Japan’s First Astronaut: Gov’t lies about Fukushima disaster — Vital info on radiation risks kept from public to “maintain law and order”

Sunday, August 4, 2013
By Paul Martin

August 3rd, 2013

Title: Cautionary tales from one not afraid to risk all
Source: The Japan Times
Date: August 3, 2013

[Former TBS reporter and Japan’s first-ever astronaut Toyohiro Akiyama’s] home was only 32 km from [Fukushima Daiichi] […] On March 12, he packed a few valuables, hung a portable radiation detector around his neck and drove his truck to the city of Koriyama […]

As a former newsman, Akiyama was well aware not only of official reactions to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and other nuclear accidents in the past, but also of the workings of Japan’s “nuclear village” […] Consequently, he knew that the Tokyo government would withhold vital information on radiation risks to “maintain law and order,” he says.

[…] I had reported on the fifth anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the Three Mile Island accident, so I knew all too well what the governments of the U.S. and Russia had done.

I had read books on how the Japanese government has dealt with nuclear accidents in the past. When there’s an emergency, what the authorities try to do is to maintain “law and order.” What is order? It’s protecting the system presiding at the time. […]

The government was bound to lie. […]

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