Update from JapanPosted: 2011/04/02
From Katsuko Kataoka, Secretary General of the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War:
Professor Ernesto Kahan and IPPNW friends,
Thank you Prof. Kahan and friends for your warm concern for the tragedy of the recent earthquake followed tsunami in Tohoku and Kanto Regions of Japan.
The number of victims (about 13,000) has been increasing day by day, so as the missing people (about 17,000). I am afraid total number of the victims would be increase as the rescue-operation proceeds. In addition, the number of death is increasing among the rescued persons with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, renal diseases as well as the aged.
We are very grateful for persons coming and sending serious aids from many countries. Medical professionals with instruments and medical supplies are also coming domestically as well as from abroad. (Israel doctors arrived yesterday.)
Our other concern is The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The situation is improving on some aspects but becoming worse on other aspects. Actually, the situation changes so rapidly, and the media cannot follow it completely. Moreover the media tend to report people’s feeling etc. than actual data on the condition. The reliable English report is from IAEA. They are reporting the situation almost daily on the top page of their website.
My understanding, so far, is that the radiation would not effect significantly on the general public including the rescued local peoples, although some acute effects such as decreasing in WBC count would be seen among the power plant workers. Medical doctors and other experts in the field of nuclear medicine have been dispatched from Hiroshima.
Thank you again for your all kindness for the people in the disaster area.
Secretary General, JPPNW