Monday, April 18, 2011

福島第一原発事故は本当にレベル7ですか? Is the Fukushima nuclear accident really a Level 7?

I sit here this week in Tokyo with a heavy heart. After the Earthquake, Tsunami, And Fukushima nuclear plant troubles, Japan has suffered a fourth disaster. The Japanese nuclear watchdog agency announced that the Fukushima problem is a Level 7 event, not a Level 5 as previously stated by the Japanese government.

私は今週悲しみに沈んでいます。大地震、津波、それと福島第一原発事故の後で、第4の災害も来ました。原子力安全/保安院は福島第一原発事故は日本政府が以前から言っているレベル5ではなく、レベル7に引き上げたと言う発表をしました。

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110412x1.html

However, Chernobyl released 10 times the amount of radiation.

しかし、チェルノブイリは10倍の放射能を漏れました。

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13045341

Having been born outside Japan, I have some idea how foreigners will view this declaration, and it won't be good.

私は日本生まれではないので、外国人はこの発表についてどう言う風に考える事を何とか分かります。あんまりいい事を考えないでしょう。

So why this declaration? I was listening to several interviews on the news in Tokyo, and I think I have the answer. One common theme struck me. Several people being interviewed, university professors and so forth, remarked on the foreign press comments soon after the disaster happened.

どうして今この発表をしましたか?いくつかのテレビニュースインタビューを聞いて、一つの共通のテーマが有ました。インタビューを受けている数人、大学の教授などが、福島第一原発事故直後の海外マスコミのコメントについて話しました。

Now I have written before how the foreign press has panicked, and written many extreme falsehoods.

私は以前書いた投稿で、多数の海外マスコミ機関はパニックして、極端な偽りを報道しました。

http://tokyomaxtalks.blogspot.com/2011/03/foreigners-run-from-japan-in-panic.html

http://tokyomaxtalks.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-americans-are-so-panicked-about.html

However, the American government has come up and announced that they made a mistake in declaring a 50 mile / 80 kilometer evacuation zone.

しかし、アメリカ政府はその80キロ避難地域宣言は間違いと認めています。

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110409a7.html
Frankly speaking, I was little surprised that the Americans would admit that they made a mistake. But they did.

正直に言うと、アメリカ政府は間違いをしたと認めた事に驚きました。しかし、そうしました。

So what happened? Here is my guess.

でも、この宣言はどう言う事ですか?これは私の推測です。

I first arrived in Japan in December of 1974. That was roughly some 25 years after the end of WWII. At the time when I came here, A veteran of the Imperial Japanese Army or Navy would have been somewhere around 45 years old at the youngest. In 1945, that would have made him 20 years of age.

私は1974年12月に初めて日本に来ました。終戦からだいたい25年後でした。私が日本に来た時に、帝国陸軍/海軍の歴戦の兵士は一番若い人で45歳位でした。その歳だったら、1945年で20歳位でした。

I met many people who had experience in the Japanese armed forces of WWII, and enjoyed many conversations with them about their experiences. As a military historian, it was wonderful to hear first hand stories.

太平洋戦争の日本帝国軍経験者と沢山会いましたし、彼等の思い出話を聞いて楽しみました。軍事歴史研究者の私に、彼達の話を聞く事はとても価値が有る経験でした。

However, the conversations of Japanese men who had not been in the military, who were in their early 40's, their 30's and 20's when I arrived, were markedly different.

しかし、帝国軍隊に入軍出来なかった日本の男達の話は全然違いました。

They seemed terribly depressed about Japan and everything Japanese. And everything American was superior and wonderful.

日本の事について、とても落ち込んでいました。そして、アメリカの事はとても素晴しく上位と考えました。

Coming from America, this surprised me greatly. America has many difficulties and faults. Americans may not like my saying this, but it is true, Americans call America "An experiment in progress"

私はアメリカで生まれて、こう言う事を聞くと驚きました。アメリカは問題な事や欠点がいっぱい有ります。アメリカ人が私の書いた物を読むとイヤな気持ちをもつかも知れませんが、本当です。アメリカ人でも、アメリカの事を、”現在進行中の研究”と呼びます。

That means that it is nowhere near perfect. Anybody who spends any time analyzing American political debate, will realize that there is a lot of discussion how to make or remake American society.

この意味は、アメリカ社会はまだ完璧に出来ていません。アメリカの政治的な討論を研究すると、これからアメリカ社会をどう言う風に創るかの話し合いが有ると良く分かります。

But when I came to Japan, I found a society where everything worked and worked well. Busses and trains ran on time, nearly always. People cooperated with each other for the common good.

しかし私は日本へ来た時に、日常的に上手く動いている社会を見つけました。バス、電車はダイヤ通りに走っています。社会の為に人々は協力しました。

So why did the younger generations of Japanese people see America as such a great country in the 1970's? After defeat, Japan was terribly poor. People had believed that Japan was invincible, but America won the war.

どうして1970年代の日本人はアメリカをそんな魅力的な国と考えましたか?太平洋戦争の終戦後、日本はとても貧しかった。戦前に、日本はどんなことにも打ち負けないと信じました。 

To their thinking, it must be some special spiritual quality of the American people. Americans were superior, Americans were Gods.

その当時の人々の考えで、アメリカは特別な精神的な特質が有りました。アメリカ人は上位な国民、アメリカ人は神様でした。

Also, Americans themselves have always been claiming to be the best nation, the best people on earth. I think people in the 1970's simply believed this.

アメリカ人も自分達の事を強く宣伝しています。いつも自分達アメリカは世界一番の素晴らしい国で、素晴しい国民と言っています。当時の日本人はアメリカ人を信じたでしょう。

These people are now in their '60's and '70's, and in Japan, that means that they are now in positions of responsibility.

アメリカ人を上位と考える日本人は現在60代と70代位で、日本社会で責任のある立場です。

Of course, to Japanese people in their '59's or below, they never thought of Americans as superior people. Many Japanese have traveled to America, and are surprised at the low standard of living that most Americans have. And that Americans are not in general all that knowledgeable about anything.

勿論、現在50代以下の日本人は、アメリカ人を上位の人と考えていません。数多くの日本人はアメリカへ旅行をしていて、普通のアメリカ人の低い生活レベルにビックリしています。それと、普通のアメリカ人はどんな事についても知識がないと言う事に驚いています。

The average Japanese person today, they have a much more realistic opinion of Americans.

現在一般の日本人はアメリカ人についてもっと現実的な考えが有ります。

I think the election of the Hatoyama administration in 2009 was an expression of Japanese desire for a more equal relationship with America.

2009年鳩山政権は、日本人のこれからアメリカともっと平等な関係を作りたい希望の表現と思います。


This is hard for America, dealing with a country on an equal level. It will be interesting to see how this will work out for the future of the Japanese/American relationship.

アメリカは別の国と平等な関係で付き合う事は難しいです。これから日米関係はどう言う風に成るでしょう?

I think that this declaration of Level 7 was made to satisfy the initial foreign panic. To the minds of the people who decided this, foreigners, meaning Americans, are always right, Japanese are always wrong.

このレベル7の発表は、パニック中の外国人を満足させる為にしたでしょう。この発表をした人の考えで、外国人、その意味はアメリカ人は、いつも正しくて、日本人はいつも間違っています。

Yet foreign governments don't agree with Japan's declaration. The Russians and the French say that this incident is not a level 7 event.

しかし、外国の政府はこの発表にたいして同意していません。ロシア政府とフランス政府はこの事故はレベル7ではないと言っています。

http://www.asahi.com/special/10005/TKY201104130698.html
http://www.47news.jp/47topics/e/204736.php

The Americans say that risk is now declining.

アメリカ人も危険性が下がっていると言っています。

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110416a8.html

To the outside world, Japan now looks like a nation of idiots, they will think the situation must be much worse, the Japanese government must be hiding something.

外の世界で、日本は愚かな国みたいで、これから外国人は日本政府が何かひどい事を隠していて、状態はとても悪い、と思われるでしょう。

What is the truth about the radiation leak? OK, what has been found is that there IS a plume of fallout that extends beyond the 30 kilometer zone.

それでは、放射能漏れについての真実は何ですか?30キロ避難地域の外に、一つの放射性降下物の流れは実際に有ります。

Here is it is on maps:

地図でこう成っています。

This BBC map shows the Japanese government evacuation zone.

下記のBBC地図は、避難地域を表示しています。

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13045341

This is a Japanese government computer generated map showing the plume.

この日本政府のコンピューターで作られた地図は、その放射性降下物の流れをはっきり見せています。

http://getnews.jp/archives/106233

The plume of fallout is not high enough to cause immediate evacuation, but delayed evacuation in certain areas has been ordered.

この放射性降下物の流れは緊急的な避難ではなく、有る所で1ヶ月後の避難が決まりました。

We can see that it does extend beyond the evacuation zone in the north. Looking at the Japanese government map, we can also see that there are areas quite low in radiation just to the west of the Fukushima complex.

地図を見ると、放射性降下物の流れは避難地域より北の方に行っている事が良く分かります。日本政府の地図を見ると、福島原子力発電所の西の方に、放射能のレベルが低い所も有ると分かります。

I cannot see how this incident can be labeled a Level 7. In my opinion, I would say that it is a serious Level 5.

この事故はレベル7と言う事が、私には理解出来ません。これは、重大なレベル5でしょう。

The Japanese government has been working hard to reassure foreign countries that Japanese agricultural products are safe, and that it is safe to visit Japan. Now, because of this Level 7 declaration, foreigners will not believe us.

日本政府は外国人に日本の農産物は安全で、日本へ観光で来るのも安全と、一生懸命に言っています。このレベル7の発表で、日本を信じなく成るでしょう。


3 comments:

Sato said...

■Minimum requirements for PM Kan's survival - Can we entrust the Nuclear and the Reconstruction to him? -

A roadmap for stableness of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident that takes max 9 months was announced by TEPCO on 17th at last.
Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan expressed his every effort in tackling it at the Diet on the next 18th.

On the same day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano mentioned to ask for senior officers of METI to refrain from being parachuted ''AMAKUDARI" into TEPCO for the time.

Kan regime's dealing to the disaster looks like to have became better than ever bad operations.

However, Kan just said that "Government will cooperate for TEPCO's work, get together, encourage it, do things as can in full power".
The government still has been skillfully avoided taking responsibility in a supporter's stance for the devastating accident.
So the Government's initiative is completely missing.

Edano avoided to call a recent parachute "AMAKUDARI" in a parliamentary answer in February.

In addition, he demanded a vague "foreseeable future refrain from it".
And I can't feel his reflection on "AMAKUDARI" that made a hollowing of regulation led to a expansion of the nuclear accident.

It is hard to say that Kan administration has qualification and capability for dealing the nuclear accident and for doing recovery and reconstruction to the earthquake disaster.

At least the following conditions are necessary for Kan to continue sitting in the office in the future.

(1) Honestly apologize to the people and the international community about mistake and concealment of information for nuclear accidents.
(2) Making a government commitment to the roadmap for stableness of the nuclear accident.
(3) Making a real decision-making organization with all parties participation for disaster recovery and restoration, and obeying the decision.

Without fulfilling these conditions, the prime minister must resign immediately.

triplehelix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
triplehelix said...

Hi, Max,

I think Fukushima's situation is much worse than Three Mile Island's case, and considering the level of contamination both in the soil and sea water, a level 7 seems reasonable. The Japanese people are worried about the radiation leak, especially of plutonium and strontium, for they are likely to cause fatal health problems, not immediately but in 20, 30 years time. When our children develop cancer or leukemia, will the government or tepco do anything for them? - Perhaps not. They would say there's no clear evidence that proves the connection. That's the fear.
I currently live in the uk, but all my family are in Japan. I'm very concerned, and don't think the foreign media are overreacting.