media blindly reports radiation readings and other data provided by TEPCO engineers. Shighara contends that media consistently underreport radiation levels Shighara measures on his brief trips inside the exclusion zone. Moreover, Shighara says reports differ wildly depending on the Ministry reporting . [...] ‘The media is dependent on TEPCO, unable to verify the technical data.”

Harvard Gazette, March 11, 2013: Nicolas Sternsdorff Cisterna, a doctoral student in social anthropology at Harvard, has been living in Japan since 2011, trying to better understand people’s perceptions of food safety. [...] his doctoral adviser [...] immediately realized that the accident made food safety an enormous issue [...] “He had a project all ready to go on food and perceptions of the environment in Japan, and then on March 11, the environment abruptly changed for the northern half of Japan, including the Tokyo area” [...] In downtown Tokyo [...] an upscale home goods store called Catalog House, which after the nuclear disaster began selling produce for the first time, trucking it in from Fukushima [...] The store installed a radiation detector [...] Assistant manager Toru Sato said in an interview that the detector isn’t just used by customers. Some store employees who grow their own vegetables bring them in for testing. He too is worried about his home, because it is in a radiation hotspot created by one of the plumes from the plant. Some of his neighbors have relocated, with one moving to the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. “It’s still scary,” Sato said.

Watch the video ‘With radiation, worries about food’ here

Published: January 6th, 2014 at 12:35 pm ET
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179 comments

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