Scream for the Truth

Following in the footsteps of long-time anti-nuclear activist Sakamoto Ryuichi, Dir en grey have launched a campaign called "Scream for the Truth," to demand that the Japanese government tell the truth about the extent of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima crisis. While none of the independent data and expert opinions I have looked at suggests remotely to me that radiation levels are so high that Japanese people "are at risk to not be able to able to travel to the USA or other countries in the future," it's very true that the Japanese government is not being honest with the public about the extent of the danger.

For one thing, clouds of fallout were and continue to be blown on the wind to other parts of the country from Fukushima.

For another thing, there is a hot zone extending from Ibaraki Prefecture through southern Saitama and into eastern Tokyo, and parts of this zone would have been declared evacuation zones according to the standards set after the Chernobyl accident.

Furthermore, huge amounts of radioactive water were dumped into the Pacific Ocean, and continue to spread.

Most worryingly, contamination of the food chain is likely to be widespread. Multiple reports have already come out about contaminated beef and tea, but testing on various foods in various prefectures has been conducted sporadically according to varying standards, and the results have not been well publicized (though you can view many food inspection results on the web sites of the various prefectures where the foods originated.) Furthermore, the radiation levels the Japanese government has declared "safe" for foods are still hundreds of times higher than international standards.

Also, the Japanese government has failed to adequately explain the difference between being exposed to radiation externally in the form of gamma rays vs. ingesting radioactive particles. Over the long time, ingestion of radioactive particles is a lot more worrying. Elements like cesium and strontium have long half-lives and can stay in the body for months, years, or decades, where they bombard the cells around them with a constant stream of radiation, increasingly the likelihood of cancer-causing mutations. But the Japanese government has failed to explain this risk, and also failed to instruct citizens on measures they can take to limit their exposure, or even provide detailed data about what places should be avoided.

A lot of Japanese musicians have been criticizing the government by signing onto petitions and anti-nuke campaigns (or simply bitching on their blogs), but it's nice to see someone making a big public stand. I hope more people keep jumping on the bandwagon. There have already been a number of anti-nuke demonstrations in downtown Tokyo sponsored by No Nukes More Hearts and other groups. If you are in Tokyo, we'll welcome you at the next one. If you don't live in Japan, in addition to sending us your prayers, the next time someone rolls their eyes at the health dangers of radiation, set them straight, please. I certainly don't advocate hysteria, but this is a big problem, it's not going away, and the first step to finding ways to combat it is admitting that it exists. (Also I might add that as time passes low levels of contamination will increasingly be showing up outside Japan. Fukushima is now a global problem. But that's also precisely why if you are planning on visiting Japan for a short period as a tourist you should not be unduly worried, though I'd advocate steering well clear of Fukushima prefecture.)

Sorry to be a downer, but all of us living in Japan are having to think about this every day and a lot of people are still having trouble speaking out. However, I don't feel comfortable remaining silent. Way to go Dir en grey.

Also, if you are interested in a lot of cogent, straight-spoken, easy-to-understand information and commentary on the Fukushima crisis and the world politics of nuclear power, try watching some of the videos on this website. The October 2nd update should be of particular interest to people hoping to debunk the assumption that the Fukushima accident is the result of Japanese "cultural issues," and people looking for more information on the ways the nuclear industry exerts a huge amount of influence over the bodies supposed to be regulating it.

The data to which I linked above was taken from a variety of independent tests (conducted by citizens cooperating with independent labs.) However, take all commentary on the Alexander Higgins blog with a grain of salt--while he includes many useful links to relevant news articles, in his own commentary he uses overblown sensationalist rhetoric and takes certain information out of context to blow it out of proportion, so keep your hats on.


  1. For better or worse it's going to take celebrities getting involved to get more people interested and maybe to reach a critical mass. I hope more get on board, maybe even our beloved BT. I am going to be in Tokyo in Dec. I will gladly add my voice and body to this movement. Sadly, we have gotten to a point in our history where the whole of the earth and it's inhabitants are willingly sacrificed for the interest of big business. But who do they think is going to be left here to buy what they are selling?

  2. The video is kinda weak. If the band want to make people criticaly think about this situation, and make them scream for the truth, they at least should be convincing. Dir and Grey isnt convincing at all, they dont say a bad word about the government or about the current situation and the video really doesnt make me think. I think Cayce should have opened that site, because Cayce is more convincing and inspiring with this post then that slow and empty video of DIr and Grey to be honest :P.


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