The Nov. 18 front-page article “Cesium fallout widespread” states that there has been continued testing of soil throughout Hokkaido since before and after the March 11 nuclear accidents at Fukushima, the results of which can be found at: http://monitoring-hokkaido.info/index.php?lang=en
These results indicate that levels of cesium-137 are lower than they were three years ago and that levels of cesium-134 are not detectable, implying that this fallout is the residue of the Chernobyl disaster (1986) and atmospheric nuclear testing — as cesium-134 and -137 from Fukushima should be found in equal amounts. The nature of this article and others in the press have caused many cancellations of tourist bookings and will continue to hurt not only Hokkaido but Japan in general for many years to come.
The above article should have emphasized that these results are ESTIMATES only, that actual values are much lower, and that most of the world is contaminated with as much, if not more, cesium-137 than Hokkaido is.
The news media are destroying Hokkaido’s vital tourism industry unnecessarily through sensationalist reporting and slack research. I sincerely hope The Japan Times follows up on this article to try to fix some of the damage that has been done.
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.
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