Red Cross declines blood from Fukushima


The Japanese Red Cross Society said Tuesday it has declined to accept an offer from a man from Fukushima Prefecture to donate blood due to fears of possible radiation exposure.

The man offered to donate blood May 26 at an event in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront area.

During a prior consultation, the man told a doctor there that he came from Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, which is close to the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and that he might have been exposed to radiation. The physician advised the man to refrain from donating blood if he is concerned about it.

The man’s wife called the society’s Tokyo Metropolitan Blood Center in Koto Ward the following day and complained that the physician rejected her husband’s offer to donate blood, saying genes might be damaged by radiation.

The Japanese Red Cross Society said the physician apparently explained the effects of radiation on genes in general terms, but the man might have misunderstood.

In a nationwide notice to its blood centers April 1, the society instructed them not to accept blood donations for six months from workers at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants who were exposed to cumulative radiation of 100 millisieverts or more.

The society said it has imposed no restrictions on blood donations from the general public in Fukushima Prefecture.

¥18 trillion bill eyed

The central and local governments will have to spend ¥14 trillion to ¥18 trillion over the next 10 years to finance reconstruction in the Tohoku region, according to the Japan Research Institute.

Outlays of ¥9.1 trillion will be required this fiscal year, the research institute said, noting that up to ¥5 trillion should be set aside in addition to the ¥4 trillion included in the first extra budget for the year.