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BOOKLET to Provide Basic Information Regarding Health Effects of Radiation (3rd edition)


Twelve 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. With the lifting of the evacuation orders for Preparation Areas for Lifting of Evacuation Orders in Futaba Town in March 2020, all evacuation orders were lifted, except those for Restricted Areas. In addition, evacuation orders were also lifted for some of the Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Base Areas that had been designated in the Restricted Areas in Tomioka Town, and for the whole areas of those in Futaba Town, Okuma Town and Katsurao Village. Thus, the reconstruction and recovery of Fukushima Prefecture have 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 discharged by the accident. For that purpose, the national government and the local government are committed to properly responding to their health problems and providing 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 and has updated the booklet with the latest information and statistical data, together with the National Institutes for Quantum 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 Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology 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.

(*) In this reference material, statements on each page are based on expressions used in the sources as of the time of preparing them. Accordingly, “Chornobyl” is spelled as “Chernobyl” on some pages.

March 2023
Radiation Health Management Division,
Environmental Health Department,
Minister’s Secretariat,
Ministry of the Environment,
Government of Japan
National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology

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