Interesting leader in the local paper (Fukushima Minpo) today written by Genyu Sokyu. He's highly respected locally, a Buddhist priest, and past winner of the highest literary prize, the Akutagawa Prize. He was on the first committee to discuss the recovery last year. He put forward an interesting thesis that, contrary to popular opinion, children are better able to deal with the effects of radiation than adults. Up to now, Bergonie-Tribondeau's law of radiosensitivity, the result of experiments with rats, stated that immature cells were at greater risk. But Dr Kohei Takahashi, an obstetrician in Minami Soma, has found that babies repair quicker, and excrete caesium faster than adults. Dr Masaharu Tsubokura of Minami Soma General Hospital who has done surveys using whole body counter machines says that whereas the half life of caesium in an adult is 100 to 120 days, for a 6 year old it's one month, and for a one year old only 10 days.
Certainly we're in new territory here. If it's true then it could be good news for those mothers and young children currently choosing to live outside Fukushima.
The Emperor's back after his trip to London - much to everyone's relief. It's only 3 months since his heart bypass operation and he packed a lot into a 3-day visit. England got a lot of good publicity. There was footage of his visit to the Coronation at the age of 19 with the Queen chatting to him at the Derby. We saw his walk around the Japanese garden in Holland Park, the reception to thank those who had offered assistance at the time of the disaster (some familiar faces in the Embassy ballroom!), and the lunch at Windsor Castle where he was seated next to the Queen. No mention here of the issues made much of in the British media - the presence of the King of Brunei (Princess Michiko was sitting next to him) and the snub from Queen Sofia of Spain.
And today was the last day of the summer sumo tournament. I'm not much of a sumo fan but Kokutenho, unranked, beat yokozuna Kokuho and six Ozeki to become the oldest wrestler ever to win (he's 37). Incidentally, one of the idiosyncracies of living out in the sticks is that at the end of the news we are always told how our local wrestlers, way down in the ranks, have done. Today one Oazuma did well. He hails from Tomioka and his parents are in emergency housing. He looked pleased.
Time to watch the historical drama, my Sunday night ritual,