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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Information sources in languages other than Japanese on the issue of Fukushima's children and allowable radiation dosage 「子ども20mSV問題」外国語情報

(June 3: We added an English translation of the French petition at the bottom, following the original French text. Thanks to Vanessa Warheit, Director of documentary film "Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands," for translation. The French petition has collected over 26,000 signatures, as of June 3. If you would like to join the petition campaign in Japan in English, you can sign HERE.)

From Kyodo News - "Parents from Fukushima Prefecture protest the Japanese government's safety standards on radiation levels at elementary and middle schools in the nuclear disaster-stricken prefecture as they visited the education ministry in Tokyo on May 23, 2011. On the right is an official of the ministry. The parents demanded the government retract its stance that it is safe for schoolchildren to use school playgrounds as long as the dose they are exposed to does not exceed 20 millisieverts over a year following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. (Kyodo)"

On April 19, the Japanese government raised the allowable annual radiation exposure limit from 1 mSV (millisievert) to 20 mSV. The decision has been heavily criticized by experts inside and outside Japan, as it is applied to children who are more susceptible to radiation, and this limit does not take internal radiation dosage into consideration. 20 mSV is the yearly average of what is allowed for Japanese nuclear plant workers under normal circumstances. On this website, we have so far primarily written and provided information in English on this "20 mSV" issue and on the Fukushima nuclear crisis in general. In this post we attempt to compile a list of articles, video news, press releases available in English and other languages. Please inform, or Twitter @PeacePhilosohpy if you know of other good sources.


Addition on July 8

Global Research
Radiation: The Future Children of Fukushima

Addition on June 9

The Japan Times
Widen evacuation zone for children, pregnant women: Greenpeace chief

Greenpeace urges Japan to evacuate town's children


Press TV
Japanese govt. under fire for schoolyard radiation
Japan confirms meltdown at 3 reactors

New York Times
Angry Parents in Japan Confront Government Over Radiation Levels
Japan Tries to Ease Fury of Parents Near Plant

Common Dreams (From the Japan Times)
School Radiation Cleanup Slammed in Fukushima-Parents flunk ministry over soil-removal policy shift

Japanese protest revised school radiation limit

The Australian (AAP - the same content as above)
Japanese ire over radiation limit for kids

The Guardian
Fukushima parents dish the dirt in protest over radiation levels

The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (most comprehensive and in-depth
reports on the issue)
Protests: The 20 Millisievert Decision and the Future of Atomic Energy in Japan
20 Millisieverts for Children and Kosako Toshiso’s Resignation
Save the Children: Radiation Exposure of Fukushima Students

Spanish National TV "TV1"
Nuevos datos confirman la gravedad de la crisis nuclear de Fukushima

Der Spiegel
Japan legt hohe Strahlengrenzwerte für Kinder fest,1518,758410,00.html

[International Criticism]

Tillman Ruff's Opinion Article in Kyodo News Agency
OPINION: Children of Fukushima need our protection

A bilingual version on Peace Philosophy Centre

IPPNW's letter to Education Minister Takaki (bilingual) on Peace Philosophy Centre
 IPPNW to Japanese Government: Raising Allowable Radiation Dose for Fukushima Children "Unacceptable."

PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility)
PSR Press Conference on Chernobyl Anniversary
(with Japanese translation)
Physicians for Social Responsibility Calls 20 mSV for Children "Unconscionable."

The Japan Medical Association

[Fukushima Parents' Voices]
Testimony of a Fukushima Mother


Green Action (One of the four NGOs leading the movement to get the
government to rescind the 20 mSV decision.)
Fukushima Update

MSCR (Moms to Save Children from Radiation)

French petition campaign (text of the petition and an English translation below.)
Un blog du Réseau "Sortir du nucléaire"
Pétition urgente :
Refusons l’exposition des enfants japonais à des doses élevées de radioactivité

Pétition urgente :
Refusons l’exposition des enfants japonais à des doses élevées de radioactivité

À l’attention de M. Yasuo SAITO, Ambassadeur du Japon en France
Votre Excellence,

En France comme en Allemagne, 20 mSv/an est le seuil maximal d'irradiation recommandé pour "les personnes affectées à des travaux sous rayonnements ionisants", c'est-à-dire pour les travailleurs du nucléaire. Au Japon, la loi sur les normes du travail interdit aux personnes de moins de 18 ans de travailler dans ces conditions. De plus, les nourrissons et les enfants sont plus vulnérables que les adultes aux effets sanitaires néfastes de la radioactivité.

Or, le 19 avril 2011, le gouvernement japonais a décidé de relever de 1 mSv/an à 20 mSv/an la norme de radioprotection pour les écoles de la préfecture de Fukushima. Permettre que des enfants soient exposés à de telles doses de rayonnements est révoltant et inhumain.

Nous condamnons fermement cette décision intolérable. C’est pourquoi, M. Saito, nous demandons instamment l'annulation immédiate de cette décision du gouvernement nippon autorisant l’exposition des enfants japonais à des doses de radioactivité pouvant atteindre 20 mSv/an.

Actuellement, 75 % des écoles élémentaires et intermédiaires de la préfecture de Fukushima présentent des niveaux de contamination tels qu'elles relèvent de « zones de contrôle des rayonnements » (0,6 microSv/h ou plus). Pire encore, 20 % des écoles relèvent de « zones individuelles contrôlées sur l'exposition » (2,3 microSv/h ou plus) et présentent une situation radiologique extrêmement dangereuse.

Aucune dose de radioactivité n'est inoffensive. La très officielle Commission Internationale de Protection Radiologique (CIPR) admet elle-même que « toute dose de rayonnement comporte un risque cancérigène et génétique ». Les normes d'exposition ne correspondent en aucun cas à des seuils d'innocuité scientifiquement fondés ; elles définissent seulement des niveaux de « risque admissible ». Admissible par qui ? Par ceux qui décrètent les normes, ou par ceux qui les subissent en pratique?

M. Saito, à ce jour, les nombreuses associations japonaises * qui se sont élevées contre cette décision n'ont eu aucune réponse tangible à leurs questions : pourquoi, comment et par qui cette décision a-t-elle été prise?

Ces questions sont aussi posées par M. Toshisô Kosako, qui a démissionné le 29 avril de son poste de conseiller spécial du Premier Ministre japonais en matière de protection contre la radioactivité. Lors d'une conférence de presse, le professeur Kosako, en larmes, a déclaré qu' "il est tout à fait inacceptable d'appliquer une telle limite de dose à des enfants en bas âge, et à des élèves de classe primaires, et il est urgent de revenir sur cette décision".

Votre Excellence, nous demandons instamment que le gouvernement japonais annule immédiatement la décision autorisant l'exposition des enfants à des doses d'irradiation pouvant atteindre 20 mSv/an, et prenne au contraire toutes les dispositions nécessaires pour les préserver de l'exposition à la radioactivité.

Nous demandons également que le gouvernement japonais rende public sans délai le nom des experts qui ont avalisé cette décision inhumaine.

Votre Excellence, nous espérons que vous mettrez tout en œuvre pour que votre gouvernement fasse droit aux demandes légitimes des associations japonaises * - des demandes qui sont aussi les nôtres. Nous vous prions de croire, M. Saito, à notre haute considération, ainsi qu'à notre vigilance quant aux mesures prises par le gouvernement japonais pour protéger ses citoyens.

Nous adressons nos pensées solidaires et notre soutien au peuple japonais dans les terribles épreuves qu’il affronte aujourd’hui.

* Pétition lancée par les associations Green Action, Greenpeace Japan, Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai), Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai), Friends of the Earth Japan. Voir : et Voir aussi l'appel au secours lancé par le collectif japonais des Mères réunies pour Sauver les Enfants des Radiations :

Urgent Petition:
Stop The Exposure of Japanese Children to Elevated Doses of Radioactivity

To the attention of Mr. Yasuo Saito, Japanese Ambassador to France

Your Excellency,

In France, as in Germany, 20mSv/year is the maximum radiation dose recommended for “persons affected by ionizing rays in the workplace” - i.e. for nuclear workers. In Japan, labor law prohibits people under the age of 18 from working under these conditions. Additionally, infants and children are more vulnerable than adults to the adverse effects of radioactivity.

However, on April 19, 2011, the Japanese government decided to raise the norm for radioactive exposure from 1mSv/year to 20mSv/year for the schools in Fukushima prefecture. Allowing children to be exposed to such high doses of radioactivity is revolting and inhuman.

We strongly condemn this intolerable decision. This is why, Mr. Saito, we demand an immediate reversal of the Japanese government's decision to authorize exposing Japan's children to doses as high as 20mSv/year.

At the moment, 75% of elementary and middle schools in Fukushima prefecture have been contaminated to a degree that they are "radioactive monitoring zones" (0.6 μSv/h or more). Still worse, 20% of the schools are "individual radiation exposure zones" (2.3 μSv/h or more) and are thus in a dangerously radioactive state.

There is no such thing as a safe dose of radioactivity. The official International Commission on Radiation Protection itself admits that "any dose of radioactivity carries a carcinogenic and genetic risk". "Safe exposure" norms never correspond to maximum levels based on scientifically-proven safe levels; they simply define levels that are within “acceptable risk.” Acceptable to whom? To those who decide the norms, or to those whose health is subjected to them?

Mr. Saito, today the many Japanese organizations * that are rising up against this decision have received no tangible response to their questions: why, how, and by whom was this decision made?

These questions are also being asked by Mr. Toshiso Kosako, who on April 29th resigned his position as special counselor to Japan's Prime Minister over the matter of protecting the public against radiation. At a press conference, Professor Kosako, in tears, declared that "it is completely unacceptable to apply such a limit to young children, and to elementary school students - it is urgent that we reverse this decision."

Your Excellency, we insist that the Japanese government immediately reverse its decision to authorize exposing children to doses of radioactivity as high as 20mSv/year, and instead take every measure to ensure the children are protected from radioactive exposure.

We also ask the Japanese government to immediately make public the names of the experts who supported this inhuman decision.

Your Excellency, we hope that you will do all in your power to ensure that your government complies with the Japanese organizations'* - and our - legitimate requests. We make this request, Mr. Saito, with great respect, and with continued vigilance over measures taken by the Japanese government to protect its citizens.

We stand together with the people of Japan, and offer them our continued support during these terrible times.

* Petition initiated by Green Action, Greenpeace Japan, Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai), Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai), Friends of the Earth Japan. See: : and See also the call for help issued by the Japanese collective Mothers United for Saving Children from Radiation:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the information. These are very important source for me, because I want to spread the situation in Fukushima to my friend widely. Thank you again.