Former Japanese leader starts fund for US vets who helped Fukushima

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Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan load humanitarian supplies onto a Seahawk helicopter in the Pacific Ocean, March 19, 2011. The Ronald Reagan was operating off the coast of Japan in support of Operation Tomodachi. Nicholas Groesch/U.S. Navy
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Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan load humanitarian supplies onto a Seahawk helicopter in the Pacific Ocean, March 19, 2011. The Ronald Reagan was operating off the coast of Japan in support of Operation Tomodachi. Nicholas Groesch/U.S. Navy

Former Japanese leader starts fund for US vets who helped Fukushima

by: Aaron Kidd | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: July 08, 2016
 YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A former Japanese prime minister is calling on his countrymen to donate to a fund for U.S. veterans who say they were sickened by radioactive fallout from the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
 
“They went so far to do their utmost to help Japan,” Junichiro Koizumi told a news conference Tuesday in Tokyo alongside fellow former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, according to Asahi Shimbun. “It is not the kind of issue we can dismiss with just sympathy.”
 
Hundreds of veterans, claiming a host of medical conditions they say are related to radiation exposure after participating in Operation Tomodachi relief efforts, have filed suit against the nuclear plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. A massive earthquake caused a tsunami that swamped a large stretch of northeastern Japan and inundated the power plant. Experts are still dealing with continuing leaks from the reactors.
 
The suit asserts that TEPCO lied, coaxing the Navy closer to the plant even though it knew the situation was dire. General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi were later added as defendants for allegations of faulty parts for the reactors.