Nuclear-Free Future

in the Category


is presented to



29 September 2012

Kastumi Furitsu

Under the Hippocratic oath physicians are obliged to offer medical help when they witness an accident or some other emergency. Katsumi Furitsu felt that obligation well before becoming a doctor. The moment the Vietnam War ended, she traveled to Vietnam as a teenager to help the victims of Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant the U.S. Military used from 1961 to 1971, which killed or maimed an estimated 400,000 people, and caused some 500,000 children to be born with birth defects. Katsumi hardly ever talks about this, you only learn about it after you have known her for some time. “That was a long time ago,” she will say. The modest doctor from Osaka has always been most dogged in her determination to alleviate the pain and suffering of others.


Dr. Furitsu has visited many of the crisis regions on the planet that have been contaminated with radioactivity, sharing information with doctors and helping to provide medical care to the victims. She went to the U.S. to audit the circumstances of the downwinders at the Nevada Test Site, and to spend time with the people living near the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant in Washington State. She treated Gulf War veterans suffering from the effects of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition, and after Chernobyl she traveled extensively and often throughout Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine.


“It is important to monitor the health of the people exposed and to offer them health care for a long period of time; these are prerequisites for minimizing their health hazards industry.”


In the 1980s, while still a medical student, Katsumi Furitsu began educating herself about the radiation exposure of workers at Japanese nuclear power plants. Early on she also focused on the calamitous starting point of the nuclear chain – uranium mining and milling. At odds with the Japanese mainstream, she began to quantify the recklessness of the nuclear-industrial complex. Never one to be intimidated by the opinions of others. Dr. Furitsu has always followed the compass of her own conscience.


During recent months, Katsumi Furitsu has been traveling from her home town of Osaka to Fukushima for several days at a time to assist the doctors working in the disasterstricken region. In Fukushima, she has witnessed firsthand the ongoing disinformation policy of the nuclear lobby and the Japanese government – the very people who vowed to mend their ways under the shock of the events of March 2011. TEPCO and the politicians are back to business as usual, which means they set the radiation level parameters to suit their own interests.


Dr, Furitsu wants to make sure her suffering fellow citizens, victims of an outdated technology, are not left alone with the consequences of the Fukushima catastrophe. “It is important to monitor the health of the people exposed and to offer them health care for a long period of time; these are prerequisites for minimizing their health hazards,” she says, adding that it is imperative “that people can understand and evaluate their situation in order to lend weight to their demand for adequate support and an end to the government’s pro-nuclear policy.”


Dr. Furitsu is currently engaged in aftercare and disease monitoring – the treatment of damaged organisms… and souls. The doctor is working for a better, healthier world. One that is nuclear-free.