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YWCA of JAPAN TOP > NEWs May 25, 2011

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Report: Action to Protect Children from Radiation (May 25, 2011)

Demand Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan to Cancel its Standard of Upper Limited Level of Radiation for School Children Increased to 20 msv/year.

Parent(s) and grandparent(s) protecting children Signatures over 15000 and the sunflowers were handed to the representative

70 parents, grandparents, and local Fukushima citizens drove 2 buses into Tokyo to visit the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on May 23rd, calling the Minister cancellation of the upper limited radiation level of 20msv/year for school children. President of Fukushima YWCA and staff of YWCA of Japan joined the action.

20msv/year is the upper limited level for those who work for nuclear industry in Germany, thus it is a common sense that it should not be the level allowed for children who are more vulnerable to radiation than adults. 1 msv/year was the standard of upper limited level in Japan before the decision to increase the level, and 20 times more is clearly not acceptable.

A poor and temporary interview place was set outside an open air entrance hall of the building of the Ministry. The Minister, Mr. Takagi, never came to the table of discussion with the Fukushima locals while they waited outside in rain. The parents quickly covered their children with cloth and umbrellas to protect them from raindrops that were concerned of contamination.

Fukushima locals tried to make the Ministry aware of the danger and risks of the radiation they were facing and exposed to since the power plant accident and demanded cancellation of the upper limited level of 20 msv/year. Their negotiation lasted for 2 hours. However, they could not hear any clear response from the representative of the Ministry. Fukushima locals handed to the representatives their statement of request and a sunflower bouquet as a symbol of cleansing soil (sunflower is known to be effective for removing certain radioactive substances from soil).

Outside the Ministry building, hundreds of people from Tokyo area and across Japan held hands together, made human chain, and surrounded the building to appeal that all children should be protected from the radiation.

Later on May 26th, the Ministry made a comment that they would put effort to decrease the radiation level for school children less than 1 msv/year, and made a decision that the national government would owe the cost for decontamination work within schools done by local effort. However, the upper limited radiation level of 20 msv/year for school children still remains as a gtentativeh level, according to the Ministry.

Children and all people continue to be exposed to radiation at this moment thus urgent and adequate measures are inevitable. Join a petition to protect children from radiation.


Tomoko Negishi, YWCA of Japan International Affairs

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