Japan Radiation - Are You Still at Risk From Fukushima?

Radiation is a scary thing. You can't see it, you can't taste it, you can't feel it, but we all know exposure can cause cancer. So how much danger do we face from Fukushima?

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Even now, years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent partial meltdown of the Fukushima reactors, we're still regularly asked "is it safe to go to Japan?"

Radiation Levels in Japan Explained (video)

So in January 2015 we published a small, animated video that tried to put people's fears in perspective.

Taking the official published level of background radiation in Tokyo at the beginning of 2015, how long would you have to stay before you reached the level at which the you might suffer a significant increase in the chance of getting sick? (Not "get sick" but an increase in the chance you might.)

We took the internationally recognised standard, endorsed by every nuclear regulatory authority in the world, that 1 Sievert of radiation over a year increases the likelihood of developing cancer sometime in your lifetime by 5% (note: NOT that 5% of people WILL get cancer, but that everyone has the chance of developing cancer increased by 5% - some will, most won't.)

So, how long you'd have to be in Tokyo for the radiation levels to be a problem? The answer - watch the video here

It's overly simplistic! Yes, unashamedly we tried to simplify the matter. Rather than get lost in REMS Grays, and RADS we followed this guide as published in deepsenews.com.

Simpsons Guide to Radiation

What the Experts Say About Radiation Levels in Japan

No, and we don't claim to be, but we can read, and we read what the experts and official agencies are saying. 

The United Nations body which is the world authority on understanding the health effects of radiation is the UNSCEAR - UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. 

On April 2, 2014 it published a report into the Fukushima disaster and said:

"The doses to the general public, both those incurred during the first year and estimated for their lifetimes, are generally low or very low. No discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public or their descendants."

The study noted they DID find more cancers in their screening of residents, but said that was due to the high-level of screening they conducted.

"Increased rates of detection of [thyroid] nodules, cysts and cancers have been observed during the first round of screening; however, these are to be expected in view of the high detection efficiency [using modern high-efficiency ultrasonography]. Data from similar screening protocols in areas not affected by the accident imply that the apparent increased rates of detection among children in Fukushima Prefecture are unrelated to radiation exposure."

But Isn't Any Radiation Dangerous?

Well, maybe. That's certainly been the established position of health authorities since WWII, and the basis on which we produced our video.

But now there's growing evidence and argument from experts in radiology that long-term exposure to low-levels of radiation may actually be beneficial to your health.

Which would explain why the residents of Ramsar in Iran, with a background radiation level of an astounding 250 mSv per year, have lower cancer rates than the world average.

(Taking a plunge in the health-giving waters of Ramsar)

If you want to read more about the debate about the efficacy of the Linear No Threshold Dose start with this paper from the National center for Biotechnology Information. Or read this 2013 piece scientist James Conca contributed to Forbes.com. 

How Dangerous is the Radiation in Japan?

Radiation is a scary thing. You can't see it, you can't taste it, you can't feel it, but we all know exposure can cause cancer. So how much danger do we face from the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant?

The Japanese government on April 12 2011 made a somewhat confusing statement regarding the plant; they said the situation was coming under control and there was very little risk of a catastrophic meltdown with large release of radioactive material, but they lifted the crisis rating for the accident to 7 - the highest level and equal to Chernoby l-  and widened the exclusion zone around the plant because of fears of long-term health effects.

They said they expected the radiation in the current 20 km exclusion zone will reach the equivalent of 20 millisieverts a year, but this may extend to some areas as far as 30 km or more from the plant, depending on wind and water run-off.

How Dangerous is 20 mSv a Year?

We're all exposed to background radiation of an average 2.5 millisieverts a year. 

This varies from place to place, and in one of the most naturally radioactive places on earth, Ramsar in Iran, the radioactive isotopes dissolved in the local hot springs raise the background level to 250 mSv a year (strangely, the residents are NOT all cancer-riddled!).

As this table (below) from the World Nuclear Association (it's an international organisation that promotes nuclear power) indicates, 20 mSv a year is the current annual safe limit for nuclear workers. 

The WNA says you have to reach exposure levels of 100 mSv a year (others say it's 50 mSv) before there's any evident increase in cancer.

So you'd have to spend a whole year within 20 kms of the Fukushima Daiichi plant to be exposed to the whole 20 mSv of radiation.

How Far Away From Fukushima is Safe?

Time & distance is important in calculating the risk from radiation. The risk to your health increases the longer you are exposed, and the closer you are to the source.

Obviously if you're standing at the base of the broken reactor, without protection, you don't have very long before you start feeling ill. Stay in an affected area for less time, or get further away and the risk to your health drops rapidly.

Is Beijing a safe distance, or Honolulu, or London? Let's try somewhere a little closer to the action to see what affect you can expect - Tokyo.

On March 15th 2011 as uncontrolled releases of radiation emitted from the stricken nuclear plant, and levels of 400 mSv an hour were being recorded at the reactor buildings, 240 km away in Tokyo there was panic as media reported levels of radiation 22 times higher than normal.

But what's normal for Tokyo? It's about 0.126 mSv, which means on that day, for  a few hours, the background level of radiation was 2.5 mSv, equivalent to about half the dose you get from an abdominal x-ray. 

And that was on the worst day of the crisis. Those levels were back close to normal by the next day, and remain pretty much so.

A month after the near meltdown a reading taken in Roppongi (Tokyo) on April 4th  2011 by the Japanese English language newspaper Metropolis, showed 0.176 mSv, marginally higher than the 'normal' of 0.126 mSv, and that was with the wind blowing from the north where the crippled reactors are.

Put some distance into the equation (remember radiation effects fall off with distance), and while increased levels of radiation may be detected in Canada, west coast USA and Europe, the experts insist they will be so small as to be insignificant with no effect on human health.

How Much Radioactive Water From Fukushima Was Released into the Ocean?

In 2013, two years after the meltdown, it was estimated that seawater containing 20 trillion becquerels of radioactive material had been released into the Pacific ocean. That includes the initial release of very radioactive water. Now it's 2015, so let's just double that figure, and say 40 trillion becquerels.

Some scientists argue this is literally a drop in the ocean because the Pacific contains, naturally, the equivalent of 8,125,370,000 trillion becquerels of radioactive material.

Food and Radiation From Fukushima in Japan

This is a major point - strict food safety guidelines prohibit the sale of potentially contaminated foodstuffs. Produce is regularly and thoroughly tested. You can get results of weekly tests published on the website of the Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare.

Still, there are reports of fish being extracted from around Fukushima with high levels of contamination. This Reuters report in January 2014 noted the capture of Black Sea Bream with levels 124 times greater than the threshold for safe human consumption. 

It's worth noting though, Black Sea Bream are currently restricted from being fished for human consumption - so no-one would eat one anyway.

Is it Safe to go to Japan?

We're not recommending a sightseeing trip to the gates of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, in fact you should heed the advice from the American, British and Australian governments and stay at least 20km from the place, but don't put off your travel plans. Pack your suitcases and get out there, a (no more dangerous than usual) world awaits you.

Going to Japan?

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54 Comments

  • Paul said

    Thanks, this is helpful. I really appreciate the links provided to support your findings. It's a great summary with good illustrations to make things clear and simple. I plan on traveling to Tokyo next month with my family, so I wanted to be sure it would be safe.

  • Herman said

    One thing was ignored in the post.
    Significant low level contamination in eastern Japan.
    Now most of eastern territory in Japan are contaminated with low level radioactive materials such as Cs 137.
    What does that mean?
    Almost all foods and water in Tokyo, for example, contains some amount of radioactive materials.
    Of course, it is not harmful immediately. but anyway it will increase the chance of having cancer and other disease.

    Read this report.
    typically 10 - 20 times increase in all human health systems after 5 to 10 years later.
    Extremely harmful to children though small amount of contamination.

    http://www.ippnw.org/pdf/chernobyl-health-effects-2011-english.pdf

    So I think, it is not safe living in Japan or visiting Japan especially for kids.

  • Herman said

    +
    People should know that Cesium is not the only one.
    There are more than a hundred nuclear fission products.
    The government reports only a few of fission products , iodine or cesium.

  • Andrew said

    I took a class where that had medical staff from all over the US training. I spoke to a male nurse who was from Alaska. He told me that he doesn't want to fish for food because the sea lions he had seen are coming out of the water with bald spots and vomiting. That was about a year and a half ago when I met with at a training program hosted by FEMA.

  • AP said

    However, pdf given above is for Chernobyl and population living in surrounding area even country wide. The facts are based on people who live there for years and years, not visiting. This article is to help people who are considering to visit Japan. Even though radiation may be dangerous for people living in the area for long period of time, I personally don't think 2-4 weeks visit will kill. I believe US, UK, and Australian governments will issue travel ban if situation got really dangerous. Off course you don't want to go to Fukushima nuclear plant, but Tokyo should be fine for short period of time.

  • David said

    Our air was nuclear contaminated since the first atmospheric test of nuclear weapon in 1945. Japan is under extreme conditions with 2 nuclear bombs dropped by the US in 1945 and one Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. Many places in Japan have nuclear airborne, nuclear nuclei in soil, nuclear contamination of underground water, and nuclear contamination of ocean water. Yes, it is terrible for Japan.

  • Fission product said

    I agree: the problem is not radiations, but fission products which are particles not rays. While rays power decays with the square of distance, particles can move freely with wind and cloud...

  • Willy said

    The problem with radioactive particles is distance and time inside your body when you eat any fish or food that is contaminated with radioactive particles. I suppose it is safe to visit but be careful of what food you eat. Esp seafood, like seaweed or rice from the affected area. Younger people who are pregnant should not go. The older you are the less likely you will get cancer and even if you do you probably will dye of old age than the cancer as it takes many years for the cancer to occur once you have eaten it. Take care Personally I have no plans to visit Japan no matter how cheap it is.

  • TokyoPete said

    First let me say I am not a scientist and so I cannot judge the situation but I think it is worth taking a moment to mention the views and concerns being expressed by some which are contrary to what is stated in this article. There is evidence that the reactor cores have melted down and have actually infiltrated into the ground and ground water. As a result, there are some claims by well respected experts in Japan (such as Ichiro Iiyama) that the situation in Fukushima has become markedly worse over 2015, for example, that dangerous steam filled with various nuclear materials has spread from the reactor to other parts of Japan. Some of the radiation caused by this is apparently very difficult to measure and monitor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmPXnKWuphg

    There also has been some anecdotal and private investigative evidence that so called "hot particles" (either from 2011 or from events subsequent to that) have been found as far away as Tokyo or even Nagoya. Hot particles cannot be measured easily as they are so small and erratic, being carried by wind etc. The chances of breathing in a hot particle are probably small, but if you ingest one it could be very dangerous especially to children. That risk is difficult to quantify and no-one really knows the truth.
    I am not sure why mainstream media and governmental organizations are ignoring these risks. I suppose no-one wants to panic 40 million people in Tokyo and there is nothing much that can be done to protect against these risks now. The former Ambassador of Japan to Switzerland was concerned enough to write to various foreign dignitaries about it. It seems everyone in Japan is too scared to talk about it. https://japansafety.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/the-horrors-of-fukushima-mitsuhei-murata-april-20-2015/

    You need to distinguish between external background radiation and ingested radiation, the effects of which are completely different. I myself take the risk to go to Japan, but I would not let my children visit. All they need to do is ingest one of these hot particles and they could suffer from cancer in years to come. And as I mentioned, it is almost impossible to measure some of the radioactive particles or certain types of radiation. I do not want to take that risk as no-one can tell me how large the risk is. And the fact that no-one is talking about all this makes me nervous.

    Do your own research. As most Japanese people know, cannot believe the official information coming out of Japan.

    Finally, no-one knows what would happen if there is another major earthquake at Fukushima. In particular the spent fuel rods are a disaster waiting to happen in that event. Can anyone really say when that might happen. Please also check out some of the speeches of physician Helen Caldicott on this subject. Although some of her facts have been disputed I believe she is generally credible (although a vocal anti-nuclear advocate). I am not trying to panic anyone, and I am not someone who believes every conspiracy theory I hear. On the other hand I feel that things are probably worse than what is coming from official sources. I would welcome any responses to my specific points. I am always looking for facts to help me believe the situation is not as bad as some are warning. Please someone answer me one question: If my child goes to Japan how do I know my child would not ingest a radioactive hot particle?

  • PhilSylvester said

    Hi Tokyo Pete,
    Of course it is up to each person to assess for themselves the level of risk they are willing to accept. The article does not "state" anything, instead it tries to make sense of, and simplify, statements made by large credible organisations - such as the UN, and the governments of Japan, Australia etc.
    We do not claim any scientific knowledge, nor do we declare Tokyo safe, unsafe or otherwise. We hope to enlighten people so they can make an informed and rational decision according to their own circumstances.
    In that light, we openly appreciate your contribution (and that of others), but also recognise there is probably NOT a definitive answer. So please, everyone, refrain from accusing us of spreading misinformation or being a party to a global cover-up.
    Phil

  • TokyoPete said

    Hi PhilSylvester. Sorry if it seemed that I was being critical which was not the intention. I think however, the truth is that no-one knows what ever happened to the so called hot spots, how widespread they are, or whether they pose a risk of ingestion, and how much radiation risk is being caused by whatever is going on at Fukushima now. I think by opening up the topic maybe we will get some informed views from people who knows more than I do. Seems eerily quiet on this topic which makes me wonder if anyone really understands the risks. We are not talking about background radiation here. That is easy to compare with other cities around the world. We are talking about how much minute or invisible dangerous stuff is in the air. I am not saying people should cancel plans to go to Tokyo or Osaka. I am just saying that tourists (especially those with kids) deserve answers to these questions from credible sources.

  • BrutonStreetTailor said

    Hi, we all saw on television the explosions and detonation from unit 3 reactor (filled with mox fuel) , and the resulting fire in unit 4 and the other fires since, the hot particles of the core of unit 3 were aerosolised and went round the world basically, with hot Plutonium particles being taken up via the jet-stream and deposited and found 9000 miles away in Lithuania. At that time warnings were given out in France to stay out of the rain and avoid eating fresh vegatables. We did'nt get that here in the uk did we? Actually the fuel you mention in unit 4 spent fuel pool is'nt a problem, as that pool went dry soon after and nearly all the fuel aerosolised and has been sent around the globe. If you have seen the pictures on TV of a nice new Crane sitting over the fuel pool and thought, that stood up pretty well to that explosion, that tells you all you need to know, - its a con. For more comprehensive information about what really happened look up The freedom of information documents from the NRC.

  • Daryn said

    "But what's normal for Tokyo? It's about 0.126 mSv, which means on that day, for a few hours, the background level of radiation was 2.5 mSv, equivalent to about half the dose you get from an abdominal x-ray."

    This is not true. An abdominal x-ray is 0.02mSv. This would be equivalent to taking 125 AXRs.

  • Scott said

    What about those 1000+ nuclear test taken on US soil?? Must be said Mr. Rolf Maximilian Sievert was born in 1896...

  • loanemu said

    Articles with great information like this are noteworthy, so I decided to write a note. I enjoyed the points you made and how they're presented.

  • Damcho Dronma said

    W.H.O. IPHECA 1995 report: all areas greater than 5mSv/year contamination were mandatory evacuation. International standard for external exposure is 1mSv/year.
    That assumes zero in the soil and water, which is impossible.

    W.H.O. established that RadioCesium (for example) is 1,000 times worse than external exposure! We already have radioactive fallout everywhere in our food and water, so keeping levels down is absolutely critical to preserve health.

    Herman J. Muller 1927 Paper, 1946 Nobel prize winner: he proved that all radiation is not safe, that genetic mutations takes place at low level exposure levels, that more mutations show up in future generations (your children and grandchilden) and that increased radiation, including low levels, leads to extinction.
    This has been verified and proven again and again for decades. It is the truth.
    The more mistakes we introduce into a cell line, the sooner that species will no longer be able to produce viable offspring.

    Kennedy quotes

    "... there is no amount of radiation so small that it has no ill effects at all on anybody. There is actually no such thing as a minimum permissible dose. Perhaps we are talking about only a very small number of individual tragedies - the number of atomic age children with cancer, the new victims of leukemia, the damage to skin tissues here and reproductive systems there - perhaps these are too small to measure with statistics. But they nevertheless loom very large indeed in human and moral terms.

    Radiation, in its simplest terms - figuratively, literally and chemically - is poison. Nuclear explosions in the atmosphere are slowly but progressively poisoning our air, our earth, our water and our food. And it falls, let us remember, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, on all peoples of all lands, regardless of their political ideology, their way of life, their religion or the color of their skin. Beneath this bombardment of radiation which man has created, all men are indeed equal." ~~ John F. Kennedy (US President, Jan '61 – Nov '63) April 1960

    As Dr. John Gofman said, roughly, when we knowingly expose populations to radiation, knowing how dangerous and lethal it is, we commit murder. Allowing people in Japan to stay in areas worse than 5 mSv is murderous and breaking Japanese laws.
    EPA monitors in the USA need to be repaired and operating; the public informed. Between the hazards of nuclear and prohibitive expense (add environmental and damage to public health, all species)... and should be banned entirely.

    We need to be focusing on 100% renewable energy infrastructure to combat Climate Chaos ... See TheSolutionsProject.org

  • Allan Begg said

    I have read ( Google Fukashima 7th November 2025 update)
    It talks of Reactore 3 in meltdown now 83 tons of steam have escaped into the atmosphere and should arrive west coast of America in 3-4 days they say Americans should Duck Tape their windows before radiation arrival..,
    It goes onto say Reactore 4 is sinking and this can't be stopped as a consequence it will go into meltdown to at some stage....
    Finally a seperate power station with nuclear reactor is close to a volcano which is starting to become active..,

  • Nerdy said

    DUCT tape. leave the wildlife alone Allan.

  • krab said

    Maybe someone can ask me: why natural radiation dose in Japan is less than natural radiation dose in the word?

  • Sejan Rahman said

    it was always my dream to live in Japan I think I will choose South Korea,Taiwan or Hong Kong over Japan for not getting cancer and dying of radiation.
    I love Japan and Japanese culture but scared to go in Japan because of a radiation level and I am scared of earthquake because one time in Canada I feel a earthquake I was freak out when I feel a little earthquake in Canada.why the japanese do not evacuate in other country like Canada,Mongolia,Russia,Canada or South America Japanese have plenty of money to evacuated the radioactive plus living in Japan is risky because of tsunami and earthquakes.

  • Brenda Wiesner said

    Great article. People, you won't get cancer. You won't get it from your microwave, you won't get it from Fukishima, you won't get it from solar panels. Believe the well researched article and avoid comments from people who don't study radiation, work with radiation, who don't have science backgrounds or educations in nuclear physics (the people constantly commenting as authorities on these types of stories). Thank you for the article! Good job!

  • Christine said

    There is no place on this planet that doesn't come with some sort of risk, regardless of what the potential hazard is. You can just as easily die in a car crash or pneumonia or whatever unfortunate incident. Japan is a beautiful country with people who are kind, thoughtful, and respectful. I can't fathom the issue of radiation, or an earthquake, typhoons, or whatever other reason you want to come up with to avoid visiting or living there. I'm not saying go to Fukushima and pop a tent. Our family lived in Japan for four years before coming back to the USA. I wouldn't trade that experience for the world. I want to go back again and the radiation issue would not prevent me or my family from doing so.

  • kiara said

    let me tell you this .. I have a brother who went to tokyo years ago with his family. he took the eldest daughther with them. She was 2 years old and cheerful,clever and very healthy but 3 months after that trip,the girl was diagnosed with leukemia . Everyone was surprised because she was always healthy. Doctors said some of the possibilities and one of them is radiation. She died a few months later .. first, I did not expect because of the radiation. then I heard one of my relatives who miscarried during a holiday in Japan. she miscarried in the sixth months of pregnancy. is this just a coincidence?

  • Pedro said

    There's nothing to worry about the water discharge, at least not if you aren't swimming in Fukushima Daiichi or eating anything from the surroindings. You can check the radiation levels in the Pacific quite easily in web sites like:
    http://ourradioactiveocean.org/results.html
    Actually, radioactive levels in the Pacific from Fukushima are around 1-2 Bq/m3, very much lower than the 13000 Bq/m3 that the Earth seas naturally have.
    (Of course, things are not so easy. They look for the caesium, which is by now the most dangerous radioisotope but not for other isotopes. Also, not all the caesium comes from Fukushima, there's quite a bit that comes from nuclear testing. Third, caesium bioaccumulates. Fourth, you have to consider the energy that emits the isotope.)
    Japanese sea and landfood is being regulary tested. Even there a very small proportion of it surpasses the legal limits. So, I don't worry about what I eat thousands of kilometers away. It's not a lie, it's science.

  • Montana said

    I'd personally be very careful on commenting such a thing like this.
    Yes the airborne particles matter and hot spots and so on... but nothing matters more than what you get to eat when you visit Japan.

    http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=14621

    Problem is that Japan does distribute food from all provinces to all Japanese cities, and some even exported. You cannot tell if some ingredients are from fukushima or say...osaka.

    They grow vegies and catch fish still, not at fukushima center but close enough to raise concern.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bb84d0d2-2a7b-11e3-ade3-00144feab7de.html#axzz43P0O4YHc

    When you consume radioactive material, now thats a huge trouble.

    However some people working in radioactive environment such as astronaut receives more radiation than staying around Fukushima, I don't quite get how that works, but at least you don't consume radioactive matter on space.

    I'm concerning visiting Japan at the end of this year, but I'm still holding it back, I leave in Oceania and Japanese population here has been increasing drastically since fukushima happening back in 2011, why?...

  • Cathy said

    I fully believe this article plays down and minimises the risk immensely. Who would believe the "authorities" and what they say is safe, they lie to the public to avoid panic on just about everything.
    Personally I wouldn't go to Japan at all.
    Do you research and dont fall for these platitudes and assurances here, it aint safe.

  • Blaise Gauba said

    Also keep in mind that proponents of nuclear related anything are insane. Also keep in mind that the International Atomic Energy Agency is totally insane. Also keep in mind that you will not get an honest, straight answer from anyone who speaks on behalf of or represents anyone or anything relating to the nuclear energy business or the business of nuclear related public relations including marketing of and for the nuclear energy business.

  • david said

    More people will die from the fear mongering than from the radiation, just as in Chernobyl. In Chernobyl people were told they were tainted, and that their children would be deformed, .... As a result the people who were evacuated took up unhealthy life-styles to relieve stress, and started dying earlier than the people who defied the evacuation order and stayed.

  • SirGeoff said

    I started checking out on this google search looking for the danger of visiting Jamaica; read some paranoid fear mongering, same as the incessant references to the dangers in Mexico, when in reality Vancouver, BC is seeing more deaths annually, but no press releases saying don't visit Canada.
    So, having moved into this article on Fukushima radiation dangers, including the stupidity of people "duct taping their windows" to keep out radiation; which, from what I understand can penetrate pretty much everything; I am now going to head to Jamaica, because I have confirmed that the paranoid folks amongst us will look for the worst situation in anything and everything. If I don't make it back alive, you can say "told you so" (and at least it will be a quick death, rather than having my green luminous limbs fall off slowly from radiation poisoning).
    p.s. I see that David Suzuki is still alive and well on the west coast, after telling everyone, 3 years ago that the west coast of America was doomed due to radioactivity from Fukushima. Guess those who pay him big bucks to listen to his scaremongering are still here, so he's prepared to risk everything for the almighty dollar?

  • John said

    I would not go to Japan under any circumstances. Their government is a bunch of liars and that has been proven. Hot particles are everywhere and you literally take your life into your own hands playing russian roulette. Not worth it to me.

  • pencho said

    Arrogantly written article. It does not give any precise information. Just some "funny" comparisons. Pathetic

  • Hailey said

    I'm not majoring in radiation or other related theory so I can't know exactly and there are many argues about radiation in Japan. But I'd like to go to Japan and work next year and I will have stayed for about 3 years. I can't trust governments, scientists either. I think if Japan is really dangerous to live now, every Japanese politicians, riches evacuate there but they don't. But I've been worrying about radiation too so I will buy water from other country and be careful of foods, especially sea foods.

  • Isaac said

    If the radiation in Ramsar, Iran is naturally occurring, then it's possible that the inhabitants have to have a high resistance to the effects of radiation. As in, everybody who had a low resistance died off a long time ago. Just a thought.

  • karen said

    Japan and in particular Tokyo need to remain a no-go zone for the Olympic Games 2020. It is absolute insanity to hold the games in Tokyo so soon after the nuclear disaster of Fukushima pretending that it didn't happen. Radiation is unhealthy. Too much of it could destroy all life on earth. We need to learn much more about it and stop being hoodwinked into thinking that nuclear disasters and the outpouring of radiation is something which we can live with quite happily and safely. That is rubbish!

  • James williams said

    I think people are tired of all the lies. We just want the truth. We want to know what is really going on. There is not much we can do now. This problem will persist. So why don't they want us to know? Are they trying to protect the industry? Or are they worried about loosing an astronomical amount of money if the truth and scale of this disaster were to become public? Downplaying this disaster and the obvious impacts it will have on our environment with these feel-good videos and watered down reports only increases public distrust. Just tell the truth for once. We can handle it.

  • May said

    To all u people who's paranoid and ignorant ! Stay where you are ! No one or nobody force u guys to go to Japan . Stop talking shit about the country . They're not asking you to visit there country . If u guys are afraid to get sick or cancer or die ? Stay home, hopefully u don't get sick get cancer or die ! And if u do get cancer , sick , Just think !!!!!! U didn't even go to Japan yet !!!! Why got sick ???? Realllllyyyyy !!!!!

  • Mrs T said

    I wouldn't go to Japan if you paid me. Not worth the risk.

  • Marissa said

    James williams is correct, however all know the truth in the back of our minds. Otherwise we wouldn't be searching this issue. The article's "it's fine" tone is irresponsible, especially to those with children (as another commentator stated). There is very little real information released about this because they don't want to disturb the public. The lasting effects of radiation take years to show up. So to everyone saying, "nothing yet! it must be fine," you really don't know what you are talking about. Unfortunately, despite quoting statistics and reports, a travel author is not qualified to give actual advice about this topic. I've always wanted to visit Japan but this will keep me away, at least until I am much older.

  • Sandra said

    Nice article. My family and I was planning a trip to Japan, but after reading this article, I don't think it would be safe for my children. Helpful, but ruined our plans.

  • Jessy said

    I agree with James Williams and Marissa. This nuclear crisis is currently a grave concern to many people throughout the world and the catastrophe will continue to escalate. For years, the Japanese government has purposely covered up the information on extremely high levels of radiation at Fukushima and lied that there is nothing to worry about this issue. Even though the Japanese government knew about the disaster in the very beginning, they didn't reveal the truth about it to the public because they feared the panic of everything. Do you think this is right? It sounds terrifying to me. According to one of the articles from International Business Times, Abe has stated, ”It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo. It poses no problem whatsoever. … There are no health-related problems until now, nor will there be in the future. I make the statement to you in the most emphatic and unequivocal way.” Only now can we found out that this is completely not right and we see the lies of the Japanese government from the detrimental impacts and consequences that recently began to appear.

    After two and a half years, which was in the year of 2013, Japan has asked the world for help in which I think it was too late because huge amounts of radiation has already poured out and has not only affected Japan, but other parts of the world. All we want is just the actual truth about this global disaster with more authentic information released about it. Not continuous lies that will affect many lives worldwide and the future generations.

    The nuclear crisis in Japan brings devastating ecological effects and negative consequences to human health. It causes emotional, social and other health effects to us human beings. Extreme doses of radiation increases higher risks of cancer and other severe illness, such as brain damage and other syndromes. There have been discoveries on radiation contamination in food and water in Japan, America, and several other countries. It has actually influenced numerous people in Japan and surrounding countries, but the Japanese government is not even paying attention, as if nothing has happened. With the denial of the government and ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, our world is possibly going to be chaotic where plants would look like huge flowers with gigantic stems and disfigured fish of five eyes and no fins. We all know that radiation is a scary thing because it is invisible. From all the events that have occurred, I personally would not want to live in a country like Japan.

    I would say the Japanese government should really release more data on the risks of possible radiation exposures and form evacuation plans and other measures, despite the fear of the public. The more the government tries to withhold and cover up the information of the disaster, the more it will increase public distrust and concerns, and there will be obvious impacts on our environment.

  • Elizabeth K said

    There is still a huge problem. Everyday, radioactive water is pouring into the ocean. It is killing life and traveling throughout the world. Starfish have soft shells & are found dead. Sea lions are found bleeding with hair missing, and fish are found dead. Two headed baby sharks are being found. Reports of tuna being contaminated & unsafe to eat.

    As long as the radioactive water continues to be dumped into the ocean, major contamination will grow & become more concentrated. There are YouTube videos out there about this.
    Please view as many as you can. If you don't like the first few minutes, try another video. All are very informative.

    Here some links:

    Newest story I found regarding mishaps, etc. dated Sept. 23, 2016:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIgVOkU4xBk

    Clips from interviews on Fukushima:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vi5cHkpSY8

    I can't find (at this time) the video I had watched showing the path of the radioactive water, but did find this very long video showing lots of models of flow & more information. It has a lot of information in it. I think it is important, but may be too long & overloaded for most to watch. But I am putting the link here. If you don't like it, please check out the other links below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsYyFi1usZw


    Fukushima: World's Worse Nuclear Disaster:
    https://youtu.be/cUG1SVqRKp4

    Fukushima No More Seafood for you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs9yD7jneRY

    Helen Caldicott: Fukushima Ongoing Impact: (This explains about radiation & impact on our bodies.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qX-YU4nq-g

    The power plant melt down explained by Helen Caldicott:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7tC1djFG9k

    More reactor explanations by Kevin Kamps, what happened:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ8z9nLlSXo

    I believe the radiation is behind the two-headed shark mutations:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3905028/Mystery-TWO-HEADED-sharks-mutant-fish-appearing-alarming-rates-no-one-knows-why.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

    The radioactive water & air has reached the west coast of North America & Hawaii. There are more videos out there about the ocean water contamination and the movement of the water through the globe. It is all connected.

  • Elizabeth K said

    Please watch videos:

    Fukushima: The Slow Death of Planet Earth
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVrudQePk9E

    Fukushima: World's Worse Nuclear Disaster:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUG1SVqRKp4&feature=youtu.be

    Fukushima: A Demonic Chain Reaction:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ8z9nLlSXo

    World In Danger ~ The Fukushima-California Connection w/Arnie Gundersen 2016:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKYmsNf3unA

    Fukushima News: California Media Breaks Fukushima Up Ranks 2030 Fuktonium Days Late:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf_OI_Klqtc

    On Fukushima Beach - Documentary
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vi5cHkpSY8

    Fukushima Is Becoming Nuclear Holocaust:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIgVOkU4xBk

  • Elizabeth K said

    Documentary 2016 | World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFxVd2tO-II

  • Mathew F said

    I used to take classes on how to operate nuclear power plants and we often discussed about radiation sickness. We all know that large doses of ionizing radiation in a short period of time can lead to ARS, but this isn’t the real problem. Abe has said that Japan will be safe under this nuclear crisis, but is it really? The March 2011 meltdowns caused extensive human suffering, including the radiation-related illness among the general public. Months after the disaster, there was a dramatic increases in cancers and other ailments. The kids in the region were screened for thyroid cancer in the years following the disaster. Almost half of those screened had nodules or cysts on their thyroids. After all this happening, can Abe really say that Japan is still safe? However, this is not only affecting Japan. After the Japan meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, in Korea, the rate of thyroid cancer diagnosis was 15 times what it was in 1993. Likely, this isn’t only a matter of Japan’s economy and country as a whole, but it has also negatively affected the entire world and is still continuing.

  • Tana said

    I don’t know what the big deal Is you guys. I have lived in Tokyo, Japan all my life and I’m still alive. All of you guys saying that it’s dangerous and you’re going to get sick you are all wrong!!!! Besides radiation is not even that bad its basically just oxygen and it has so many health benefits so I don’t know why u guys are freaking out so much!! You guys are just a bunch of ignorant people. You guys should listen to me, a person that’s actually in japan and has experienced it instead of listening to those so called “Experts” .It is perfectly safe here in Tokyo just come see for yourself before you judge my country!!

  • Jake said

    May I remind you guys that Japan banned spaghetti from Italy after Chernobyl?
    By the same standard, Japan should be abandoned altogether which is not an option.
    What do people do if they don't have a choice? They start to self-justify or to lie.

    The Fukushima incident was already classified at the same disaster level as Chernobyl even before it came to meltdown a few years ago. (lvl 7)

    And now it's at the level of melt-through, hence lvl 9 or so.

    They keep reporting the low radioactivity level in the air, because unlike Chernobyl, it's the groundwater that's contaminated, not the air.

    There are reasons for the huge increase in property prices in some Asian countries like Korea.
    Rich Japaneses are buying them like crazy.

    You may guess why.

  • cis said

    So let me recap: you are quoting:
    * The UNSCIENTIFIC Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (ok a little pun there...)
    * World Nuclear Association (an international organisation that promotes nuclear power)

    I would not even take into consideration what the latter say as they are VERY UNLIKELY to provide unbiased information.

    I had always wanted to go to Japan, alas they messed up and I will probably never go now.

  • TokyoPete said

    Everyone, I have posted here before and continue to research the subject. Don't let people mislead you (intentionally or otherwise) by talking about safe levels of background radiation in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan. At the time of the nuclear accident and since, tiny particles of nuclear material have spread around Japan. We know that hot spots were found. The soil in the hills around Fukushima remain radioactive and blow where the wind blows. The fact is that when you go to Japan, you have no idea whether you or your child is inhaling or ingesting one of these that will lodge in your or your child's lungs. What is the chance of that happening? The answer is that no-one knows. Is it higher than having a car crash? No-one has any idea. But the fact that the issue of ingestible radiation has been largely unreported probably means that the risk is higher than you might think.

  • Jessy said

    I don’t agree with your perspective, Tana. What do you mean that radiation isn’t harmful and that it has health benefits? Do you have any evidence based on what you said? If so, I would like to know because as far as I believe, radiation leak has threatening impacts on our environments and human health. Even though you are living in Japan, you may not be exposed to the real truth of the nuclear disaster in your country. There are numerous Japanese people and the residents there, who believe there is nothing wrong
    with Japan because the country has hidden the truth of the catastrophe from the beginning. It’s just not right. More countries are now being affected by the disaster and more evidences are appearing. So, to the people who have said that “ the situation is absolutely fine”, I would say it's the complete opposite of that. The effects of the event had been widespread. The accident in Fukushima had not only affected the lives of both the workers at the power plant and over 150,000 evacuees, but it has had tremendous impact on our atmospheric and natural environment, economic and political circumstances, and our psychology and health. I would really like you to deeply consider about the effects and consequences of the disaster and think about the people who were largely affected by it. You can’t just assume that Japan is safe because you are still completely alive right now. Radiation is invisible and unexpected so you can’t be certain that it’s not affecting you at all.

  • Liam said

    You guys, the environmental impacts of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster will most likely last decades to centuries. Some of them are already apparent, such as high radiation concentrations in new leaves, highly contaminated areas (reduced fertility in barn swallows), and decreases in the abundance of 57 bird species with higher radiation level. There are many affected individuals in Japan and elsewhere who were exposed to radiation or other stressors as a result of the disaster.

  • NIC said

    Typically, when there is something to worry about, the authorities will bend the truth or simply lie to prevent panic and the subsequential socio-economic fallout. For this reason they are not to be trusted on their word alone.

    Recommend caution and vigillance, sentences such as, for example "Pack your suitcases and get out there, a (no more dangerous than usual) world awaits you." indicate an attempt at pacification.

    While panic won't yield any beneficial results, public pressure on the authorities and the denialist population will.

    Treatment of our living environment by humanity as a whole is one of remiss, incessant arrogance and massive overconfidence in our abilities has gotten us into trouble time and again. The problem is, we're not playing with sticks anymore. One mistake, even a small one, can have devastating consequences.

  • PATRICK OGALA said

    These big companies only care about money and profits they could get. They don't care what will be the effect of their greediness to all the people and their surroundings what really causes cancer are all this preserve food they are making, how can a preserve food last for three months, i have been buying preserved food for my kids as a single father because i do not have enough time for my kids due to my job, then suddenly my first daughter feel sick and i quickly run a check on her and discovered she was diagnosed of cancer, as a Doctor i looked for cure but couldn't find any my daughter started taking drugs like her whole life depends on it, it wasn't working the cancer was still spreading i searched more on the internet i found a testimony on how it cured someone then .i copied the email immediately the email ricksimpsoncannabisoil41@gmail.com i wrote to this very email ricksimpsoncannabisoil41@gmail.com, in an hour i got a feedback asking me few questions, and enlightened me on how to get the oil in the next 48hours, i placed my order and in the next 48hours the medication oil got to me in Nairobi Kenya immediately my daughter started using the oil, it been two months now, since my daughter has been using the medication oil and the cancerous problems are gone this very fact was clarified by me and other doctors
    i put up this piece of testimony for the sake of those once who need this oil to please don't die in silence their is a cure for your cancer today email: ricksimpsoncannabisoil41@gmail.com and get the oil.

  • Craig said

    I appreciated the article. I am a radiation protection specialist and the main theme I see in the posts following the article is fear and misinformation. Radiation is not a very powerful carcinogen. For example, I live in Colorado and we receive roughly twice the natural background radiation that most residents of the US receive. Yet, our cancer rates tend to be among the lowest in the country. If radiation is that bad, how can that be? I would chalk it up to the healthier lifestyle, lower obesity rates, more outdoor recreation, and lower rates of smoking. So, those characteristics are more important to cancer induction than the increased radiation exposure.

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