This Associated Press article was widely syndicated, and Washington Post was the first hit I got from Google:
Two years after Japan’s nuclear plant disaster, an international team of experts said Thursday that residents of areas hit by the highest doses of radiation face an increased cancer risk so small it probably won’t be detectable.
In fact, experts calculated that increase at about 1 extra percentage point added to a Japanese infant’s lifetime cancer risk.
That, to me, is written to suggest that all Japanese infants have a one extra percentage point, but we see further down:
Normally in Japan, the lifetime risk of developing cancer of an organ is about 41 percent for men and 29 percent for women. The new report said that for infants in the most heavily exposed areas, the radiation from Fukushima would add about 1 percentage point to those numbers.
It seems clear to me that this one percentage point refers to those directly exposed, not to Japan as a whole, and common sense would suggest that given an evacuated population of a few hundred thousand, or less than 0.5% of the population, just about everyone from that sample would have to get cancer to influence the national figures by one percentage point. Therefore I conclude that the one percentage point refers to those most directly affected, and the general population will see no effect.
“This will fuel fears in Japan that could be more dangerous than the physical effects of radiation,” she [Gerry Thomas, a professor of molecular pathology at Imperial College London] said, noting that people living under stress have higher rates of heart problems, suicide and mental illness.
Kanno [Norio Kanno, the chief of Iitate village] accused the report’s authors of exaggerating the cancer risk and stoking fear among residents.
My headline is of course a total lie and distortion of the report, but I am sure some people will use it, if they are not too busy discrediting the WHO.