Polluted with PFOA
PFOA, a toxic chemical formerly used in products like non-stick pans, is carcinogenic and harmful to unborn children. Although banned in Japan from October 2021, high concentrations of PFOA have been found in Settsu City, Osaka, near a Daikin plant that used to manufacture the chemical. For years, residents were not told of the pollution.
Death on Distant Water
Numerous crew died while working on distant-water tuna fishing vessels belonging to Dalian Ocean Fishing, a Chinese company whose primary market was Japan. In this series, Tansa reveals the system that keeps crews’ suffering out of sight and out of mind for Japanese consumers.
For years, Japan has supported the construction of coal-fired power plants both at home and abroad. In 2018, Tansa investigated a pollution-belching plant in Indonesia. Now, we examine the construction of a new plant in Japan that will only add to the worsening climate crisis.
Myanmar Left for Dead
Hundreds of civilians have been massacred following the Myanmar military’s coup in February 2021. While citizens appeal for help from abroad and risk their lives to protest the seizure of power, the Japanese government has been slow to act. After all, Japan’s political and business elite have a vested interest in the country.
Abandoned at Futaba Hospital
During the Fukushima nuclear disaster, at least 45 patients at Futaba Hospital and an adjoining retirement home lost their lives after being left behind as the area was evacuated. But even 10 years later, no one has been held accountable for the mismanaged evacuation.
Newspaper solicitors and distributors are using coercive sales tactics to pressure elderly individuals, even those with dementia, to take out subscriptions. Are Japan’s newspapers aware of the problem — and do they care?
Tobacco giant Philip Morris touts its heated tobacco product IQOS as a better option than cigarettes. Experts raise concerns about the product’s risk, but nevertheless, IQOS has found a warm welcome in tobacco-friendly Japan.
The Missing Nuclear Scientist
A Japanese plutonium specialist went missing in 1972 — and now he’s on the police’s list of potential abductees by North Korea. Did Japan do enough to respond to the abduction threat, or to manage its nuclear technologies?
A Cancer Study’s Secret Funder
A clinical trial of Chugai Pharmaceutical’s cancer drug Xeloda had incredible results, but they failed to mention Chugai’s financial support. Internal documents obtained by Tansa told a different story.
On the Hunt for DNA
The National Police Agency has a DNA database of roughly 1.2 million profiles, about 1% of Japan’s population. In theory, it’s meant to fight crime, but the majority of profiles were collected for minor offenses.
Sweet Bananas, Bitter Work
Workers at banana plantations and packing plants in the Philippines face harassment and attacks for demanding fair wages and better working conditions. Their underpaid labor gives Japan its cheapest fruit.
Money for Docs
Together with the Medical Governance Research Institute, Tansa created a database — the first of its kind in Japan — of additional income paid by pharmaceutical companies to doctors. Here’s what we found.
Under its post-war Eugenic Protection Law, Japan forcibly sterilized over 16,500 individuals from 1948 to 1996. The program targeted individuals with disabilities, in order to “revive the Japanese race.”