• Kyodo

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A fund supporting children with thyroid cancer said Monday it will pay part of the medical costs for young patients in Fukushima Prefecture and elsewhere in Japan.

The fund, called 3.11 Children’s Fund for Thyroid Cancer, will offer up to ¥200,000 to each patient 25 and under in 15 prefectures mainly in northeastern and eastern Japan, including Tokyo.

The regions were selected in accordance with various atmospheric dispersion models for radioactive iodine spread during the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011.

The fund will accept applications between December and March. After review, it will provide ¥100,000 for each case and additional ¥100,000 for relatively serious patients. A second round of applications will be accepted again from April.

The fund was initially promoted by politicians including former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa, and supported by celebrities such as actress Sayuri Yoshinaga. It has received ¥20 million in donations from the public since September.

Some Japanese researchers published a report attributing most of the thyroid cancer cases found among children and adolescents after the disaster began to radiation spewed by the triple core meltdown at the tsunami-swamped Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

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