Leader Of Fukushima Explosion Response Team Dies From Cancer

Tyler Durden's picture

With a ridiculous monetarist experiment that is doomed to fail, currently raging in Japan, where girl bands plaud the masculinity of deranged FX and stock traders, it is easy to forget that some two years ago the country suffered the worst nuclear disaster in history. And what is worse, the delayed consequences, all of them tragic, will stay with Japan for the years and decades to come. We got a very sad reminder of the true Japanese tragedy (because deflation is only "horrible" if you live outside your means) earlier when we read that Masao Yoshida, the plant manager who led the fight to bring Japan’s Fukushima atomic station under control during the 2011 nuclear disaster, has died from esophageal cancer. He was 58. He died on July 9 at a hospital in Tokyo, according to a statement from Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.

In keeping with the Japanese government's tradition of lying about virtually everything "for the greater good" until after the bitter end, Tepco also reported that "the illness was unrelated to the radiation exposure after the nuclear accident." Propaganda to get grandma and grandpa invested in NFLX is one thing, but propaganda when people's lives is at stake is simply inexcusable. And yet it continues in Japan, and elsewhere in the developed world, to this very day.

Bloomberg covers Yoshida's story:

Yoshida, an engineer by training, directed workers to stop the reactors from overheating after Japan’s strongest earthquake on record and an ensuing tsunami hit the plant on March 11, 2011, causing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. He stayed at the plant, helming the disaster response for almost nine months.


“I can not imagine how hard it was for him,” Tatsujiro Suzuki, vice-chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, said in an interview. “He had to make a decision that most of the on-site workers should leave because the situation was getting worse and he also had to have some of his staff remain to work with him. That was probably the hardest decision he ever had to make.”


Yoshida stepped down from his post on Dec. 1, 2011 after having been hospitalized a few days earlier for an unspecified illness. Officials from Tepco disclosed Yoshida’s cancer eight days later.

So 9 months from unprecedented irradiation to cancer hospitalization. Sadly, that sounds about right.

One wonders how many other unreported cancer cases there are behind the media blackout surrounding the health aftereffects in the aftermath of Fukushima. One will find out in due course.

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spentCartridge's picture

Hubba hubba hubba ...

knukles's picture

They said the cancer was unrelated to the disaster.
But so as to not strain credulity, they didn't say that he was being treated for cancer at the damaged plant as part of yomommacare.
Allstate well that ends.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Officials from Tepco disclosed Yoshida’s cancer eight days later.

Cancers don't develop so fast. This one is not related to Fukushima for sure.


Risk factors for esophageal cancer:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having bile reflux
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Having difficulty swallowing because of an esophageal sphincter that won't relax (achalasia)
  • Drinking very hot liquids
  • Eating few fruits and vegetables
  • Eating foods preserved in lye, such as lutefisk, a Nordic recipe made from whitefish, and some olive recipes
  • Having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Being obese
  • Having precancerous changes in the cells of the esophagus (Barrett's esophagus)
  • Undergoing radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen
  • Smoking
  • Other risk factors include

    • Being male
    • Being between the ages of 45 and 70



    CPL's picture



    Time to move those experts and their families next to the the site for a four year posting as the cancer risk is minimal.  I think that would be fair.  That way they could get a closer look at the situation.  

    It's the only fair way to determine an assessment.

    Fukushima Sam's picture

    Cancer after Fukushima?  This is just a coincidence, I'm sure.

    CPL's picture

    I agree.  It's obviously statistical clustering.  Total coincidence.  :p

    Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

    "Undergoing radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen"

    I bet he "underwent treatment" on a daily basis.....

    AlaricBalth's picture

    Environmental pollution with radioiodine (iodine-131,) occurred after an accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant (FNP) on March 11, 2011, in Japan. Iodine-131 is probably not the most hazardous fallout isotope and excessive amounts of radiation from this isotope can lead to metabolic disturbances and an increased incidence of thyroid cancer. Radioiodine is an isotope that emits beta and gamma rays and is enriched about 100 times in the thyroid gland through selective accumulation.

    Thyroid cancer latency periods from the Chernobyl accident in 1986 varied greatly depending on the dosage amount and age of patients. Children had a longer latency, from 2-12 years, while older adults experienced a much shorter latency on average.


    Tsar Pointless's picture

    I'll take "Undergoing radiation treatment to the chest or upper abdomen (courtesy of TEPCO)" FTW, please.

    Stoploss's picture

    You left out sucking cock.

    Careful man hater.

    Bangin7GramRocks's picture

    I heard he got it from eating bad pussy like Michael Douglas.

    LetThemEatRand's picture

    "Cancers don't develop so fast. This one is not related to Fukushima for sure."

    Because we have so many studies of humans exposed to high doses of radiation from Fukishima?  Okay, doctor reason.  And certainly the exposure to radiation could not have accelerated the risk factors.  Because you are the authority on the subject.

    Cult_of_Reason's picture

    Because we have so many studies of humans exposed to high doses of radiation from Fukishima?

    Yes, there are "many studies of humans exposed to high doses of radiation" after radiation therapy for cancer and Chernobyl.

    It takes years for any cancer to develop clinical signs and symptoms, not days.

    Most likely this guy already knew he was going to die from esophageal cancer within a few years anyway and volunteered (company promised to take care of his family) to be on Fukushima frontline.

    LetThemEatRand's picture

    I think you're misreading the article.  The way I read it, he was diagnosed with the cancer 9 months post-exposure, and it was disclosed 8 days after he was diagnosed.  Can you enlighten me?

    Cult_of_Reason's picture

    Mr. Yoshida took a leave from Tokyo Electric in late 2011 after receiving a diagnosis of esophageal cancer. Experts have said his illness was not a result of radiation exposure from the accident, given how quickly it came on.


    LetThemEatRand's picture

    So you totally misread (deliberately?) the article to say he got cancer in 8 days instead of 9 months, but your conclusion is right because "experts say...."  Seriously?

    Cult_of_Reason's picture

    He was hospitalized in December 2011 secondary to esophageal cancer. He dies within less than two years after. It means the cancer was already in an advanced stage in December (with lymph node or solid organ metastases). The 5-year survival rate from early stages are pretty good, ~80%. He didn't even make more than two years.

    Cancers do not just progress from zero to an advanced stage either within 9 days or 9 months, it takes years.

    The reason I quoted the experts was because some ignorant readers of ZH were attacking me for my educated opinion (vs. their ignorant fantasy BS).

    LetThemEatRand's picture

    Your "research" says nothing about the progression rate after exposure to high doses of Fukishima radiation.   High doses of radiation by definition will cause a much accelerated mutation rate versus baseline, which is why it is bad for you in the first place.  Perhaps it was totally coincidental but to suggest that it cannot be related has no scientific basis because there are no scientific studies that relate to his case.

    Cult_of_Reason's picture

    High doses of radiation by definition will cause a much accelerated mutation rate versus baseline, which is why it is bad for you in the first place.

    This is just absolute 100% nonsense.

    High doses of radiation cause thermal injury (burns). Please read any study done post Chernobyl that had all levels of radiation. 

    An increase in thyroid cancer rates was noted several years after the disaster, not within nine months. Apart from the large increase in thyroid cancer incidence in young people, there are at present no clearly demonstrated radiation-related increases in cancer risk. However most radiation-related solid cancers (as esophageal cancer) continue to occur decades after exposure and because only ~25 years have passed since the accident, it is too early to evaluate the full impact of the accident.

    LetThemEatRand's picture

    Wrong.  Stop pretending you are an expert.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12370437.  The fact is that there is very little scientific knowledge of the precise effects of high doses of radiation, and what little does exist will not necessarily tell you jack about the specific types of radiation to which this guy was exposed.  

    Cult_of_Reason's picture

    You're ignorant as fuck. I'm not sure as to why I'm wasting my time on you.

    Have you ever heard about radiation therapy for cancer -- cancer treatment that uses beams of high doses of radiation (intense energy) to kill cancer cells?

    According to your retarded logic, this type of treatment, instead of killing the cancer cells, should cause "a much accelerated mutation rate"? Right?

    Straw Dog's picture

    As I understand it, cancer starts as a single cell mutation, and then proceeds to muliply. It takes years for this mutated cell cluster to reach the size where it is detecable by, x-ray MRI, etc.

    LetThemEatRand's picture

    Typically cancer takes several years to develop.   Typically people aren't exposed to high doses of radiation of the Fukishima variety (keep in mind that there are lots of different types of radiation).

    Cult_of_Reason's picture

    Your understanding is absolutely correct.

    LetThemEatRand's picture

    Cult of Reason has studied the effects of high doses of Fukishima specific radiation exposure and cancer development, so can say so with some authority.

    Cult_of_Reason's picture

    Please read any study done post Chernobyl that had all levels of radiation. An increase in cancer rates was noted several years after the disaster, not within nine months.

    jtlien's picture

    Heavy smoking could have something to do with cancer.

    I would suspect that if entered any contaminated areas he was surely wearing a bunny suit that was washed down afterward.

    Plus a dosimetry badge.   I believe even exposure of rescue workers is highly regulated.


    From the Guardian, Online:

    Yoshida, 58, took early retirement from the plant's operator, Tepco, in late 2011 after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. He died in a Tokyo hospital on Tuesday, reports said.

    Tepco and Yoshida, a heavy smoker, said the cancer was not related to the nuclear accident caused by the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

    El Hosel's picture

    .... No suprise there, pretty sure nothing will ever be related to that disaster.

    David Wooten's picture

    "They said the cancer was unrelated to the disaster."

    The point is that he stayed on the job.  If he already had cancer, then his actions were all the more worthy.

    DaveyJones's picture

    They're not brothers. They're more like cousins. Kissing cousins

    Monedas's picture

    Like Captain Francesco Shettino .... the life boat jumper .... and his Costa Nostra Concordia ?

    El Hosel's picture

    Went down on nuclear tailpipe.... New Normal Hari Kari

    Joe A's picture

    Always the captain, never the owners nor the designers

    tmosley's picture

    ...money money money.  Who do ya trust?

    I think most everyone missed the reference there.



    Big Corked Boots's picture

    Not the first, and certainly not the last.

    But it's OK - Tepco's employees are their most valuable asset.


    jerry_theking_lawler's picture

    oh goodie.....they can burn them in their old thermal boilers....since they don't have any nuclear power any more....

    Navymugsy's picture

    I'm sure this had nothing to do with Fukushima and it will be divulged that he smoked 42 packs a day of Lucky Strikes.

    My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture
    Ah, Lucky Strikes - that was my favorite brand.  We got Camels, Lucky Strikes and Pall Malls for free in 'Nam by the carton.  I can remember now, 40+ years later, how I tamped each butt down hard on the face of my watch or Zippo Lighter before lighting up - with both a rhythm and a routine.  In the TOC ( tactical operations center), the perpetual blue haze dimmed the lighting by at least 15%.  I always had a couple going in the glass ash trays.  Couldn't smoke in the chopper because of the wind and downdraft.   


    For me, smoking and Vietnam were interconnected.  Three days after I DEROSed out to the World (the USA) in August 1969, something told me to stop smoking - I spontaneously gave away all my cigarettes and my Zippo and my etui (cigarette case) and never smoked a cigarette again.  From two packs+ per day to zero and moved on.  All I smoke today is ZH.
    Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

    "All I smoke today is ZH"

    My wife thinks I smoke too much ZH too.  =)

    aerojet's picture

    Good luck--your risk of cancer developing is still high because you smoked, but at least your lung tissue and throat have had years to recover. 

    DaddyO's picture

    Definitely, gave all for the team, truly loyal in typical Japanese fashion.

    May he rest in peace...


    DaveyJones's picture

    reminds me of that Clint Eastwood film

    bunnyswanson's picture


    One more update to add to this.  Fukishima levels rising (tritanium stronium) 

    krispkritter's picture

    Starkist may want to add 'Cesium' as an ingredient on their labels and change their branding to 'Kist Your Ass Goodbye!' for truth in advertising reasons...