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Woman living in Fukushima shelter burns herself to death in apparent suicide


The body of a 58-year-old woman was found in front of her home in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture on Friday after she apparently burned herself to death, police said Saturday.

The woman, who had been living in an organized refuge area, was found by her husband Friday morning outside their former home, which is in a no-go area due to radiation. Residents have been permitted to make short visits home a few times since the evacuation began.

According to police, her husband said, "Recently she has been having a hard time living out of the shelter and told me that she couldn't stay there anymore."

A relative of the deceased woman said: "She was always an upbeat and cheerful person. She was considerate and caring and she never stopped smiling."

© Compiled from news reports

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It seems the counselling and advice given from psychiatrists a fortnight ago didn't get through to everyone - or did it?

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Bloody horrible

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I wonder how many suicides there have been among evacuees since March 11 and is the government even tracking the numbers?

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How sad. And unfortunately there will more than likely be more of these sad stories. Lets just hope that the people are getting the proper counselling.

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again stress the biggest problem in this disaster

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There have been many suicides up there after the disasters, sadly most have gone unreported.

People should not still be in these shelters 4 months after the event, something needs to be done to get better accomodation for these poor suffering souls living in what must be horrid conditions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A relative of the deceased woman said: “She was always an upbeat and cheerful person. She was considerate and caring and she never stopped smiling.”

The evacuee shelter where the living conditions are inhumane ( cardboard cutaways), have turned a vibrant person towards death as a way to escape those conditions. She went HOME to her house and hurt herself, it is horrible that the evacuees living in the shelters are looking at death as a way out.

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looking at death as a way out.

Isn't that part of Japanese culture? When the going gets tough, commit suicide.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Why were these people not properly compensated wherein they could rent an apartment or home. I read on NHK World English that 113 homes will be asked to evacuate Date City because it's a Hotspot of radiation and that they will be compensated so the can rent a home.

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My Bad, the city is goinng to compensate the Date City evacuees.

The city of Date in Fukushima Prefecture sent 113 households written notices on Friday to recommend that they evacuate.

On Thursday, the central government designated the 113 households as areas with radioactive hotspots despite being outside the government-designated evacuation zone around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The cumulative radiation is expected to reach the government standard of 20 millisieverts a year in areas that include the 113 households in 4 districts in the Ryozenmachi area. Date City is about 50 kilometers northwest of the plant.

The city is asking the 113 households if they plan to evacuate and to return their answers by July 8th.

The city says it will provide subsidies for rental accommodation, adding that about 40 municipal housing units are available.

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Just too dam SAD for words!

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@ DisillusionedJul.

"It seems the counselling and advice given from psychiatrists a fortnight ago didn't get through to everyone - or did it?"


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The people in shelters like this woman was (reportedly) in should have been put in better places LONG ago. There are PLENTY of community centers built as projects to waste tax money (and line the pockets of construction companies and politicians) that either have plenty of empty rooms or are not being used. Likewise there are empty hotels or inns they could be up for for a nominal fee (which the government and TEPCO better cover). Regardless, why the discrepancy among shelters? Some claim to be bussing their people to public baths often, and they have wide spaces or spaces of their own, and others are ones like this woman was in. AND WHERE'S ALL THE TEMPORARY HOUSING PROMISED??

This is truly sad. I bet they've been heaps more than the one reported here, and will be plenty more yet. They need privacy, livable conditions, and mental help.

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Suicides in Japan are up approx 20% since the disaster. Sorry don't have link but it was on televison a couple of days ago.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

expect more - obviously very little support from the government for these people. how sad.

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Meanwhile the government is spending billions on Olympics and running around trying to get the PM out... priorities please

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That's so sad! Wish I can do more, hope this hopelessness doesn't happen again to others, and hope those with power do something more useful rather than to just try to keep their power.

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Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land: looking at death as a way out: Isn't that part of Japanese culture? When the going gets tough, commit suicide.

mr stranger: I believe Japanese culture has much more positive things to it that your disrespectful judgment, especially in the face of such tragic events. but who am i to judge? nevertheless, i absolutely, infinitely, disagree with you.

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Sending psychiatrists to "help" = more or less drugging these people who show signs of depression and the such. That won't help a thing. And don't forget all the money people donated to the Red Cross sitting in some bank account helping how many of these people? Hope this doesn't start a trend among these victims of TEPCO.

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I do not mean to sound cold but 33,000 Japanese nationals kill themselves every year and some people think that the figure is even higher.

Suicide appears to be an easy option in a time of crisis and in the last ten years more than 320,000 thousand Japanese nations have killed themselves (figure fluctuates between 31,000 to 33,000 a year).

Katrina took America a long time and given the vastness of the area which was hit in Japan then the crisis is complex.

I remember that people in Kobe who didn't have adequate insurance were demanding help for a very long period............

Yes, of course it is very sad that this individual died like this - but something is in the psyche....... and suicide is part and parcel of the downside of Japan.

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How do you burn yourself to death?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take a gallon of fuel, douse yourself and add a lit match.

There was a very famous protest a few decades ago where a monk burned himself, Video made worldwide headlines news.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ouch... and in this heat. What a path to choose...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What a path to choose...

I was thinking that myself. as several have said, many others have committed suicide and gone virutally un-noticed media-wise. It`s almost as if this woman was trying to send a message by choosing death through this means. Very sad indeed. I wonder if the message will be received and understood up at Nagatacho. Doubt it.

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First suicide I've heard about, but suspect it may be more from the method than the act. Afraid it won't be the last unless people get into their own housing soon. Especially as it gets hotter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I believe Japanese culture has much more positive things to it that your disrespectful judgment, especially in the face of such tragic events.

Nothing disrespectful at about my comment, simply observant. And yes, sure, Japan has many much more positive things to it than suicide. In fact, every other part of it's culture is more positive. That doesn't mean suicide isn't a part of it's culture as well.

How many times over the years have we seen stories about people atoning for mistakes by killing themselves, or killing themselves to protest something? LOTS. Don't know where you're from, but I never see that kind of stuff in my own culture. Japan is the country that gave us the words harakiri and seppuku. Traditionally, suicide has been considered a brave thing to do in Japan, not a shameful one.

i absolutely, infinitely, disagree with you.

That doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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I wonder if the message will be received and understood up at Nagatacho. Doubt it.

I fear you are right Miamum... How those who walk to corridors of Nagatacho can sleep whilst this kind of thing is happening amidst all the other crises is something I can't understand. Shameful.

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I don't think just talking is going to replace these poor peoples lives. Jsst think what it must be like to look where your house/village/town used to be. or the family of 5 which is now a family of 3. This is an open wound. it will take a lot of time and good will from everybody to help these folks out. How sad this women felt so alone she decided to do this.

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May her soul rest in peace. I see people around me here in Fukushima with the same frustrations as this poor lady. I certainly dont think suicide is the way out - in fact it is selfish and egotistical in my mind - but I am afraid there will be many, many more instances in the near future. I just hope family and friends can rally around and support such desperate people - they should abandon any thoughts that the government can support them.

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Tragic. Japan sacrifices its people though, one of the highest suicide rates in the world for years.

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First of all, I would like to express my sincere condolence to those family members who are left behind.

She needed more help and support from all of us after 3/11. I am truly sorry.

Now we all should learn from this trategy. Let's UNITE and work harder to help these helpless victims. They had enough. Let's rock&roll, everyone! We are SO committed. I do not want to hear any more political nonsense, bickerings, and political fiasco from Nagatacho. I am sure everyone on JT feels the same.

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This is just so very sad. I hope that the government of Japan along with TEPCO will wake up and start to do things to make things better for everyone rather than kick around ideas that will never work. The true cause of this tragedy by this women was because of TEPCO and the Japanese government. They should be made to pay for all of their lies to everyone in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My friend has family from that area that he has been laboriously trying to relocate, and he says absolutely there have been many suicides that have been gone unreported -- in all likelihood, due to a tacit agreement in the media not to encourage copycats. If you think about it, of course there would be a spike in suicides: solitary survivors (a father away on business, a daughter shopping for her parents) devastated by loss and guilt; homeowners forced to abandon everything they've spent their lives building; people without any means of making a livelihood and utterly dependent every single day on a handout. As a journalist myself I find this attitude terribly, terribly frustrating. To me the entire point of news is to keep everyone of us appraised of the society around us, so when a major public health issue is artfully ignored, it sends the message that "we're not going to talk about other people's problems just yet." A suicide is a cry for help. Why aren't multiple cries for help receiving the attention they deserve?

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That's a hard way to die.

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Another Fukushima Radiation victim, and to their delight, will NOT have to be counted as a victim of radiation poisoning...

I predict that just like all of the rest of the suicides and deaths due to diseases caused by low level radiation, none of them have been, are or will be counted.

Just like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and now Fukushima, deaths and injuries due to radiation will (as much as possible) be covered up, denied and spun away by fancy high paid PR firms, unless people DEMAND an accurate accounting.

This sad business and all of the suffering that nuclear power causes will be swept under the rug, then under the floor, then under the ground, then buried so deep no one can ever find it,. That is more than likely what will happen unless people rise up and demand the truth be told. Radiation effects can be researched and investigated by an independent panel overseen by a citizen committee, (not nuclear industry 'experts').

I am amazed that the only nation that had TWO nuclear weapons used, which killed thousands of people and caused generations of suffering, ever went in this direction. Now that it has, Japan will have to deal with the consequences. I send my condolences and sympathies to the victims, but I also encourage all those who see or are experiencing the suffering to demand a different future than the one the nuclear industry has laid out for the country, and the rest of the world.

Germany, Switzerland and Italy have all rejected nuclear power. I hope and pray that soon, very soon, the Japanese people will learn a lesson from all of this suffering and rise up. I see the Japanese people choosing a different, green, clean and renewable energy course, but only if they see the truth of what is happening and then take action.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

very sad,,,

once again, well done tepco shareholders, keep your pockets lined with the blood of your countrymen, GENPATSU !

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First suicide I've heard about

I remember at least one farmer took his life only days after this all started.

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Just remember - The system (i.e.) government does not understand compassion or empathy. They expect everyone to be good little citizens and demonstrate the 'ganbare' mindset when things get tough. Why? Well in the majority of circumstances this stops people from complaining and making a scene. They have been brainwashed since childhood that a high 'ganbare' attitude = a good Japanese citizen and that complaining is for the weak. If you are seen as someone who complains, you become stigmatized and frowned upon.

This allows the government to constantly fail the people it is supposed to represent and support (because once again the majority of the people would never consider standing up and demanding answers) hence the government will never change it's selfish and slow antics until the people wake up and demand change.

For some, the pressure mounts from all of the pent up emotion and they snap and/or behave irrationally.

In closing - I feel sorry for the husband to find his wife like that... Very sad.

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