Rainbow Warrior begins sampling off Fukushima
by Guest Blogger
May 3, 2011
It has been a frustrating few days on the Rainbow Warrior.
Until Sunday we were stopped outside of Tokyo bay, waiting out bad weather, trying to find a ship’s agent to represent us and arrange entry into port to fix our broken gyro compass, and have had the much-needed independent marine radiation research we intended to do off the Fukushima coast severely limited by the authorities.
Thankfully we managed to get moving again, and we have finally reached the Fukushima coast to begin our research. The limitations set by the government mean we can only conduct a fraction of what we came here to do, and only outside Japan’s 12-mile territorial waters, but we are doing everything we can.
We’re taking regular samples of seawater, collecting seaweed, and getting fish from local fishermen we meet out at sea. The data we get from all these sources will help, however, the most urgent and important research needs to be done closer to shore.
Many governments try to silence their critics, but our mission is not to criticize the government. The Rainbow Warrior is here off the coast of Japan to carry out essential, independent radiation testing, and to share this information with the authorities and the people of Japan. We have been, and will continue providing transparent information that will help people to protect both their health and livelihoods.
The Japanese Government has nothing to lose by allowing independent research by NGOs like Greenpeace. If it wants to avoid harmful rumours then more – not less – research is absolutely crucial.
We hope that the government will stop playing politics, reverse its decision to block our research, and allow us to do what we came here to do: provide clear, independent information to the people for whom help is needed.
Sakyo Noda – logistician and translator for the field radiation team onboard the Rainbow Warrior