Family Torn Apart By Irrational Fear of Radiation

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    The Asahi reports about a German citizen who made his family flee Tokyo after the Fukushima nuclear accident. It would seem that, despite the overwhelming evidence that a radioactive doomsday never occurred, some people who fled are still afraid of living in Tokyo:

    While Sascha has since returned to Tokyo alone to continue his work as a radio disc jockey, his wife, Terumi, and their 4-year-old daughter, Leiya, remain in Germany.

    Sascha, 35, who identifies himself only by his first name, was unconvinced that radiation levels in Japan would not have an adverse impact on the health of his family.

    Nine months after leaving Japan, Terumi, 39, who can speak very little German, often struggles with basic day-to-day procedures. And she’s not the only one feeling the stress of living in a foreign land. Leiya, who attends kindergarten in Munich, showed apparent strains from a new environment, acting out on occasion, for some time.

    After months of living in a country he believed to be too radioactive for his daughter, Sascha visited her in Germany. While there, he underwent some tests that confirmed what should have already been obvious:

    In Japan, Sascha has been measuring radiation levels with a dosimeter. In October, he traveled to Germany to undergo an examination for radiation. Sascha said he wanted to confirm with his own body whether it was safe for his family to return to Japan.

    When he reported on a blog that nothing abnormal was detected, many people who were also worried about the impact of radiation on their children’s health wrote that they felt reassured.

    He apparently brushed the test results aside and continues to insist that Tokyo is still too dangerous for his wife and child. The article states that he spent the New Year’s holiday alone in Japan.

    Instead of emphasizing the lack of a rational reason to be afraid of living in Tokyo, the author of the article repeats a line that has become popular among anti-nuclear activists. Many initially insisted that Fukushima would contaminate Tokyo with deadly amounts of radiation, but that never happened. So, lacking credible evidence of danger, they now insist that we must wait years to find out who was right:

    Some frowned on the couple’s decision to flee, although they certainly weren’t the only ones to leave Japan after March 11. It will take time before they can tell whether it was the right or wrong decision. The couple said they will take responsibility for their decision either way.

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