Citizens Group Leader in Kashiwa Radiation Hotspot Quits

The leader of a Citizens’ Group to Protect Children from Hotspot Radiation in Kashiwa city, Chiba, decided to suspend its activities. Mrs. Yuki Ohsaku, representative of the group evacuated recently to Kyushu after her two children started nosebleeding and other core members also are considering moving out of Kashiwa city. 10 members have already relocated. (Above video of Interview with Mrs. Ohsaku on the radio)

In May the Kashiwa mayor wrote in his blog that those worried about the effects of radiation have some kind of mental problems. Kashiwa city originally had no plan to conduct any survey after citizens reported high radiation levels. Mrs. Ohsaku’s group collected over 10,000 signatures and submitted the petition to the City Council with 100 members, and this made the Kashiwa city start measuring radiation levels in schools and do decontamination work.

However, the group’s activities and her relocation with two children to Kyushu caused lots of problems within her family. Her in-laws are not happy that she is disobeying the authorities and that her name gets published (since she is the group leader). Now the in-laws are demanding that she divorce her husband. She says that old and middle-aged people in general have absolute confidence in the printed media as their news source, and what’s not reported in the newspapers is not conceived as reality. The mainstream media (including newspapers) has the least coverage on health
effects of radiation and only report the government’s “adjusted” radiation levels.

Yomiuri News even wrote in May that the information about hotspots in Chiba are based on false rumours and that they doesn’t exist. (Matsutaro Shoriki, ex-president of Yomiuri was a CIA agent and is called the father of nuclear power in Japan according to Wikipedia.) She says her in-laws believe in the Yomiuri report. Only those collecting information from internet sources are aware of what is really going on regarding radiation issues in Japan. As a result, there the public have split opinions on this subject.

Mrs. Ohsaku says the conflict of opinions on radiation issues has been harder to deal with than the radiation itself. Many people around her chose not to think about it and neighbors don’t want her to make it a big issue. Some members of her group are tired of being ridiculed as “freaks”. Her group wants decontamination but others in the hotspot thinks it’s waste of money. They say “Let’s not worry about it. Think of people in Fukushima. They live in an even worse environment than us.”