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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

EXCLUSIVE Fukushima Report : Interview With Dr. Richard Wilcox

As the real truth about Fukushima escapes Japan in spite of the black hole of media censorship there, increasing international pressure on Japan to confront the reality of this disaster mounts expotentially

THE 5TH ESTATE
10/09/2013

Dr. Richard Wilcox and Hong Kong based science writer Yoichi Shimatsu traveled to Fukushima earlier this year.

The 5th Estate:   Dr. Wilcox, there appears to be a lack of national or local media coverage on Fukushima and the ongoing radiation leaks there. What is the situation regarding this in Tokyo at this point?


Wilcox:  Since the beginning of this man-made disaster, the media in Japan has covered it up, there has always been a time-lag between what is happening at the site and the reality versus the cover the government and TEPCO give it so this is not new. 

There has been non-stop leakage of substantial amounts of radiation into the Pacific, and the Japanese media has been under pressure from the government not to tell the truth on this. The nuclear industry in Japan has substantial influence over the media. 

At a conference of Japanese media about a year ago Japanese journalists said they would be fired from their publications if they reported the truth on Fukushima radiation fallout dangers. In reality it is a Japanese media blackout to a large extent. 


A Fukushima worker oversees removal of radioactive waste

The 5th Estate:  How are Tokyo residents reacting to this threat now?

Wilcox:  Overall, the average Japanese citizens are in denial about the reality of the actual situation. A few express concern about irradiated seafood and vegetables however prefer not to discuss it, at least publicly. People here in Tokyo seem to just ignore the problem unless they are actually confronted with it on a personal level. 


Temporary shelter for Fukushima evacuees

The 5th Estate:  Are the Japanese people totally detached from reality?

Wilcox:  Of course the suffering people of Fukushima certainly are not. Just yesterday, TEPCO announced that they are spending millions to start yet another reactor while the Fukushima victims that are supposed to receive monetary assistance for relocation have not received anything. So TEPCO is now diverting money away from these victims whose lives have been arbitrarily destroyed, to a fruitless project to restart a reactor that will never transpire in any event given the situation at Fukushima now. TEPCO’s credibility and its ability to deal with the situation has now completely collapsed. Even the Japanese NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) has denounced TEPCO’s handling of the disaster. 


The Fukushima fishing industry has been destroyed, fishermen idled

The 5th Estate:  In your opinion is there any solution to the radiation leakage?

Wilcox:  First, there has to be transparency on the part of the Japanese government and TEPCO as to the scale and danger of the existing situation. They still have to invent the technology to address the problem, and to do that they have to assemble an international team of nuclear engineers to deal with this and get rid of all the politics and obfuscation that is part of the Japanese system and way of handling disasters of this nature and unprecedented scale. It’s a Kabuki theatre of the absurd. 


Irradiated Fukushima fishing buoy

The 5th Estate:  What do you believe the catalyst will be that forces the Japanese government and TEPCO to face the facts and realize that they cannot continue to dump radioactive water into the Pacific? Will it take foreign military intervention?

Wilcox:  I do not believe it will come from Japanese domestic pressure, the people in this country are so traumatized, they are mentally and physically immobilized. It will have to come from abroad, and in what form is anyone’s guess. It could take a military reaction or threat from a neighboring country that is being irradiated and poisoned by Fukushima to finally convince the Japanese government that serious, concrete measures to contain the radiation must be implemented, and this is inexcusable and immoral on their part. For example the possibility of another big earthquake is always present and there is the rod storage pool above Unit Four and if that would collapse then that would most likely be an event that would force international intervention of some kind to halt the release of radiation into the atmosphere and Pacific Ocean.


Dr. Richard Wilcox
Dr. Richard Wilcox, PhD is an internationally published university professor and environmental writer.  He lives in and reports from Tokyo.





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