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Fukushima evacuees resist return as 'Reconstruction Olympics' near

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By Kyoko Hasegawa

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"Reconstruction Olympics"......you can sugar coat guano all you want, but it's still guano!

Abe keeps shoveling it too, as he does not want the world to see the truth. There are still over 50,000 refugees/evacuees still living in temporary housing!

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Part of the doubt stems from Japan's decision in the wake of the disaster to alter its own standards for what it considers acceptable levels of radiation exposure.

It changed the level from 1 millisievert (mSv) a year to 20 and says that level of exposure carries far lower cancer risks than smoking or obesity and "can be comparable to the stress from evacuation".

Nothing at all suspicious about this. Too often it seems as though the government here doesn't respect its citizens enough to even try.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

it seems as though the government here doesn't respect its citizens enough to even try

Seems?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Japanese govt has no right to force people return back to radiation contaminated areas, as simple as that.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Seems?

I was being overly polite, Fred.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

*No one is

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"I have no grudge against the athletes," she told AFP. "But I think there are other things that should be done before hosting the Olympics."

Sadly you weren't listened to! There were plenty of people that were against Japan hosting the Olympics, but a big part of it was to give the government a chance to take the focus off of all the refugees and focus the country on the Olympics.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The image must be maintained, at all costs. To the detriment of the people. Shame on the government.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Part of the doubt stems from Japan's decision in the wake of the disaster to alter its own standards for what it considers acceptable levels of radiation exposure.

"Many feel they are being forced to return to areas that are unsafe, including those with radiation levels above what the government previously considered safe,"

Well there you go. Some will feel comfortable with that, many won't. Especially those with young kids, such as Nihei and her daughters. Given the Government and TEPCO's multiple obfuscations on the Fukushima incident and aftermath, who could blame her or so many others for choosing not to believe the assurances?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Great article, saying things that most of us have been observing for years. It's funny how commonly Japanese people share resident foreigners' views.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Government to displaced Fukushima residents: Look, if you guys don't move back to Fukushima, we're going to look bad!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Just find a job anywhere you want in Japan and build your life there. Nobody can force them to return. Of course it's tough but it's not that difficult. There's practically now unemployment in Japan so finding a job should not be difficult.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Chernobyl has been restricted for 33 years.

It's been only 6 years since the disaster.

Jp gov't is not trustworthy.

They changed the standard of radiation AFTER the tsunami from 1 to 20 just for their convenience.

I still can't believe that they encourage people to buy food from Fukushima and people never complain about it.

Are they gonna kill us?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

This should be a show case for the Japanese people to see how they are really treated when the chips are down. Alas only those that are suffering now truly understand. The majority who are unaffected simply feel that those affected should simply be good Japanese and do what they are told to do and stop making a fuss for the good of the rest of Japan and simply take one for team Japan. I guess thats just how it is here and the only people who can change that are the Japanese themselves which in itself is un-Japanese so in effect it will actually never change. A guess Japan is unique after all. Honestly, if any country was more suited to a Russian style Socialist State with a ruling elite, it is Japan. Oh wait...

14 ( +15 / -1 )

If the same disaster happens in America, I think, they will get out of the place soon and find other place to live. Japanese people have too strong attachment to the place they were born or lived.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

TEPCO should be paying the evacuees indefinitely and the Jgov can stop bullying its own citizens. Where'd all the donations go?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Yep because our gov outs Olympics DEBTS as first priority and let's construction of what needs to be constructed for people's loss of their livelihood a distant last thing, shame on you Abe san, he should of gave up the Olympics or post posed to another year and focused on finishing fukushima reconstruction a long time ago, instead of building the Olympics from stolen designs https://www.dezeen.com/2016/01/14/zaha-hadid-copyright-unpaid-japanese-stadium-designs-tokyo-2020-olympics/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Honestly, if any country was more suited to a Russian style Socialist State with a ruling elite, it is Japan. Oh wait...

This debacle has nothing to do with socialism and neither has Russia, being run by the United Russia party who are conservative (and that's putting it mildly).

But yes, it's becoming very clear just how bad the LDP are treating the people. Hopefully, this will reflect in the next round of elections as it seems that there are apparently priorities above human safety.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If Fukushima accident was caused by NK, Abe would talk about it every minutes. In that sense, Abe really doesn't care any Japanese people.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

stopping all payments and ordering them back to a radiation zone now before the Olympics is very cold and cruel. They should do neither, but to do this now ensures that this will be the narrative during the Olympics.

The fraud of getting the games on false pretences, the fraud of the stadium, the fraud of the logos, the fraud of the reconstruction etc, it's just a cluster mess that cannot be stopped for all the world to see. I really feel sorry for Japan, it doesn't deserve this endless LDP con job perpetrated against it with no end in sight

8 ( +8 / -0 )

She moved and now struggles to pay the 130,000 yen monthly rent.

She pays that much rent in Fukushima city? Seriously?

The government is forcing these people to go back, but they will face even more difficult hardships than they faced when they were evacuated, but will not get any help from the government. They will have to find work and most of the shops and businesses still remain closed. There is still no work in these areas, so people will have to travel for work. Farmers have missed the window for rice growing season which starts now. Many schools remain closed, so people will have to travel to get their kids to school. TEPCO was responsible for the meltdowns due to poor maintenance and ignoring safety upgrades. However, the government now owns 51% of TEPCO making them ultimately responsible to ensure these people are fully compensated and supported. TEPCO has reported profits over the last few years, which is beyond belief. TEPCO should never be able to turn a profit until all these people are fully compensated and the manmade nuclear disaster is clean up. The report yesterday about the cost of dealing with the millions of tons of irradiated water stored around the plant being prohibitive totally disgusted me. The cost of this clean up should be irrelevant!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good article from today's Guardian on those who have returned:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/10/fukushima-eight-years-on-evacuees-come-home

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Reconstruction Olympics" - as in "this is where the reconstruction money went"...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Agree with almost everyone. Abe and the LDP, all the "we Japanese" stuff aside, do not care about ordinary people. It is plainly seen in this article. Payments to evacuees has stopped so they will move back to their radiation-contaminated homes. And this is all for show for the upcoming 2020 Olympics. After that's over the victims will be forgotten. There will be a media blackout. And if the victims get cancer the LDP may well claim it is their own fault.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

expat, thanks for the link to the Guardian article. I always enjoy Justin McCurry's reporting. Was struck by the one district where the average age of returnees is over 70. That shot of those two precious kids sitting on the field though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

DillusionedToday  10:15 am JST

She moved and now struggles to pay the 130,000 yen monthly rent.

“She pays that much rent in Fukushima city? Seriously?”

Um, the whole point of the article is that she refuses to move back to Fukushima. She moved out of the free accommodations and into a regular apartment that she must pay rent on...in Tokyo.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

For six years, she and her daughters lived in free accommodation supported by government subsidies, but support for "voluntary" evacuees ended in March 2017.

She moved and now struggles to pay the 130,000 yen monthly rent.

For real? Japanese citizens get paid for anything they do the equivalent or even more than a foreigner on a "highly skilled" visa. With six years of free accommodation if you can't really get things going your likely using the benefit as a commodity than an actual support to stand up again. Rent is literally what makes saving up money the hardest thing here. With the current labor shortage, working 7 days a week? Got a husband? Plus 2 kids which either are old enough to work some part-time or young enough to qualify for even more benefits from the government.

Sorry, but sounds the incapacity of paying the 130,000 rent has nothing to do with the disaster anymore.

(btw i'm part of an ngo that's supported at least 300 people back in 2011 and nearly all of them nowadays are back on track in life, 2 of these people are very good friends with me till this day.)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

KazumichiToday 08:43 am JSTChernobyl has been restricted for 33 years.

It's been only 6 years since the disaster.

Jp gov't is not trustworthy.

They changed the standard of radiation AFTER the tsunami from 1 to 20 just for their convenience.

I still can't believe that they encourage people to buy food from Fukushima and people never complain about it.

Are they gonna kill us?

Yes. They don't care.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For real? Japanese citizens get paid for anything they do the equivalent or even more than a foreigner on a "highly skilled" visa.

So, you think every Japanese person living in the affected areas was making a great salary. The kids, the housewives, the elderly, sick and/or retired. Not to mention that this is Tohoku we're discussing, not economic engines like Tokyo or Osaka.

With six years of free accommodation if you can't really get things going your likely using the benefit as a commodity than an actual support to stand up again. Rent is literally what makes saving up money the hardest thing here. With the current labor shortage, working 7 days a week? Got a husband? Plus 2 kids which either are old enough to work some part-time or young enough to qualify for even more benefits from the government.

Sorry, but sounds the incapacity of paying the 130,000 rent has nothing to do with the disaster anymore.

First off, she's already stopped receiving subsidies and she's still struggling to get by. Try raising two kids on your own in Tokyo and get back to us after a few years. And your calling it a "commodity" comes across as, how should I put it, obscene. As does your overall lack of empathy for what she, among thousands of others, continues to face. A mom working her tail off to raise her kids in one of the most expensive cities on the planet b/c she doesn't want them living near a gaping nuclear sore, and you're talking about her "incapacity."

Did you save this up for the anniversary of the disaster. I know many people bemoan the internet as a vehicle for outrage but sometimes the shoe fits.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The Japanese governments disdain for it's own citizens has been going on since before the LDP. The peeps who were running Japan when Fukushima blew up were beyond incompetent, as is the current regime who are dangerous idiots...

At least some Japanese now are realising that their own worst enemy is their government... no amount of nationalism can obscure that fact. The 5 ring circus is a distraction to keep peeps minds off the criminal negligence of their overlords.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abes attitude to these people goes like this - 'go on sod off back to Fukushima , you are embarrasing us, we have the olympics coming so make yourself scarce..'

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's been only 6 years since the disaster.

8 years actually!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Reconstruction Olympics? Should read Disaster Olympics, Disaster got the Olymipcs, Diaster for funding to fix the disaster, Disaster for those still suffering. Disaster for the fiscal health of Japan. And all for a series of sporting events to be held at the time of year that will undoubtedly cause more disaster, in a city with infrastructure at its peak, causing more disaster. And a population far from ready to rub shoulders with other cultures. Wish them the best!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Their right...to compensation!

@crichy. You da man. I have a 3 day conference in Tokyo soon, I am bloody scared.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not blaming the evacuee and also not totally aware of all the circumstances. But it makes me wonder why she pays 130.000yen for her apartment to live with her daughters.

Was that the "free apartment" she was living in and got used to it? Relocation costs too high?

Just did a quick research in a famous japanese portal for apartments and houses for rent "below 50.000yen/month" within the 23wards in Tokyo.

It gave me 29.816 results.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So the Olympics is needed to divert the attention of the world from the fukushima mess, and the GOJ says the area is ready to be resettled! The Japanese Hierarchy Really does not know what the flowers smell like do they? All in the name of TUPPERWARE, Japan presents plastic everyday all day and believes it, lying to the people and the international public! Really lowdown this GOV is don't care about the people but perpetrates a fraud that it does.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JK: "Of course it's tough but it's not that difficult. There's practically now unemployment in Japan so finding a job should not be difficult."

Sounds like the comments a politician or someone completely out of touch with the situation would make, and/or someone just incapable of thinking beyond the word "job". How about the people whose businesses were there? How do they just start again? What about the people with properties there who, on top of losing support for being forced to leave, will now have to pay rent AND property taxes for their homes in Fukushima. No one is going to buy those places from them. Yeah, it might be easy for a young person with no debt, no real estate in Fukushima, and no dependents to up and start again somewhere else, but for 99% of the people there's more to it than just "it's tough, but not that difficult". And this is not even taking into account the fact that the government and TEPCO have used them for various purposes and causes, promised them things, lied, and is no punishing them. This is also about accountability, for the which the government has none.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@finally. A grap 3dlk flat on the outskirts costs around ¥120000, + electricity, water and gas. You need to pay up to ¥1000000 key money, two months rent in advance, a security bond, and parking around about ¥30000. Then you have to furnish and pay city tax, NHK fees etc.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

To be honest. I do not blame them for not wanting to go back. I do not know what the Japanese reports are saying; however, the English translated reports have not been good. Everything from them looking for the cheapest way to make the area inhabitable to them not knowing how to properly store things. I would not blame them if they did not want to take risks until they could get complete assurances from the Government and TEPCO.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Finally rich, “Was that the "free apartment" she was living in and got used to it? Relocation costs too high?”

The article clearly indicates that she moved from the free place to an apartment that rents for ¥130,000 monthly.

“For six years, she and her daughters lived in free accommodation supported by government subsidies, but support for "voluntary" evacuees ended in March 2017.

She moved and now struggles to pay the 130,000 yen monthly rent.”

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tokyo has high rent. There are plenty of other places in Japan with a low cost of living to move besides Fukushima. However, she probably wants to keep her kids in the same school. No mention of why the husband can't move to Tokyo and pitch in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Present Japanese society is full of "Vanity" for Tokyo 2020.

Japan's ministries and agencies often deceive general public to defend vested interests for "Nuclear mafia".

Japan's authorities always try to understate radioactive contamination and try to underestimate radiation risk to justify prime minister Abe's "Fukushima is under control" speech for Olympics 2020 bid.

Many evacuees were forced to return to contaminated area by policy of government who want to propagandize "wonderful re-construction".

Returned evacuees have been exposed about 20 times higher radioactivity than other area under the name of "provisional safety standard".

Falsehood and deception were revealed from treatise about radiation exposure of Japanese government.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Goodluck, Educator

Yeah, the property prices in Tokyo can be quite high but gosh, I thought they were "evacuees".

Reckless gave us a nice insight on the issue, still hard to find the need to pay 130.000 yen a month just for a roof when you are in a critical situation like that.

You have literally 8658 vacant homes within the 23 Tokyo wards right now, less than 15min. from the nearest station and NO deposits or other big initial costs.

A view like that would be a luxury for many people in Tokyo.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tell me you wouldn't live in any of these properties for some time, evacuee or not.

https://suumo.jp/jj/chintai/ichiran/FR301FC001/?ar=030&bs=040&ta=13&sc=13101&sc=13102&sc=13103&sc=13104&sc=13105&sc=13113&sc=13106&sc=13107&sc=13108&sc=13118&sc=13121&sc=13122&sc=13123&sc=13109&sc=13110&sc=13111&sc=13112&sc=13114&sc=13115&sc=13120&sc=13116&sc=13117&sc=13119&cb=0.0&ct=5.0&mb=0&mt=9999999&et=15&cn=9999999&co=3&co=4&shkr1=03&shkr2=03&shkr3=03&shkr4=03&sngz=&po1=16&pc=50

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

She moved and now struggles to pay the 130,000 yen monthly rent.

.

She pays that much rent in Fukushima city? Seriously?

Did you read the next paragraph, Disillusioned?

But she insists she is not ready to return to Fukushima city, despite government assurances the area is safe.

It's right there. She obviously pays rent somewhere else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She looks to be standing on a balcony overlooking a train station.

sure that's not a cheap option anywhere in Tokyo.

not the most effective case study to engender sympathy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have a nine year old and a 13 year old.....NO FREAKIN WAY am I moving anywhere near that zone!!! NO WAY!!! Call it a strong gut feeling not to trust the government.....Hey, maybe some of them should relocate there! Heck, move the whole diet there! Off you go laddy....there you go!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh yeah, and a very good friend of mine works in and out of there....building the literally thousands of storage tanks for radioactive water! I was very concerned about him....but he said his company policy was even stricter than government regulations regarding acceptable radiation levels. They wear the "Geiger" counter thingies! He told me there were days when the radiation levels were far above the acceptable limits. Especially around rivers and water sources.....Thirsty anyone??? So I ask him, So what, do you get the day off? He replied, "No, go to work as usual!" ???????? I couldn't make sense of that...and he just seems to accept it. He does have a couple of really nice new SUV's!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since children are at a higher risk of radiation poisoning than adults and there are no studies to prove what level of radiation is acceptable for children, then the government’s policy is unconscionable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The gift that keeps on giving...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/11/fukushima-toxic-soil-disaster-radioactive

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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