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Is a Study Abroad Program in Japan Safe?

Everyone has to make their own decisions about participating in a Study Abroad Program in current Japan, but here is one female college student's experience.

"I studied abroad in Japan last fall, from late August to late November. I spent the majority of my time in Kyoto, albeit a few weekend trips to nearby cities. My last two weeks in Japan were dedicated to an independent research study, during which I traveled to Tokyo for five days, Nikko for two days and Sendai for two days. While in Nikko, I experienced a constant headache. From there, I took a bullet train through Fukushima up to Sendai. I experienced a severe migraine while traveling through Fukushima by train, and by the time I got to Sendai, I felt fine. I have a history of migraines since Feb. 2009, when I suffered a concussion from a car accident. Despite that, I hadn't experienced a migraine for at least six months before I went through Fukushima. 

Within the three weeks following my visits to Nikko and Sendai…

JFK "Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics."

The world would be a much better place if all adults shared this sentiment.

Excerpt from President John F. Kennedy's historic speech

Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Washington, D.C.
July 26, 1963

"The number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard-and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby-who may be born long after all of us have gone-should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics towards which we can be indifferent."

Unexplained Discrepancies Explained in Fukushima Thyroid Cancer Data

On August 22, Mako Oshidori received an e-mail from the Public Relations Department of Radiation Medical Science Center for the Fukushima Health Management Survey at Fukushima Medical University, explaining the circumstances surrounding the discrepancies described in this post:
The e-mail, posted at, is fully translated into English below. *****
In regards to mistakes in the Proceedings of the Eleventh Fukushima Prefecture "Prefecture Health Management Survey" Oversight Committee.
   Apologies for the delay, but we have confirmed how and why the above-mentioned mistakes were made.  They are explained below.    We will be making an announcement to the prefecture and national residents at a later time, explaining the details.    We deeply regret and apologize for causing trouble for all involved by making mistakes in extremely important data.
《Corrections mad…

Twelfth Prefectural Oversight Committee Meeting: Thyroid Ultrasound Examination Results

The Proceedings of the Twelfth Prefectural Oversight Committee Meeting for Fukushima Health Management Survey were released on August 20, 2013.  Below is the translation of the thyroid ultrasound examination.

Original Japanese document can be found here:

Official English translation can be found here.

For a summary of the thyroid examination results, please refer to this post.

Note: Errata released on November 13, 2013 can be viewed here with an explanation here

1. Implementation status of the initial examination (in-prefecture)
   FY2013 examination began on April 22, 2013.  The examination will be conducted in approximately 158,783 subjects in 34 municipalities by the end of March 2014.
   Currently the examination is being conducted in the municipalities shown below, according to the original plan.

【Implementation status table for thyroid examination (initial examination): in-prefecture】(as of July 31, 2013)

FY2013 target mun…

Unexplained Discrepancies in Fukushima Thyroid Cancer Age-Gender Distribution Graphs

The Twelfth Fukushima Prefectural Oversight Committee convened on August 20, 2013, reporting the latest findings of the health survey.  The thyroid examination result showed an increase in the number of children confirmed or suspected of thyroid cancer from 28 to 44, as reported in the previous post:

The information was almost instantly available to the Twitter and social network communities, thanks to the independent journalists attending the committee meeting.  Some members of the public, as well as the journalists attending the meeting noticed a strange discrepancy looking at the age and gender distribution graph of the 44 cases confirmed or suspected of cancer, as shown below.

The June 5, 2013 report showed the graph below for the 28 cases. (This can be seen on page 32 of the comprehensive report here: It can also be seen on pa…

18 Thyroid Cancer Cases Confirmed in Fukushima Children: Preliminary Results of FY2011-2013 Thyroid Ultrasound Examination

For complete translation of the the thyroid examination results published this time, please refer to this post.

Total number of children examined as of June 7, 2013: 216,809
Total number of children whose initial examination results are confirmed: 192,886 Assessment A1 106,823 (no nodules or cysts found) Assessment A2 84,783 (nodules 5.0 mm or smaller or cysts 20.0 mm or smaller) Assessment B 1,279 (requiring secondary examination)
Secondary examination results as of July 31, 2013 (including blood and urine tests, more detailed ultrasound examination, and fine-needle aspiration biopsy if needed) 18 papillary thyroid cancers confirmed after surgery (18 boys, 26 girls, age 8-21) 25 suspected of thyroid cancer, awaiting surgery 1 benign nodule

The youngest confirmed of cancer is a girl who was 6 years old at the time of the nuclear accident.
1,280 are eligible for secondary examination 771 have actually undergone secondary examination 625 finish…

Shocked UNSCEAR members in Belgium protest "It even goes back behind the lessons of Chernobyl and other studies."

Original post:
Les délégués belges indignés: "On minimise les conséquences de Fukushima" by Marc Molitor

English translation by Alex Rosen, M.D., Vice-chairman, German IPPNW (posted here with his permission)
Shocked UNSCEAR members in Belgium protest, "It even goes back behind the lessons of Chernobyl and other studies."
Discussions continue in UNSCEAR, the organization of the United Nations responsible for assessing the consequences of nuclear disasters and radiation. The committee prepared a report submitted for discussion amongst experts from different countries at a recent meeting in Vienna - a report that has aroused the indignation of the Belgian delegation: "Everything seems to be written, its members say, to minimize the consequences of the Fukushima disaster. It even goes back behind the lessons of Chernobyl and other studies." T…