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Tour brings foreigners to areas devastated by nuclear accident

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Making a quick buck off others' suffering.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Since the tour's launch in February last year, some 200 people from 23 countries have participated, according to the company.

Some of them organized and sponsored tours along with video and photo crew so that later on they can show that area is look safe.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

One thing it is NOT, is a tourist attraction.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Taking a tragic event and profiting from it. Classic greed.

Plus lest the obviousness is lost to some but there's a reason it's no longer inhabited. I'm thinking there's no hazmat suits in the package.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

You couldn't pay me to go near fukushima.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A cheap holiday in other peoples' misery.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

If it is so safe for tours, why aren't more Japanese government officials and civilians moving into the area to revitalize it. Also, would like to know how many Japanese sign up for the tour or how many Japanese actually go their on their days off.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Nothing wrong with it, people are genuinely curious.

Even Japanese people go on these tours.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

"It's surprisingly close from Tokyo." "Are nuclear power plants in Japan active?" Questions and thoughts flew around in various languages.

The above remark sort of sums up just how precarious the situation is....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Two hundred tour buyers in one year? Hardly worthy of note. Certainly not a good business decision.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I get that people are curious. The destruction wreaked by natural disasters is frankly pretty awe-inspiring. Footage of 3/11, along with 9/11, is the most startling thing I've ever seen. Maybe it's just a matter of sufficient time passing. Still seems a bit too close to me. I remember some folks sneaking in to film the no-go zone years back and that just seemed disrespectful, voyeuristic and ghoulish.

I'd like to say there are parallels to my long-time home of Kobe but of course this city is completely renewed, evidence of the disaster is nearly nonexistent and other than those who died, the town is generally thriving. Not to mention there isn't a bleeding, radioactive ulcer that's being nearly expunged from national discourse. Walking through towns in Fukushima, where thousands died seems a little more unsettling. Do they enter homes or schools? Just seems like you're walking on people's graves. Not to mention concerns about tours offering sanitized versions of what happened or what the status is today.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Seems kind of morbid at this point to go on a tour of this area. Probably some bad spirits around there as well.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I urge everyone to watch this documentary Nuclear Ginza

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPD_YeOAJys

The Japanese nuclear power industry has been in trouble since the first plant was built. This documentary, done in 1995, chronicles the stories of many men who worked in the nuclear power plants in Japan. This is the story of their lives and the evil behind the Japanese nuclear power industry from the beginning.

Recently, we heard reports that the Japanese mafia were forcing the poor and homeless to work in the Fukushima power plant for minimum wage and charging them for food and lodging, sentencing them to death by exposing them to deadly radiation. That has been going on since the 1970′s in Japan. And just like today, the general population still believes and trusts their government to tell them the truth about the dangers.

If you also believe what your government is telling you about the dangers of Fukushima and radiation, if you are ignoring what independent researchers, concerned people with families, just like you, are saying, and if you are telling yourself everything is okay, well, you may be sentencing yourself and your children to a lifetime of suffering.

One would like to think that things have changed over the years, but even now in Fukushima, reports are being published that tell how people are being lured with offers of up to ¥400,000 per day to work at the nuclear reactors--many of whom are victims of the tsunami. Because of high radiation levels the amount of time each person can spend inside is limited. TEPCO confirms they're working with outside agencies to secure enough workers to keep operations running, but refused to comment on how much each person is being paid.

That is what happened to the people you will see in this documentary.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I taught English at Fukushima Daini for years and got a view of the dynamics few outsiders ever did: the place was run by youngish graduates from elite Japanese universities, all of them non-technical majors. They'd be forced to leave their comfortable lives in Tokyo for a stint (or two) in Fukushima for three years at a time. Wives often refused to accompany them. Divorces were not uncommon. On Friday evenings the carpool exodus back to Tokyo began. They all complained bitterly about life there, even the ones who tried to make the best of it. A bottle of booze in the desk drawer wasn't unheard of.

The technical guys, the nuclear engineers and operators, were, by and large, nerds. They didn't talk about themselves much, never mentioned their education and certainly were not in the same elite class of Japanese as the managers from Keio and Todai. They got where they were because they had a passion for what they did and were highly intelligent. On the weekends they'd stay in Fukushima whether they had to or not. Most of them had never touched a woman.

I enjoyed teaching both groups equally.

There was a third group: the descendants of the farmers and fishermen who had populated that area for millennia who worked the grunt jobs at Daini. As I recall, most every female there was local. This is the group that was hit hardest by the tragedy. The others simply were transferred back to Tokyo or other locations.

Ever seen an aerial photo of one of these nuclear power plants with the rectangular holding area for seawater? Fish would be sucked into these holding areas but couldn't get out and would grow quite large. At night the workers secretly would go fishing in these areas and bring their catch back to the kitchen for sashimi.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Is there anything even worth seeing there? I imagine a tour of an empty village in Japan's countryside is about as fun as watching paint dry. Just one's opinion though...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Disgusting. Thousands of people died, many people are still living in "temporary" housing. And although Abe tells the IOC that all is under control, American websites report that radiation around the stricken nuclear plant is as bad as ever.

This is NOT a place for "holiday" tours.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Ecotourism gone wrong!

However, I can understand the attraction. I took a drive up there two years ago. Not specifically to see Fukushima, but to see the devastation of the Tohoku coastline, which I had travelled and surfed in the past. It was very creepy and saddening to see the huge amount of damage. It is something I will never forget. Every time I think about it my stomach begins to churn.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As BigYen mentioned, tourism per se is not only about leisure but education, understanding. People are all quick to judge.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Bit grim and bit too soon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Taking a tragic event and profiting from it. Classic greed.

The user is as much to blame as the dealer. No one is forcing these people to take the tour.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dirk T - fascinating. Thank you.

I see no problem with this. I've been on educational tours before; being guided by an expert is often invaluable. And the participants will surely transmit their newfound knowledge to their home countries, spreading awareness of this ongoing tragedy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Deadforgood

Is there anything even worth seeing there? I imagine a tour of an empty village in Japan's countryside is about as fun as watching paint dry. Just one's opinion though...

I hope this isn’t “off topic”, but if tourists want to see an “invisible disaster” zone, follow Rt45 north along the coast in Iwatate where the tsunami struck. I bicycled from Tokyo to Hokkaido in 2016 and passed place after place where the debris of lives had been bulldozed away leaving flat, sterile, buildingless land where communities had been before 3/21. The people whose homes, shops and minshukus were above the tsunami are still there and would greatly profit from tourism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thats fine and all to visit Fukushima, the place does need to be rebuilt and any tax revenues from tourists is a good incentive for the ward office there.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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