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As much as I admire Debito Arudou for his efforts to point out flaws in the Japanese society and politics, he let himself get carried away this time.

First, the phrase “radiation poisoning” is usually reserved to the acute effects of ionizing radiation that usually manifest within days of exposure. None of this happened in Japan outside of the reactor.

His vision that the worldwide population will get sick because of Fukushima is utter nonsense. But his argument fail-proof: he claims that statistics about Fukushima effects will be obfuscated.

There is one statistic that is worth mentioning here. Among the 600,000 most heavily contaminated persons after the Chernobyl accident, there were 4,000 additional cases of cancer (an increase of 0.66 percent). Extrapolated to Japan, the death by cancer rate will increase from 30 percent to 30.6 percent at most among people from the direct vicinity of the Fukushima plant. The effect of radiation for Tokyoites will be not measurable.

I also fail to see how “lying” was responsible for the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima in the first place. Maybe oversight, a chain of unfortunate events, or human failure was responsible for the catastrophe — but nothing in the column has me convinced that it was lying.

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.

olaf kathaus

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