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This is good news. It also means that the nuclear industry must be shut down immediately and that there must be more strict standards for nuclear waste, as well. Most nuclear power stations are ticking time bombs and much/most of the waste is too. So, there will be more and more zones that require evacuation if the international standard for radiation exposure is to be adhered to, especially if nuclear reactors are allowed to continue operating.

By Greenpeace:
2018/03/08 Japanese government accepts United Nations Fukushima recommendations – current policies now must change to stop violation of evacuee human rights
プレスリリース – 2018-03-08

Tokyo, 8 March 2018 – The Japanese government has announced that it had accepted all four recommendations made at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the rights of evacuees from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The decision is a victory for the human rights of tens of thousands of evacuees, and civil society that have been working at the UNHRC and demanding that Japan accept and comply with UN principles. The decision means that the Japanese government must immediately change its unacceptable policies, said Greenpeace. The announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was made in a formal submission to the UNHRC*.

Japan is to give its formal decision on 16 March at the the UNHRC Universal Periodic Review session in Geneva to recommendations made by Austria, Portugal and Mexico on the need to respect the rights of Fukushima, particularly women and children, and from Germany, which called on Japan to protect citizens from harmful radiation by dramatically reducing permitted radiation exposure.[1][2]

At an event held in Tokyo today, where two evacuee mothers, a leading lawyer representing Fukushima citizens, Human Rights Now, and Greenpeace, explained the crisis facing many survivors and the multiple violations of their rights by the government of Shinzo Abe and the implications of its decision to accept all the four UNHRC recommendations. 

“Over the last seven years I have seen many different violation of human rights in Japan. The discrimination we are suffering as evacuees is a reflection of the attitude of the Government towards us, but we have been exercising our rights to be protected from radiation. I would like to believe the acceptance of the United Nations recommendations will be the start of a change in our society”, said Akiko Morimatsu, a mother and Fukushima evacuee from Koriyama. Next week she will leave Japan for Geneva, together with Greenpeace, where she will participate at the UNHRC session and give a statement where Japanese government will make its official acceptance of the recommendations.

“I cautiously welcome the Japanese government’s acceptance of the UN recommendations. The government may believe that an insincere acceptance is sufficient. They are wrong to think so – and we are determined to hold them to account to implement the necessary changes that the UN members states are demanding,” said Yuichi Kaido, a lawyer for multiple Fukushima accident lawsuits against TEPCO and the Japanese Government.

“We welcome the Japanese government decision to accept all the four United Nations recommendations. Now they must apply them in full and without delay. The government policy of allowing people to be exposed to high levels of radiation is incompatible with their acceptance of the 1 mSv recommendation made by Germany. They must now act immediately to change their policies in the interests of radiation protection of Fukushima citizens, particularly women and children,” said Shaun Burnie, nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany.

Greenpeace radiation survey results published last week showed high levels of radiation in Iitate and Namie that make it unsafe for citizens to return before mid century, and even more severe contamination in the exclusion zone of Namie. High radiation levels in Obori would mean you would reach your maximum annual exposure in 16 days.[3] (http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/RefFksm_EN.pdf )

The lifting of evacuation orders in areas heavily contaminated by the nuclear accident, which far exceed the international standard of 1 mSv/year for the general public, raise multiple human rights issues. Housing support is due to end in March 2019 for survivors from these areas. The Japanese government also ended housing support for so-called ‘self evacuees’ from other than evacuation order zone in March 2017, and removed as many as 29,000 of these victims from official records. This amounts to economic coercion where survivors may be forced to return to the contaminated areas against their wishes due to economic pressure. This clearly contravenes multiple human rights treaties to which Japan is party.[4]

The briefing was held at the House of Councilors office building.Speakers were Ms. Noriko Matsumoto (Fukushima survivor); Mr. Yuichi Kaido (Lawyer for multiple Fukushima accident lawsuits against TEPCO and the Japanese Government); Ms. Kazuko Ito (Lawyer, Secretary General of Human Rights Now); Jan Vande Putte (Greenpeace Belgium, radiation protection expert) Ms. Akiko Morimatsu (Fukushima survivor).
*The announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/files/000326823.pdf
Link to Photos and Videos http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJXWRJCD
Notes
[1] Universal Periodic Review (UNHRC website)
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx
[2] UN Human Rights Council’s Review of Japan voices serious concerns for Fukushima nuclear survivors (Greenpeace Japan press statement, 14 Nov 2017)
http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2017/pr2017111411/
[3] A dose of 4.3 micro sieverts per hour in average in Obori at 1m height, is high enough to expose someone to the maximum allowable dose of 1mSv/year in 16 days, following the Japanese government methodology.
[4] See http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2017/pr201703071/
for details
” Original here: http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2018/pr20180308/

mSv is millisievert.

4.3 MICRO SIEVERTS PER HOUR GIVES AN EXPOSURE OF 1 MILLISIEVERT IN SLIGHTLY UNDER 10 DAYS IF THE EXPOSURE IS 24 HOURS PER DAY.
IN A YEAR THE EXPOSURE WOULD BE 38 MILLISIEVERT. IN 3 YEARS EXPOSURE WOULD BE 113 MILLISIEVERT WHICH EVEN BY CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES (BEIR) MEANS THAT AROUND 1% OF THE POPULATION WOULD GET EXCESS AND LIFE-SHORTENING CANCERS BASED ON THIS THREE YEAR 113 MILLISIEVERT EXPOSURE ALONE. THE CANCER RATE MAY BE MUCH HIGHER. 1 MILLISIEVERT PER YEAR FROM THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS ALREADY HIGH OVER A LIFETIME AT AROUND 80 MILLISIEVERTS. RADIATION EXPOSURE CAN LEAD TO OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS, AS WELL.

The resettlement of areas contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear accident, which exceed the international standard of 1 mSv/year for the general public, raise multiple human rights issues. The Japanese government has also ended housing support for so-called ‘self evacuees’ in March 2017 and compensation payments to those in areas where evacuation orders are lifted ends one year later. This amounts to economic cohersion where survivors may be forced to return to the contaminated areas against their wishes due to economic pressure. This clearly contravenes multiple human rights treaties to which Japan is party.(3)

Along these lines, Portugal, Austria, Germany, and Mexico introduced formal recommendations urging the government to continue its economic, health, and other support for Fukushima survivors. Germany urged the government to implement the 1 mSv standard for its resettlement policy, which is in line with the findings of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health following his mission to Japan for Fukushima survivors in 2012.(4)“, excerpted from “2017/11/14 UN Human Rights Council’s Review of Japan voices serious concerns for Fukushima nuclear survivors”プレスリリース – 2017-11-14http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2017/pr2017111411/

Emphasis our own throughout.