I'm writing this on the bullet train, speeding toward the city of Fukushima; leaving the hustle and bustle of Tokyo behind, heading for the uncertainty that remains the entire prefecture of Fukushima.
When I show "In the Grey Zone" (website here) in festivals, so many people come up to me after and say: "Is that still going on? I thought everything was back to normal. We never hear about it in the news."
Yes, sadly, "it" is still going on. But what is "it"?
This is the first time I will visit the city of Fukushima, though I have been to the prefecture of Fukushima many times. Most of the filming I have been been doing has been centered on the people of the city of Minamisoma, including my most recent documentary "In Containment":
Although the city of Fukushima lies further away from the damaged nuclear power plant than the city of Minamisoma, because of wind direction, there are some areas in the city of Fukushima that actually have higher levels of radiation than parts of Minamisoma.
I've already spoken with several of the mothers that I will meet this week on the phone. One of them shared with me that ALL three of her children were tested and shown to have abnormal cysts on their thyroids. The doctor giving her the government-sponsored test results told her not to worry about it and that they would do a follow up test in two years.
This profile of my recent documentary work, published on the Freedom in Harmony blog on October 10 (here), ends with this staggering statistic regarding the results of the government-sponsored testing of the children of Fukushima:
The first round of testing indicated that 35% of children (38,114 children) had incidents of thyroid cyst. Now, it is reported to be 43%.
What do these cysts mean? Are they benign, or will they be an indication of cancer in the children of Fukushima? The government doctors want us to wait two years for answers. I'm on my way there tonight.