‘Unthinkable Twist’: Japan expert calls for immediate health exams outside Fukushima, must act urgently or damage will be worse — Gov’t Officials: “I don’t want to discuss the issue”… Discovery of cancer could cause excessive anxiety

Published: July 23rd, 2014 at 2:06 pm ET
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Excerpts from Tokyo Shimbun, July 22, 2014 — Translated by Fukushima Voice (version 2e):

  • The Ministry of the Environment Expert Meeting Discussing Health Support After the Fukushima Nuclear Accident is taking an unthinkable twist. At the July 16th meeting, an outside researcher asked for the expansion of health checkups, but the committee chair [said] “I don’t want to discuss the issue.”
  • Invited guest speaker Toshihide Tsuda, an epidemiologist and Okayama University professor: “Radioactive materials [being disseminated due to the Fukushima nuclear accident] are not thought to remain within borders of Fukushima Prefecture. We need to urgently figure out if there are any cases in non-Fukushima residents. [...] Fixating on dose assessments will delay countermeasures, worsening the damage [...] health checkups should be immediately carried out within and out of Fukushima Prefecture, in order to identify cases of thyroid cancer and other illnesses.”
  • Shigenobu Nagataki, the committee chair [...] pushed aside what Professor Tsuda pointed out [...] Despite inviting Professor Tsuda to the meeting, Chairman Nagataki practically ignored his opinion.
  • Professor Tsuda retorted, “My opinions are based on a textbook published by Oxford University Press. Chairman, you are the one that is unique.”
  • Chairman Nagataki unilaterally cut off the conversation, stating, “I have no intention of arguing with you. We are going to carry on discussion based on exposure dose.”
  • Only about 1,000 had direct measurements of exposure from radioactive iodine taken, which is 0.3% of residents eligible for thyroid examination
  • A member of the expert meeting and a professor at Osaka University, Tomotaka Sobue, explained disadvantages of health checkups using the term, “overdiagnosis.” This means [...] discovery of cancer during health checkups could cause excessive anxiety and a psychological and physical burden due to surgery.
  • Requests for expansion of health checkups are swelling from [...] residents.

Hiromi Ishikawa, members of the expert meeting  and Executive Director of Japan Medical Association: “The present expert meeting does not reflect opinions of the residents. I don’t know why anybody would just one-sidedly tell worried people, ‘It’s okay.’ … We need to quickly consider whether there are any illnesses due to radiation.”

See also: Japan Doctor: "Tokyo should no longer be inhabited" -- Everyone here is a victim of Fukushima -- People truly suffering -- Bleeding under skin, urinary hemorrhaging -- Children’s blood tests started changing last year -- Time running short... up to physicians to save our citizens and future generations

Published: July 23rd, 2014 at 2:06 pm ET
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