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In the week immediately after March 11, 2011 — when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku and crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant — most Japanese were closely watching TV news programs — amazed that a nuclear crisis was now threatening their lives.

It didn’t take long for people to start feeling unsure about whether they could trust what the government, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (the operator of the plant), and the scientists appearing on TV were saying — because they kept on stressing that the radiation released from the reactors did not pose an immediate threat to the public’s health.

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