What is the Fund
for Children
with Thyroid Cancer?

3・11甲状腺がん子ども基金 ロゴイメージ

The 3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer is a non-profit organization established to provide multifaceted support for children diagnosed with thyroid cancer after the 2011 Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and their families.

How it came
to be established

The TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake released large amounts of radioactive materials, including radioactive iodine, which contaminated a large area of eastern Japan.

Although the 1986 Chernobyl disaster revealed that radioactive iodine causes thyroid cancer in children, neither the central nor the prefectural governments issued directives for the administration of iodine tablets as a preventive measure.

Purpose of the activity

Regardless of whether the high incidence of thyroid cancer is the consequence of radiation, the circumstances yielding the high incidence are surely a result of the nuclear accident.

Following the accident, both the children who were diagnosed with thyroid cancer and their families suffered from anxiety and confusion, as well as financial and emotional strain. After informing ourselves about each individual situation we decided to establish the 3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer in July 2016. Our goal was to provide support to those diagnosed with thyroid cancer and their families. In December 2016, we launched a program to help defray the costs of medical treatment. In Japanese, we have called it the “Tenohira Support” program.

“Tenohira” means “palm”: we want to offer support to children in the spirit of holding them in the palms of our hands. In English, we will refer to it as the “Helping Hand” program. In January 2017 we received certification as a non-profit organization.

A Message from the Chair

Why did the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident happen?

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident Independent Investigation Commission, established in the Diet (parliament), concluded that the accident was a man-made disaster caused by TEPCO’s inadequate countermeasures and the failure of the government to fulfill its duties to supervise and guide TEPCO. Nevertheless, ten years after the accident, no one has taken responsibility for it.

The Fukushima prefectural government has stated that the high incidence of thyroid cancer is “unlikely to be caused by radiation,” but the surgeon in charge of thyroid cancer surgeries Fukushima Medical University Hospital, where most of the thyroid surgeries have taken place, has said that long-term follow up will be needed to determine the effects of radiation.

It is the responsibility of the national government and the prefectural government to promote a wide-ranging and long-term examination system in order to understand the causes of the high incidence of thyroid cancer and for the peace of mind of the people of the prefecture.

Children’s cancer entails worries and challenges distinctive from adult cases, not only for the patient but also for the family.

The Foundation understands these difficulties and provides a variety of forms of assistance.

It is thanks to your warm support that we are able to continue these activities.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude and ask for your continued support.

Hisako Sakiyama, M.D.& Ph.D., Chair, Board of Directors,
Former member of the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission

Words of Appreciation from Aid Recipients

We have received many letters and encouraging comments not only from those who have received assistance for the treatment of their thyroid cancer but also from their families.

Read more

The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident
and the High Incidence of Thyroid Cancer

As a result of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident, a large quantity of radioactive materials including radioactive iodine, which causes thyroid cancer, was released into the environment. This article explains why radiation causes cancer and the situation regarding the high incidence of thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture.

Read more


Thank you for your kind support to those children with thyroid cancer.
Any amount that you can donate will be deeply appreciated.
We accept donations via credit card.

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