Interview: a story about the health problems that occur in Japan

(最後に和訳があります)

“straight from the horse’s mouth”Said the interviewer.I was interviewed as an evacuee from a nuclear disaster, connecting LA and my home with Skype.

This is a story about the health problems that occur in Japan
Please share it‼️ (Shimosawa Yoko)


It is not very easy to talk about health damage on my family or people I know who are affected  by radiation. It’s privacy issue. So today I would like to share some stories of my  friend who was also evacuated from Tokyo area with her daughter because she got ill too just  like my daughter.
Her daughter is one year older than my daughter
My friend’s age is around 50.

At first I’ll tell you what happened in the first few months following the nuclear accident,
she saw many people have died or fell to the disease.

A local doctor who was in his 50’s and a man owned a flower shop, around age 40 died of sudden death.
Many people , like her deliveryman, her yoga teacher, and her friends, one after another, got incurable disease.

So many kids of her friend’s were taken in to the ambulance due to heatstroke.
Some of them were taken to the hospital more than once.
Her husband’s friend had swollen lymph in his legs and could not walk at all.
A carpenter she was familiar with came down with unknown illness for a couple of month.
Her husband got severe skin inflammation, over his armpit to stomach
This all happened within a few month.

Next I am going to talk about what was going on around her after 5 years of the nuclear accident.
There were a lot of death around her.

My friend and her old college friends gathered together after a long time, man and woman all together 7 of them.
And she was surprised to know that half of their mother and father, half of their father-in-law and mother-in-law have passed away. The rest of half fell ill or needed nursing.

And more death followed.
Her senior’s mother and her friend’s mother were in their 70’s.
Her friend husband was in his 50.
Her husband mother was in her 40.
They all died of sudden death.

And more death and disease..
Her child preschool teacher’s mother and sister. They both died only two weeks after they were
diagnosed with cancer.
Her nephew’s friend who was 18 became leukemia.
Her niece’s best friend, 16 years old and her school junior 15 years old died. In three month
they have both died from sudden death.

Her acquaintance who teaches at cram school seriously concerns about significant deterioration of mental ability of her students.
A kid who she knows suffered from sudden memory loss and could not even recognize his parents name, He was later diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.

It’s an endless story so I’ll finish it here.


私自身の周りの健康被害については、ここで話すのは難しいものがあります。
なので、私と同じように娘が体調おかしくして、関東エリアから、神戸に避難してきたお友達の話を紹介したいと思います。
彼女の年齢は50歳位です。

まず、初めの数ヶ月に起きたことです。

地元市内の医者、50代の突然死。
お花屋さんのご主人40代の突然死。
家に来る佐川急便のお兄さん、
私の習い事の先生、私の友人らの
相次ぐ難病発症。
友人の子供たちの熱中症による救急搬送が本当に多く。中には複数回救急車で運ばれた子がいた。
主人の友人は足のリンパが腫れて動けなくなる。
知り合いの大工さんが原因不明の体調不良で数ヶ月寝込む。
主人は驚くほどの皮膚炎が脇の下からお腹にかけて広がる。

次に、事故後5年を過ぎてからの話です。

久しぶりに集まったサークル仲間、男女合わせて7人、私以外すべての仲間の実家の父母、そして連れ合いの義父母の半分が亡くなっていて、残り半分が病気や看病が必要になっている状態。

先輩のお母さん70代
友人のお母さん70代
友人のご主人50代
主人の生徒のお母さん40代の突然死。

保育園の先生の母親と姉が、がん発症2週間で亡くなる。
甥っ子の友人18歳が白血病。
姪っ子の親友16歳、後輩15歳の相次ぐ2人の突然死が3ヶ月のうちに起こる。
塾の先生をしている知人は、子供たちの明らかな知能低下をとても心配しています。
知り合いの子供は、突然親の名前が思い出せなくなり、心配して病院に連れていったところ兄弟で、知能障害の診断を受けた。

次に、30代の女性のお友達のお話を紹介します。彼女は5歳になるお子さんと、旦那さんと東京近辺に住んでます。
子供たちよりも、40前後の子育て中のお母さんお父さんたちが深刻な体調不良で、子供たちの面倒を見てあげられない状況です。

お母さん友達で圧倒的に多い症状がめまい。
そして耐え難い眠気、金縛りのような疲労感、記憶が飛んでしまう恐怖感、に悩まされているお母さん。一気に白髪になり風邪がいつまでも治らず仕事も辛く、うつ病状態のお父さん。急な、頭の圧迫感、吐き気、足首のしびれに襲われ苦しむお母さん。

次に、命に関わる病の話です。
職場の同じフロアで、また親類や兄弟間で、なぜか同じ時期に心筋梗塞や脳梗塞が立て続いた。若い親族の急死が多い。
そして、聞いたことがないようなすい臓の病も、20代、40代、と、同じ地域で続けて聞いた。

キリがないのですが、こんなところです。

下澤陽子

Interview: about my experience as an evacuee

This is an interview note when I talked about my experience as an evacuee.It’s a long note and not perfect English.but Please share it‼️ (Shimosawa Yoko)

起きている事は当事者に聞け!と、インタビューをしてくれました。LAと我が家をSkypeでつないで。私の原発事故からの避難の経験をまず最初に伝えました。海外に広めてください!(下澤陽子


Thank you for this opportunity

I wanted to tell our story to people outside Japan. so I’m glad getting this interview

I am a evacuee from the nuclear disaster in Japan
I evacuated Here in Kobe five years ago with my family from Tokyo not from Fukushima.

I have two children . One is a boy , he’s 16 and one is a girl , she is 13.

When the earthquake happened on 311 .They were 8years old and 5years old. I was living in Tokyo with my children and my husband.
There were a Play park in front of my house . Children can do a lot of things there .They can play with mud, or making fire and making Woodwork.

And when earthquake happened I was in the park with my daughter and her friends.
It was very surprising with the biggest earthquake I had ever experienced, and my husband was not able to come home from work, but returned the next day.  The earthquake was all about me for Tokyo.

A few days after the earthquake
When I heard that the nuclear power plant was in bad condition, it was not my problem.

The government issued evacuation instructions to people within 20 kilometers of the nuclear power plant
I thought it was a story unrelated to me
I used to be very ignorant about nuclear plants.

I trusted the radio information
And I trusted what the government says.
Many experts came out one after another and commented

Don’t panic

You must be afraid in the right way

Tokyo is 250 km away from the nuclear plant
The radiation will be diluted enough if it comes out.
There is no worry about a small amount of radiation

I was relieved and let the children play mud as usual
I did not change my life Style even a bit Since the accident

And after the accident I started to research and read books as if it was a wake-up call.
At the same time as I began to learn, my daughter’s physical condition was getting bad

She says,
“I feel sick. I have no strength left…”
“I”m woozy. I have a headache, I have a tummy ache, my legs hurt that I can’t walk, my hands are all in pain to my fingertips, I’m cold, my face is hot, Mummy I’m worn out”

Such condition started to bother her periodically after one year since the accident. It started to worsen and never seemed to get better.

Before the accident until she was five years old she was so cheerful and stronger than anyone she was always playing outside from the morning to night
It looked like she never got tired

I first started to connect my daughter’s change with the radiation issue after I’ve developed my knowledge about internal radiation exposure.

I was never sure.
It can’t be radiation exposure, In Tokyo?
No way.
I was always thinking alone

Doctors never took me seriously about having such concerns. They just chastised instead of giving any advice. My husband just laughed it off. He always ended up getting angry and we ended up fighting every time.

And three years after the accident her physical condition got very bad.
she has no day of strength.
She can’t go to school. She can’t play with friends. When it is bad, she can not go to the bathroom by herself.

At that time, I met a doctor who was working with the issue of radiation exposure in the metropolitan area. He said, if sick children are moved to the west away from contaminated eastern Japan, some of them could recover health.

He was saying that the blood  test results would be better

According to his examinations after the accident, the number of white blood cells of children living in the metropolitan area was decreasing. 

When I consulted the doctor about my daughter, he clearly stated that she was affected by the radiation exposure.
And he gave me advice to move my daughter to The place without Contamination.
First , we moved our daughter to Toyama, where my husband’s  parents house is.

Then there was a miracle.

Our daughter, whom we had to piggy bag to use the toilet, walked 15 minutes to the local beach and swam in a pool. It was only a few days after she arrived Toyama.

It was a miracle after a month of agony

The same miracle happened when we recuperated her in Okinawa, then in Kobe, to where we later relocated. Then she falls back again when she came back to Tokyo. Her condition would be back after a week. Sometimes it comes back as soon as the night she returned.

So we had no choice to stay in Tokyo
we just fled from Tokyo

We were lucky , we could leave all the family together. Many of evacuees from the kanto Or Metropolitan area , mothers and children made a hard decision to move without their fathers who could not give up work to feed the family. I am thankful that we did not have to suffer from such financial strife, it was an easy start in Kobe although we were totally strange to the area.

But more than anything, there is no word that can express how thankful I was to see my daughter coming back alive rapidly.

I wanted to scream all over the world that my daughter got well

And I started to think
So what was happening to her body?
Is something happening to our bodies?

After our relocation, we visited Mita Clinic in Okayama.
Dr. Mita who evacuated from Tokyo at the same time we did
We have been tested to see the effects of exposure to radiation
By taking those tests, I slowly got what seemed to be the answer to my question

There is a place called pituitary in the brain
This is so important place for our body
It controls various hormones

We have been testing the hormones that the site controls
From the test I began to know the impact of radiation exposure on our brain

Cortisol Hormone
Adrenocorticotropic hormone
Growth hormone somatomedin

Our three hormones often do not fall within the Standard value especially the daughter cortisol is always very low

This tendency can be seen among Those who evacuated from the metropolitan area of Tokyo, the
Doctor says
The worse the conditions are , the less cortisol is

After moving here, my daughter got well again.
For the past two years or so, she sometimes falls into symptoms  she suffered while in Tokyo,
This condition overlaps with what the doctor says that people are suffering from poor health Over the past couple of years.

Dr. Mita, however, says that more people are starting to suffer severe symptoms such as weakening of motivation, declined thinking and memory ability, and losing strength to fight against disease

Dr. Mita coined such symptoms as “Degradation of Abilities.”

They are the same symptoms people had after the nuclear bombs dropped
In Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Can we recover what had already been lost?
No one has the answer

I strongly hope to get it back if we can, and I want to refuse to be exposed or deprived any more.
Therefore I would like to work with many people.
But now we are running in the opposite direction.

Now a huge propaganda campaign is going on  in Japan to tell us radiation is safe.
People from the nuclear power industries have said that nuclear power plants are absolutely safe.  But they can’t say that it is absolutely safe after the accident.  now they are trying  to instill in us the story that radiation is safe together with the government.

It’s like true data is manipulated and covered up. Talking about health damage by radiation is a big taboo now.

At least people who were  in the eastern part of Japan, and who are still there have been all exposed to radiation.

Many people have fallen victim to the nuclear accident so the evacuees  find it difficult to speak up about this issue.
In any case, it appears that the government of Japan is trying their best to make people believe radiation itself does not exist.

And for many people it is much easier to accept their so that they can live at ease.

It’s It is getting harder and harder in Japan to say No to radiation exposure.

In Japan we may say No to nuclear power however it is getting harder
and harder to say No to radiation exposure.
This is truly sad. But we do not want to give up.

I’m just saying that please stop doing thisJust saying please stop hurting my child , please stop hurting us.I just got angry because my child was hurt.  I could see that my child was hurt.  I could not forgive.And I believe that this should not be forgiven.It is human beings who are doing this cruel thing, but it is also human beings who stop this.

So I work with a citizen organization against nuclear power, and as
evacuees, we will continue to say No to radiation exposure, share
information on health damages to others,ask people in the eastern part
of Japan to evacuate and support these activities.

(和訳はありません)