Japanese cartoon for kids depicting Fukushima nuclear issue as power plants with constipation!


Hi Blog.  Here’s a novel way to explain away the entire Fukushima debacle — as a problem of backed-up nuclear waste.  See video below for kids depicting Fukushima as a constipated patient who can be cured by “doctors” and “medicine”.  Note how radiation is depicted as “farts”, merely amounting to “a bad smell”.  English subtitles included.

If only the diagnosis and cure were so simple. Or the metaphor more accurate.

Anyway, this is part of the process of lulling the Japanese public into complacency (keeping public calm and order as people in the path of the disaster merely wait for it to play itself out).  How much more distortion and deception can an educated people take?

Courtesy of JapanSugoi. Arudou Debito

15 comments on “Japanese cartoon for kids depicting Fukushima nuclear issue as power plants with constipation!

  • The American says:

    Are you actually taking this video seriously? Even if you are, it’s quite presumptuous of you to assume that others will think this is actual advice or “government propaganda.” There’s even this disclaimer:


    Given your considerable influence on this site and the serious nature of the situation you are supposedly trying to provide information about, I would think that it would behoove you to start being part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem.

    — I’m not sure I am being part of the problem here.

  • John Smith says:

    Is creating a video to try to explain the accident to the little ones without scaring them really proof that Japan is trying to manipulate its general population?

    — It’s one piece of evidence regarding the process.

  • Debito, I found this today on an alternative Canadian news blog with a similar (human rights) but different locale (anti-apartheid/zionist) focus than yours. Sickened as I am by the whole series of events of the last week, I just cannot muster the vindictiveness to say, “I told you so.” But, your description above, that the Donen/TEPCO/Nagata-cho response to all of the unfolding events in Sendai as a “process of lulling the Japanese public into complacency (keeping public calm and order as people in the path of the disaster merely wait for it to play itself out)” rings true to me, almost to the point of tears. Japanese people deserve better. Regardless of scource, and without a live link, I think the piece I’ve added compliments and supports your assessment of the whole official fiasco. (Apologies: The map and photo didn’t copy)

    Japan’s deadly game of nuclear roulette
    Special to The Japan Times, Sunday, May 23, 2004

    Of all the places in all the world where no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list.

    An aerial view of the Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, “the most dangerous nuclear power plant in Japan”
    The Japanese archipelago is located on the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, a large active volcanic and tectonic zone ringing North and South America, Asia and island arcs in Southeast Asia. The major earthquakes and active volcanoes occurring there are caused by the westward movement of the Pacific tectonic plate and other plates leading to subduction under Asia.

    Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates, at the edge of the subduction zone, and is in one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. It was extreme pressures and temperatures, resulting from the violent plate movements beneath the seafloor, that created the beautiful islands and volcanoes of Japan.

    Nonetheless, like many countries around the world — where General Electric and Westinghouse designs are used in 85 percent of all commercial reactors — Japan has turned to nuclear power as a major energy source. In fact the three top nuclear-energy countries are the United States, where the existence of 118 reactors was acknowledged by the Department of Energy in 2000, France with 72 and Japan, where 52 active reactors were cited in a December 2003 Cabinet White Paper.

    The 52 reactors in Japan — which generate a little over 30 percent of its electricity — are located in an area the size of California, many within 150 km of each other and almost all built along the coast where seawater is available to cool them.
    However, many of those reactors have been negligently sited on active faults, particularly in the subduction zone along the Pacific coast, where major earthquakes of magnitude 7-8 or more on the Richter scale occur frequently. The periodicity of major earthquakes in Japan is less than 10 years. There is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan — the third-ranked country in the world for nuclear reactors.

    “I think the situation right now is very scary,” says Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist and professor at Kobe University. “It’s like a kamikaze terrorist wrapped in bombs just waiting to explode.”

    Last summer, I visited Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, at the request of citizens concerned about the danger of a major earthquake. I spoke about my findings at press conferences afterward.

    A map of Japan annotated by the author, showing the tectonic plates, areas of high (“observed region”) and very high (“specially observed”) quake risk, and the sites of nuclear reactors

    Because Hamaoka sits directly over the subduction zone near the junction of two plates, and is overdue for a major earthquake, it is considered to be the most dangerous nuclear power plant in Japan.
    Together with local citizens, I spent the day walking around the facility, collecting rocks, studying the soft sediments it sits on and tracing the nearly vertical faults through the area — evidence of violent tectonic movements.

    The next day I was surprised to see so many reporters attending the two press conferences held at Kakegawa City Hall and Shizuoka Prefecture Hall. When I asked the reporters why they had come so far from Tokyo to hear an American geoscientist, I was told it was because no foreigner had ever come to tell them how dangerous Japan’s nuclear power plants are.

    I told them that this is the power of gaiatsu (foreign pressure), and because citizens in the United States with similar concerns attract little media attention, we invite a Japanese to speak for us when we want media coverage — someone like the famous seismologist Professor Ishibashi!

    When the geologic evidence was presented confirming the extreme danger at Hamaoka, the attending media were obviously shocked. The aerial map, filed by Chubu Electric Company along with its government application to build and operate the plant, showed major faults going through Hamaoka, and revealed that the company recognized the danger of an earthquake. They had carefully placed each reactor between major fault lines.

    “The structures of the nuclear plant are directly rooted in the rock bed and can tolerate a quake of magnitude 8.5 on the Richter scale,” the utility claimed on its Web site.

    From my research and the investigation I conducted of the rocks in the area, I found that that the sedimentary beds underlying the plant were badly faulted. Some tiny faults I located were less than 1 cm apart.

    When I held up samples of the rocks the plant was sitting on, they crumbled like sugar in my fingers. “But the power company told us these were really solid rocks!” the reporters said. I asked, “Do you think these are really solid?’ and they started laughing.

    On July 7 last year, the same day of my visit to Hamaoka, Ishibashi warned of the danger of an earthquake-induced nuclear disaster, not only to Japan but globally, at an International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics conference held in Sapporo. He said: “The seismic designs of nuclear facilities are based on standards that are too old from the viewpoint of modern seismology and are insufficient. The authorities must admit the possibility that an earthquake-nuclear disaster could happen and weigh the risks objectively.”

    After the greatest nuclear power plant disaster in Japan’s history at Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, in September 1999, large, expensive Emergency Response Centers were built near nuclear power plants to calm nearby residents.

    After visiting the center a few kilometers from Hamaoka, I realized that Japan has no real nuclear-disaster plan in the event that an earthquake damaged a reactor’s water-cooling system and triggered a reactor meltdown.

    Additionally, but not even mentioned by ERC officials, there is an extreme danger of an earthquake causing a loss of water coolant in the pools where spent fuel rods are kept. As reported last year in the journal Science and Global Security, based on a 2001 study by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if the heat-removing function of those pools is seriously compromised — by, for example, the water in them draining out — and the fuel rods heat up enough to combust, the radiation inside them will then be released into the atmosphere. This may create a nuclear disaster even greater than Chernobyl.

    If a nuclear disaster occurred, power-plant workers as well as emergency-response personnel in the Hamaoka ERC would immediately be exposed to lethal radiation. During my visit, ERC engineers showed us a tiny shower at the center, which they said would be used for “decontamination’ of personnel. However, it would be useless for internally exposed emergency-response workers who inhaled radiation.

    When I asked ERC officials how they planned to evacuate millions of people from Shizuoka Prefecture and beyond after a Kobe-magnitude earthquake (Kobe is on the same subduction zone as Hamaoka) destroyed communication lines, roads, railroads, drinking-water supplies and sewage lines, they had no answer.

    Last year, James Lee Witt, former director of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, was hired by New York citizens to assess the U.S. government’s emergency-response plan for a nuclear power plant disaster. Citizens were shocked to learn that there was no government plan adequate to respond to a disaster at the Indian Point nuclear reactor, just 80 km from New York City.

    The Japanese government is no better prepared, because there is no adequate response possible to contain or deal with such a disaster. Prevention is really the only effective measure to consider.

    In 1998, Kei Sugaoka, 51, a Japanese-American senior field engineer who worked for General Electric in the United States from 1980 until being dismissed in 1998 for whistle-blowing there, alerted Japanese nuclear regulators to a 1989 reactor inspection problem he claimed had been withheld by GE from their customer, Tokyo Electric Power Company. This led to nuclear-plant shutdowns and reforms of Japan’s power industry.

    Later it was revealed from GE documents that they had in fact informed TEPCO — but that company did not notify government regulators of the hazards.

    Yoichi Kikuchi, a Japanese nuclear engineer who also became a whistle-blower, has told me personally of many safety problems at Japan’s nuclear power plants, such as cracks in pipes in the cooling system from vibrations in the reactor. He said the electric companies are “gambling in a dangerous game to increase profits and decrease government oversight.”

    Sugaoka agreed, saying, “The scariest thing, on top of all the other problems, is that all nuclear power plants are aging, causing a deterioration of piping and joints which are always exposed to strong radiation and heat.”

    Like most whistle-blowers, Sugaoka and Kikuchi are citizen heroes, but are now unemployed.

    The Radiation and Public Health Project, a group of independent U.S. scientists, has collected 4,000 baby teeth from children living around nuclear power plants. These teeth were then tested to determine their level of Strontium-90, a radioactive fission product that escapes in nuclear power plant emissions.

    Unborn children may be exposed to Strontium-90 through drinking water and the diet of the mother. Anyone living near nuclear power plants is internally exposed to chronically low levels of radiation contaminating food and drinking water. Increased rates of cancer, infant mortality and low birth weights leading to cognitive impairment have been linked to radiation exposure for decades.

    However, a recent independent report on low-level radiation by the European Committee on Radiation Risk, released for the European Parliament in January 2003, established that the ongoing U.S. Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Studies conducted in Japan by the U.S. government since 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors underestimated the risk of radiation exposure as much as 1,000 times.
    Additionally, on March 26 this year — the eve of the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history, at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania — the Radiation and Public Health Project released new data on the effects of that event. This showed rises in infant deaths up to 53 percent, and in thyroid cancer of more than 70 percent in downwind counties — data which, like all that concerning both the short- and long-term health effects, has never been forthcoming from the U.S. government.

    It is not a question of whether or not a nuclear disaster will occur in Japan; it is a question of whenit will occur.

    Like the former Soviet Union after Chernobyl, Japan will become a country suffering from radiation sickness destroying future generations, and widespread contamination of agricultural areas will ensure a public-health disaster. Its economy may never recover.

    Considering the extreme danger of major earthquakes, the many serious safety and waste-disposal issues, it is timely and urgent — with about half its reactors currently shut down — for Japan to convert nuclear power plants to fossil fuels such as natural gas. This process is less expensive than building new power plants and, with political and other hurdles overcome, natural gas from the huge Siberian reserves could be piped in at relatively low cost. Several U.S. nuclear plants have been converted to natural gas after citizen pressure forced energy companies to make changeovers.

    Commenting on this way out of the nuclear trap, Ernest Sternglass, a renowned U.S. scientist who helped to stop atmospheric testing in America, notes that, ‘Most recently the Fort St. Vrain reactor in Colorado was converted to fossil fuel, actually natural gas, after repeated problems with the reactor. An earlier reactor was the Zimmer Power Plant in Cincinnati, which was originally designed as a nuclear plant but it was converted to natural gas before it began operating. This conversion can be done on any plant at a small fraction [20-30 percent] of the cost of building a new plant. Existing turbines, transmission facilities and land can be used.”

    After converting to natural gas, the Fort St. Vrain plant produced twice as much electricity much more efficiently and cheaply than from nuclear energy — with no nuclear hazard at all, of course.

    It is time to make the changeover from nuclear fuel to fossil fuels in order to save future generations and the economy of Japan.

    Leuren Moret is a geoscientist who worked at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory on the Yucca Mountain Project, and became a whistle-blower in 1991 by reporting science fraud on the project and at Livermore. She is an independent and international radiation specialist, and the Environmental Commissioner in the city of Berkeley, Calif. She has visited Japan four times (at the time of publication) to work with Japanese citizens, scientists and elected officials on radiation and peace issues. She can be contacted at leurenmoret@yahoo.com

    DR: PS- When I lived in Shizuoka, up to September 2008, I remember broadcast and written newspaper reports decrying the frequent softly spoken announcements that Hamaoka had not just a few cracks in the shrouds of each operating reactor, but up to and exceeding 5,000 in each case. Chubu Denryoku admitted these multitudinous failures, bowed and then disappeared from public view with nary a follow-up ever. Given the fact that the USGS has issued this map: http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/bulletin/neic_c00023fx_w.html one would think that it behooves the powers that be to make sure that Hamaoka doesn’t do a Fukushima anytime soon?

    Myself, I just escaped the recent turmoil in the Arab world, (my favorite hangout in Manama, Bahrain was just 500m from the Pearl roundabout!) and wholeheartedly advocate a safe distance from epicenters of trouble wherever possible, at least until the (non-radioactive) dust settles. Gambatte and prayers Japan! A poke in the eye with a stick to Chubu Denryoku.

  • I don’t see the problem? Kids aren’t going to understand the concept of radiation. And frankly most adults don’t seem to either, because the media is busy proclaiming this is the apocolypse and Tokyo is about to be wiped out any second by death clouds of doom…

    — No they’re not.

  • I was sent the link to the youtube 4-minute genbatsu-kun and for the first time in nearly a week was able to have a chuckle and re-new my optimism that things would work themselves out. Don’t care about the minute by minute facts – we just need to get through this, wait for the dust to settle (couldn’t think of another expression – so sorry) and THEN go about naming names, demanding more detailed info about safety measures and the like. Myself and other foreign nationals living in Yamagata (bit closer to the mess that this has all caused than Hokkaido) have no intention of leaving but things like this youtube actually do HELP – showed my wife and a friend showed his kid … This is what is needed at this precise moment. I’m getting phones calls and messages from the UK talking about ESCAPE and running away – there is absolutely NO NEED at this present time. There very well might be in the later days but what is of the utmost concern is helping all those who have absolutely NOTHING and are entering their second week in evacuation centres with little food, water and heat (which I know you don’t have an issue with).

    Please don’t damn this youtube clip as further evidence of the govt and industry dumbing down the nation – I know that the average Japanese national is woefully uniformed about most things that happen in their own country (thanks partially to this site) – Look at this Genbatsu-kun for what it is LIGHT RELIEF and a source of comfort (however false) to the people trying to keep going and remaining positive.

  • I would like for you to write how you think this should be explained to children, please.

    — More accurately. Farts, and a bad smell that disappears very quickly and has no effect on people at a distance, is a misrepresentation of the effects of radiation, for one.

  • Peter McArthur says:

    I really don’t see what the problem is. I think that video is wonderful. It reflects the best scientific advice, and the metaphor is appropriate for kids. It doesn’t shy away from mentioning the worst case scenario.

    The only issue it really dodges are the details of the health effects. I can forgive that.

  • Don’t know about you guys, but to me, to find the culprit of all this Japanese people should look at themselves into the mirror. Very few people question authorities here, and who does becomes a social outcast. Citizen associations here have very few members and usually do demonstrations on sundays and saturdays… more like a parade. Strike is a forbidden word. A couple of days ago I was talking with a friend about how Japan should rethink about nuclear power and he said “we need it” (of course not knowing how much energy we waste and not being competent at all to say that). People, I hate to say, but the majority was just asking for this. It’s significant that an accident of a similar gravity happened in a Police State 20 years ago.

  • Re: Debito in #7.

    Huh? What effect do you think radiation has at a distance then? Dispersing like a bad smell is just about right. What effects do you think you are getting in Sapporo, for example?

    To belabor the point, farts don’t get into the food chain.

  • A Man In Japan says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with this video. It’s done a way that children can sort of make sense of what’s going on.

    Also, I would like to point out that I’ve never seen so many anti-nuclear power comments ever since this happened. I would like to ask all the anti-nuclear power crowd as to what other way do you expect to get power?

    Thanks for your comment, but sorry, this blog will not get into a discussion about the merits and demerits of nuclear power.

  • I think we need to look at who is the target audience of this video. I’m thinking 3-5 year olds? Anyone older and this is an insult to their intelligence.

    But try explaining to a 4 year old how a nuclear reactor works and what is really going on, i.e radiation in the air and in your food.. by the way, it will kill you.

    Keep their innocence until at least they go to juku

    Inaccurately anthropomorphizing the issue is not to my taste.

  • “because the media is busy proclaiming this is the apocalypse and Tokyo is about to be wiped out any second by death clouds of doom…”
    “– No they’re not.”

    Maybe because you’re not seeing some of the trash being said. eg

    -The cover of the Australian newspaper “The Sunday Telegraph” had “APOCALYPSE” splashed across the front, with “nuclear plant explodes” as the sub-heading.


    -“Terror for thousands of Brits as radiation cloud makes Tokyo panic”

    Terrible reporting is being documented at this site-


    (and yes, I’m aware things like The Sun are trashy gossip papers, but the fact is, people read them, and people believe it- I’m going to Japan to study in a few months and I’ve already had a few family members warn me that “it’s too dangerous to go” according to the news)

  • The truth is that the general population overestimates the risks of radioactivity.
    Simply read the Chernobyl report, there wasn’t any real big pick increase on radiation related diseases after the accident among the exposed population, but there was a general mental problem created by fears of radiation, feeling that they are victims of it and they don’t have control over their future anymore, and engaging in reckless behavior.

    But apparently that’s not a problem, the real problem here apparently is that if exposed to radiation you MAY be at higher risk than normal to in some time in your future develop some kind of problem, nor not, or maybe that would develop anyway even without the extra radiation.
    THAT’S the REAL problem, I mean, paranoia, food shortages because of the fear of a nuclear holocaust, everyone leaving the country and making conspiracy theories, that’s too real to be true.

    — Need a link to the Chernobyl report you refer to.


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