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2014 September 17 - 23 [PEACE]

Materials on 473 Japanese ships affected by US H-bomb test at Bikini Atoll disclosed

September 20, 2014
The health ministry on September 19 disclosed information about radioactivity levels measured on Japanese fishing boats, other than the Daigo Fukuryu Maru (5th Lucky Dragon), affected by a U.S. hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in March 1954.

The information includes 304 materials showing radiation levels measured on crewmembers of 473 vessels which were in the areas of fallout at that time and on their catches of fish.

About 1,000 Japanese ships were said to be operating in the areas nearby, and the Japanese authorities began conducting radiation tests at five fishing ports soon after the Daigo Fukuryu Maru returned to its homeport in Shizuoka. However, the authorities had long denied the existence of such data.

In November last year, the existence of the data was confirmed when disclosed diplomatic records revealed the fact that part of the test results had been provided to the United States.

In the 1980’s, the late Yamahara Kenjiro, a Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives, demanded in the Diet that the government carry out a comprehensive testing of radiation exposure on the affected fishermen. The health ministry at the time said, “Information regarding affected fishing boats, other than the Daigo Fukuryu Maru, is unavailable.”

JCP member of the House of Councilors Kami Tomoko who worked to facilitate the disclosure of the materials said, “These are important documents that may lead to a relief of crewmembers’ long suffering and will be a great help in surveying the impact of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear accident upon the human body and the sea.”
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