Fukushima linked to less births
(NHK) -- A survey in Fukushima Prefecture shows the number of births fell by 25 percent in the 3 months following the accident at the nuclear power plant.
The Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists conducted a nationwide survey of around 1,100 medical institutions handling deliveries between April and June. 714 responded.
The number of births per institution in Fukushima came to 67, down from 90 in the same period last year.
This means there were 1,000 less deliveries in the prefecture during the 3-month period than a year earlier.
The combined number of deliveries in Tokyo, Chiba and Kanagawa is also estimated to have decreased by around 2,000 in the same period.
On the other hand, some prefectures further west such as Fukuoka, Gifu and Osaka saw more babies born than a year earlier.
Professor Akihito Nakai of Nippon Medical School took part in the survey. He says the findings show that many women chose to give birth away from their homes because they were concerned about radioactive contamination.
He is calling on authorities to work out measures to help these mothers deal with heavy psychological burdens.
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