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» 12/18/2013
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
07/23/2014 JAPAN - MONGOLIA
Tokyo and Ulaanbaatar sign deal to cut duties, agree on mediation with Pyongyang
07/09/2009 JAPAN
Yukiyo Amano, Japanese, is the new director of the IAEA
by Pino Cazzaniga
05/19/2009 MONGOLIA - RUSSIA
Moscow sets out to conquer Mongolia’s gold, coal and copper
10/23/2013 KOREA - MONGOLIA
The strange alliance between Mongolia and North Korea goes on stage in Pyongyang
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
08/06/2013 JAPAN - VATICAN
Hiroshima, tens of thousands pray for peace and end of nuclear arms

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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