Seven years have passed since the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. In order to enable residents returning to areas where evacuation orders have been removed to rebuild their lives and revitalize respective communities as early as possible, support both for realizing early return and for assisting returners' new lives is indispensable. By April 2017, the government of Japan had sequentially removed evacuation orders, and the reconstruction and recovery of Fukushima Prefecture has been steadily progressing.
The national government must ensure that residents who have returned home can rebuild their lives smoothly without worries about their health due to the radioactive materials released by the accident. For that purpose, it is important to properly respond to their health problems such as through the Fukushima Health Management Survey, Comprehensive Health Check and easily accessible health counseling services by health nurses, and to provide correct information in an easy-to-understand manner on a timely basis.
Based on the Policy Package on Radiation Risk Communication for Achieving Residents' Return (2014), the national government has endeavored to disseminate correct and easy-to-understand information and has strengthened risk communication among a small number of people.
The Radiation Health Management Division, Environmental Health Department, Minister's Secretariat, Ministry of the Environment has collected and compiled basic knowledge on radiation, and scientific expertise and initiatives of relevant ministries and agencies concerning health effects of radiation, and has prepared a booklet to provide basic information since 2012, together with the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology. This booklet has been utilized in training sessions targeting people engaging in health and medical care, welfare, and education or on other occasions with the aim of fostering personnel who can respond to residents' worries and concerns about their health in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures.
The Radiation Health Management Division and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences have jointly publicized the English version of the booklet, with cooperation of a group of experts, so that foreign nationals residing in Japan or visiting Japan or those interested in Japan can obtain basic knowledge on health effects of radiation and correctly understand changes in circumstances and efforts being made in Japan. As terms used in this field are highly professional and difficult, we also prepared a glossary. We would like to extend our gratitude to the people who offered cooperation in checking the translation and preparing the glossary.
The booklet is also available on the website of the Ministry of the Environment, from which you can download the content for use in training and classwork. We hope that this booklet will be utilized in diverse occasions.
Radiation Health Management Division,
Environmental Health Department,
Ministry of the Environment,
Government of Japan
National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology