Japanese journalist’s call for evacuating children from Tokyo causing controversy

Published: July 7th, 2012 at 3:27 pm ET


Kouta Kinoshita’s Stance on the Weekly Demonstration in Front of the Prime Minister Noda’s Official Residence
Fukushima Voice
July 6, 2012


Lately, there has been a move from some of the organizers to “remove” a prominent activist, Kouta Kinoshita, or rather, remove his claim of health effects from radiation exposure from the anti-nuclear movement.  An investigative journalist who did an onsite coverage of the 1999 Tokaimura nuclear accident, Kinoshita was keenly aware of dangers of radiation when the Fukushima accident happened.  He has spearheaded an effort to bring truth to the public about radiation and radiation exposure, calling for evacuation of children, pregnant women, and women of childbearing potential from Tokyo and Kanto regions.  (Evacuation from Fukushima and other severely contaminated areas goes without saying.)

Apparently some of the organizers do not like Kinoshita’s claim.  Kinoshita encouraged readers of his popular blog (http://blog.goo.ne.jp/nagaikenji20070927) to attend the protest on June 22 and June 29.  He no longer recommends the protest to his readers, as he does not agree with their stance of not acknowledging health effects and of lack of opposition to the debris distribution and incineration.  In addition, he is not recommending that his readers attend the protest because the organizers do not seem to have contingency plans.  Even when he was recommending protest attendance, he discouraged people from taking children there.

As Kinoshita has claimed over and over, the Tokyo area has a significant degree of radiation contamination. Some places are as contaminated as Kiev was after Chernobyl. However, some do not want to admit Tokyo is contaminated. It is very inconvenient for them. Kinoshita has been verbally attacked numerous times for “spreading the baseless rumors” and “scaring people.” However, health effects are real. People contact Kinoshita to report their health problems since the Fukushima nuclear accident, as doctors do not seem to acknowledge them. Children who evacuated from Tokyo and Kanto region are being diagnosed with thyroid cysts and/or nodules.


h/t @FRSCR

Published: July 7th, 2012 at 3:27 pm ET


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32 comments to Japanese journalist’s call for evacuating children from Tokyo causing controversy

  • Anthony Anthony

    Expert Zone
    Straight from the Specialists

    Fukushima disaster report: relevance of cultural traits
    By Uday Bhaskar JULY 6, 2012


    • Maggie123

      Many thanks for posting the link. I find Uday Bhaskar's article absolutely vital. He 'tags' problems that develop when otherwise quite admirable cultural values, and practices of a national character, become a liability. They become so because we aren't aware how powerful these "cultural mores" are in shaping our behavior. His remarks are relevant to the people of Japan, and are relevant to people of all nations.

  • I've been reading Kinoshita's blog for a year now. I believe he was involved in bringing Dr. Bandazhevsky to Japan for a lecture tour.

    Strange how the protest organizers do not accept the health effects of radiation. I smell a rat.

    • Maggie123

      I think there is a natural and very strong tendency to "cling to hope that things aren't as bad as we know they are". A small nation geographically – densely populated, with history of unspeakable grief in nuclear experience a mere generation in the past. A culture of "noble graciousness" much admired for good reason by the world.

      I think one reason for protest organizers (and protesters themselves?) to not accept Kinoshita's warnings may be that if they do, they will find themselves in even deeper shock and grief. To me there seem no adequate words to describe how their plight may "play on their minds"; they must constantly need to grasp the immensity of their situation emotionally – and then try to respond – while also feeling every breath they take – or have taken since 3/11 – is dangerous.

      • It's hard for me to fathom that 200,000 people would show up for an anti-nuclear march, and still think that radiation was perfectly OK.

        • Maggie123

          I doubt they think the radiation OK (and don't imagine you quite mean that – they wouldn't gather to protest if they did.) But think about what we strongly feel at times of great threat and crisis – we want to gather our family together. We want to 'visually confirm and re-confirm' that – so far – everyone is still "OK". The thought to send children "out of sight" feels unbearable to parents, (my guess).

          I think it's entirely possible that the intensity of stress and despair is deeper than most of us can imagine. Unthinkable danger delivered in silence by the radiation. Need to send children, and others at great risk out of harms way will prevail in time I think – hopefully fairly soon.

  • Maggie123

    Does anyone know of any petitions those of us outside Japan might sign to confirm solidarity with these people?

    • arclight arclight

      the last petttion from green action japan finished in may..
      this is a good site to keep an eye on as they work with other organisations in japan imo


      i suggest a supportive email to the GAJ might work wonders though.. they do great works under difficult circumstances..

      • Maggie123

        Thank you Arclight so much – have bookmarked the site, a place to more directly express support.

    • potmander

      Better yet, why not work to get information out to the Japanese population?

      So many of my Japanese friends <strong>have no idea</strong> what is going on. They are clueless because much of the helpful information is in English. They actually turn to me to find out what is going on in their own country.

      I admire the protesters' courage but IMHO they are protesting the wrong thing.

      There is something far more important that needs attention right now. Not just the lies and deception that has been taking place but the spread of deadly radiation (in Japan and worldwide) going on right now.

      I don't think this will happen, however, as the concept is difficult to make simple. "No more nuclear power" is easier for people to understand than, "We are dying and you don't care"

  • Myme

    March2011 US gov't memo calls Tokyo "radiological area." So Kinoshita is correct in his assessment of Tokyo contamination. I sent him the following ENENEWS link:


  • NoNukes NoNukes

    Please move the children. Stay strong, Kouta Kinoshita, millions of us around the world appreciate your work.

    "Pregnant women, children, minors, pregnant area less radioactive material, if possible women can be, please migration as much as possible should be moved to priority. also everyone else. year one have elapsed since the exposure. exposure early is serious, and the impact of exposure to chronic is even more dangerous."


    "But it turned out that my daughter's thyroglobulin level was heavily over the limit.
    They told me that from now on, both of them need a blood test every month.
    The doctor…said that more girls are having higher levels than boys.
    I've heard that for boys it's heart and muscles, while for girls it's thyroid [that the effects of radiation come out the most]…so it's true then, or what ?


    From Enformable:

    "New research highlights the risk of ionising radiation to children

    …Pearce and colleagues concluded the risk of brain tumors was tripled if children had two to three scans and the risk of leukemia was tripled with five to 10 scans…"

    • arclight arclight

      "Please move the children." could/should read please move the families.. great post as usual nonukes!

      as i was having my once a week "support the hydrangea" glass of wine and watching that excellent play belQQw.. it came to me that this revolution will have many forms and these will all be to the good..

      as for bringing children to a place where police aggression is likely to occur, i am not so sure… the adults might be infiltrated with undercover police or nationalist pro nukers or yakusa.. things might get out of hand with long periods of kettling or even violence.. revolution is a painful business.. the children can find their own voices on the internet as they have been.. and its more effective having children do things like that…

      the legal position of the "internally displaced refugee" needs to be addressed in japan… imo

      there is nice seafront property etc owned by the usa military.. i suggest whole towns could be accommodated, thats better than the children having "cesium break" holidays in czechoslovakia (near budapest – land of long term iodine contamination (ongoing).. what an IAEA cover up that is.. )/rant
      peace 🙂

      • NoNukes NoNukes


        You're absolutely right, all families, animals, native plants, historical artifacts, artwork, etc.

        Pack quickly, for a very long trip. Include wine glass, for toast, "Hydrangea Revolution, banzai!"

  • arclight arclight

    had to repost this OT play here..


    One year after the earthquake in Japan, three high school girls in Soma, Fukushima are hanging out after school in a classroom. Topics such as the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plants inevitably come up. The girls come to realize how everyone, not only themselves, is still suffering and express how they truly feel about the situation.
    Published on Jun 23, 2012 by FriendofFukushima

    Pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VVIknv8bDw

    Pt 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpQOxJ59ipA

    Pt 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rr9SRM0WjE

    this is superb! best play ive seen since the 80`s

    straight from the mouths of children..

  • johnnyo

    If one was to agree that this is a royal snow job, then without further evidence, we should believe the exact opposite of what he says, to be the truth.

    One avenue that would lead down is when he says,

    "Don't bring children" by now our BS detectors have been so finely honed, we right away ask, why are they so afraid of seeing children participate?

    They obviously think smiling/or not, faces of our future, faces of what we as a species have wrought, will be just a tad too powerful.

    and then, our response must be……EVERYONE, whenever possible, Bring the Kids!

    This is just an example of how we should read and react to these shills.

    • johnnyo

      Oh wow, after having read the comments posted since I was completing the above………i think I may have stepped on a few toes.

      Please be gentle. No one else questions this guy's motives? All he seems to be saying is "Tone it done a little, will ya?"

      With so many rads flying about, the young ones are a tricky subject….especially for a man w/only a rack of nieces and nephews…..3 in Chiba

      I may be all wrong. Would not be a first.

    • arclight arclight

      hi johnyo
      "..Don't bring children.."
      it does make some sense now the police are getting fiesty.. see my reply to no nukes above.. i think there is room for different types of protest.. the japanese need to think outside the box.. get the message out ANY way possible… in my humble opinion..

      peace bro!

      • arclight arclight

        hi johnyo
        heres advice to children and pregnant women on sundays planned protest at lake biwa

        "July 8, 2012 (Sun) "Lake Biwa, Shiga nuclear power plant de-demo @ 7.8" Meeting place: atmospheric forest of the launch night燈下Otsu lakefront park Nagisa 30 minutes when 13 Time: set departure time: 14:00 ] [statement calling for Shiga Wakasa Bay in Fukui Prefecture is located next to nuclear power plants and 13 "Monju fast-breeder reactor" immediately of the prefecture. If there was such an accident in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Wakasa Bay, then to more than 14 million people living in Kyoto…"

        and this
        "Please ☆ ☆ to the person who participate….."

        "In addition, in case of rain, please rain gear available, such as kappa and umbrellas. Children and pregnant women is not recommended that you get wet in the rain in particular."


  • SteveMT

    Kinoshita says evacuate as Japan goes back online w/nuclear
    The Japanese government is still not listening!

    Japan returns to nuclear power after shutdown prompted by Fukushima disaster
    3 days ago
    Nuclear power returns to Japan amid scathing report
    Updated 11:13 p.m., Thursday, July 5, 2012

  • jonjon

    It's a fact that most people who live in Tokyo are in complete denial. Otherwise they wouldn't be there. Just have a look at a facebook group named "tokyo radiation levels" and you'll see from the very start it was created to reassure people everything was safe. One way they did this is by measuring radiation on sunny days with southerly winds, while standing high on top of a building. You wonder why they wouldn't measure radiation on a gutter after heavy rainfall and northerly winds. They sure wouldn't like the result, as they've dismissed others who did it. It's almost pathetic to read these guys dismissing all info that proves them wrong while clinging to the belief tokyo is safe and always will be. While I know other people with high profile jobs in tokyo who sold their house and immediately moved out, most are comforted in the knowledge that people still live there. It will take a mass exodus for them to have them think: "Hey wait a second, I don't want to be the last man standing… get me out of here too! Fast!"

  • potmander

    Then there's "Japan Nuclear Expert: Almost 8,000 square miles now like a ‘Radiation Control Area’ after Fukushima": http://enenews.com/japan-nuclear-expert-almost-8000-square-miles-like-radiation-control-area-after-fukushima

    and the report that said the radiation did not go out to the ocean like they said but straight down to Tokyo.

  • flojo

    Hi everyone. I've been getting my Fukushima info from enenews for a few months now, but this is my first post. I left Japan in June 2011; it was one of the most difficult decisions my family has ever been forced to make. We were living on a US military base, where dependents had been evacuated then given the green light to come back only one month later. I did not and still do not believe it is safe for the US military and their dependents to be stationed in Japan. This has to be stopped; our service members and their families need to be told the truth about what they have been exposed to and continue to be exposed to while they are there.

    • Yes. You are correct. There is a deliberate attempt to generate a perception in the public mind that "everything is ok" now in Japan. That's false. I suspect this has to do with Obama's desire for a second term of office. He's pro-nuclear. He needs to become anti-nuclear and admit he was wrong to support nuclear power. That may be difficult, but it's what he needs to do now. I suggest we direct our attention to President Obama and tell him to "Support the Troops" by getting them out of Japan.

      • flojo

        Meta, it might also have something to do with scaling back US troops in Europe and repositioning them in the Asia-Pacific region. Obviously, flexing military muscle is more important than dealing with the spreading nuclear radiation. As long as China is kept in check, Obama and his cohorts are happy as clams. It's all very sad.

    • SuI33

      flojo- Shortly before the Fukushima disaster, my brother – who's in the Marines – applied to go to Japan. He's married to a woman from Fukuoka and they wanted to raise their now 2 year old there. Basically, he was told he was barred from going there because the situation was just too dangerous and, if I remember this right, nearly 9 months after the disaster they were telling large swaths of military personnel to leave Japan and relocate elsewhere.

      I wasn't aware of the situation you speak of. For some reason I was under the impression that the military was using extreme caution in this situation… however, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that I was totally WRONG in my assumptions/impressions. When I talk with my brother again, hopefully I'll be able to get a clearer picture. He's stationed here in the US for the next few years.

      • flojo

        Hi sul, the bases on the Kanto Plain (central Japan) were evacuated; bases in southern Japan weren't. It was pandemonium after the disaster happened. Word was, a "radioactive plume" was headed towards us. Families with small children and pregnant women were airlifted out ASAP. As the rest of us waited for a ride back to the US, we were given iodine pills. A few weeks later, we were told to discard them; I assume this was an attempt into fooling everyone that we were no longer in danger. Then a week or so after that, the flights carrying dependents back to Japan began. I was in complete disbelief. Pregnant women and young children were being allowed to return! I just hope the military clinics and hospitals are prepared for the onslaught of illnesses that may come from radiation exposure.
        People are still getting orders to Japan. I personally know of two families who've accepted orders to Yokosuka Naval base (192 miles from Fukushima). Both families have young children, but neither were warned about the possible health hazards. I'm glad to hear your brother and his 2 year old are here in the US.

  • demo demo

    Congrats on getting/staying out and welcome to ene world. Agreed, it has to stop. Glad you'll help spread the word. Military personnel have more credibility w/ the general pubic and politicians than some of us long term activists do. Thnx for posting.

  • SuI33

    metamind- That puppet in office is too busy taking donations from lobbyists in the nuclear industry to worry about issues truly pertinent to the survival of our species. Sorry to sound so cynical or whatever but that's the way I see it. In the game/circus of politics the only winners are the people whose coffers get lined handsomely while the general public gets expertly lied to. Hence the situation we have here with many of the worlds governments NOT taking this nuclear issue seriously in the face of massive opposition from its citizenry, who also unfortunately happen to be suffering dire consequences from the malfeasance of their well educated and wealthy 'leadership', oh I'm sorry, 'public servants'. Most of them were elected by hacked machinery anyway. God Bless America, Land of the free, etc..

  • Weeaboo Weeaboo

    Fwiw, my take on why this guy is not popular with the Anti-Nuke organizers is 1) He is kind of leftfield, & their claim that he is scaremongering might be justified, and 2) His agenda seems to be slightly different from theirs. He also comes across as something of an attention-whore, which would make him difficult to work with.
    But yes, the CHILDREN…

    One of my students (I'm an English Teacher in Tokyo) is a Science Teacher in an Elementary School in Nantocka-ku.
    Last week she was sent to a lecture by her city's Education Authority (who come under the Education Ministry, who are part of the GOVMT. of course.)
    The subject of the lecture?
    How to teach Elementary School Children that Radiation occurs naturally in the environment and is therefore (and I quote) perfectly Safe.
    The kids will be given oranges (from Shikoku or Kyushu most likely) and geiger counters to play with.
    The subject of MY lectures the rest of this week will be BRAINWASHING.

  • Sickputer

    Remember the highly advertised plan to relocate US Okinawa troops to Guam? That plan hit a snag when the Guam people resisted giving up ancestral land for a firing range which the US insists is a must have feature for troops. So all is on hold for years as they iron out the details.

    That move of 5,000 troops also will cost $1.6 million PER TROOP so it is much more economical to pay for future radiation-induced illnesses of Japan-based US troops than relocate them.

    If you think governments are inflexible…well meet the military. They are still stuck in war strategies against purported enemies even though the Americans are 6% of the world's populati

  • Sickputer

    …world's population. The great money suck of our perpetual wartime economy is why America is headed the way of the Roman empire. Guns are preferred over butter, being the world's top cop is a strategy America can't seem to relinquish.