MEXT Building Circled by a Human Chain
What MEXT said :
"MEXT does not consider 20 millisieverts a safety standard."
"The amount of exposure will be minimized to the extent possible with the aim of bringing it down to1 millisievert."
What citizens demanded:
"Put that in writing, and send the new official notice to Fukushima Prefecture."
"Rescind the 20 millisievert/year standard."
"The national government should take responsibility for minimizing radiation exposure of children."
On 23 May, 70 parents from Fukushima, together with 650 citizens showing their support, gathered in front of the offices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The parents asked for only one thing: to protect the children of Fukushima. For that, the 20 millisievert a year standard (3.8 microsieverts an hour out in the school grounds) must be rescinded and the national government should take responsibility for implementing specific measure to minimize the radiation children are exposed to.
The parents of Fukushima boarded two buses and came to Tokyo in order to convey this directly to Education Minister Yoshiaki Takaki. Sadly, neither the minister, the senior vice minister, nor the vice minister showed up.
Itaru Watanabe, Deputy Director-General of the Science and Technology Policy Bureau met with the Fukushima citizens and made the following statements:
-The Ministry of Education has not set 20 millisieverts a year as the safety standard.
- The policy is to minimize exposure to the extent possible toward the goal of 1 millisievert.
- The current measure is strictly provisional. The plan is to revisit it after the summer break.
- A new policy will be established by monitoring the radiation.
In response, the Fukushima parents and their supporters stated the following:
- As a result of the 19 April MEXT official notice, schools abandoned efforts to minimize radiation exposure. Actual harm has been done.
- By "monitoring" do you mean you are treating us as guinea pigs?
- Children continue to be exposed to radiation even at this very moment. This issue cannot wait until after summer break.
- MEXT's current measure is even in violation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).
- We resubmit the following demands:
1) Immediately rescind the 20millisievert standard.
2) Put in writing the Education Ministry's policy of striving toward the goal of 1 millisievert, and forward this official notice to Fukushima Prefecture.
3) The national government should take on the responsibility for the efforts to minimize exposure currently undertaken by local governments, and extend economic support and endorsement for these efforts.
Deputy Director-General Watanabe in reply promised the following:
- The three demands will be relayed to the top three officials of the ministry for discussion, and a reply will be given quickly.
- Status updates will be given daily.
Diet members Mizuho Fukushima, Hiroshi Kawauchi, Yuko Mori, and Ryuhei Kawada attended the meeting and added comments such as the view that the Ministry's measures contravene law.
A human chain successfully circled the MEXT building during the Fukushima citizens' meeting with MEXT.
Fukushima Network for Protecting Children from Radiation (Seiichi Nakate, Representative)
Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai)
Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai)
Greenpeace Japan .
Documents submitted to the Ministry of Education:
Demands by the Fukushima Network for Protecting Children from Radiation
【Statement】Where is Minister Takaki? Why Will he Not Meet with Parents from Fukushima? Rescind the 20 millisievert Standard (3.8 microsieverts/hr) Immediately!
Cover letter for the interim submission of petition signatures: Demand Letter on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident "20 Millisievert" Problem.
Urgent Demand for the Immediate Retraction of the "20 Millisievert" Standard for Children and Appeal for Measure to Minimize Radiation Exposure