■東日本大震災 津波、史上最大…「明治三陸」超える（毎日新聞 4月24日）
The mystic stone at tsunami tide's highest point that saved tiny Japanese village from the deadly waveBy Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:46 PM on 21st April 2011
Obelisk was erected by survivors of previous tsunamis to warn future generations
Doctor warns Fukushima 50 workers of health problems they face
Japanese government to announce financial help for nuclear plant owners Tepco
Legal no-go area officially comes into operation
UN chief warns world to expect more nuclear accidents
This four-foot high stone may look unremarkable, but it is credited with saving the lives of the population of Aneyoshi when the tsunami struck Japan.
Carved into its weather-worn rock is a warning - 'Do not build your homes below this point!' - because they would be at risk from floods in a tsunami.
The villagers obeyed the ancient warning and the tiny community of just 11 houses and 34 residents were rewarded with survival at a key geographical point.
（Prophetic: The stone tablet on the edge of the village of Aneyoshi, which the town's population credits with saving their lives）
Aneyoshi, in the mountains of stricken Iwate Prefecture, bears a significant mark of the national natural disaster.
Just 300ft down the hil from where the stone sits is a blue line painted on the road. It marks the point in Japan where the tsunami water reached its hightest point - 127.6 feet.
The previous record height reached by flood waters in Japan was 125.3ft, which was also reached in Iwate Prefecture during a tsunami in 1896.
It is Japan's history of tsunami's that led to these warning stones becoming a familiar sight along the coast of Japan as ancestors tried to warn future generations of the dangers. Some of the stones are 600 years old.
（Warning from history: The stones were set up by ancient Japanese because of the nation's vulnerability to huge waves）
'The tsunami stones are warnings across generations, telling descendants to avoid the same suffering of their ancestors,' Itoko Kitahara, a specialist in natural disasters at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, told the New York Times.
It was a tsunami in 1896 which killed 22,000 people that first convinced the people of Aneyoshi to move to their hilltop retreat and remain there.
After a period of stability the population renewed itself and slowly began moving back down the hill towards the coast, but a then in 1933 another tsunami struck and left four survivors.
It was after that disaster that the stone was erected and the village credits that with saving the village from a tsunami in 1960.
'They knew the horrors of tsunamis, so they erected that stone to warn us,' said Tamishige Kimura, 64, Aneyoshi's leader.
（Destruction: Below the safety line in Iwate Prefecture, this is the scale of the damage caused by the tsunami ）
Japanese policemen continue the search for bodies inside the evacuation zone of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plan
However, the magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11 which killed 29,000 people was the most destructive to strike Japan since the Jogan earthquake in 869.
Although the village was unharmed, it still lost a family of four. Mihoko Aneishi, 36, and her three children were swept away in their car while in a neighbouring town.
The Aneyoshi stone informs 'high dwellings ensure the peace and happiness of our descendants' but a scared history of disasters is clear in many of the place names. Nokoriya translates as Valley of Survivors while Namiwake means or Wave’s Edge.
Many villages ignored the warnings on the stones, considering them relics of a bygone age, and built their houses closer to the coast. It proved a fatal mistake for so many.
'As time passes, people inevitably forget, until another tsunami comes that kills 10,000 more people,' said author and tsunami expert Fumio Yamashita.
No-one can forget the last disaster though and its effects continue to be felt.
In Fukushima, at the crippled nuclear power plant, workers battling the crisis are suffering from insomnia, dehydration and high blood pressure and are at risk of developing depression or heart trouble, said a doctor who met with them.
The crews have been fighting to get the radiation-spewing Fukushima Dai-ichi plant under control since it was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan.
Meanwhile from midnight tonight Japan will ban people entering the 12-mile evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The government had told people living within a 12-mile ring of the facility to leave soon after it was struck by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and began leaking radiation.
Since then, some people have returned to their homes to collect personal possessions.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters that from now on people will only be allowed into the zone under government supervision.
（Distant echoes: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (right) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speak at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant）
'The conditions at the plant remain harsh,' said epidemiologist Takeshi Tanigawa.
'I am afraid that if this continues we will see a growing risk of health problems.'
Tanigawa, the Public Health Department chairman at Ehime University's medical school, said he met and spoke with 80 of the workers over four days when he was allowed into another nearby nuclear plant where many of them take their breaks.
He said he was not able to carry out full physical exams on the workers before leaving on Tuesday because of time constraints.
Tokyo Electric Power Co, the plant operator, said 245 workers from the company and affiliated companies were stationed at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on Wednesday. Soldiers, firefighters and police officers also were at the site.
The nuclear workers have been toiling around the clock to stabilize the plant. Tanigawa said they get little rest, no baths or fresh food and are under the constant threat of exposure to radiation, which remains so high in many places that robots are being used to take measurements.
Dr. Tanigawa said the work conditions don't meet the basic rights guaranteed workers by Japan's constitution. During their breaks at the Fukushima Daini plant, they often sleep on the floor of a gymnasium, 'wrapped only in blankets and with no privacy,' he said.
（A bicycle lies abandoned near the station in town of Minamisoma inside the evacuation zone in Fukushima ）
（A lone woman wanders the deserted streets of Minamisoma, which has been left deserted in the wake of the tsunami and nuclear disaster）
Photographs of the gymnasium show workers in white radiation protection suits sitting on gold metallic mats laid in tight rows on the floor. Boxes of supplies are stacked nearby.
'Because they sleep so close to each other, snoring is a big problem,' he said.
'Normally, that might sound funny, but in this case it is denying people sleep and that can lead to bad performance on the job.'
The workers, most of them middle-aged men, suffer insomnia and show signs of dehydration and high blood pressure, he said. One had gout. Tanigawa said he is concerned they may develop depression or heart problems.
'Making sure they have a shower or a bath or a proper place to sleep is not just to make them comfortable, but to ensure good performance,' he said.
Dr.Tanigawa said the mental stress of the job is deepened by the fear of radiation exposure, the concerns of their loved ones - many don't want the men to stay on at the plant - and the fact that many of the workers themselves lost homes or family in the tsunami.
TEPCO said the situation has become difficult as the crisis has become protracted.
'We think that we have worked to improve food, sleep hours and off days so that working conditions are improving,' it said in a statement.
（An elderly woman prepares lunch in her little partitioned unit divided by cardboard walls at an evacuation centre for people effected by the tsunami in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture）
'We would like to work on further improvements, taking Dr. Tanigawa's views into account.'
Dr. Tanigawa said that although emergency conditions may have justified harsh working hours in the early days of the crisis, the situation has now "become chronic."
'They have struggled for a month. But they haven't gotten any rest,' he said.
'TEPCO and the government don't think about them. The workers must do a good job, but they do not have any support," he said.
With the heat of summer approaching, the health risks could multiply.
The workers now have three meals a day, but no fresh meat or vegetables.
'They get microwave food,' he said.
The warning stones are commonplace in coastline communities across Japan, and in Iwate in particular
They put in four days, then have two off, but many feel they can't leave, he said.
'They feel a deep sense of responsibility to be there,' he said.
'I asked many if they wanted to stop, but they responded, "Who would do this if I didn't?".'
An anonymous worker identified as having recently worked at the plant's Unit 2 turbine building said in an interview on TV Asahi on Wednesday that the site 'is just like a battlefield.'
The man, whose face was shown out of focus so he could not be identified, said the turbine building was normally not radioactive, but a dosimeter beeped soon after he and his fellow workers entered the area to prepare to transfer radiation-contaminated water out of the building.
'We were shocked by the high level of radiation,' he said, adding that they were so afraid of radiation it was hard to concentrate.
'I work at the plant just because I want to save my hometown,' the worker said.
'We are the ones who have worked at the nuclear plant all this time. Who else would take the job now if we don't?'
The Japanese government is next week expected to announce a financial support scheme for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The government is considering setting up a fund that would buy preferred shares from Tepco.
The fund would provide loans to Tepco for it to pay compensation to those affected by the crisis at the nuclear plant in northern Japan, which was damaged by the March 11 tsunami. It will allow Tepco to remain a private company listed on stock exchanges.
Tepco's latest safety measure has been to install 210-MW gas turbines at its Ohi plant in Tokyo in July.
（Still fighting: Smoke belches from the area of the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where workers are enduring terrible conditions ）
The move is part of the emergency measures to avoid power outages when consumption peaks in the summer, the company said, after last month's earthquake crippled its Fukushima nuclear station and stopped operations at other plants.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the world must be prepared for the inevitability of more nuclear disasters.
He was speaking at a at a Kiev conference commemorating the explosion of a reactor at Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear reactor 25 years ago.
'To many, nuclear energy looks to be a relatively clean and logical choice in an era of increasing resource scarcity,' said Mr Ban.
'Yet the record requires us to ask painful questions: have we correctly calculated its risks and costs? Are we doing all we can to keep the world's people safe?'.
'The unfortunate truth is that we are likely to see more such disasters.'
The ongoing crisis at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was triggered by last month's huge earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that flooded the plant.
'Climate change means more incidents of freak weather,' Mr Ban said in Kiev.
'Our vulnerability will only grow.'
He spoke just a few hundred yards from the exploded Chernobyl reactor, which is now covered by a hastily erected sarcophagus.
The sarcophagus has gone past its expected service life and work has begun to build an enormous shelter that will be rolled over the reactor building. The new shelter, designed to last 100 years, is expected to be in place by 2015, but a substantial amount of money for the project is still lacking.
The Chernobyl explosion on April 26, 1986, spewed a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes in the most heavily hit areas.
A 19-mile area radiating from the plant remains uninhabited except for some plant workers who