Analysis and translation by a tatami-chair observer of East Asian economics and security.
TOKYO, Jan. 17, Kyodo
Japan’s science ministry provided data on the dispersal of radioactive materials to U.S. forces a few days after the nuclear crisis erupted at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, far earlier than the disclosure of the information to the Japanese public, a ministry official said Monday.
The revelation came amid criticism that the government’s delay in releasing data from the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information may have resulted in the unnecessary radiation exposure of people who later evacuated from their homes around the plant.
The data was provided to U.S. forces via the Japanese Foreign Ministry on March 14, three days after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear crisis, according to Itaru Watanabe, an official of the Science and Technology Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
See also the following article published by the U.S. American Forces Press Service on 15th March 2011:
Officials Urge Precautions at Yokosuka, Atsugi
By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2011 – Officials told personnel in and around Fleet Activities Yokosuka and Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan today to limit outdoor activities and to turn off air conditioning due to the detection of low levels of radioactivity.
U.S. 7th Fleet officials said sensitive instruments aboard the USS George Washington, docked at Yokosuka, detected low levels of radioactivity released from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.
Limiting outdoor activities and turning off air conditioners “are strictly precautionary in nature,” the announcement said. “We do not expect that any United States federal radiation exposure limits will be exceeded even if no precautionary measures are taken.”
Officials stressed that these are low-level readings and the public is not in danger.
“According to the instrumentation at Fleet Activity Yokosuka, the levels are very low,” said Navy Lt. Anthony Falvo, 7th Fleet deputy public affairs officer. “For perspective, the additional radiation exposure over the past 12 hours was about 20 millirems –- which is less than one month’s exposure to naturally occurring radiation that one would get from the sun, the earth or rocks.”
Officials will continue the monitoring program and will constantly check the weather and prevailing winds, Falvo said. If anything changes, base officials will immediately notify service members and their families, he added.
The U.S. military authorised the evacuation of families from U.S. bases on 17th March 2011.