While your favorite blogger is travelling to New York, from where she will faithfully report on everything that happens during her trip, please read this important discussion of the social ramifications of suffering from a nuclear exposure. This piece was written and sent to me by the exceptionally well-informed reader Canukistani. I hadn't read anything on this topic before, and I find this information fascinating.
The Japanese have peculiar attitudes towards those exposed to radiation. This is similar to their attitudes towards blood types or ketsueki-gata (血液型). People will often ask your blood type in Japan which is strange to Westerners. They believe that ABO type is predictive of one’s personality and temperament. Japanese matchmakers will judge compatibility of couples based on their blood type although there’s no known correlation. For those exposed to radiation it’s much worse.
Those who survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings are called hibakusha (被爆者), a Japanese word that literally translates to "explosion-affected people." There is considerable discrimination in Japan against the hibakusha. It is frequently extended socially as well as economically toward their children. Not only hibakusha, but their children, are refused employment. Many Japanese believe that radiation sickness is hereditary and contagious. The few that were at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki are called nijū hibakusha or double explosion affected people. I would suspect that the nuclear plant workers would fall into this category.
Populations of some towns near power plant.
Soma 38,000 Tamura 42,000
Iwaki 35,000 Fukushima 339,000
Nihonmatsu 61,000 Koriyama 338,000
For up to the minute and archived independent radiation data from Tokyo go here.