I want to express my appreciation for The Japan Times’ coverage of Dr. Masaharu Tsubokura’s work monitoring internal radioactive contamination of people living in Fukushima, as reported in the Jan. 10 article “As radiation fears dwindle, so do checkups.”
I think the work that he and his colleagues are doing is well-planned and very important. My one small concern about the article is a quote attributed to him that may cause confusion for some readers. It is rendered in English as: “To be honest, local people have almost no worries (about radiation exposure because of eating contaminated food) these days.”
Having had the opportunity to speak with Tsubokura several times, I am sure he means “… local people don’t seem worried.”
But I’m afraid some readers might think he is saying: “… local people have almost no reason to be worried.”
The context of the rest of the paragraph makes his meaning more clear. Unfortunately his views have occasionally been misrepresented in the past, and it would be a shame if such a thing happened again due to a translation ambiguity. There are individuals and groups who insist that Tsubokura simply supports the government’s stance that there is no reason to worry.
The fact is that he and the people with whom he works have approached their work conscientiously and out of a great concern for the people affected. This concern comes through in the article.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.