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Monday, 13 July 2015

Voices of the Residents in Date, Fukushima

By Kurumi Sugita Nos Voisins Lointains 311

The City of Date has divided its territory into three zones to program decontamination work: Zone A where the measurement of ambient radioactivity exceeds 20 mSv/yr, the area adjacent to the B zone A and zone C where radioactivity does not exceed 5 mSv/yr.
In zone C, instead of decontaminating entire areas, the municipality only cleans hot spots that exceed 3μSv/h measured at 1cm off the ground. For example, if a measurement exceeds this limit on a rooftop, it won’t be decontaminated.

 Before and After decontamination according to the lying local authorities

During the election campaign of January 2014, the incumbent Mayor Shôji NISHIDA promised to work on decontaminating the entire specified C areas. However, since his re-election, he did not fulfill his promise.

Frustrated by the lack of response from the mayor on their repeated requests for him to fulfill his promise, some residents of Date city gathered to found the “Association to Protect the Future of Children in the Date city” (Kodomo no Mirai wo kai mamoru in Date).  They began installing flags and signs across town, calling for effective decontamination work. The association brings together their voices and publish on their website and Facebook page.

The following is a sample of these voices trying to pierce the ongoing deafening silence.

 Voices of the Residents
 01 Decontamination work was only done in public gardens and on school sites, but not around the house.

02 How come in Area C, the minimum threshold for decontamination work is at 3μSv/h?

03 Children go fishing for crayfish and fish near rice fields.
04 Children play with mud around the house. These are spots which have not been decontaminated yet.
05 I want to see results on decontamination work come true.
06 Is it safe to let children play outside?
07 Our house is located in zone B, but the workplace and the school are located in Area C.
08 My child is still small and picks up things off the street and eat them.


09 Is it necessary to separate Zone B and Zone C? It would make more sense to work the entire area.
10 I live in zone B. The radioactivity is remains high, even after decontamination. It seems we are being affected by radiation in places surrounding us.
11 Without decontaminating around the house, radioactivity does not decrease.

12 Why in our city of Date, they only clean the house? I have heard elsewhere, that’s different.
13 I am afraid of radiation during farming operations.
14 Small children play sitting on the floor. Sometimes they are barefoot. I saw them at the parking lot of a store where decontamination work has not yet been made. These are not my children, but I got the chills.
15 I see fumes from things being incinerated. Is this normal? It often happens when children are on the way to school. This worries me.
16 I have concern regarding low-dose radiation. It frightens me to think that the children will live their entire lives in this environment.
17 I will consider possibilities to join a recuperation program or even evacuate. 
18 Why isn’t the town Date performing the decontamination work?
19 In 2011, the mayor promised decontamination work would be done in all households. I am still waiting. What happened?
20 I envy inhabitants of the cities and surrounding municipalities.
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