Evacuees from nuclear disaster urge the Japanese government to comply with UN Human Rights standards
By Linda Pentz Gunter, with contributions from Kurumi Sugita and Akiko Morimatsu
When Kazumi Kusano stood in the CRIIRAD radiological laboratory in Valence, France listening to lab director, Bruno Chareyron, describe just how radioactive the soil sample taken from a school playground back home in Japan really was, she could not fight back the tears.
“This qualifies as radioactive waste,” Chareyron told them. “The children are playing in a school playground that is very contaminated. The lowest reading is 300,000 bequerels per square meter. That is an extremely high level.” (CRIIRAD is the Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation, an independent research laboratory and NGO).
Kazumi, a Japanese mother and Fukushima evacuee who prefers not to use her real name, was in France with two other mothers, Mami Kurumada and Akiko Morimatsu — all…
Some excerpts from the English language website of the Plaintiffs of the Kyoto lawsuit against TEPCO and the Japanese Government over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster:
• Over 12,000 Fukushima victims have filed 30 cases in different regions against the government and TEPCO.
• Six courts have so far judged that the plaintiffs have the right to evacuate and admitted the right to compensation.
• In the Kyoto regional court the judgement was made in March 2018. But the government and TEPCO have appealed. They don’t accept their responsibility for the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Preparations are now being made for the Osaka high court.
175 plaintiffs from 58 households who evacuated to Kyoto filed a suit in the Kyoto District Court against the Japanese government and TEPCO for damages.
The first appeal: 33 household/ 91 plaintiffs on the 17th September 2013
The second appeal :20 household/ 53 plaintiffs on the 7th March 2014
The third appeal: 11 household/ 31 plaintiffs on the 7th July 2015.
The purpose of this court case:
To ensure strict observance of the national law in Japan which gives the maximum allowable radioactive dose for the public of 1mSv/year. The defendant should admit that citizens have the right to evacuate from the contaminated areas where the official dose limit is exceeded.
To clarify the government and TEPCO’s responsibility for the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The government and TEPCO should give compensation for damaging the victims’ stable lives through the nuclear disaster.
The government and TEPCO should provide permanent measures for all nuclear victims, especially children, including: medical security, radioactive dose check-ups, housing support and employment measures.
The judgement in Kyoto was that the Government and TEPCO have responsibility for the nuclear accident. The right to evacuate for plaintiffs who have self-evacuated were accepted.
On the 15th of March 2018, the first decision of the Kyoto trial was delivered in beautiful spring sunshine.
Many people of the world are concerned with the judgement in our case. The decision made the Government and TEPCO’s responsibility clear. However, three families’ claims were rejected. Therefore, we have won partially. Memories of our efforts over five years came to us and it brought tears to our eyes.
Our right to evacuate was accepted, but for only two years. But the judge showed that the assessment of losses was particular to each plaintiff. The areas where we were accepted to evacuate from expanded to include Aizu, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi. However, we do not accept that the amount of compensation for damages meets our losses.”
Continues here, including testimonies from individual plaintiffs:
GENEVA (25 October 2018) – A UN human rights expert has urged the Japanese Government to halt the ongoing relocation of evacuees who are children and women of reproductive age to areas of Fukushima where radiation levels remain higher than what was considered safe or healthy before the nuclear disaster seven years ago.
The UN Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, will present a report to the General Assembly in New York today, highlighting key cases of victims of toxic pollution brought to his attention in recent years that demand global action. The expert said the Japanese Government’s decision to raise by 20 times what it considered to be an acceptable level of radiation exposure was deeply troubling, highlighting in particular the potentially grave impact of excessive radiation on the health and wellbeing of children.
“It is disappointing to see Japan appear to all but ignore the…
Japan rejects UN call to stop returns to Fukushima
Japan’s government lifted its standard for the acceptable level of radiation to 20 millisieverts per year from 1 millisievert after the Fukushima disaster
27 Oct 2018
Japan’s government on Friday (Oct 26) rejected calls from a UN rights expert to halt the return of women and children to areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster over radiation fears.
UN special rapporteur Baskut Tuncak on Thursday warned that people felt they were “being forced to return to areas that are unsafe, including those with radiation levels above what the government previously considered safe.”
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s government lifted its standard for the acceptable level of radiation to 20 millisieverts per year from 1 millisievert.
It has been urged to revise that level back down again, but has rejected calls to do so, a decision Tuncak…
Swiss artist, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, finds and draws bugs deformed by Chernobyl and other nuclear accidents and exposures
By Claus-Peter Lieckfeld
We speak of “dumb creatures” because animal utterances are largely incomprehensible to the human ear. But animals can show us things. And if you know how to look, they might even give you warning signals. Bugs, for example, give warnings where human perception fails. But to understand those warnings, you have to learn how to read their signals.
You can find the insect drawings of the Swiss artist and scientific illustrator, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, in museums and galleries all over the world. Most of them reflect (and praise) the breathtaking beauty of the insect realm. But their beauty can be deceptive.
In 1987, one year after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Hesse-Honegger came across deformed leaf bugs in areas of Sweden that had been hit hard by fallout from Ukraine. She sensed…