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Rev. Tsuboi Tries to Save Fukushima Children

• To protect children in Fukushima Prefecture, Rev. Eihito Tsuboi of the World Missions Center and specified non-profit corporation “Fukushima, Water for Life” has devoted himself to provide safe water and food to the children. He also plans to establish a rest center near Koriyama City in Fukushima to help reduce the radiation absorbed dose from children in Fukushima.
• Tsuboi visited Chicago and held a press conference at the Chicago Japanese Mission Church SBC on October 2 and spoke about what really has been happening in Fukushima after the incident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, which was hit by the earthquake and tsunami in March, 2011.
• By June of this year, 138 children have developed thyroid cancer. Four years after the incident of Chernobyl in 1986, many children developed thyroid cancer at a high level; thus, the people in Fukushima have worried about their children.

• NHK of Japan sent a director to research the states of health of children in Ukraine, where the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was located and broadcast a documentary in August, 2013. Tsuboi watched it and talked about it. According to the documentary, 22 % of the children were in good health, 78 % of them had chronic diseases including thyroid cancer, immune deficit, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disorders.

• In Fukushima, 113 children developed thyroid cancer by the end of 2014, and 97 out of 113 children had surgery to remove their thyroid gland. The cancer is not life threatening; however, removal of the thyroid gland causes hormonal imbalance and develops many kinds of diseases such as growth disturbance and early aging. Tsuboi said that the Japanese government has issued a statement that the cause of thyroid cancer in Fukushima was so far unlikely to be related to the radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi.

• After the Fukushima Daiichi’s incident, residents within 20 km (12.5 miles) were evacuated by the government. It also decided to evacuate the residents of Iidate Village, which was located 50 km (31 miles) away from Daiichi, because the village’s air dose was 3.8 micro Sieverts/hour and yearly exposure dose was over 20 milli Sieverts. Iidate Village was the last evacuation order by the Japanese government.
• Tsuboi said, “That means about 2 million Fukushima residents were left in the exposure dose under 20 milli Sievert.” About 200,000 of the 2 million are children. He said, “The residents have been giving births and raising their children with anxiety in such a circumstance because the government doesn’t say it would be dangerous.”

• In Ukraine, a Chernobyl law has been established. Under the law, residents are evacuated when the area’s air dose is between 0.58 and 0.6 micro Sieverts, and yearly exposure dose is over 5 milli Sieverts. Residents receive free medical care when the area’s air dose is between 0.23 and 0.58 micro Sieverts. Residents have the right to evacuate themselves with the government’s aid when the area’s air dose is under 0.1 micro Sieverts.

• In Koriyama City in Fukushima, its air dose is between 0.2 and 0.3 micro Sieverts, and some areas’ yearly exposure doses are more than 5 milli Sieverts. The level of the dose is similar to an X-ray room and inside of a nuclear power plant. Tsuboi said that about 200,000 children were living in such an exposure dose environment.

• In Ukraine, children who live in air dose of 0.23 micro Sieverts spend a certain period in a resort where radioactivity is natural, to reduce their radiation absorbed dose by half.
• Children who are under five years old can reduce their radiation absorbed dose by half in a week to 10 days. It takes three weeks for children between 12 and 15 years old, and 70 days for children between 15 and 18 years old.
• If a child whose yearly exposure dose is 5 milli Sieverts lives 70 years, his or her total exposure dose will become 350 milli Sieverts. Parents of the children protested against the dose level, and as a result the Chernobyl law stated 70 milli Sieverts instead 350.

• Tsuboi said that the Japanese government should take the same measures to take care of Fukushima children.
• This year is the fourth year since the Daiichi incident, so he is concerned about the development of thyroid cancer at a high level. He said, “We have to take any action right now to save the children,” and he has embarked on two major actions.

• One action is protecting children from internal exposure by providing the safe water and food.
• Tsuboi’s organization has provided 3 million bottles of mineral water since May, 2011. About 1,800 children come to his office every month to receive the water. He said that 1,800 was a very small number compared with 200,000 children in Fukushima, but it would be better than nothing.
• He also provides safe food for children. The food has been donated by food companies or stores outside Fukushima. He is concerned about local food although the government has been watching to keep a safe level. He believes that it wouldn’t be good for children to eat local food every day because children were vulnerable and treasures for the future.

• Tsuboi’s biggest project is building a rest center for the children. He found a natural radioactivity area located just 20 km (12.5 miles) from Koriyama City. It is south of Inawashiro lake and ideal environment for camping.
• He is a former developer, so he has the know how to establish a rest camp by converting busses to accommodations. About 1,000 to 2,000 children can stay in the camp for a certain period to reduce their radiation absorbed dose by half. The close location from the City enables their parents to visit them daily, so the camp activities don’t hurt family lives. Tsuboi said that sending children to the camp would suppress their life exposure doses under 70 milli Sieverts.

• Tsuboi said, “Human beings, the country, or contemporary medical science cannot save Fukushima children. It’s a really irrational thing. I want to be a children’s dream and live my rest of life for the children.”

• He is going to raise 2 billion yen (about 16.7 million dollars) by 2020, mainly through Baptist Foundation of Illinois. For more information, contact doug.morrow@BAPTISTFOUNDATIONIL.org.


Rev. Eihito Tsuboi