Forty-four children living in areas of Fukushima Prefecture subject to high levels of radiation were screened for thyroid cancer Saturday in Tokyo, highlighting widespread health fears following the 2011 nuclear meltdowns crisis.

Saturday's checkup in Shinjuku Ward was organized by a fund-raising group established by well-known journalist Ryuichi Hirokawa that supports young victims in the areas worst affected by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Hirokawa, editor-in-chief of monthly magazine Days Japan, which is known for its in-depth photojournalism, said he immediately realized the risk of children in Fukushima developing thyroid cancer through covering the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe for more than two decades.