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Poster : jedro on 2012-07-17 12:22:09 (1000 reads)

   From Sendai Mr. Nduna traveled with his hosts to Minamisōma city, an area deeply impacted by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant accident.

   As the car approached Odaka ward, the south sector of Minamisōma that was off limits to the public until April of this year, Mr. Nduna received a dramatic illustration of a radiation “hot spot”:

   Travelling along a short stretch of road on the South slope of a low hill—a stretch that appeared no different from any other—radiation levels detected by the two hand-held geiger counters in the vehicle began to climb sharply from around 0.2 micro-Sieverts/hour(µSv/h).

   Both counters were soon beeping constantly, indicating a level higher than 0.3µSv/h, and continued to rise past 0.65µSv/h before falling off again as the landscape flattened out 2 or 3 kilometers down the road. (By comparison, the average background radiation in Tokyo is less than 0.05µSv/h.)

   Former residents of Odaka ward and some other areas, which have been re-designated as intermediate hazard zones by the government, are now allowed to visit their homes during the day, but not permitted to stay overnight.

   Rev. Saigusa explained that radiation levels have indeed fallen since last year’s accident and this offers a glimmer of hope to those who wish to return to their beloved homes, knowledge that there are still many hot spots combined with the inability to see, smell, or feel radiation, is a source of constant stress—both for evacuees wanting to return home, and for the far greater number of people who were not evacuated, but live not far from evacuated communities.


Cars remain where they were deposited by last year’s tsunami, in a Minamisōma field. Such scenes are now rare in communities farther from the nuclear accident, where fields are being restored.

   Mr. Nduna learned that one of the long-term challenges facing the people of Fukushima and Japan, is to provide effective convalescent programs for residents, especially children, of radiation risk areas. Experience painfully gained from Chernobyl suggests that a child’s metabolism can reduce radiation risk considerably after 2 or 3 weeks in a radiation-free environment.

   Even shorter periods, although less effective phisically, can work wonders to lift the spirits of children and parents oppressed by constant stress. As summer holiday season approaches, there are many short- and long-term programs being planned to give respite to radiation-affected children and families.


(David McIntosh, NCC-JEDRO staff) 



Poster : admin on 2012-07-11 16:03:58 (1004 reads)

 In a show of solidarity with people whose lives were shattered by last year’s earthquake-tsunami-nuclear “triple disaster” of Tōhoku (North-East) Japan, and with those working tirelessly to serve survivors, ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna traveled to Japan and the disaster region on June 11-15. Hosting and guiding Mr. Nduna were the people of Tohoku HELP, an ecumenical agency established immediately after last year’s disaster, which has been performing and coordinating a dizzying array of relief activities in the disaster region.


 Mr. Nduna’s first day in Tōhoku began with a visit to the Food Radiation Measurement Center, which is funded by several ACT members (UMCOR, United Church of Canada, EDK-DKH). In introducing staff and operations the Center’s supervising director, Rev. Chihiro SAIGUSA, explained that food, crop, soil water and breastmilk samples are brought in by members of the public, often from as far away as Fukushima.



Rev. Chihiro SAIGUSA (left) and Tohoku HELP staff Ms. ENDO (right) interpret a spectrometer graph for John Nduna and Noriko LAO (UMCOR)


   In addition to the challenge of handling scientific instruments and technical data, Center staff must also be prepared to attend to the complex emotional and spiritual needs of visitors, especially when measurment results indicate cause for concern.




(David McIntosh,  NCC-JEDRO staff)

Poster : admin on 2012-07-10 16:02:45 (1673 reads)

  NCC-JEDRO Blog has been updated.   Please read the new article ;


Poster : admin on 2012-07-06 16:01:48 (993 reads)

  NCC-JEDRO blog "Japan Earthquake NCC" is now linked.  See "Contacts & Links."

Poster : admin on 2012-03-16 15:59:09 (1090 reads)


Ecumenical Prayer Service Marks One Year from the     

East Japan Great Earthquake and Disaster


  On Sunday March 11, one year after the East Japan Great Earthquake, the National Christian Council in Japan and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan held a “Joint Memorial Prayer Service of Remembrance and Hope for Revival upon the 1 Year Anniversary of the East Japan Great Earthquake and Disasters.” The Service took place in Kojimachi St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Tokyo. 


  Shortly before the service, at 2:46 PM, the exact time of the earthquake was marked by one minute of silence, followed by a tolling of the Church’s bell. The service, presided jointly by Archbishop Takeo Okada of the Catholic Church and Reverend Isamu Koshiishi, NCCJ Moderator and priest of the Anglican Episcopal Church, began at 3 PM. Catholic and Protestant clergy read in turn Scriptures and a responsive Psalm, and this was followed by a pastoral message from Archbishop Okada.


   After offerings were collected, four laypeople led the congregation in communal prayer and, finally, reports of respective support activities in the disaster region were offered by representatives of Protestant and Catholic churches.




  Approximately 1,000 people gathered for the service, and offerings totaled ¥584,796. These gifts will be shared equally between the NCCJ and the Catholic Church, and will be sent as assistance funds to Tohoku HELP (NCCJ) and Caritas Japan (Catholic).




Archbishop Okada delivers his message


(Report and Photo by Toshiyuki Mineda)

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