Tokyo Issues Tap Water Warning for Infants
By DAVID JOLLY and KEVIN DREW
Published: March 23, 2011
Ei Yoshida, head of water purification for the Tokyo water department, said at a televised news conference that infants in Tokyo and surrounding areas should not drink tap water. He said iodine-131 had been detected in water samples at a level of 210 becquerels per liter, about a quart. The recommended limit for infants is 100 becquerels per liter. For adults, the recommended limit is 300 becquerels.
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the public should avoid additional farm produce from areas near the power station because of contamination, according to Japanese media.
And the solution? Same as it always is, more corporate welfare.
The economic cost of the disaster has hit the power company, also called Tepco, which is in negotiations with its bankers for loans of as much as about $24 billion, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified.
Additional loans will raise new questions about Tepco’s long-term financial health. The disaster led Moody’s Japan to cut Tepco’s debt rating to A1 from Aa2 and warn that further downgrades were possible. The Fukushima Daiichi station, which was only a few weeks ago listed on the balance sheet as an asset worth billions of dollars, may have to be largely written off.
“Our concern right now is not about whether we’ll be paid back,” the source said. “The important thing is to support the company.”
But of course this is just Japan, a backwards third world banana republic with a culture of denial-
DAVID SANGER, “NEW YORK TIMES” (on Hardball): Michael and I both lived in Japan at about the same time, and you know, the Japanese, first, often don’t want to talk very directly about bad news, particularly if they think it’s going to cause a panic.
Something like that could never happen here.