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Spotlight: Fukushima, an ongoing tragedy Japanese government has brushed aside via Xinhuanet

TOKYO, May 20 (Xinhua) — Toshihide Tsuda, professor of environmental epidemiology at Okayama University, found that the rate of children suffering from thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture in Japan was as much as 20 to 50 times higher than the national average as of 2014, three years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

His findings were published in the electronic edition of the journal of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology late last year, but was refuted by the Fukushima prefectural government and other experts as it doubted the cases are related to the nuclear crisis and the government attributed to the surge to “over diagnosis.”

“Unless radiation exposure data are checked, any specific relationship between a cancer incidence and radiation cannot be identified,” Shiochiro Tsugane, director of the Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, was quoted by a local report as saying.

More than 160 teenagers in Fukushima Prefecture were diagnosed with thyroid cancer, including suspect cases, since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was crippled by the monstrous quake-triggered tsunami in March 2011. And the number almost certainly increase with the passage of time.

[…]

In fact, the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology sent a message to the Japanese government suggesting it to conduct detailed and continuous research on residents’ health in Fukushima, but the government here did not respond to the advice, according to Tsuda who urged the government to face up to the aftermath of the nuclear issue.

Meanwhile, overseas nuclear experts are also surprised by the irresponsible and indifferent attitude of the Japanese government toward the nuclear refugees.

Oleksiy Pasyuk, an expert on energy policy at the National Ecological Center of Ukraine, told Xinhua that one of the main mistakes made by Japan in the aftermath of the accident was that the government had not stocked enough medicinal iodine tablets, which can prevent the absorption of radioactive material into the human body.

[…]

The majority of the Japanese public oppose the restarting of the country’s nuclear power plants and only about 30 percent are supportive. More than 60 percent of Fukushima prefectural residents are dissatisfied with the government’s countermeasures against the nuclear disaster.

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