Japan, Belarus conclude pact to gather data on effects of low-dose radiation exposure on human health

Kyodo

Japan signed an agreement Saturday with Belarus to gather data on the effects of low-dose radiation exposure on human health, a project the government hopes will help address the long-term effects of the Fukushima disaster.

The two countries will also share information on the decontamination of areas tainted by radioactive fallout, and will explore ways to improve the lives of those affected by the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 plant last year, under the pact concluded during the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, a high-level global gathering being hosted in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture.

Belarus was badly affected by the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, as some 70 percent of the radioactive materials emitted after a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl plant, located only 10 km from Belarus’ border with Ukraine, contaminated more than 20 percent of its land.

Based on the need to assess the effects of radiation not only on human health but also on the environment, Japan and Belarus will establish a joint committee and conduct exchanges between their researchers and engineers, and will additionally hold joint seminars, according to the agreement.

The accord was signed by Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba and Vladimir Vashchenko, Belarus’ minister of emergency situations.