A year after
the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the government still maintains its reluctance to monitor the Fukushima residents' health condition. While the government refused to conduct the patient survey in
2011 (a nation-wide investigation into the health condition of the patients in hospitals conducted every three years), the local government in Fukushima claims the radiation risk only involves
children's thyroids. Without promoting any measures to prevent future illness, the government and academics have sought to build a "myth of radiation safety", claiming
that up 'to a certain dose of radiation exposure, it would not cause illness', in order to bring children back to Fukushima. Meanwhile, "sudden deaths of high school students", "abnormal growths
in thyroid cysts" and "a rise in the number of deaths in Fukushima", revealed through internet, gave us a serious concern that numbers of people are already suffering from various health issues.
This report is based on government demographic statistics in 2010 and 2011.
○Comparison of the numbers of child deaths between in 2010 and 2011
The number of children (1-19 years old) who died from diseases in 2011 (Mar.-Nov.) was found 1.5 times as high as that in 2010 (Mar.-Nov.). However, the number of patients are too small to
determine whether this change in the statistics represents an abnormal trend. Similar trends can be observed in other parts of Japan or in past statistics.
○Monthly trend in the number of death from diseases
Past statistics suggest that the number of deaths from diseases in Japan generally increases in winter and spring, and decreases summer
and autumn. Nevertheless, in 2011, the number of deaths rose in summer and autumn and showed an constant increase through out the year. If this trend continues in 2012, it will reach a threshold
of "statistical significance". This trend can barely be observed in the past statistics and in the neighbour regions to Fukushima such as Miyagi or Iwate. This shift in the trend of child
deaths leads one to a suspect an effect of radiation undermining Fukushima childrens' bodies.
○ The causes of the death
According to the statistics, the number of child deaths from cardiovascular disease in 2011 doubled from 2010. This change in the trend can barely
be found in the other neighbour regions. As well as cardiovascular disease, the number of children who died from infectious disease, cancer and
leukemia, and pneumonia also increased since 2011.
○ Preventing future health problems
The statistics shows a child deaths have increased at least since the last summer. Even if this abnormal trend continued and a causal relationship was proved after many years, the lost lives of
the children will never come back. Considering the victims of other pollution issues, there are many children suffering from serious illness in addition to those deaths of children. We must take
actions to prevent the tragedy of health problems that will threaten our children in a few years.
- From "Tangara", monthly magazine of Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation