We have not heard much for awhile about the radiation situation- I think we have not been paying close enough attention to the news. We are not alarmists, but realize that there are still long-term ramifications on the affects of the nuclear crisis that is still going on.
A missionary friend who lives in Shizuoaka (about an hour south of Tokyo) just wrote this update in an email update to friends and supporters. This was new information to us:
The papers today revealed that Green Tea in Shizuoka prefecture is “contaminated with radioactive cesium at a level of 679 becquerels per kilogram, above the permitted maximum of 500 becquerels.” First alerted about this 1 month ago, the local government waited until they could do their own testing (and continued to allow the sale of the most valuable first cut green tea) before releasing their results to the public. 42% of the tea produced in Japan comes from our area so this could potentially have a devastating affect on the local economy not to mention the fact that one of my daughters drinks about 2 liters a day of green tea!
2. AND, the national government just admitted that the nuclear incident was not just a “melt down” but the much more serious “melt through.” They are still not sure (or they aren’t telling us yet) if or how much radioactive material melted through the containment facility and/or leaked into the ground. REGARDING these two current admissions, we are still, basically, in a safe place in Japan.
Prime Minister Kan has signaled that he is likely to step down in the next month or so due to the Opposition Party and the nuclear reactor problems that continue. Today thousands of Japanese staged anti-nuclear demonstrations in Tokyo and other cities as radiation apparently continues to leak out.
Discovery News wrote this week: “Japan has more than doubled its initial estimate of radiation released from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in the week after the March 11 tsunami, ahead of the launch of an official probe Tuesday.”
LevanjilTV.com news and CNN reports this: The number of suicides in Japan hit a two-year high in the month of May, according to data released Wednesday by the nation’s authorities. For the first time in two years, the monthly suicide number topped 3,000 in the month of May, the National Police Agency said. The report says suicides in Japan totaled 3,281 in May 2011, up nearly 20% from the same month last year.
Keep praying for Japan! What a crazy, terrible three months this has been for this country. It may not be in the news too much anymore, but there continues to be many needs, many reasons for us to be here; so many ways to pray. There is no more important time that I can think of then a time such as this for us to pray to God to come and change hearts, and systems, and this nation.