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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Next Wave Broadcast: 05/11/2013 Reporter: Mark Willacy

Mark Willacy

The Next Wave

Broadcast: 05/11/2013
Reporter: Mark Willacy

On a stretch of lonely beach in the heavily contaminated no-go zone surrounding the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, one man is on a hopeless but ceaseless mission. His seven-year-old daughter is the only person unaccounted for after a five story tsunami crushed the nearby town of Okuma in March 2011. The authorities stopped looking for her long ago. Norio Kimura has not and never will.

‘I know it’ll be very hard to find Yuna, but I can’t stop. I’ll only stop when Yuna is found, or when I die.’ NORIO KIMURA, father of missing tsunami victim.

It’s unlikely he’ll find his little girl and yet he trudges on, looking for clues.

In a private children’s hospital well away from the no-go zone, parents are holding on tight to their little sons and daughters hoping doctors won’t find what they’re looking for.

Thyroid cancer.

Tests commissioned by the local authorities have discerned an alarming spike in the incidence of thyroid cancer in Fukushima children and while specialists and experts are reluctant to draw a definitive link between the tumours and the nuclear radiation that erupted from the stricken power station, they’re nonetheless deeply concerned.

“The doctors in Fukushima say that it shouldn’t be coming out so soon, so it can’t be related to the nuclear accident. But that’s very unscientific, and it’s not a reason we can accept.” AKIRA SUGENOYA Former Thyroid Surgeon & Chernobyl Volunteer

From the day the waves came, to the now concluding days of his posting, North Asia Correspondent Mark Willacy has covered every corner of this epic, unfolding drama. Among his reporting some very powerful work for Foreign Correspondent including the award winning ‘The Boy On The Bike’ and 'The Fukushima Syndrome'. 

Now he returns a final time to investigate worrying new claims a cancer cluster has developed around the radiation zone and the victims are children.
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Further Information


Mark Willacy's book Fukushima is now available in book stores and online - and is a finalist in the 2013 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.

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