Ambassador Fatimie attends press conferences on the Fukushima nuclear incident

March 22-23, 2011: In order to become fully aware of the latest developments and to directly receive complete information, Ambassador Dr. Sayed M. Amin Fatimie attended press conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday in regards to the ongoing developments of the Fukushima nuclear incident.

The Fukushima Daiichi (number one) Nuclear Power Plant suffered damage due to the tsunami that resulted from March 11th’s massive earthquake in northeastern Japan. Since the incident, radiation has been released and the public has been concerned about the effects, both short-term and long-term.

On Tuesday, Ambassador Fatimie attended a talk by Professor Shunichi Yamashita of Nagasaki University’s Department of Molecular Medicine and Department of International Health and Radiation Research, Atomic Bomb Disease Institute on nuclear power and radiation exposure. Professor Yamashita, who is serving as an advisor on the Fukushima situation, expressed confidence in the safety of Japan at present, assuring people that even those in a close proximity to the nuclear facility, citing 31 kilometers from the facility as an example, are as safe from the effects of radiation as those outside of Japan.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Fatimie, accompanied by Mr. Jason Pratt, Public Affairs Officer of the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, attended visiting-nuclear expert Dr. Robert Peter Gale’s press conference in Tokyo. Dr. Gale has worked on the Chernobyl incident as well as others worldwide. Dr. Gale also reassured of the current safety of Japan and those living in Japan. Comparing the situations of Chernobyl and Fukushima, he noted that the reactor types and the environments are very different. While Fukushima has been declared to be the same level of threat as Three Mile Island in the United States, Dr. Gale stated that there have been no noticeable health problems, including no cancer problems, resulting from Three Mile Island, and has said that the Japanese government is taking adequate steps to address the situation and providing proper support and care to those that need it.

Both conferences were positive indicators that currently, the proper steps are being done to protect those in Japan and to improve the situation.

The Ambassador and diplomats from the Embassy have also been meeting with officials from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a daily basis to keep updated on the developments and to hear of the Japanese government’s official position.


(Photo: Professor Yamashita speaks on the realities of radiation.)