Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba Town Fukushima, recieved a letter from the Rémy Pagani, mayor of Geneva Switzerland. Their friendship started in October 2012 as Idogawa visited Geneva to attend the UN human rights conference. When Idogawa visited the council hall to meet Pagani, Pagani showed a complete respect to Idogawa for what he has done to his people in Futaba Town and offered an assistance to help out with the examination of health condition of people in Fukushima. As Idogawa resigned his position as a mayor of Futaba Town in January 2013, Pagani sent a letter to Idogawa to appreciate his efforts.
The following is the letter form Pagani to Idogawa:
Geneva, 13 February 2013
Dear Mr Idogawa,
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude again for your visit to Geneva last year. It was a great pleasure for me to welcome you at the Palais Eynard. It was a good opportunity for me to better understand the overall problems suffered by the population in Japan after the nuclear accident in March 2011.
I have heard that you submitted your resignation as the mayor of Futaba on 23 January. I can imagine that it must have been a very difficult decision to make. After all, you are the only mayor in Fukushima who evacuated inhabitants from Fukushima and overtly criticised the government and TEPCO for their ignorance and irresponsibility for the serious consequences of the accident. You have always made every effort to protect the population from the risk of radiation. It is regrettable that you stepped down from power.
During the meeting with you at the Palais Eynard in October last year, you showed me a table comparing evacuation criteria between Chernobyl and Japan. I was astonished to learn that the Japanese government raised the permissible radiation exposure doses up to 20mSv per year, claiming that it would not cause any “immediate” health impact on the population.
As you well know, 1mSv per year is the limit for the public set by the International Commission on Radioprotection (ICRP) (20mSv per year for nuclear workers) and it is well known that children are many times more vulnerable to radiation than adults. Furthermore, significant health damage from radiocontamination is widely documented, most recently in the New York Academy of Sciences publication of 2009 (see the file below). In addition, it is increasingly recognised, as independent researchers have observed for decades, that there is no safe level of radiation (the ICRP itself acknowledges the Linear No Threshold hypothesis).
The burden of proof lies with the Japanese government to justify raising the ICRP limit. But how can they do so? In reality, this limit is useless, as it has been proven that much lower doses could cause health damage. They cannot use the population of Fukushima as guinea pigs. In fact, together with the IAEA and the WHO, they are collecting health data on the population. This constitutes a violation of human rights and it must be stopped.
Mr Idogawa, I have heard that you intend to continue your fight to protect the population from the inhumane treatment imposed by the authorities. I sincerely hope that more and more people will join you in the movement. It is clearly unacceptable for people to be confined in highly contaminated zones. Needless to say, it is crazy that the government and Fukushima Prefecture are thinking of returning the population of Futaba to the mortally contaminated zone in a couple of years.
Another dreadful fact is that nearly 40% of the children in Fukushima were diagnosed with thyroid problems. I have also learned that the incidence of thyroid problems is increasing outside Fukushima. In spite of this alarming situation, the health authorities are covering up the facts and denying the effects of radiation. As you emphasised at the meeting, I hope that the Japanese people will learn the lessons from Chernobyl. The situation in Fukushima seems even worse than that of Chernobyl in terms of the frequency of incidence of overall health problems among the affected population. As you know, it was not until the early 90’s that the number of thyroid cancers started increasing in the area around Chernobyl. You mentioned that about 300 residents of Futaba were exposed to high levels of radioactive fallout after the explosion of reactor No. 1 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. In spite of this, the government and the health authorities did not undertake medical examinations of the victims. As I promised you, the City of Geneva will do its best to assist in organizing appropriate health examinations in cooperation with health experts and with the support of associations such as IndependentWHO. Should you require any further support, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Last but not least, I wish you every success in your new responsibilities. I hope that more and more people will stand by you in your fight for justice. Please take good care of your health and I am looking forward to seeing you again in Geneva.