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Fukushima film shows reality sinking in for 'nuclear refugees'

By Chris Gallagher

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This film needs more media attention and I wish it'd be available in theatres across Japan and not just select art houses, or even on NHK, so people could see it.

Such an ugly truth that everyone, not just J-media, but normal citizens also choose to ignore.

Help these people!

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Hopefully a torrent out soon.

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or even on NHK, so people could see it.

And to watch it on NHK would mean one would have to "pay" to view it. No thank you, put it on Fuji and let them sell some advertising, and give the profits to the people who are abandoned.

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i wish they would translate more japanese movies. ive seen some really nice movies from japan their trailers but wont be able to find them translated anywhere. they should make things for west more often

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This is a doubly ironic article. Irony 1, the evacuees are being very handsomely compensated for their losses, unlike the victims of the tsunami. Irony 2:

"As they bide their time, some evacuees speak nostalgically about better days when the nuclear plant brought money into the town, creating jobs and helping businesses prosper.

“For 40 years it was a godsend,” an elderly woman said in the film."

So they had the good life for 40 years, but if the plant had not been built most would probably had to leave their 'furusato' and sought better employment and life elsewhere.

Still, I hope most can return - though it will entail losing the compensation payments for evacuation.

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But the irony is that there are towns and villages all over Japan that would gleefully accept these 'refugees' had they been properly compensated to allow them to buy a house and land....

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Nuclear power SUCKS !! It leaves a legacy of deadly highly radioactive waste for our children and generations yet to come to deal with. Go renewables , clean, green and sustainable ;-)

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Correct, taking one bad situation & helping with another bad situation, this relocation idea to me has seemed bloody obvious, but I don't think many have done it, or do they even want to...........I don't know, stubbornness all round has a lot to do with this all dragging out at a snails pace will little or no progress

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Greenleaf - nuclear power is awesome, TEPCO sucks. You need to distinguish the two. France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear (and even sells nuclear power to the hypocritical Germans) and it is clean and safe there because it is properly regulated and controlled.

It sounds as though you espouse "green" energy, are you aware that now that nuclear power has paused in Japan TEPCO is restarting and even building new coal fired plants? How green is that?

It sounds as though you would prefer green only (I would too, FWIW), but let me ask you this - do you own a refrigerator, a washing machine, a computer? Do you ride a train to work? What powers these things at nighttime? Or on non-windy or cloudy days? Solar? Wind? Coal? Nuclear? Among those, I would gladly choose nuclear. Unless you are willing to cut your dependence on the grid it seems to me hypocritical to criticize others by asking them to fix something you (and 99% of the population) aren't willing to do yourself.

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But the earthquake and tsunami are caused by nature and the nuclear disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami too but different laws cover the responsibilities.

Well, that depends on your viewpoint on the earthquake and tsunami. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that there was warning of it in advance - so both TEPCO and disaster preparedness agencies were at fault, for the nuclear accident and mass deaths respectively.

I think that there was not a solid warning in advance, so both should be acts of god.

Many of the earthquake and tsunami survivors could return to their former communities but for many of the nuclear refugees' won't be able to return.

Communities, yes - but homes no. With many nuclear refugees they cannot return to their communities, but their homes are intact.

The survivors of the earthquake and tsunami received the benefits of the international donations which reached in excess of ¥800 billion, from 116 countries and 28 international organisations.

There were also huge company donations with the largest coming from Softbank, $12.5 million and private donations like Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank,$120 million.

And who has received this money? There were reports of massive misspending of the donations.

It will cost about ¥25 trillion to reconstruct Tohoku from the damages of the earthquake and tsunami, about half the level of the cost of the nuclear disaster. It will take decades to reconstruct the Tohoku area. The rebuilding from Kobe took 15 years.

Unfortunately the reconstruction is being driven in the direction of trying to recreate idealistic 'furusatos', despite the fact that these places have been haemorrhaging people for years.

The areas and locations for building the country's nuclear power plants were chosen by picking poor farming communities with little understanding of nuclear energy and seasonal employment forcing the men to leave the areas during the winter periods to seek some form of paid work. When the dream of nuclear power plants were presented coupled with ¥billions of local nuclear energy tax, the offer from the devil was too tempting to resist.

Really? I thought it was the availability of large tracts of land for low prices.

Those communities were also told that the nuclear power plants would be safe, clean and provide cheap energy.

Until an unique seismic event occurred.

The Japanese nuclear industry had many decades to get it right with ¥trillion of capital and public investment but it failed to form a culture of safety management and training which also too frequently put profits ahead of safety and safety updates. The government failed to keep the nuclear industry under a tight control instead giving the power utilities a free hand in how they operated their atomic plants.

And that has changed.

Even those who support the use of nuclear energy will have doubts about its safety.Some like former prime minister, Junichirō Koizumi have done a 360 deg turn and are now calling to an end of nuclear energy.

Koizumi's just looking for the limelight. He's hardly an expert on nuclear power.

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