Did former Japanese MP Yasuhiro Sonoda die from cancer, after drinking ALPS-filtered water from the Fukushima nuclear power station?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Updated @ 2023-09-17 : Added proof Yasuhiro Sonoda is alive, and new fact check video!
Originally posted @ 2023-09-08
Claim : Yasuhiro Sonoda Died After Drinking Fukushima Water!
People are sharing videos and photos of Yasuhiro Sonoda drinking ALPS-filtered water from the Fukushima nuclear power station in WhatsApp groups and social media, claiming that the former Japanese MP eventually died from cancer!
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Truth : Yasuhiro Sonoda Did Not Die After Drinking Fukushima Water!
This appears to be another example of FAKE NEWS created and/or shared by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens, to scare people into boycotting Japan and Japanese food, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Yasuhiro Sonoda Drank Fukushima Water In 2011
First, let me just give you a quick overview of Yasuhiro Sonoda and why he became viral in 2023.
Born on June 9, 1967, Yasuhiro Sonoda (園田 康博 / そのだ やすひろ) was elected to the House of Representatives in the Diet (Japanese Parliament) in 2003, as a member of the Democratic Party of Japan.
After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the 44 year-old MP sought to ease concerns over the safety of the treated water. In response to a challenge by freelance journalist Yu Terasawa, he promised to drink the treated water.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) prepared a bottle of water from Fukushima Daiichi reactors no. 5 and no. 6, which was filtered and treated using its Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) to remove 62 radionuclides from the contaminated water.
Then, at an October 31, 2011 press conference, Yasuhiro Sonoda filled a glass with the ALPS-treated water before polishing it off in two gulps. Even so, he pointed out that the data was more important than the demonstration:
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Fact #2 : Yasuhiro Sonoda Retired From Politics
The viral messages suggested something nefarious after Yasuhiro Sonoda stopped posting on his Twitter account in 2014. The truth is – he stopped tweeting after he lost elections for the second time.
After that infamous demonstration, Yasuhiro Sonoda lost his seat during the 46th House of Representatives election on December 16, 2012. He subsequently lost again in the 47th House of Representatives election on December 14, 2014.
His last Twitter post was on the night before he lost his election, showing a video of his last campaign speech on December 13.
The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper would later publish a news article (no longer available online) on June 14, 2015, stating that Yasuhiru Sonoda announced his withdrawal from politics.
Fact #3 : Yasuhiro Sonoda Is Still Alive
After leaving politics in June 2015, Yasuhiro Sonoda receded from the limelight. However, there is no evidence he is dead.
As a former Member of Parliament, his death would have been announced by the Japanese media. Yet, there is no mention of his passing. The viral messages certainly offered no evidence to back up their claims.
But more importantly, Kyodo News reached out to Yasuhiro Sonoda himself via telephone on 2 September 2023, and confirmed that he is still alive! Mr. Sonoda denied that he died from cancer.
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Fact #4 : No Evidence Yasuhiro Sonoda Has Multiple Myeloma
There is also no evidence that Yasuhiro Sonoda was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a type of white blood cell cancer.
There has been no media report of such a diagnosis. Neither did Yasuhiro Sonoda mention it publicly. In fact, the viral messages also offered no evidence to back up this claim.
Unless Yasuhiro Sonoda or his family publicly reveals that he is suffering from multiple myeloma, or any kind of cancer for the matter, anyone who says that is likely lying to you.
Fact #5 : Yasuhiro Sonoda Was ACD CEO
Yasuhiro Sonoda kept a low profile after leaving politics. However, Taiwanese fact checking website, MyGoPen, discovered that Yasuhiro Sonoda became CEO and the company’s first Representative Director of ACD. Co. Ltd. in March 2018.
ACD Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Japanese airlines, ANA (All Nippon Airways), which focuses on the cross-border e-commerce platform called ANA Overseas Shopping. This was confirmed by a June 17, 2019 CoinON interview with Sonoda as ACD CEO.
It is unlikely for him to be appointed both CEO and the first Representative Director of ACD if he was already dying from multiple myeloma in 2018.
Fact #6 : Yasuhiro Sonoda Retired From ACD In 2020
It appears that the claim that Yasuhiro Sonoda went to Palau at the end of 2019 for palliative care is false. He was still CEO of ACD Co., Ltd until his retirement on 14 March 2020.
On 1 November 2020, ACD Co., Ltd. issued a press release announcing that Yasuhiro Sonoda retired as Representative Director and President on 14 March 2020, and was replaced by Hiromichi Furui.
The fact that ACD announced his retirement in November 2020 also suggests that Yasuhiro Sonoda was still alive at that time. The viral message claimed that he died in August 2020.
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Fact #7 : Palau Never Announced Yasuhiro Sonoda’s Death
There is no evidence that the Bureau of Health for the Republic of Palau ever announced the 2020 death of Yasuhiro Sonoda from multiple myeloma.
A quick check of the Palau National Government website showed no such announcement about the death of Yasuhiro Sonoda.
The websites promoting this claim did not provide a link to the announcement. Suspicious, isn’t it?
Fact #8 : Ngerulmud Is The Capital Of Palau
I should point out that Melekeok is a state, and not the capital of Palau. The capital of Palau is Ngerulmud. Before 2006, the capital of Palau was Koror City.
Fact #9 : MIT Does Not Have A Hospital / Medical School
MIT – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of the top private universities in the United States, with five schools in Science, Engineering, Architecture and Planning, Management, and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
MIT, however, does not have any schools of law or medicine. It also does not run any hospitals. Therefore, it is impossible for Yasuhiro Sonoda to seek medical treatment at the MIT Medical School, or the MIT Hospital as claimed.
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Fact #10 : This Is Just Fake News About Fukushima
There is no doubt that Japan is facing a LOT of criticism over its release of the Fukushima waste water, even though IAEA and many experts have endorsed the plan.
However, this is just another example of FAKE NEWS being created around the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Here are other examples I fact checked earlier:
- Did Toxic Fukushima Water Kill Fish In Indonesia?!
- Did Fukushima Water Kill Thousands Of Fish In Penang?!
- Nuclear Radiation Created These Mutant Creatures?!
- Are Japanese Airports Empty After Chinese Boycott?!
- Singapore Just Found NEW Radioactive Food From Japan?!
- Is BlackRock The Largest Shareholder Of TEPCO?!
- EU + Japan Have Secret Agreement To Re-Export Seafood?!
- What Makes Fukushima Radioactive Water Different?
- Did Fukushima Just Release Black Radioactive Water?!
- Did Hong Kong Just Ban ALL Food From Japan?!
- Fukushima Waste Water Release : Should You Be Worried?!
- The Highly Radioactive Japanese Food Video Explained!
- Truth About FDA Import Alert 99-33 On Japanese Food!
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