A Fukushima Prefectural Government panel set up to monitor tests of residents’ health in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant announced the exit of four members and the introduction of a new goal at a meeting on June 5.
The panel, which earlier came under fire over “secret meetings” to harmonize the opinions of its members, announced that it would change its goal from “alleviating anxiety” of residents to “maintaining and promoting the health of prefectural residents into the future.”
Four panel members from Fukushima Medical University including Vice President Shunichi Yamashita, a leading figure in the Fukushima Prefectural Government’s health survey, have stepped down.
The move came in response to growing distrust among prefectural residents that members were working on the basis that there are no adverse health effects from radiation leaked during the nuclear crisis. By having people associated with the university, which is leading the tests, step down from the panel, officials hope to establish objectivity and neutrality in its evaluation of the prefectural health survey.