Recently the Mainichi News reported the following:
On the 9th, Fukushima Prefecture began the thyroid inspection on all children aged 18 and below as of April l this year in the prefecture medical college hospital in Fukushima; this was part of the people-of-the-prefecture health-care-administration investigation connected to the Number One nuclear power plant disaster of Tokyo Electric Power in Fukushima. It became an unprecedented investigation in the world which would check the thyroid gland covering the whole life for about 360,000 people.
The inspection would use ultrasonic wave for about 5 minutes, and diagnose it by two or more doctors, and notify the result in about one month. If there was a fear of pathological changes, blood collection, urinalysis, and detailed inspection that extracted cells would be conducted later. As for the first day, 144 people in Iitate-mura, Namie-cho, and the Yamakiya of Kawamatamachi area underwent the checking, 22 people were from refuge centers outside the prefecture. A full round would be completed within the prefecture by March 2014; thereafter inspection would be conducted every two years, and for those exceeding 20 years old, they would be checked once every five years.
A housewife Ms. Arichidori (43) from Iitate-maru taking up refuge in Kawamatamachi was accompanied by four boys aged 5 - 11-year-old when visited the hospital. After the inspection, it appeared that she could not help but pondering “why this has happened” while she was looking at the romping innocent children. Wearing a mask, a female student (16) at the tenth grade who took refuge in Kawamatamachi from Iitate-mura said in a dis-satisfied manner that "I hoped to have the inspection earlier". And it was said that to consider bearing a child in the future etc. would be privately a worrying matter.
A housewife Ms. Kikue Komatsu (38) of Namie-cho, accompanied by her son (7) who was in the primary school, made the visit from Maebashi where she took refuge. Showing complicated emotion she said that "Four to five years into the future is worrying. Although my heart is with Fukushima, I cannot think of returning because the radiation dosage is high."
A housewife Ms. Miyuki Takahashi (34) who was holding a 11-month-old boy when she visited the hospital, showed a smiling face as if "feeling a little bit easier", and insisted that "I want to receive different kinds of checking if possible".
To follow up on the condition of 360,000 people is a huge medical project. As the only country that has suffered from the atomic bombing twice, Japan should have the experience in dealing with the challenges ahead.