An urgent appeal by Japan Scientists' Association
<Tentative Translation>

March 15, 2011
The Japan Scientists' Association

More than ten thousand of residents in eastern Japan are killed, wounded or missing by a gigantic earthquake, the 2011 Tohoku district -off the Pacific Ocean Earthquake, and tsunami hit on March 11th. Japan Scientists' Association mourns for the victims, sympathizes with pain of the sufferers, and hopes that the missing will be found and rescued as soon as possible.

Some four hundred and fifty thousand people necessarily stay in thousands of temporal refuges, isolated from information and suffering from lack of goods and services indispensable to life. The efforts and demands to support such people in the stricken area are rapidly increasing throughout Japan. JSA and its branches and committees state the intention to take multiple actions to improve surveys on the disaster and support the sufferers.

However, delivery of relief goods, such as water, foods, blankets, clothes, fuels and medicines to refuges is still in the serious conditions, which makes residents threatened in a cold wave. Power failure in a vast area also prevents residents from receiving and sending any information.

It is fatal to construct complete relief system rapidly using capabilities of not only national and local governments but also private companies and NGOs. We must point out the relief measures of government of Japan is unsatisfactory, and demand immediate change.

At Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), four nuclear reactors are being severely damaged simultaneously, resulting in release of radioactive substance. Even insufficient information from the briefings by the government and TEPCO suggests that the reactors may lose the basic functions of radio protection.

The government and TEPCO are responsible to disclose the current status of the reactors and accompanying facilities in real time, to consult scientists and experts of Japan and the world, and then to examine and do the indispensable and practicable policies in order to avoid the worst. They are also responsible to inform residents and international society of enough data, and to explain plainly and persuasively the development of damage of the nuclear reactors, present and foreseeable crisis and the optional actions by government.

Since governmental information is fragmentary, the direction to evacuate or to shelter are groundless and unreasonable to residents, which keep them in fear and suspension. Only scientific and plain explanation based on enough data can effectively prevent panic, counter false rumors, keep people calm and cooperative, and restore the trust of international society in the Japanese administration.

Conclusively, the government and TEPCO should make the immediate and drastic improvement in information and accountability. We again assert that the government should try any possible means to receive the opinion and get cooperation by the scientists of the world.

Judging from the magnitude and seriousness of the disaster, the government must prepare the physical and psychological supports to local governments, which restore and stabilize the life of people, rebuild the community, and reconstruct the infrastructure. We never forget painful experiences after the South Hyogo prefecture Earthquake in 1995 (the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake), when the governmental restoration policies left most of the disadvantaged people behind.

The national and local restoration plans should put the highest priority on rehabilitation of life of every injured resident.

JSA, as an academic society established for the development of science and technology for lives and welfare since its foundation, will make the best efforts to overcome the difficulties, by synthesizing knowledge of our members of multiple specialties. Our objective will be to keep residents alive and in good health in a short term, then to build people-centered rehabilitation agenda in a longer term. We also appeal every scientist and institute to cooperate the relief and rehabilitation activities.