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Prince William, Abe visit Fukushima


Britain’s Prince William on Saturday traveled to an indoor playground for children in Fukushima Prefecture's Motomiya city.

Motomiya is far enough from the crippled plant and was not designated as an evacuation zone following the nuclear accident, but the city has created the indoor facility for local children who have been encouraged not to play outside due to radiation fears.

The prince, accompanied by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was greeted by flag-waving small children and invited into the facility where he thrilled the children by juggling for them.

The disaster claimed around 19,000 lives and left tens of thousands of people homeless.

Many of those displaced are still unable to return home, in some cases because of radiation that leaked from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, with scientists warning some areas may have to be abandoned.

On Saturday night, William stayed at a traditional "ryokan" inn in Fukushima. Dressed in a yukata, he dined with Abe on locally-produced Japanese dishes.

On Sunday, he will meet people whose lives were affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, including the staff of a newspaper who produced handwritten copies in the aftermath of the disaster because their printing presses had been destroyed.

He is due to leave Japan on Sunday, bound for Beijing.

© (c) 2015 AFP

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Motomiya .... was not designated as an evacuation zone

How very convenient. Now Abe won't have to lose face by letting HRH see the woeful state of the reconstruction sites, which, under his watch, have become an embarrassing onion-layered tapestry of corruption, whereby the taxpayer shells out top dollar to get the job done, and a cavalcade of shell companies eat their fill at the trough, and it's the desperate and destitute finally doing the work of experts for a pittance.

It's probably a good idea to show HRH something nice and sweet , like kids playing and waving flags, instead. No point losing face, eh Shin-chan?

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Well said. It's exactly what happened and is happening at the Fukushima nuc plant.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I wonder if they stopped to taste the gutter run off radioactive water that has been seeping into the Pacific ocean spreading radioactive contamination since the beginning. No don't face the problem allow it to get worse, don't seek help or a solution just pretend it's safe.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Royalty and world leaders rarely get to see the true state of affairs when they visit a disaster site anywhere in the world, so no surprise here. The real shame is how little has been done to relieve the suffering of those who live in Fukushima, particularly when so much money has been raised for that very purpose.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Did William get the "everything is under control" speech?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"...the city has created the indoor facility for local children who have been encouraged not to play outside due to radiation fears."

Is the whole city indoors? What's the point of making a place to play indoors to reduce exposure to radiation when the kids and the people who live there are going to be outdoors a majority of the time?

Sure, kids, you'll have to walk to and from school, to and from the local market maybe, play with your friends outdoors on the weekends, but the 1-2 hrs a day you spend in this facility will save you from the potential diseases your govt leaders have told you not to fear.

This indoor facility seems like something shiny to fool the masses that progress has been made.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The Prince shouldn't visit Fukushima. Fukushima abunai yo! Interesting playground mentioned here.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

the city has created the indoor facility for local children who have been encouraged not to play outside due to radiation fears

Encouraged? More like terrorized. But then FUD is very profitable, that's why there is so much of it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

as reported in major British press

"the (play area) site features a radiation monitor outside to measure background radiation levels as a reassurance that it is safe to play outdoors.

The levels are currently lower than parts of the UK."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Propaganda visit well under way.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sure is Jforce and better not say anything other than what a wonderful figurehead he is, promote good relations, fun good all round chap, what an inspiring visit.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Good old Abe. His SECOND visit to Fukushima since the disaster -- the first being last week -- to play up Japan's suffering, and to force local produce on an outsider to prove it's safe and get understanding. Of course, it has to be an area which doesn't show that he's not living up to promises of reconstruction!

For the kids' sake, I'm glad they could see William, though, and he them. Not as lavish as dining with the PM at a ryoukan, of course, but that's where the real meaningfulness of the visit is, and the true exchange.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How does seeing a British royal make anything better for these children, Smith? They still live in a toxic environment, and are still suffering just the same. A trip to Disneyland would have a more positive effect and cheaper than all the security for this irrelevant member of another country's royalty/

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I wonder if Abe told Prince William about the appalling way the Japanese government handled the animal crisis in the wake of the disaster. I bet not.

After losing so much, people couldn't even have their pets with them in shelters. Despicable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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