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Regarding the Oct. 4 article “U.K. expert says limits on radiation ‘unreasonable“: It is disconcerting to read physics professor Wade Allison claim that radiation levels at Fukushima and in foodstuffs are no cause for concern. Medical experts dispute this, among them Tokyo University’s Radioisotope Center head Tatsuhiko Kodama, who was quoted in an Aug. 24 article (“Fukushima fallout said 30 times Hiroshima’s”) as saying that there are not enough epidemiological studies to justify conclusions on the number of cancers that may result. In Diet testimony, he warned of specific dangers to different organs from internal radiation.

While nuclear apologists like Allison point to pro-industry scientists’ claims that even disasters like Chernobyl caused very few lasting effects, this is disputed by the New York Academy of Sciences, Kodama and other experts.

Japan’s own nuclear industry is a well-oiled machine that is counting on us to forget. It fights anti-nuclear sentiment on many fronts, spreading disinformation about the supposed safety of radiation or falsely accusing former industry minister Yoshio Hachiro of triggering “public outrage” when he called the area around the Fukushima plant a “town of death.” Police do their part to intimidate the antinuclear movement, recently arresting and holding without charge protesters in a Tokyo demonstration, something that for the most part has gone unreported.

In a documentary by Shunji Iwai, nuclear power opponent Dr. Hiroaki Koide notes that while people outside of Fukushima go about their lives as if everything were normal, in part due to a compliant media, for the people in Fukushima, it is akin to living in a war zone. Given the disinformation and intimidation, it is not only the future of nuclear power but Japanese democracy that is at stake, and we count on The Japan Times to continue to cover and report ALL the news on this issue “without fear or favor”.

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.

paul arenson

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