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    » 12/18/2013, 00.00

    MONGOLIA - JAPAN

    Mongolia 'is likely to become the world's nuclear dustbin'



    Ryoko Imaoka, associate professor of Mongolian Studies at the University of Osaka, decided to live with the nomads of Mongolia and ask for their help to prepare a document that proves how extensive is radioactive contamination in the Asian nation. Where now are born lambs with two heads and blind camels.

    Ulaanbaatar (AsiaNews) - A Japanese researcher has turned to the nomads of Mongolia to help her document the extent of radioactive contamination in the landlocked Asian nation. Ryoko Imaoka, an associate professor of Mongolian studies at Osaka University, has been supplying used cameras to the nomads of the Mongolian steppe so they can document the frequency of deformed livestock, which appears to be on the increase, particularly near uranium mines.

    "With the transition to a market-based economy rapidly in progress, environmental pollution is becoming a serious problem," said Imaoka, 51, to Asahi Shimbun. "When eating their livestock, nothing goes to waste--even the last drop of blood. That is Mongolian culture. (The disposal of nuclear waste there) would definitely affect the people."

    A French-Mongolian joint venture started experimental drilling three years ago in southern Mongolia in the search for uranium. Shortly thereafter, increased reports of deformities and birth defects in livestock near the area started to appear. Even though the correlation between mining and the deformities has yet to be proven, reports included the birth of two-headed lambs and blind camels. Other animals are also suffering from skin ulcers and blood clots in their bodies.

    News of the birth defects comes amid reports that both Japan and the United States are or were looking at the possibility of dumping spent nuclear waste in Mongolia. In the abandoned mining town of Mardai, in northeastern Mongolia, one of the possible storage sites considered by Japan and the United States, radioactive waste left over from the large-scale Soviet mining operations still remains.

    The Society of Mongolian Studies, which Imaoka belongs to, featured the nuclear issue in its journal this summer. It also carried an essay from Imaoka. In addition, she is translating a Japanese booklet into Mongolian on how to protect children from radiation exposure.

    Imaoka was born in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. While in junior high school, a television drama depicting the life of Genghis Khan first sparked her interest in Mongolia. She later studied Mongolian at university, which led her to specialize in topography. Visiting the Gobi Desert every year, she has witnessed how the lifestyle of the nomads' has changed over the last two decades.

    Her Mongolian husband is a car mechanic. She said, when welding in the desert he sometimes uses livestock dung for fuel. "Mongolians value the cycles of nature. They taught me that one is responsible for taking care of what one has made until the very end," she said. "I don't want to see this country turned into a nuclear waste dump."

     

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    See also

    23/07/2014 JAPAN - MONGOLIA
    Tokyo and Ulaanbaatar sign deal to cut duties, agree on mediation with Pyongyang
    Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Elbegdorj ink free trade pact to boost bilateral trade, mostly cars and beef. The deal is also inspired by a desire to get Mongolia to help in North Korean-Japanese relations. Former Communist nation is playing an increasingly important diplomatic role.

    21/01/2016 13:36:00 MONGOLIA
    Wedged between Russia and China, Mongolia chooses Japan

    Mongolia works its way out of diplomatic isolation by declaring itself "perpetually neutral" to avoid many frictions in the region. Rejecting advances from Moscow and Beijing, it opts for cooperation with Tokyo and Berlin to expand its energy markets. At the same time, it plans to become a "steppe road" for Russian and Chinese trade to become a hub in Eurasian transit. Analysis, courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.

     



    09/07/2009 JAPAN
    Yukiyo Amano, Japanese, is the new director of the IAEA
    He comes from the country that has experienced nuclear war and that is spearheading the peaceful use of atomic energy. A long diplomatic experience to his credit. The other competitor was the South African Abdul Samad Minty.

    19/05/2009 MONGOLIA - RUSSIA
    Moscow sets out to conquer Mongolia’s gold, coal and copper
    Last week premier Putin signed various deals with Ulaan Baatar. Russia’s real target appears to be uranium reserves and to draw the nation into it’s sphere of influence. Mongolia matins a balance in its’ relationship with China, Russia and other powers.

    06/08/2013 JAPAN - VATICAN
    Hiroshima, tens of thousands pray for peace and end of nuclear arms
    On 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city by the United States, a celebration commemorates the victims and pledges to "use all means" to achieve peace. Among those present Prime Minister Abe, who honored the survivors. Cardinal Turkson, present for "Ten Days for Peace" organized by the Japanese bishops, invites people to "convert the instruments of death into instruments of life."



    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



    Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."


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