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Japan

 Matsumoto Mayor Akira Sugenoya | AP Photo

Oct 2013: Parents living in the shadow of the Fukushima nuclear disaster will be able to send their children about 300 kilometers away to his city, Matsumoto, to go to school.

 

Young-evacuee-screened-for--radiation

A Japanese appeals court is expected to rule soon on a lawsuit, filed on behalf of 14 children by their parents and anti-nuclear activists demanding the right to live free of radiation.

The lawsuit argues that Koriyama, a city of 330,000, should evacuate its children to an area where radiation levels are no higher than natural background levels in the rest of Japan, or about 1 millisievert annual exposure.

Civic group members have protested against the alleged rape in Tokyo [AFP]

Legislators of the Japanese island chain of Okinawa have passed a resolution expressing "overwhelming indignation" at the alleged rape of a Japanese woman by two US servicemen.

In Japan, anti-nuke protests draw tens of thousands of average citizens. | Photo: Suvendrini Kakuchi/IPS

A new wave of anti-nuclear protests in Japan this summer, sparked by the disastrous meltdown at a power plant last year, suggests that civil society is no longer willing to allow the government to take the lead in deciding the nation’s energy policy.

Women complete their sit-in protest in front of METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry), Tokyo

Hundreds of Japanese women have been converging on the Japanese capital demanding better relief for some 30,000 children exposed to nuclear radiation by the Fukushima meltdown.

"Official recovery policy focuses on decontamination rather than protecting the health of those most vulnerable - children and pregnant women," said activist Aileen Mioko Smith.

 

The Japanese are among the most health conscious people in the world. They priding themselves on their longevity and traditionally have prized food that is locally produced which they enthusiastically consume raw.

It was the stories of the pregnant women that Jonathon Watts found most harrowing.

The journalist, who lived in Japan for years, had travelled back to Fukushima in north-east Japan as well as the capital Tokyo to look at life after the nuclear disaster of March the 11th. He was confronted with a climate of fear, mistrust and disorientation.

Kumamoto Church

A teenage girl thought by her father to have been possessed by an ‘evil spirit’ died from suffocation during an exorcism.

Tomomi Maishigi’s father and a monk allegedly bound the girl to a chair by a belt and placed her face-up underneath a water pump for five minutes at a Buddhist church in Kumamoto, south Japan.

japan-radiationcheck

March 2011: By Chris Crowstaff - "The World Nuclear Association reassured us on their website, 'Japanese, and most other, nuclear plants are designed to withstand earthquakes, and in the event of major earth movement, to shut down safely...'"