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Movie that examined nuclear risks draws new audience via the Asahi Shimbun

SENDAI–Can one predict disasters? A documentary film that some consider did so is showing again in cinemas across Japan.

“Ashita ga Kieru: Doshite Genpatsu?” (Tomorrow is disappearing: Why the nuclear plant?) examines the risks from nuclear-plant radiation. It was made 22 years before the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The movie follows a housewife who seeks answers after the death of her father, a nuclear power plant engineer. She visits people related to the nuclear industry and questions them.

Moviegoers feel it strikes a chord, but the cast and crew report mixed emotions.

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Makiko Kasai lost her father to bone cancer in 1984. He was a thermal insulation engineer. He worked on the piping around nuclear reactors, and had been involved in construction and inspections at most of Japan’s nuclear plants. He was 52 when he died.

The 26-year-old Kasai found a book in her father’s study which described the effects of radiation exposure.

She discussed it with her mother and found that they shared suspicions over the cancer.

Troubled by the possible connection, Kasai wrote a letter to The Asahi Shimbun for publication.

“Whenever my father saw newspaper and television reports about anti-nuclear power protests he would insist: ‘Nuclear plants are safe,’ ” she wrote.

She recalled the broken look on his face as he was admitted to hospital. “I guess I may never be able to return to this house,” he said.

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