A translated letter was recently posted online from a mother in Fukushima describing the conditions her children are living under.
It is just heartbreaking that anyone would be asked to put their children at the kind of risk that families in Fukushima are. Think of
how dirty your kids are when they come inside from playing. All of that dirt and dust is lethal, just not immediately so. Even the air still contains radiation. Children are extremely vulnerable. Imagine if this was your child.
You can read the translated letter here.
In response to this letter the group of people I have been working with to research and document the disaster are sending a response
letter to the government of Japan. We want to gather as many signatures as possible. Please sign and please share this page widely.
"We are responding to the appeal made by a mother in Fukushima in the attached letter. We wish to write a letter in support, signed by people from across the world for submission to the GoJ. We hope to collect as many signatories as possible via publicity in all forms of media. We ask for your support in this. If you are willing to add your voice please email email@example.com with your name & country of residence"
We are people from across the world drawn together in shared concern for the suffering of the people of Japan, first from the earthquake and tsunami, and now from the continuing nuclear emergency at Fukushima Daiichi. We have followed news reports, press releases, and both official and private radiation readings taken in areas outside the boundaries of the evacuation zone.
It is clear to us that people living in Fukushima city and some surrounding areas are being subjected to abnormally high levels of radiation. Parents of children in local schools are protesting after the discovery of levels of radiation significantly higher than those officially recorded. (New York Times 28th May 2011)We note that the original limit of 3.8 microsieverts per hour for children’s exposure in school playgrounds has been supplemented by a non-binding target to reduce such exposure considerably, and that local authorities, now government funded, are planning to remove or bury contaminated topsoil found in school playgrounds.
In our view these laudable efforts are insufficient to protect the children. At school and elsewhere, the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat and the environment in which they live all pose a grave risk to long-term health. This risk is not reducing.
For as long as the reactors at Daiichi remain unstable radiation will continue to pour out of the plant, to be blown by the wind and to leak into the groundwater and sea. Now the typhoon season has started, and the risk of widespread contamination increases.
No child should be expected to live in such an environment. Every child has a right to safe air, food, and water, and to be able to walk, run and play outdoors without wearing a mask and without fear.
Every child has a right to trust that adults will keep them from harm. This special responsibility falls not only on parents but on other adults too, especially those in government. The children and parents in the affected areas need you, the Government of Japan, to defend them. This is your most important responsibility and must be your top priority.
We have recently seen a letter from a mother in Fukushima who has appealed for support to persuade the Government of Japan to take strong action. We write in response to that appeal. We stand with her and with other parents in saying this situation must not continue as it is now. Confidence building measures such as radiation readings at school and the screening of children are not sufficient. The situation is too grave and the threat too immediate.
If necessary the affected schools must be relocated or closed, and the children and their families moved to safer areas. We know this is hard. But it must be faced. There are precedents in the UK and elsewhere. As a government you have emergency powers at your disposal. Unfortunately it is not in your power to immediately stop further radiation from spreading, but you can take strong and decisive action to prevent further harm to your most vulnerable citizens. We urge you to do so immediately.