Discrimination against Fukushima’s “Nuclear Refugees”   20 comments

Fukushima Residents Suffer Discrimination At Refugee Shelters

Japanese residents who fled the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are being rejected by shelters and evacuation centres for fear they may be radioactive and contaminate others. These displaced people-”nuclear refugees” had to leave their homes, their farms, their animals, because of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant number 1 now will require an official certificate proving they are not contaminated in order to have shelters accept them, as they are expected to accommodate all the homeless.

Displaced Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Refugees

Radiation Fears and Distrust Push Thousands From Homes

Many are already traumatized by the tsunami that swept away entire towns in northern Japan, leaving more than 15,000 dead or missing. They tell tales of gruelling journeys, of post-disaster shortages, of scrounging for gasoline, and arriving with only the clothes on their backs.

They are driven not just by suspicion of the government but also by a deep fear of radiation, in a nation where the word conjures images of the atomic devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As they flee, they enter a life in limbo, camped out on gym floors with hundreds of others, uncertain when or if they will ever be able to return to their homes.

 japanese-child-screened-radioactivity-fukushimaScreening_for_radioactivityScanning Nuclear Refugees_Fukushima Radiation

Each shelter set-up to accommodate the displaced “nuclear refugees” around Fukushima Prefecture, where the plants are, unlike the areas further North ravaged by the tsunami, is equipped with radiation detection equipment at its entrance and serves as an entry checkpoint for people. These are staffed with health officials in plastic body suits and masks who scan new arrivals with Geiger counters to check for radiation.

Scanning For Radiation At A Temporary Scanning Centre For Residents Living In Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Scanning for Radiation_Fukushima sheltersjapan-radiation-dog-eg_temp scan centre for residents nr Fuk plantScanning for Radiation_Fukushima shelters

Japanese experts have stated that Fukushima evacuees are not a threat to others. Kosuke Yamagishi of the medical department of the prefecture of Fukushima stated that ordinary people from the area are not dangerous unless they are employees of the Daiichi plant.

fukushima fear

Ichiro Yamaguchi, head of the Testing Station in Yamagata also confirmed regular evacuees are registering only low-levels of radiation. But the people are fearful, and it is this fear that is leading to discrimination against Fukushima residents.


An eight-year old child who lived 20 kms. from the nuclear site was refused entry into a Fukushima hospital and their appointment at the hospital had been cancelled as she had no non-radioactivity certification; her shocked father told Japan’s Mainichi newspaper.

However, officials at evacuation centres are sticking to their guns:

Rad_check_point‘All persons residing within a radius of 30 km around the plant must provide a certificate; If they do not, they must submit to an on-site detection. This is so that other evacuees feel safe.’

Tens of thousands have been forced to leave an area of a ​​20-km radius around the Fukushima Daiichi plant or being confined to their homes in an are of 10 kms further. “How can you stay at home if you have to go out to get drinking water?” asked Kumiko Kowata, 45, a homemaker, after the earthquake knocked out water supplies to her home. The exodus has also been spurred by private companies in towns near the plants who chartered buses to help their employees and families flee to the shelter in Yamagata, even as the government has played down the effects. Many believe that the situation at the plants was twice as bad as authorities and the government were admitting. “We might be overreacting, but we also know Tokyo Electric” — the plants’ operator — “is not telling us everything,” says Hitoshi Suzuki, a 34-year-old construction worker.

Munehiro Okamoto, 36, who works for a drug making company, led a convoy of four cars and 15 people, and one golden retriever, to Yamagata from Namei, a town right by the Fukushima Daiichi plant. He described a situation in which the parents feared that their children would get radiation sickness. He said the group would reach a city, stop, then fear that it was not far enough, and resume their journey westward. “We didn’t want to keep panicking and moving on and then stopping again,” he said.

Prime Minister adviser Kenichi Matsumoto, told the press that the region surrounding the Fukushima central plant could be uninhabitable for 10 or 20 years+. But if Fukushima Daiichi becomes another Three-Mile Island or Chernobyl then they may never go back. In the meantime, people are furious at being refused shelter and medical services on the assumption that they are contaminated.

Fukushima Daiichi chernobyl_openpit3-Mile Island

20 responses to “Discrimination against Fukushima’s “Nuclear Refugees”

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This is appalling Wolfie, I myself have been wondering how these people are still coping, as the News Media has swept it under the carpet.. And yet the world is still wanting to build more nuclear plants… Unfortunately for those who live near this devastated nuclear plant, I think perhaps the Radiation will affect future generations to come similar to Chernobyl ..For I know from visiting different Forums that the RAD-levels have been extremely high and then the Japanese authorities moved the Goal posts for safe levels as they Upped their previous Dangerous Levels.. But ALL levels are harmful… For the Radiation has not only gone into the atmosphere, but into the Farmland and water supply.. I wonder when Man will ever learn.. We create energy with a waste product that is poisoning the Earth and Mankind, A waste product that will last thousands of years….. We Are destroying everything..
    And not only that, but as seen here by the dreadful treatment of Japans Fellow citizens who have lost everything, they are still being victimised over Fear of contamination… I get so so so CROSS with our Fellow Human beings Wolfie.. The Human Race has lost its way… ALL of this was foretold long ago, by the Native American Indians, as we Poison our lands and Kill each other..
    I am shutting myself off tomorrow and really meditating at 11:11:11.. And I will send out to all who are suffering and ask that Compassion, Love and Harmony once again will find its way into ALL our hearts.. As we need to start and Live from our hearts instead of Fear..
    A wonderful informative Post My Furry Friend.. Love and Blessings to you

  2. Hey Dreamwalker! Great to find one person at least isn’t avoiding this subject like the plague and briskly sweeping it away under the carpet 😉 You realise you maybe in a minority of one?…! Nevermind Wolfie appreciates you immensely! Guess seeing how many people wouldN’T sweep it out of sight out of mind was a big factor in posting on this unpopular and largely forgotten subject…I watch with interest 🙂

    This radiation discrimination is not new….it is a painful echo of the discrimination suffered for decades by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing survivors in 1945. “Hibaku” is the Japanese word for “irradiation.” Even now those survivors are stilled called “Hibaku-sha” meaning “the bombed ones.” They were social outcasts, refused not only jobs but also marriages; because it was believed they would contaminate anyone who was near them, with radiation. It was also believed that if they were to bear any children those babies would be born mutants.

    In Japan, Fukushima nuclear evacuees have been forced to move on, their produce destroyed even if it was deemed safe, their children bullied and refused access to schools. Hiroko, 22-year old granddaughter of Katsuzo Shoji 75 yr old farmer from Iitate, Japan said “I’ve heard that other kids shout ‘baikin’ (vermin) at them…” Even gas stations have refused to serve drivers whose vehicles sport Fukushima license plates. All this in the name of the Fear of Fukushima Fallout…. 11.11.11 Wolfie hugs 🙂

    • Wolfie, my dear four-legged, Yes the Two legged need to learn Many Lessons.. And one’s heart can only hope that we have not gone past the point of no return.. 11:11:11 will be getting My whole attention and energy… Many thanks for this post my dear friend.. Your Compassion lights the Galaxy.. 🙂 Hugs.

  3. I will be back to add my thoughts on this fine offering later today,
    and as it is now 00:45 it will of course be much later, but I want to
    read this one again and add something worthy of your time in the
    adding of such an important posting, so I will do the Terminator
    expression and just say… “I’ll Be Back” 🙂 lol

    Have a lovely Friday now
    Icywolfy of the Icy Realm
    and be good too 🙂 Hmm 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  4. My heart bleeds for them, but it is unlikely to get any better for them, they were lied and betrayed by their own country, who now seem to want to wipe its hands off them.I know they are still worried about the other reactors, and it is not looking good there either.

    • My heart also Rosemary…this is just one example of the heart wrenching human side of this disaster that the world chooses to ignore…”this mountainous farming village of 7,000 people in Fukushima Prefecture, recently voted one of Japan’s most beautiful places, will join the Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat on the planet’s short list of nuclear casualties. ‘We’ve no idea when we can come back,’ said Katsuzo Shoji
      ‘We’ve heard five, maybe 10 years, but some say that’s far too optimistic,’ he said, crying. ‘Maybe I’ll be able to come home to die.’ ” This is not a young man speaking. He is, as I mentioned in the post, a 75-yr old grandfather who has lost both his home and his livelihood. These are the heart-breaking truths that the world is sweeping out of sight, out of mind. TEPCO is making it a nightmare for them to claim compensation and many have not even bothered submitting an application for it. Those other reactors will open regardless of the people’s feelings in all probability. There is something terribly fundamentally wrong here… Wolfie hugs to you 🙂

  5. I know you’re only doing the reporting, good work on that too, this is just so crazy though like a catch 22. If anyone needs help from their more well off neighboring countries using their resources for making more nuclear war weapons these people of Japan’s devestated areas could sure use it! Have good Armistice Day and weekend there Icey wolfie… stay warm out there(“-“)

    • But they won’t get that help will they? The world would much rather sweep this crisis under the carpet, at speed and nail down the corners so it can’t get back out. Those neighboring countries certainly aren’t going to use their resources for Japan’s benefit. However…you have a great and radiation-free weekend my friend 🙂

  6. Merhaba benim çok değerli arkadaşım Buz 🙂
    harika sözleriniz için teşekkür ederim
    size güzel bir gece ve mutlu bir hafta sonu diliyorum..
    Kucak dolusu sevgiler gönderiyorum 😉
    Gül içinde ayrıca teşekkür ederim benim düşünceli arkadaşım Buz 🙂

  7. makes you wonder when our own government have bunkers ready for the royals and the well off while we are left to get on with whatever horrors there would be what makes these leaders think they are superior to anyone else it really makes me mad our world is cruel and crazy and not learning any lessons as it gets older xxjen

    • Too right jen and if our world continues as it is it might well not be getting much older because it will be a frazzled dust ball at best!! No doubt our government have bunkers ready for themselves too…after all the thinking masses are decidedly dispensable and surplus to requirements in their nasty little self-serving minds…no problems with answering for expenses fiddling then.

  8. I find this very disturbing Icywolfy, disturbing in the sense that the media have quickly
    forgotten these out of time people, they are living in fear and have little or no future at
    the moment, it is like they have been shunned by the whole world.

    The media just leaves them behind in favour of a more terrible piece of news to report on,
    however finding something worse that what these poor souls have to live through on a daily
    basis will be rather difficult I think, and yet they are forgotten about and that is outrageous 😦

    Thank you for offering such a very important posting Icywolfy of the Icy Realm…
    And do have a most exciting weekend packed with all that you enjoy the most 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • I think the world’s media has been very restricted about what it is allowed to report, by our governments. Fukushima Daiichi is an embarrasing inconvenience for the world’s governments in general who as you no doubt already know are in the main firmly in favour of nuclear energy. Much better to tuck the whole “tiresome” crisis away in a dark inconspicuous corner and pretend it’s not really happening, and tell everyone it’s all nicely under control and clean-up will only take…oooh…another 30 yrs or so… Yes…much better to make sure we are all focussed on other disasters…any disasters in fact so long as they don’t involve Japan N-reactors, and certainly not it’s victims…

      There is media coverage out there…if you know where to look…but the majority is noticably not from UK. No surprise there then. Our government being pro-nuke and pushing ahead to build a whole batch of shiney new reactors across our country…You may be interested in this report from The Washington Post; Officials say Japan nuclear workers’ situation improving, open staging area to media – http://t.co/72Y19gMk
      Apparantly TEPCO will be letting Japanese and International media into the plant itself on Saturday…TEPCO spokesman Hitosugi says “We believe it is important to be transparent,” Really??!!!! Cough splutter choke!!!! Since when??!!!!!
      Have a ghoulish weekend my great friend, and thank you for your thoughts 🙂

  9. Yes they were incredibly transparent at the beginning of the crisis… NOT 😦
    If they had have been then so many people wouldn’t be suffering right now,
    and the so called experts were way of the mark with their forecasts, hopeless
    is more to the point on that disgraceful prediction. Nobody seems to care do
    they Icywolfy? 😦 And you are right, the UK seems hell bent on Nuclear Power
    so only time will tell on those crazy plans…

    Have a frighteningly excellent rest of weekend Icywolfy 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  10. great story of life in ancient times..
    very different in today’s world;
    but we have electronics! (computers)
    would love the baths; at least for awhile…
    enjoy life, Eddie

    • Hi Eddie 🙂 Today’s world is definately very different…much greater chance of running around “in the niff” in the baths today! lol 😉 And absolutely no slaves carrying your sandals and towel! I guess today we could enjoy a virtual bath via our computers 🙂

  11. Dear dear.
    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: