Hosono says all of Japan should help with Fukushima's contaminated debris

TOKYO —

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also the minister in charge of handling the nuclear crisis, said Sunday that contaminated debris and soil from Fukushima Prefecture should be disposed of outside the prefecture. He said that all of Japan needs to share Fukushima’s plight by providing sites for disposal of the debris.

Last week, Hosono said that he supported the construction of a temporary storage facility for radioactive waste in Fukushima Prefecture, but that idea has been opposed by prefectural government officials. He reiterated Sunday that the government will consult Fukushima officials before making a final decision.

The Diet on Aug 26 enacted a new law requiring the state to clean up debris and soil contaminated with radioactive matter.

Japan Today

  • 10

    thepro

    So what he is saying is, all of Japan should take some radiation - if Fukushima suffers, everyone has to suffer.

  • 7

    melguy

    This is madness. He hasn't thought this one through at all.

  • 3

    Utrack

    How do they plan on disposing all of the Homes in the No Go Zone that are Radioactive cause Washing the Rooves, Walls isn't going to cut it and the Nature ( flora and water ). Where can you put all that stuff.

  • 8

    kansaifun

    This man should be forced to resign for such ignorance!; he is an affront to the poor, suffering people of Japan!

  • 7

    Disillusioned

    Shouldn't it be left in the 20k no-go zone?

  • 4

    Utrack

    The people of the Ukraine are still clearing up the high radiation areas from the Chernobly incident.

    The last segment of this documentary [http://bit.ly/mTiWOZ] is about a village near Chernobyl, Belarus : how they are tearing down Radioactive Homes, clearing debris and living with the radiation

  • 7

    WilliB

    They have a perfectly good 3 km evacuation zone around the damaged plant, which is the logical place to store radioactive waste. Suggesting to distribute the waste all over the country instead sounds like a ludicrious idea to me.

  • 9

    wanderlust

    Best thing they could do is to establish a secure nuclear waste disposal site/ dump for all of the Japanese nuclear power plants in the grounds of Fukushima NPP, the land is poisoned for at least the next 300 years ( 10 x half life of Cs), so at least other towns and villages would be spared the threat of stored fuel rods melting down and dispersing radionucleides.

    Hosono is two eggs short of dozen, the goal is to minimise the spread of radiation, not to disperse it.

  • 4

    Laguna

    Foolish suggestion, and it ain't gonna happen. After trying to persuade my prefecture to offer aid after the disaster, I've realized how selfish and parochial local governments are here. And to think they'd willingly accept radioactive debris?! Ha ha ha! This is a non-starter.

  • 8

    JapanGal

    Just make a huge pile in the 20KM no go zone. Why contaminate the rest of the country? This is one stupid idiot.

  • 8

    Dennis Bauer

    I think they should start by storing it in the cabinet (governments) debating room

  • 8

    Darren Brannan

    Oh my Goshi...this guy has been one of the biggest proponents of things like making the evac zone smaller, and dispersing radioactive sludge as fertiliser around Japan.Just the kinda guy you want as environment minister..he may as well be the minister for funny walks.

    It really does make me think the government is actively trying to raise cesium levels in other agricultural areas so that people will be forced to buy food from Tohoku because food from everywhere else will be tainted.

    Just for a laugh my mate and I took the geiger counter out into the local park yesterday.In one place I previously had elevated readings the geiger counter suddenly flew up to 0.54 and flashed 'dangerous radiation levels' on the screen. It only happened for a second or so,so I am not reading too much into it, but there is obviously a fair bit of radiation lingering around even here in Osaka.

  • 7

    kurisupisu

    Unfortunately,this type of thinking is prevalent in Japan-not just by generalist politicians. However, Mr Hososno shows a marked disregard for commonsense and lack of understanding of the dangers of radiation. I am sure that garbage disposal is big business in Japan,could this be a reason why Hosono is willing to contaminate his country and its inhabitants?????????

  • 7

    Christina O'Neill

    Hosono, well ive heard of some crackpot ideas, but, this takes the biscuit, not content with Fukishimas contamination you want to pollute the rest of the country as well.Good luck on that idea as I doubt any other prefectures are going to oblige you..

  • 8

    NuckinFutz

    This guy is nothing short of a full lunatic who needs to be wrapped in a straight-jacket and tossed into a padded room! How can morons like this make it to positions of responsibility? This is the guy the LDP should attack full-out for being not only an amateur, but a complete friggin idiot who isn't qualified to shovel manure in a pig farm!

  • 4

    change

    We are already sharing the burden of Fukushima by our continuous consumption of beef, fish and other products from the affected areas. How much more should we share? I think Hosono should be the one to drive all the trucks from Fukushima to Kagoshima.

  • 4

    ExportExpert

    The high levels of intelligence of those in power are shinning through yet again I see, NOT.

    Lets spread this radiation stuff all over Japan so the whole country is contaminated then it wont matter where the food comes from.

    How about everything is dumped inside the 20 Kilo exclusion zone and left there as that is the most contaminated area and it makes sense to have all the contaminated debris soil etc in the one place.

    Again it isnt brain science or rocket surgery to understand this, but the Japanese can't get their heads around the concept of logic again.

    Sheesh this spread the radiation around idea has to be the dumbest one of the year.

  • 3

    zichi

    That should never happen and since the Fukushima nuclear plant will be contaminated for hundreds of years it makes more sense to take all the nuclear waste back to where it started.

    At least half of Fukushima Prefecture should be declared a no go area because people will not be able to return for years, years and years. The area should come under direct control of the central government. TEPCO should be banned from all business except dealing with the nuclear disaster.

    When the nuclear plant is dismantled in about 30 years or so, that material will have to remain in that area. They need to start building giant concrete bunkers which are both earthquake and tsunami proof.

    The entire area should be turned into one huge solar farm.

    The people removed from the exclusion zone need to be told the truth, they will never be allowed to return home.

    I won't be eating or drinking any food from that area, even if they are giving it away. No one should be allowed to grow foods or breed animals in Fukushima for at least five years while a proper survey of radiation is made.

    Since the commissioning of the nuclear plants Fukushima received about $100 billion in nuke taxes. What happened to all that money?

  • 0

    johninnaha

    Get the Japanese "Self Defense Forces" to clean it up.

    And do something useful for a change!

  • 8

    zichi

    One point we learnt this summer is that we don't need the current 54 reactors, since we managed to survive the big heat of the summer with only about 18% of the reactors working.

    All nuclear plants along the Pacific should be decommissioned immediately since this area is more dangerous for earthquakes and tsunami's. The great Tokai earthquake which happens every hundred years or so is now overdue.

    Then at least 50% of the remaining reactors should also be decommissioned. The power generation companies should no longer control the power grid system which needs immediate improvements so that power generated in Hokkaido can be supplied to Tokyo.

    Other companies should be allowed to build solar and wind farms and be able to sell their power to the grid.

  • 4

    CrazyJoe

    This man disgusts me. Logic would dictate that storage and processing of this waste would be done in the most contaminated places in order to limit the exposure to relatively clean areas.

  • 2

    Farmboy

    I would hope that this doesn't happen. Here are some reasons: 1. There could be accidents in transporting the waste, and equipment used would need to be decontaminated.. 2. There could be leakage from waste sites in the future, polluting areas that are currently clean. 3. More people would be exposed to radiation if the waste is moved. 4. Transportation costs would make the disposal more expensive. 5. Creating disposal sites within the prefecture is not that difficult.

  • 4

    Christina O'Neill

    I thought the logic of some polititions was the lowest of the low, it appears my supposition was optimistic

  • 3

    cactusJack

    Not to worry. They will most likely dump the radioactive soil in public parks and beaches...and... No Immediate Health Risk!

  • 7

    Maitake

    Baka Yaro!!!!

  • 7

    delrennich

    This guy is an idiot. What happens in Fukushima should stay in Fukushima. That includes radioactive beef, peaches, and rice too.

  • 3

    warnerbro

    This is scary. The government already has no objections to serving contaminated food to the children at schools around the Kanto area. If they can do that with no massive public outcry, they may be able to implement this kind of lunacy. I hope he's just throwing a sop to the people of Fukushima to reduce opposition to the "middle term storage" of the contamination. What they need to do is start moving people away and getting them settled elsewhere. Japan has deserted farms and fallow fields everywhere.

  • 10

    Nicky Washida

    Honestly, truthfully, tell me for real because I cant quite believe it:

    Do these guys really graduate from the top universites in the country and are they really the country`s elite?

    Because if that is true then quite frankly guys, all I can say is "We are gonna need a bigger boat"!

  • 3

    Foxie

    Leave that stuff in Fukushima, Mr. Hosono and dispose of it there. No need to endanger whole country.

  • 1

    bogva

    Don't want to say this proposal is good but I think it is due to the Fukushima's leaders refusal of keeping the waist. There stance is - "you (the state and Tepco) lied for the nuclear power being safe and made the disaster - now clean it and make our prefecture as free of radiation" Tough desisions for the government to take. Don't want to be in the place of any of them!

  • 0

    Jared Norman

    If a submarine is going to be decommission put the stuff in the boat and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. The pacific already protects us from the radiation of earths core.

  • 3

    Jan Claudius Weirauch

    Japan will in the long run become a very unattractive place to run a business or start a live. Sure there are this "flyjin" which left instantly after 3/11 but I think more people are going to start to change there lives in the long run. I live relatively far from it in Okinawa and I run a business in the tourism industry here but I this summer season customers came but all the many people from Europe who came last year did no come. I'll survive but is it appealing, is it enjoyable or good to feed a family, I don't think so.

    The Moron wanna dump the radioactive waste all over the country? I'm sure Tourism to Japan will increase a lot!

    I sooner or later will leave this place, even tho I like it here, it's not because of the direct fear of radiation but because of the side effects.

  • 3

    oginome

    Get a grip, Hosono.

  • 1

    Dotakun

    I like Hosono, but this is totally backwards. He is trying to take the burden off of the people of Fukushima, but by this logic, they might as well dump it in central Tokyo, so the most number of people can FEEL the PAIN!!

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    Let me guess... Hosono thinks that everywhere in Japan we should 'share the burden', except probably Tokyo (in particular around government offices).

    This makes no sense whatsoever, and if the Fukushima Prefectural government is against a plan to build a waste disposal site in the prefecture than I say tough! They permitted TEPCO to build the plant where it was built, so they deal with the consequences. The plant is already shot, and the area around it will be unlivable for several decades if not longer, so build it there!

  • 1

    oginome

    Dump the debris into Kasumigaseki.

  • 2

    kaketama

    In such a case, it would be the most rational measure to confine the harmful materials to as small area as possible. it's obviously ridiculous and fallacy to share them around the nation. This dolt would try to pretend to be good, but most people consider such a thing absurd hypocrisy.

  • 2

    Ayler

    Nimby nation won't allow it

  • 2

    Todd Cooper

    I hope there was some mistake in translation with Mr. Hosono's comments.

  • 4

    zichi

    The Fukushima government have received more than $100 billion in nuke taxes from TEPCO which was suppose to provide for the day when a nuclear disaster happened. What happened to that money?

    The central government should be relocated to Fukushima City then we'll get the right actions. Serve Fukushima beef in the Diet, if it's good for children's school lunches then it can't possibly harm brain dead politicians?

  • 2

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    Oh Gosh,Hosono! Did you come up with this gem after downing a bit too much Sake? The thing that worries me is that he might actually be able to put this ridiculous plan into action. Shops are still selling stuff from Fukushima. There hasn't been much of an outcry about the contaminated food, particulary food served to children. When I have brought up the school dinner situation with other mums, they seem to be more concerned about rocking the boat and/or their children being bullied for eating bento at school rather than the radiation issue. Awful to say, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets it pushed through without even a cough from the general public.

  • 1

    Oracle

    I think we should get a new environment minister. This clown will kill Japan's export business, food and all, by contaminating the entire country.

    So where are the govenment calls for his resignation? Oh, he did not say he was an amateur, or something dubious like that. He just thinks we should all share radioactive isotopes equally!

  • -10

    j4p4nFTW

    Hopefully Noda will take his advice. It's not fair for the people of Fukushima to have to suffer the burden alone. We need to spread out the contaminated material so it will have less effect on everyone.

  • 2

    Hikozaemon

    Hatoyama made a similar argument about sharing the burden of US bases in Okinawa. That worked out really well for him.

    Govt should be buying up all the land in the 20km zone and declaring it a permanent no-go zone, and deal with all this stuff within that.

  • 3

    globalwatcher

    Crazy! Does he understand a humanity?

    What he is saying here is to spread a pile of s@#$ (poison) to all over Japan???

    Doen't he know the word of CONTAINING poison or desease? This guy "Hosono" must be retarded. He should be banned to make any more political decision. He is already finished in my eyes.

  • 1

    JapanGal

    Who voted this guy in?

  • 1

    Teachmeteachyou

    It sounds like he is in a serious form of denial as to the impression this brings. Other parts of Japan may help with tax revenue, but why should they host toxic waste, especially if they are more heavily populated? This sense of 'fairness' is leading to contaminated food going everywhere... not good for Japan's citizens or the country's reputation.

    Storage sites should be found, far from people and well-secured, perhaps not solely in Fukushima, but not in this sense of spreading it everywhere. Fukushima's tragedy is one all of Japan can relate to and help fix, but it shouldn't be allowed to define Japan, a country in the international arena in need of an attractive image.

    IMHO more should be done to compensate those affected and limit the flow of toxins as a priority, rather than out of sympathy allow them to spread, whether through foods, livestock or this insane idea.

  • 2

    Kapuna

    When is he offering to store some of the contaminated materials in his home? Until he is willing to do that, he had better rethink what he said.

  • 0

    johninnaha

    What they'll most likely do with the debris is dump it off shore from Somalia.

    If there's any space left, that is.

    No, doesn't matter, just add it to the pile.

  • 3

    rzadigi

    35 of Japan's prefectures agreed to this plan back in April. The only way to stop it is to speak out. Call your prefecture office, city hall, and let Hosono's office know how you feel. If this stuff is spread and burnt all over Japan then it will be the death of Japan, and time for many of us to go back home. Make your phone calls today!!

    http://blog.goo.ne.jp/banbiblog/e/e7527be51f716e1ecc11deeb55f0dd1e

  • 0

    some14some

    It's not Koshien Baseball Stadium soil that high school baseball players take to their pref./town, during/after the tournaments.

  • -10

    Mizuame

    I think the idea tends to makes sense. If the burden of Fukushima residents can be lightened in this way I'm all for it. There must be remote and non-productive storage locations in Hokkaido, for example. However the technical hurdles of safely transporting and ultimately isolating the waste will be high and perhaps prohibitive.

  • 5

    Johannes Weber

    This thoughtless remark of Hosono has one point to it, which is correct: since Japan has a facility for processing highly radioactive waste in Rokkasho, instead of waiting a few years until they have built a new facility in Fukushima, it is far better to transport highly radioactive waste to Rokkasho, where the local industry has experience in handling it instead of leaving it in a cramped, deteriorating storage at a devastated NPP.

    @Moderator: Is that censorship here already? If I try to write something about moving debris by ship (using the gerund of "to ship") it is considered offensive content. For heaven's sake, why is that offensive content?

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    Mizuame: Do you not understand what such a move would do to Japan in the short run, let alone cripple the nation in the long run? Who is going to want to come to Japan to visit, live, and/or work if they know that the radiation from a nuclear power plant was willingly spread across the nation so 'everyone can suffer'?

    Or let me ask you another question: out of all of Japan, where do you think exports to other nations from this country have been banned? First and foremost those from Fukushima. Now, imagine if the government in its 'wisdom' decided to spread the radiation all over the nation; what do you think would happen to exports then? Do you honestly believe that despite the inevitable cries from the government for 'other nations to understand the circumstances and support Japan by importing its products and not questioning them', nations will stop importing from Japan completely!

    Hosono is an absolute moron for pandering to the Fukushima government and instead suggesting we all suffer for the disaster that occurred, and continues to go on, there. Sure, if we can all 'suffer and sweat alongside the people of Fukushima' in terms of power shortages and using less water and what have you, I can deal with that and would support it fully. But spreading nuclear isotopes???

  • 1

    tigerguy

    Japan's quality of food is all finished and flushed down the toilet. I'm not buying anything made in Japan anymore, there's too much risk of getting contamination in one form or another.

  • 1

    bookowls

    What bothers me is the amount of vehicles registered in the Fukushima area, that are now driving around the rest of the country, many of them still covered in dirt and dust from the disaster area! Seen a big increase in them in the west.

    As for Hosono, obviously he's a cracker short of a picnic basket! Spread the contaminated debris around Japan Hosono? How about we just dump it in your garden?

  • 1

    zichi

    Fukushima has received more than $100 billion in nukes taxes from TEPCO. I don't remember them ever sharing that wind fall with any other prefecture. There are only about 2 million people living in Fukushima. Now they want to share their nuclear waste with the rest of the country?

  • 0

    Mahiru Shiratori

    This JT article is a bit weird. I have tried to find more accurate information in Japanese newspaper and other English paper, blog....etc and cannot find it anywhere. It is true that he said: "he supported the construction of a temporary storage facility for radioactive waste in Fukushima Prefecture, but that idea has been opposed by prefectural government officials. He reiterated Sunday that the government will consult Fukushima officials before making a final decision." This part is in the news everywhere. But I cannot find any article that said: "Sunday that contaminated debris and soil from Fukushima Prefecture should be disposed of outside the prefecture. He said that all of Japan needs to share Fukushima’s plight by providing sites for disposal of the debris." If he really said that, it would be a huge news in Japanese as well. I would like to ask JT when and where he said that. Source, please.

    Moderator: Many Japanese news organizations carried the story. Do a Google search using 福島県内か県外か、中間貯蔵施設、最終処分施設 and you'll find some stories.

  • 1

    oberst

    contaminated debris and soil from Fukushima Prefecture should be disposed of outside the prefecture. ..........................

    wow, this takes spreading the wealth to a whole new level.

    Smart one, that Hosono. LOL

  • 1

    horrified

    Johannes Weber is right -- if they are going to incinerate the debris in a proper facility, then good. But I have a feeling it will be burned in whatever facility is available and that means spreading radioactive ash via smoke.

    Johannes Weber: You posted a link to a youtube video the other day about how testing is being limited, but youtube took it down. Do you have another source or a title that I could use to search for it?

  • 0

    Mahiru Shiratori

    JT, thank you very much for the source. And you are correct. I was hoping some translation mistake, but no.... it IS accurate translation. Thanks again.

  • 3

    wnagler1

    Spreading radioactive soil around the country is a pretty irresponsible idea. This guy should be removed from his position ASAP for displaying such poor judgement. He should consult with countries like the US that have expertise in hazardous material or HAZMAT disposal.

    As usual, Japan sees their world as a closed loop and that it can solve all of its needs and problems by itself. A government of ignorant old men who are elected by their fellow ignorant old men of the Japanese Diet will never be anything but removed from reality and disfunctional.

    Japanese people, you are well educated people, apply yourself, get informed and stand up for yourselves, FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!

  • 2

    Charles M Burns

    "Stupid is as stupid does"

  • 2

    cwhite

    Radiation doesn't really dilute that very well anyway. 1 gram of plutonium is just as bad as 2 grams of plutonium. So you could say that your not spreading the burden, but multiplying it to astronomical proportions. You would be crazy to spread toxic chemicals, dioxin, pesticides and so around the country. Radiation is no different.

  • 1

    kurisupisu

    Disposal=burning The cycle will start all over again;the limits on what is dangerous to health will be anted up as levels progressively increase,leading Japan to be the most radioactive country in the world?

  • 1

    Oracle

    MizuameSep. 05, 2011 - 01:23PM JST

    I think the idea tends to makes sense. If the burden of Fukushima residents can be lightened in this way I'm all for it.

    You are not going to "Yamato-damashi" your way out of this, not anymore than that sort of thinking won the second world war. This is not like rationing food either. If you want to unburden people, you need to get them out of the area and you need to get them homes and food and hopefully jobs too.

    Why not open your house to an evacuee family instead of putting irradiated soil in your garden?

  • 2

    Utrack

    @ rzadigi

    I found an article to that says 35 prefectures have agreed to accept disaster debris

    http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2011/08/radiation-in-japan-list-of-prefectures.html

    Excerpts :

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Radiation in Japan: List of Prefectures in Japan That Have Said They Will Accept Disaster Debris 35 Prefectures from Hokkaido to Kagoshima; in other words, all over Japan.

    Why these officials want to "help" Tohoku by soiling their beautiful, historical cities with radioactive materials, however small, remains a mystery to me. The only answer that I can think of is what Haruki "Detarame" Madarame of the Nuclear Safety Commission said - "It's all about money, isn't it?"

  • 0

    Utrack

    Radioactive Sludge Collects in Japan's Sewage Treatment Plants

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/energy/nuclear/radioactive-sludge-collects-in-japans-sewage-treatment-plants

    Excerpt: More recently, NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, conducted its own survey of 17 prefectures and says the figure for radioactive sludge has now grown to about 50 000 tons, with over 1500 tons “so contaminated that it cannot be buried for disposal.” It added that another 50 000 tons had still to be checked.

  • 1

    kurisupisu

    Al-jazeera also had a report on this sludge contamination. Radioactive crap! Now that is a sobering thought.

  • 0

    Ahyi Kim

    Is he insane???

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