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Robert Jacobs: Radiation, Nuclear Testing and Fukishima

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Robert Jacobs is associate professor at Hiroshima City University and Asia-Pacific Journal contributing editor. He is the author of The Dragon's Tail: Americans Face the Atomic Age (2010), the editor of Filling the Hole in the Nuclear Future: Art and Popular Culture Respond to the Bomb (2010), and co-editor of Images of Rupture in Civilization Between East and West: The Iconography of Auschwitz and Hiroshima in Eastern European Arts and Media (forthcoming 2015).  He is the principal investigator of the Global Hibakusha Project.

There have been over 2,000 nuclear weapon tests in the world, almost half by the U.S. Millions of people have been exposed to radiation from these tests, and countless more still live in radiation contaminated areas. This is true for all nuclear powers, but especially the U.S. and the territories of the former Soviet Union. Virtually nothing has been done to compensate these people, or to remediate their land. 

In Japan, virtually everything that the government of Japan (GOJ) and TEPCO are saying about Fukishima they know to be lies, and that their purpose is to manage public perceptions to minimize liability. The history of radiological contamination provides information about what is ahead for Fukushima, and that this history is being deliberately ignored.

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