Mako Oshidori was enrolled in the School of Life Sciences at Tottori University Faculty of Medicine for three years, studying basics of medical research, before leaving school to go into comedy. Mako Oshidori is a regular at the TEPCO press conference, known for her sharp and tenacious questions. Mako Oshidori herself discovered a TEPCO memo telling officials to “cut Mako-chan(‘s question) short appropriately.” As a freelance journalist, she covers not only the Fukushima nuclear accident but other important health issues such as Minamata disease and asbestos. Although she considers nuclear power plants unnecessary for Earth, she doesn’t consider herself an anti-nuclear activist. She is simply a journalist investigating various health issues including the radiation exposure issues.
“Stunning Story from a Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Worker” is an example of her investigative report translated into English.
When I would talk to someone, a surveillance agent from the central government’s public police force would come very close, trying to eavesdrop on the conversation. The person I am talking to would ask me if the man was my manager. I would tell them that I had no idea who the man was and that I thought he was perhaps one of my groupies. Thus we are not given freedom of broadcasting whatever we want. There are some journalists belonging to major media outlets who do serious reporting on the nuclear accident, but they are under such pressure that the Japanese people are not informed of the realities of the nuclear accident even within Japan.
Next, I would like to talk a little about my interview of a nurse who used to work at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) after the accident.
I would like to tell you about the realities of the nuclear power plant workers. He was a nurse at Fukushima Daiichi NPP in 2012. He quit his job with TEPCO in 2013, and that’s when I interviewed him.
As of now, there are multiple NPP workers who have died, but only the ones who died on the job are reported publicly. Some of them have died suddenly while off work, for instance, during the weekend or in their sleep, but none of their deaths are reported. Not only that, they are not included in the worker death count. For example, there are some workers who quit the job after a lot of radiation exposure, such as 50, 60 to 70 mSv, and end up dying a month later, but none of these deaths are either reported, or included in the death toll. This is the reality of the NPP workers. There is too much pressure for me to write an article on this issue, so not many Japanese people know about it.
This is from when I visited Fukushima Prefecture in 2012 with a Belarusian researcher, Alexey Nesterenko, who is the head of BELRAD.
He was most surprised about an elementary school in Date City, Fukushima Prefecture. As you can see, in the section right by the fence next to the swimming pool, the radiation monitor is registering 27.6 μSv/h.
He asked me if the children at the school had evacuated, and I told him they were in class right then. He was extremely astonished and said that was the radiation level which would necessitate immediate, mandatory evacuation of the children in Belarus. He said he thought Japan was a wealthy country and wondered why children were in class there as if nothing ever happened. This area has an especially high radiation level. There are hot spots like this in Fukushima.
Read and view more.