Tokyo Journalist Briefs SFSU Students Headed to Disaster Area

June 4, 2014
Reporter Yuri Kageyama describes stories she has reported about the disaster in Japan to students

Students from San Francisco State University who will be heading to Fukushima this summer met with Yuri Kageyama, the Associated Press’ Tokyo correspondent, to speak about her experience reporting in Japan. Kageyama spoke to the students about the challenges reporting on the current situation in a society in which many do not like to speak to the media, especially about controversial topics.
The student team will spend two weeks in Fukushima in August documenting life after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster. Mainstream media report mostly on government-released information, said Kageyama, and citizens are afraid of being ostracized if they raise any concerns, such as the chances of thyroid cancer known to be related to radiation exposure.
“People want to move on. They want to feel that they are recovering,” said Kageyama. “You are going to be a giant party pooper if you say, 'Hey what’s going on with these thyroid cancers or something like that.' ”