Tomorrow in one year, on March 26 2020, the Olympic torch relay will start in the radioactively contaminated Fukushima Prefecture. This is why tomorrow, a group of anti-nuclear oranizations in Germany, Switzerland, France and Japan will launch an international information campaign entitled „Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics”. The campaign will focus on the ongoing radioactive contamination of parts of Japan due to the nuclear catastrope of Fukushima, which began eight years ago.
Dr. Alex Rosen, chairman of the German affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), one of the principal organizations behind the campaign explains: „We are concerned about the health consequences of radioactive contamination, especially for people with increased vulnerability towards radiation, such as pregnant women and children.“
International regulations limit the permitted dose for the general public of additional radiation following a nuclear accident to 1 mSv per year. “In areas where evacuation orders were recently lifted, the returning population will be exposed to levels up to 20 mSv per year, however”, says IPPNW physician and founding member of the campaign, Dr. Jörg Schmid. “Even places that have undergone extensive decontamination efforts could be recontaminated at any time by unfavourable weather conditions, as mountains and forests serve as a continuous depot for radioactive particles. Now the Japanese authorities are trying to force the people evacuated from the contaminated areas to return by cutting their financial assistance and ending housing schemes for nuclear refugees,” says Schmid.
The campaign, which will continue all the way until the end of the Olympic Games, has a clear message: We denounce the attempt of the Japanese government to pretend that normality has returned to the contaminated regions of Japan”, says Rosen. “Already now, we are seeing an increased rate of thyroid cancers in Fukushima children and adolescents. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. More than 50,000 nuclear refugees continue to live as displaced persons in their own country. At the same time, more and more radioactive refuse is seeping into groundwater and