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Reporter in Japan: I’m stunned by brazen cover-up and lies over effects of Fukushima radiation; An epic, unfolding tragedy — Physician: Response has been ‘unthinkable’ (VIDEO)
Published: November 5th, 2013 at 5:56 pm ET
Source: ABC’s Foreign Correspondent
Date: Nov. 5, 2013
At 1:45 in
Mark Willacy, reporter: I’ve been stunned by the brazen and often clumsy efforts to cover-up and lie about the effects and extent of the radiation damage. […] It’s abundantly clear many aspects of this epic, unfolding tragedy are yet to be written — the nuclear fallout will see to that.
At 9:00 in
Tomoko Koike. mother of 2 and 4 year old in Fukushima Precture: We do not know the real situation. We don’t know whats going on. I can’t trust them. […] My children had never contracted influenza before, even without vaccination. But they contracted it last year. Their vulnerability to illness has increased. [...]
Willacy: Her children have already been screened and cleared in tests run by the
Fukushima local government. But a follow up screening here at the private Hirata hospital revealed cysts on the thyroid gland of 4 year old Saki.
Koike: A couple of cysts were found. I was very shocked. I don’t know whether the examination by the prefecture was sloppy, or that she wasn’t examined properly.
At 17:15 inWatch the broadcast here
Dr. Minoru Kamata: It was disclosed that the Fuksuhima health investigation committee was having several secret meetings. I feel the response to this issue has been unthinkable for a democratic nation.
Reporter: Mark Willacy
‘I know it’ll be very hard to find Yuna, but I can’t stop. I’ll only stop when Yuna is found, or when I die.’ NORIO KIMURA, father of missing tsunami victim.
It’s unlikely he’ll find his little girl and yet he trudges on, looking for clues.
In a private children’s hospital well away from the no-go zone, parents are holding on tight to their little sons and daughters hoping doctors won’t find what they’re looking for.
Tests commissioned by the local authorities have discerned an alarming spike in the incidence of thyroid cancer in Fukushima children and while specialists and experts are reluctant to draw a definitive link between the tumours and the nuclear radiation that erupted from the stricken power station, they’re nonetheless deeply concerned.
“The doctors in Fukushima say that it shouldn’t be coming out so soon, so it can’t be related to the nuclear accident. But that’s very unscientific, and it’s not a reason we can accept.” AKIRA SUGENOYA Former Thyroid Surgeon & Chernobyl Volunteer
From the day the waves came, to the now concluding days of his posting, North Asia Correspondent Mark Willacy has covered every corner of this epic, unfolding drama. Among his reporting some very powerful work for Foreign Correspondent including the award winning ‘The Boy On The Bike’ and 'The Fukushima Syndrome'.
Now he returns a final time to investigate worrying new claims a cancer cluster has developed around the radiation zone and the victims are children.
Mark Willacy's book Fukushima is now available in book stores and online - and is a finalist in the 2013 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
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