Fookooshimars: bigger murderers than TEPCO

Nature prints an interesting article that puts hard facts behind what I have suspected, that the fallout from fear is most likely a greater risk than that from Fukushima Daiichi. (Note that the picture at the head is rather confusing; it is a snapshot from early 2011 yet a casual reader might take it as current radiation levels.)

It is true that the government did not handle the initial reaction very well (which is understandable to some extent), but they then compounded the problem by not being more proactive at explaining the issues, nor promptly setting up comprehensive monitoring schemes to reassure the public, thus leaving a gaping hole that scaremongers have been more than happy to jump into.

A further problem is that people are very bad at risk perception; take the above article:

The children carry dosimeters provided by the health survey to collect radiation data and to calm public concerns. But Yuka wonders whether they will one day develop cancer.

[I’ll bet that line will be quoted on many Fookooshimar sites] On the other hand, we have real, measurable risks that Fookooshimars seem to care little about:

The 39-year-old father of three spends hours each evening playing video games and drinking shochu

These days, he exercises less and rarely socializes. He drinks more and has put on weight.

Yuka is prone to public outbursts of anger

Kenichi was in the smoking room at the plant when he felt the ground shudder for several minutes. [Implying he smokes]

Roughly 15% of adults showed signs of extreme stress, five times the normal rate, and one in five showed signs of mental trauma

Two decades after the accident, those who had evacuated [from Chernobyl] as children complained of physical ailments more often than their peers, even though there was no difference in health. And the mothers of those children suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder at about twice the rate of the general population

Other studies of Chernobyl’s aftermath found that evacuees had elevated rates of depression and that a subset of clean-up workers committed suicide at a rate about 1.5 times that of the general population.

76% of Japanese people believed that food from Fukushima was not safe

Yuka got a flyer in the post inviting her to talk to someone over the phone. She thought about it but decided not to.

It really does annoy me when I see Fookooshimar voices of doom casually talking about stuff like the irradiated food chain (at a level that would be safe in just about every other country in the world, and that is based on eating the foodstuff three times a day for a year) as they are yet another voice adding to the stress that will kill people in measurable quantities.


  1. @86gfaeki:

    Where kids are involved, it is better to reduce the risk rather than add to it.
    And that includes not living in areas where the jury is still out.

    Worth a watch:

  2. Sorry Japan drifter, I was the first this morning,looks like cock blocked and the day belongs to bashing the Japan Times.

  3. Whats up with the Japan Times anyway? It’s like they have 5 people sitting around surfing the net and another writing cheques to AP and Reuters. Huh, huh.. real pile o dung right?
    Help me out here, I think 4 pages dedicated to Japan Drifter is enough right?

  4. How many people does it take to write the Japan Times? No one knows. It’s never happened.
    Get it? Because everything is off the wire.

  5. Greg – a lot of news has been like this for a long time. Just recycling press releases from the wire

  6. Meanwhile, away from that other thread. Have you seen how the new-look JT website now allows comments? Does this mean we can give direct feedback to all their community affairs pages? Let the Good Times Roll!

  7. @Pessoa:

    Alas, that may just turn into JapanToday.

  8. @Pessoa:

    It looks a lot better.

    Then again, I remember when JapanToday revamped their look last year.

    Polish a turd, it’s still a turd.

  9. @ VK; @crowfoot. Oh for sure: My real question is whether ‘he who shall not be named’ will now have his column subject to comments that he cannot moderate, and how that might play out in the bigger scheme of things. But it’s just an idle thought on my coffee break. To work!

  10. “Where kids are involved, it is better to reduce the risk rather than add to it.” says JT.

    I agree. But until JT says different, I’ll assume he believes there is zero risk to the children in basically asking the breadwinner to quit his well-paid job and try to find a new one, in another country, in a foreign language, during a depression, with a response for “Why did you leave your last job?” that is not going to impress any employer.

    Is JT thinking there’s zero risk to children from poverty, or there’s zero risk of them landing in poverty in the first place, or just not thinking about that at all?

  11. Nothing maximizes traffic to sell those banner ads like returnees squabbling with one another over the Sea Shepard Society nuclear energy and other such controversial subjects.

  12. @Pessoa: That will be interesting… But, who will moderate the moderators? If it’s the Community Page editor, I suspect there might be a little bit of bias… :sad:

  13. @Greg: That’s interesting grammar. Must of been that sugar rush I had when I ate my sugary breakfast cereal. It was 8 grams of sugar for 3/4 cup and I had a bowl and a half, I was out of my mind! So I apologize for my outburst, it could of been worse, the subject could of been English teachers and I would of killed someone. I’ve been off the rails lately only going to the gym 2 instead of 3 days a week. I just cant seem to turn my life around, the other day I had chicken with the skin on — the skin — was still on the chicken! Is this what it is to be 40? Is this male menopause?

  14. @86gfaeki:

    I know you are worried about your job but sometimes it has to be the lower priority.

    When asked you could say “it is widely acknowledged that the seas, rivers, sand, leaves and dust are irradiated in the Kanto area and that Tokyo is being likened to the fallout in Kiev”

    If they are reasonable they will understand.

  15. @Japantraveller:

    “When asked you could say “it is widely acknowledged that the seas, rivers, sand, leaves and dust are irradiated in the Kanto area and that Tokyo is being likened to the fallout in Kiev””

    Except you’d be lying. That is extremely narrowly acknowledged only by a fringe activist group. You know this yet choose to repeat this.

    Mainstream science does not agree with that at all. You also know this yet choose to dismiss it.

  16. Since things are getting conspiratorial around here I thought I’d make adjustments to the material.

    Two conspiracy theorist die and go to heaven. As they are standing at the pearly gates God informs them both that Oswald did in fact shoot Kennedy; man has landed on the moon; and the World Trade Center towers were taken down by 19 Muslim terrorist.
    One conspiracy advocate whispers to the other, “I told you it goes all the way to the top.”

  17. @Greg “I don’t agree ergo you are a conspiracy theorist” argument is rather stale.

    @Masa NHK produced a documentary on the rivers in East Tokyo showing up abnormal levels of radiation and lakes in Gunma; the mayor of Musashino City where there are hot spots has decided to declare he is anti nuclear power. Soil samples of Tokyo were so high they would be treated as radioactive waste in the US; many families moving west . . all points to a different story to what you say.

    Here’s some food for though

  18. … and this, ladies and gentlemen, is where I make my exit.

    The troll(s) has/have won. The signal-to-noise ratio has deteriorated to the point where there is nothing to be gained by reading this site.

    Ta, Ken.

  19. @Japantraveller:

    Same old cherry picking nonsense, JT. You know what I say is true, yet you choose not to believe it, and grab selected, meaningless “counterexamples”. That’s the mark of a zealot.

    You’ve clearly got nothing else to offer, though.

  20. Ken could help out by euthanizing this thread and moving on. You know? 320 comments arguing about semantics and chasing radioactive ghosts is a bit much.

  21. @Pessoa:
    Interestingly, according to their comment rules, comments made in Japanese will be deleted as inappropriate.

  22. @Masa: No I don’t ! I’d watch that video if I was you and go up to Fukushima and see for yourself. It’s another Minamata in the making as people keep saying.

  23. @The 2-Belo: Good idea; we’re not getting anywhere here.

    @Greg: It went to the same place as your comment went to. :lol: