‘100 Bq/Kg, 0.23 μSv/h: The standard of living in Fukushima’

Please click here to view this documentary from the homepage of Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland.




This is Japan Desk Scotland’s second Fukushima documentary, based on the interviews carried out in July 2013 primarily with those interviewed in the first one, as a sequel to ‘Our friends in Fukushima’.  

‘100 Bq/Kg’ is the limit of radioactive materials in general foods in Japan, and ‘0.23 µSv/h’ is considered the air dose rate target for decontamination. These are numbers often cited during the interviews. 

Kencho Kawatsu takes Japan Desk Scotland to the coastal area of Soma City, where former residents are said to be reluctant to live there again, although the area is outside the evacuation zone. They saw the tsunami coming and houses being wiped away.

The invisibility of radioactive materials is the target for some researchers. Kenji Nanba continues a regular analysis of radio caesium in the water of Abukuma River, which is inspired by Chernobyl’s long-term observation of environmental radioactivity. Some of the fish caught in the river contain radio caesium above 100 Bq/Kg. Yoshitaka Takagai has almost developed a new tool to measure Strontium 90, which remains in bones and might trigger bone cancer. Working with Fukushima University, Ichii, a local supermarket chain, checks radio caesium in their commodities and publishes the outcome, as a means to make invisible radio caesium visible.   

The views of Fukushima University students and academic are also heard.

Interviewees (in order of their first appearances): Kencho Kawatsu, Yoshishige Kusano, Kenji Nanba, Yoshitaka Takagai, Makoto Matsueda, Daichi Ito, Akira Sato, Hirofumi Tsukada, Mamoru Sato, Fumiko Goto, Atsushi Iwasaki, Akiko Tomaru, Mayuko Noda, Yumiko Oyama, Yuki Naito, and Miyuki Sasaki.


Camera: Fumi Nakabachi
Editor: Hajime Kobayashi (Colin Brierley)
Music: Marius Pirhonen
Directed by: Yushin Toda
Producer: Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda
43 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles
©Japan Desk Scotland 2014


This is a part of Japan Desk Scotland’s activities on Fukushima. This is also JDS’s documentary films production. The documentary has been screened:

(1) on Tuesday 11 March 2014 at the special Japan Matters event to mark the third anniversary of the East Japan (Tohoku) earthquake, at Wellington Church, Glasgow, Scotland, under its earlier title of ‘Our friends in Fukushima in 2013’;

(2) on Sunday 13 April 2014 at ‘Michi Biraki Festival’ organised by Department of Japanese Language and Literature, University of Bucharest at the Botanic Gardens, Bucharest, Romania;

(3) on Friday 2 May 2014 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘Fukushima, Hiroshima, Fukushima’;

(4) on Thursday 12 June 2014 at Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Fukushuma, Hiroshima, Fukushima;

(5) on Tuesday 24 June 2014 by Interfaith Center for a Culture of Nonviolence in Bauan, Batangas, The Philippines;

(6) on Saturday 28 June 2014 at Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, The Philippines (class for the final year students on Politics);

(7) on Friday 13 February 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2014/15;

(8) on Friday 24 April 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2014/15;

(9) on Tuesday 7 July 2015 at the Tuesday Seminar, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan;

(10)  on Thursday 14 July 2016 at Oshima National College of Maritime Technology, Yamaguchi, Japan; and

(11) on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at the International Study Group held in the Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland.