Radiation results beggar belief

Tokyo

The Jan. 10 article “As radiation fears dwindle, so do checkups” has a Dr. Masaharu Tsubokura complaining that Fukushima residents have stopped coming in for additional body scans to gauge their exposure to radiation following the 3/11 nuclear plant disaster.

When the results coming back — for residents of Minamisoma, mind you — say that 99.9 percent of the children tested between last April and September show “no radioactive cesium detected,” perhaps the people know when they’re being fooled.

It beggars belief that such results are possible in Minamisoma, where City Councilor Koichi Oyama reported cesium detected in “black soil” samples at levels up to 5.57 million becquerels per kilogram; where access to parts of the town is still either limited or forbidden because of high radioactive contamination levels; and where the Haramachi and Odaka districts continue to show readings of 11 microsieverts per hour (which amounts to a yearly exposure of nearly 100 millisieverts, or five times the already inflated limit set for those living near the evacuation zone).

When someone like Tsubokura spouts such an improbable figures, would it be too much for the reporter to step in with a followup question. Weak reporting like this allows the continued spread of unchallenged official lies.

giovanni fazio
tokyo

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.