Fukushima: Don't forget

Don't forget

Background - 21 February, 2014
It is now three years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began in March 2011. Here are the stories of five of the victims who have struggled over these three long years to rebuild their lives.

It is now three years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began in March 2011. Here are the stories of five of the victims who have struggled over these three long years to rebuild their lives. Like tens of thousands forced to flee the second biggest release of radioactive particles in history, they have been ignored and abandoned by their government and TEPCO, owner of the disaster site. They fear being forgotten and that life will get even worse if they are forgotten.

 

Greenpeace brought six activists to Japan to meet them to help spread their stories and keep them in peoples’ minds.

Imagine being Minako Sugano, constantly worried about the health of your children. They moved from an area recommended for evacuation to another, less contaminated area in Date City. Read her statement here.

Dairy farmer Kenichi Hasegawa had to abandon his farm in Iitate village where people still can’t live. He is now in Date City.

Another farmer, Hiroshi Kanno, also had to leave Iitate village. He and his family live in a temporary house; they can’t settle down. He wonders how long he and others can continue to be patient.

Organic farmer Tatsuko Okawara has farmed for 30 years. She thought of giving up farming but instead now runs a farmers’ shop that sells local produce to help the farming community. The radiation level is noted on the foods.

The former mayor of Futaba, Katsutaka Idogawa, lives with his wife far from his old home. Eight days after the disaster started he ordered the town to evacuate. There had been no orders to take iodine pills to protect people against radiation. Read his statement here.

Lawyer Kenji Fukuda is outraged by the compensation process that victims are subjected to. He works on behalf hundreds of victims. He sees lengthy paperwork and complicated process as a way to protect TEPCO and not something that will help victims. He speaks out often about his concerns.

Six anti-nuclear activists from India, Korea, Poland, and Germany and the Greenpeace France executive director met the victims in the Fukushima area in mid-February. View quotes from the visit.


 

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