Was the May 14 Kyodo article “Radioactive ash found in Tokyo after March 11” meant for normal people, or was it badly translated into English? It is just too vague and uses scandalizing vocabulary: “A sewage plant in eastern Tokyo detected a highly radioactive substance in incinerator ash shortly after the nuclear crisis began at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, metropolitan government sources revealed Friday.”

What kind of reporting is this?

“Incinerator ash” in a “sewage plant” just does not compute for me. What is the relationship? The article seems to arbitrarily link the words “radioactive substance” and “Fukushima.”

It continues: “The radioactive intensity of the substance was 170,000 becquerels per kilogram, the unnamed sources said.” “Unnamed sources”!? How do you expect readers to trust this information? Unnamed from my point of view could be anyone!

“The ash, which has been recycled into construction materials, including cement, was collected from a sludge plant in Koto Ward in March.” Which is it, a sewage plant or a sludge plant?!

“The substance has yet to be identified and researchers are looking into whether it might be radioactive cesium, the sources said without elaborating.” Without elaborating!?

Was this a Google translation, or was it originally written in English? Have the courtesy of at least making a link to the original source. I cannot believe The Japan Times let this kind of vague and poor reporting pass.

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.

anthony tatekawa

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