Japan must act to protect Fukushima clean-up workers: U.N. experts


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Migrant workers, asylum seekers, and homeless?

TEPCO won't care.

Expect much to be said, and nothing to change.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Sorry, UN, it is too late. Besides, Japan never recognizes nuclear ban for peace and safety of the world.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Japan should protect all workers from any labor abuse from their employer.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Sorry, sakurasuki, that isn't on Abe's agenda.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

It would be regrettable if UN is playing politics in criticizing Japan. If so, its no wonder USA and Japan are pulling back from that organization and withdrawing cash.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Wow, and here I thought that this place was the only one that took forever to come to any conclusions!

The report was released 5 freekin years ago!

I suppose it will be another 2 decades before any actual action is taken!

14 ( +18 / -4 )

It’s unbelievable but true!

First it was the homeless of Japan being exposed to high levels of radiation then came the abuse of foreigners.

I've met refugees employed indirectly by Tepco and they soon realize that their promised work has a high risk factor.

The history books won’t comment kindly on this fiasco

2 ( +14 / -12 )

More of the same.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Japan has their sand in the sand, this is what happens when you have 7-8 sub contracting companies in the middle of all of this "work".

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Japan must act urgently

Lawls. What is the UN going to do about it?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Given the governments lack of desire to protect common workers throughout the economy, i'd say the chances of them doing anything are slim to none.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

It would be regrettable if UN is playing politics in criticizing Japan. If so, its no wonder USA and Japan are pulling back from that organization and withdrawing cash.

Yes, any criticism of Japan and its govt. by anyone is " regrettable" as Japan is  faultless.

Anyone critical is  "anti - Japan " and should be dealt with accordingly.

Right wing manual 101.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

The Japanese government has known about the exploitation and abuse of clean-up workers for seven years and has done nothing whatsoever to stop it. I think it's safe to say that they don't care about the workers at all. The only thing they might care about is having the working conditions publicised to the rest of the world.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

I can't stop laughing at the heading of this article. The ship has long sailed especially how most including the media forgot that Japan raised the rad exposure limits much higher so that it would almost be impossible to file claims...Literally the only way anyone could actually file a claim is if they are directly in the line of the exposure to high level rad..

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The yakuza in collusion with the murkier elements of the construction industry (esp sub contractors) have created their own little gold mine with this tragedy.

Unfortunately the authorities (esp political / law enforcement) have been unable or unwilling to effectively purge these elements, resulting in more suffering for ordinary people.

The bulk of the laborers are Japanese citizens, being exploited by their own govt with it's vested interests in the Nuke Game. Can only show how much such people are held in contempt or even hated by the leaders and their Incs.

If they were really concerned for the welfare of all "clean-up" workers, this problem would have been conscientiously tackled long ago.

But no - we just get media pap to the world such as "It's all under control".

Sad again for the good people of Japan and the honest guest workers.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The nuclear industry has abused workers since it was started, using the homeless, disenfranchised, and unemployed farmers off-season for the dirty and dangerous maintenance and cleaning tasks, as well as those forced by the Y-gangs who to pay their debts. It was documented in 1995 by the BBC - a film called the Nuclear Ginza. still on Youtube, which in turn was based upon earlier photography books by Kenji Higuchi. Conceived as a subtle, eye-opening account for students, teachers, and the lay public, “Irradiated Workers Disappear in the Dark”, one of Higuchi’s eight volumes of photography, became a surprise best seller. Even more successful was his book of images entitled, “This is a Nuclear Power Plant”.

The nuclear utilities are isolated by employment agencies and sub-contractors, usually 6-7 layers away from the actual worker, so of course they can deny any liabiity; compensation claims are invariably never paid as documentation hardly exists for radiation exposure so the courts turn them down, and the 'nuclear gypsies' themselves move from plant to plant as they exceed their dose limits, often under different names. Many are poorly educated and understand little about radiation exposure or its cumulative and long-term effects.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

At the time of the Fukushima disaster, we had two similar nuclear power plants here in California. They have both since been closed. Thank goodness. One Fukushima is one Fukushima too much.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It was Reuters again who wrote the initial report back in June 2011 on the industry, not a blog or conspiracy website. You can check it out here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What is the actual makeup of the workers by demograph and nationality?

What are the pay and conditions like, and what medical procedures are being taken to check and care for them?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When the deaths come, or the cancers, how long will it take the government or TEPCO to react? Pay and send us the receipt? Whether nationals or foreigners, this needs to be made clear and foreign government representatives must be made aware of what their children will be doing here in Japan. Young people from abroad come desperate looking for a job. They ar not educated as to the perils they could encounter here; after all Japan is a peaceful country, omotenashi.

Maybe, if the country isn’t responsible for radioactive problems, we shouldn’t have nuclear plants here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Never happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

well i guess rampant nuclear radiation is one way to dissuade Chinese invasion, but all 50+ reactors will all have to have accidents.... yeah give it a couple of decades of neglect and lack of followup trained nuclear engineers

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You’d think if they’d want to showcase their efforts to the world to contain and continue with nuclear power they wouldn’t want even the whif of what might be construed as abuse, cover-ups or dodgy practices. Surely that would be high up on the priority list? Or is it just business as usual, don’t look don’t tell, carry on carrying on?

Wouldnt transperancy be the way forward fellas?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hahaha! Japan care about workers! We're talking about a nation with government-approved labor trafficking, a government who "caps" overtime to 15 hours a day, six days a week (not mandatory, of course), and who, when asked about this dangerous work, often contracted out by yakuza groups, the government can only say, "Well, we contract to TEPCO, they sub-contract to others... it's not up to us." And TEPCO says, "Well, we don't know who we subcontract to, but we'll do an internal investigation and look into it," and everyone shrugs.

They're going to say, "We don't need international opinion to run things here, but what do you think of us?"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan's nuclear policy always involve lie,deception,underestimation or unjust.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

70 years ago Japan needed to enslave citizens of other countries to do the dirty work, plus outcasts and undesirables. Would appear not much has changed, well sould include citizens all citizens to sacrifice for the benifit of the same families and companies that have historically relied on one form or another of slave labour. With no accountability what so ever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cricky: They also have been caught forcing people of other nations to work the dangerous areas on the "Trainee" (human trafficking) program, and NOTHING has been done about it. So, you are bang on with the "not much has changed" comment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No actually both you smith and cricky are bang OFF on your comments linking the IJA using their conquests and modern Japan’s bad labor practices.

I don’t even think I need to say anything else at this point. What a ridiculous line.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A Japanese artist displayed an animation type statue in front of the Fukushima station and everyone is freaked out that it had armor type things on the chest area and the crotch area.  Unbelievable,  everyone missed the point clearly the artist was trying to make a statement that Fukushima was not safe and people should be wearing protective gear.  Japanese PEOPLE, especially the young and the middle love their animation he used this figurine and no one not the Japanese nor the few non-Japanese it appears got this artist and his point.

Fukushima, Japan's waters and any food grown near there need to be avoided at all costs.  When I buy my rice I make sure it is grown in Hokkaido and or Kyushu far from here.  Same with fish, I try and make sure it has come from overseas and not locally as they are still pouring radio active water by the tons into the sea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unbelievable, everyone missed the point clearly the artist was trying to make a statement that Fukushima was not safe and people should be wearing protective gear.

That's not what the article said:

The 6.2-meter statue called Sun Child was made by contemporary artist Kenji Yanobe to express his wish for a world free from nuclear disasters. The statue indicates the surrounding air is "clean" as the child is holding its helmet in its hand and a radiation counter on its chest reads "000."


0 ( +0 / -0 )

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