Advertisement

Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

  • Hisako Watanabe
  • Shintaro Kikuchi
  • Kanae Narui
  • Kimiko Toyoshima
  • Hiroko Suzuki
  • Natsuko Tokita
  • Michiko Sakai
Chapter
Part of the Integrating Psychiatry and Primary Care book series (IPPC)

Abstract

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) and ensuing hydrogen explosions in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) in March 2011 devastated the Tohoku (Northeastern Japan) region, which includes Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. This was a triple disaster of an unprecedented magnitude. This chapter describes the first 6 years of childcare projects carried out in two different cities after the disaster. After 6 years, the project in Miyako yielded a sustainable system of child mental healthcare, and the project in Koriyama succeeded in counteracting the pernicious effects of fear and stigma in the wake of radiation exposure. Despite great gains, including the construction of the largest therapeutic indoor playground for children in the Tohoku region, recovery has been complicated by government misinformation and attempts to silence civic discussion. As a candid disclosure of the details of the disaster emerges among the survivors, so too does awareness of mental health problems that exist in its wake. In order to build a more sustainable society and to counteract fragmentation in this highly industrialized country, Japanese citizens need to advocate for transparency, cohesion, and continued research in the aftermath of this disaster. This would help to mitigate ongoing effects of this disaster and better prepare Japanese society for traumatic events in the future.

Keywords

Triple disaster Earthquake Tsunami Nuclear accident Power plant Infant Mental health Obesity Loss Strength Bullying Japan Disease Zero process New normal 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the late Tatsuo Kikuchi, Mayako Noguchi, Kaoru Okazaki, Kunio Yanagida, Joy and Howard Osofsky, John Takayama, Craig von Dyke, Kaija Puura, Miri Keren, Palvi Kaukonen, supporters from FOUR WINDS and WAIMH, and all the victims who came forward to recount their experiences.

References

  1. Akimoto S-i, Li Y, Imanaka T, Sato H, Ishida K. Effects of radiation from contaminated soil and moss in Fukushima on embryogenesis and egg hatching of the aphid Prociphilus oriens. J Hered. 2017;109(2):199–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anthony J. Naturalistic research: introduction. In: Anthony J, editor. Explorations in child psychiatry. New York: Plenum Press; 1975. p. 337–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aoki M. In order not to forget the nuclear power station disaster. Newsletter of the Tokyo Branch of the Japan Association of Women Medical Doctors. 2016;54:3–4.Google Scholar
  4. Emde RN. Amae, intimacy, and the early moral self. Infant Ment Health J. 1992;13(1):34–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fernando J. Trauma and the zero process. Psyche. 2012;66(11):1043–73.Google Scholar
  6. Fraiberg S. Pathological defenses in infancy. In: Fraiberg L, editor. Selected writings of Selma Fraiberg. Columbus: Ohio State University Press; 1987.Google Scholar
  7. Grover A. UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Report to the General Assembly. 2014. http://unic.or.jp/unic/press_release/2869/.
  8. Hasegawa K. Photo album “The Village of Iitate”. Nanatsumori-Shokan (English explanation by Mind Club & Watanabe Clinic 2016). 2013.Google Scholar
  9. Hasegawa K. Give back our homeland Iitate. Mura Days Japan. 2015;2:10–7.Google Scholar
  10. Hongo J. Signs were there: The Japan Times special report. The Japan Times. 2011. p. 60–1.Google Scholar
  11. Ishii K, Goto A, Ota M, Yasumura S, Abe M, Fujimori K. Factors associated with infant feeding methods after the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima: data from the Pregnancy and Birth Survey for the Fiscal Year 2011 Fukushima Health Management Survey. Maternal Child Health J. 2016;20(8):1704–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Katsuhiko I. Why worry? Japan’s nuclear plants at grave risk from quake damage. Japan Focus, posted 11 Aug 2007. 2007.Google Scholar
  13. Keren M. Perspectives in infant mental health. Infant Ment Health J. 2015;36(1):78–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kikuchi S. Koriyama City Postdisaster Childcare Project: advocating the children who have no words. Kokorono Kagaku Human Mind. 2012;166:82–7.Google Scholar
  15. Kikuchi S, Kikuchi T. The medical association activity and pediatric care after the earthquake disaster in Fukushima. Keio J Med. 2012;61(1):23–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kikuchi S, Yanagida K, Watanabe H, Tokita N. The tale of Koriyama. Tokyo: Fukumura Shuppan; (in Japanese). 2014.Google Scholar
  17. Kyodo R. Fuel debris believed found beneath reactor at No. 1. Japan Times. 7 Feb 2017.Google Scholar
  18. Lifton RJ. Revolutionary immortality: Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese cultural revolution. New York: Random House; 1968.Google Scholar
  19. Lifton RJ. The life of the self: toward a new psychology. New York: Simon and Schuster; 1976.Google Scholar
  20. Lyons-Ruth K, Todd Manly J, Von Klitzing K, Tamminen T, Emde R, Fitzgerald H, et al. The worldwide burden of infant mental and emotional disorder: report of the task force of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. Infant Ment Health J. 2017;38(6):695–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mahler MS, Pine F, Bergman A. The psychological birth of the human infant. Symbiosis and Individuation New York (Basic Books). 1975.Google Scholar
  22. Nakai H. The Asahi Shimbun. 2011.Google Scholar
  23. Nakane C. Japanese Society: a practical guide to understanding the Japanese mindset and culture. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing; 1970.Google Scholar
  24. Nakane CK. Asahi Shinbun, 5 Sep. 2017. p. 13.Google Scholar
  25. Nishigori H, Sasaki M, Obara T, Nishigori T, Ishikuro M, Metoki H, et al. Correlation between the Great East Japan Earthquake and postpartum depression: a study in Miyako, Iwate, Japan. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2015;9(3):307–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. NPO Iwaki Radioactive Citizen Measurement Office. Radiation Measurement Center Tarachine. NPO Iwaki Radioactive Citizen Measurement Office. http//www.iwakisokuteishitu.com/english/.
  27. Papoušek H, Papoušek M. Intuitive parenting: a dialectic counterpart to the infant’s integrative competence. In: Osofsky JD, editor. Handbook of infant development. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 1987. p. 669–720.Google Scholar
  28. Rutter M, Andersen-Wood L, Beckett C, Bredenkamp D, Castle J, Groothues C, et al. Quasi-autistic patterns following severe early global privation. J Child Psychol Psychiatry Allied Discip. 1999;40(4):537–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sawano S. An analysis and mapping of Cesium 137 contamination of soil resulting from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant accident: using the US Airforce NNSA Plane Surveillance data. Kagaku (Science). 2017;87:194–300.Google Scholar
  30. Scherb H. Totgeburten, Perinatalsterblichkeit und Sauglingssterblichekeit Strahlentelex. 2017.Google Scholar
  31. Scherb H, Mori K, Hayashi K. Increases in perinatal mortality in prefectures contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan: a spatially stratified longitudinal study. Medicine. 2016;95(38):e4958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stern DN. The interpersonal world of the infant: a view from psychoanalysis and developmental psychology. Karnac Books. 1985.Google Scholar
  33. Suzuki H. Supporting infants and mother in the disaster areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Kokorono Kagaku Human Mind. 2012;166:77–81.Google Scholar
  34. Suzuki K. Let the sufferings be limited to the people of Fukushima, Column. Asahi Shimbun. 7 Apr 2017. p. 8.Google Scholar
  35. Tadano Y. Kaese Iidate-Mura (Give back Iidate-Mura): alternative dispute resolution documents. Lawyers’ Group to Rescue Iidate-Mura Villagers. 2014. p. 53.Google Scholar
  36. Takagi J. Nuclear plant and emergency: evidence for earthquakes. J Phys Soc Jpn. 1995;50(10):818–20.Google Scholar
  37. Takagi J. Nuclear plant disaster and the myth of safety. In: Sataka N, Nakasato H, editors. Selected writings of Jinzaburo Takagi. Tokyo: Iwanami Gendai Bunko; 2012. p. 64–209.Google Scholar
  38. Taki J. Lessons of Onagawa Nuclear Power Station which survived the GEJET unlike the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Nihon Keizai Shinbun digital. 14 Mar 2016.Google Scholar
  39. Terada T. A Japanese perspective of nature. In: Yamaori T, editor. Japanese and the natural disasters. Tokyo: Kadokawa-Sofiabunko; 2011. p. 102–25.Google Scholar
  40. The National Police Agency of Japan. Police Countermeasures and Damage Situation associated with 2011Tohoku district – off the Pacific Ocean Earthquake. 8 June 2018. Emergency Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters. 2018. Available at: https://www.npa.go.jp/news/other/earthquake2011/pdf/higaijokyo_e.pdf.
  41. Tsuda T, Tokinobu A, Yamamoto E, Suzuki E. Thyroid cancer detection by ultrasound among residents ages 18 years and younger in Fukushima, Japan: 2011 to 2014. Epidemiology. 2016;27(3):316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Watanabe H. Establishing emotional mutuality not formed in infancy with Japanese families. Infant Ment Health J. 1987;8(4):398–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Watanabe H. Difficulties in amae: a clinical perspective. Infant Ment Health J. 1992;13(1):26–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Watanabe H. Mental disorders in children: radiation and mental support. Obstet Gynecol Pract. 2011;60:2035–40.Google Scholar
  45. Watanabe H. Revival of social landscape for protecting children and mother. Human Mind. 2012;166:16–23.Google Scholar
  46. Weatherston DJ, Osofsky JD. Working within the context of relationships: multidisciplinary, relational, and reflective practice, training, and supervision. Infant Ment Health J. 2009;30(6):573–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Weatherston DJ, Osofsky JD. Introduction (article). Infant Ment Health J. 2016;37(6):603–4.  https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21612.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. World Health Organization. The Great East Japan Earthquake: a story of devastating natural disaster, a tale of human compassion: 11 March 2011. S. Young-soo. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization Western Pacific Region; 2012. Available at: http://www.wpro.who.int/publications/docs/japan_earthquake.pdf?ua=1Google Scholar
  49. Yanagida K. The interminable aftermath of the nuclear plant disaster and the ‘Japan Disease’: myth of safety culture. Tokyo: Shinchosha; 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hisako Watanabe
    • 1
  • Shintaro Kikuchi
    • 2
  • Kanae Narui
    • 3
  • Kimiko Toyoshima
    • 4
  • Hiroko Suzuki
    • 5
  • Natsuko Tokita
    • 6
  • Michiko Sakai
    • 6
  1. 1.Life Development CenterWatanabe ClinicYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Kikuchi ClinicKoriyamaJapan
  3. 3.NPO Heartful Family Care SocietyFukushimaJapan
  4. 4.Toyoshima ClinicMiyakoJapan
  5. 5.Hiroko Suzuki Institute of PsychotherapyMoriokaJapan
  6. 6.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineKeio UniversityTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations