(ASAHI SHIMBUN) — Experts were divided over whether radiation from the Fukushima nuclear accident affected the thyroid cancer rate among children in Fukushima Prefecture, in which 59 young people have been diagnosed with or suspected of contracting the disease.

Most of the experts dismissed the possibility that effects from radiation from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant could appear so soon in children.

“The rate at which children in Fukushima Prefecture have developed thyroid cancer can be called frequent because it is several times to several tens of times higher,” said Toshihide Tsuda, a professor of epidemiology at Okayama University, at the meeting on Dec. 21 conducted by the Environment Ministry and Fukushima prefectural government at which experts offered their opinions.

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