The March 12 AP article “‘Invisible enemy’ stalks Fukushima” describes daily life for city residents of Fukushima and the negative effects from the stricken nuclear power plant. Many people also are affected emotionally because of the lack of information and the irresponsibility of the government’s [statements].
I am surprised that the residents of Fukushima City who are exposed to the highest levels of radiation in Japan are reported not to know what “becquerels” or “millisieverts” mean. In my opinion, the lack of information goes against human rights and makes the problem bigger. Residents are afraid of everything around them because of radiation that has not yet been explained.
With the government merely stating that “there are no ‘immediate’ health effects,” residents continue to live in places filled with danger, showing that the government cares more about political and economic aspects than about threats to life.
The article strongly conveys the need for changes in how information is provided. The government, many scientists and Tokyo Electric Power Co. are not informing the residents adequately about the effects of radiation, as they are apparently afraid of the chaos it may cause. I think the residents have the right to know what is happening to their environment and to learn how much their bodies have already been contaminated.
I believe that lack of information is the root of most fears in Fukushima. I agree with nuclear and ecology expert Kunihiko Takeda, who is quoted in the article as saying that people become less afraid after the risks are explained. They feel safer because they then know how to protect themselves and what to avoid.
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.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.