This is not because Tokyo Electric Power Company is taking corporate responsibility, or because the Japanese nanny state is solicitous of the health of citizens. This is because the Japanese people demand an honest assessment of the real damage.
Citizen groups are buying their own radiation monitors and putting the information online. A radiation map is here.
As the people lead, local authorities have followed.
Daily Yomiuri–As the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant drags on, an increasing number of concerned citizens in Tokyo and the surrounding areas have started to measure radiation levels on their own.
One local government in Saitama Prefecture has been flooded with applications from residents wanting to use its radiation-measuring instrument.
People have become anxious about so-called hot spots, in which radiation levels in isolated places are much higher than the surrounding areas. Parents with small children have been especially uneasy about the situation.
The government cannot appease them with ‘no immediate damage’ when the crisis has repeatedly outpaced efforts to control it.
Our own corporations assure us that it would be different here, but the heart of the matter is using a deadly toxin, and creating more of it the longer we rely on nuclear power. In the US, we take the risk, industry takes the profits, and the long term problems are becoming apparent today as plants like Vermont Yankee age out.