March 11, 2013, marked the third round of 3/11. Disaster-hit people have escaped Fukushima and changed addresses several times, thinking that they could return soon to the native towns. At the moment, however, over 160 thousand evacuees cannot still have a prospect for returning or rebuilding a new life. Those who cannot afford to leave Fukushima worry about health of their children. More and more legal actions are brought before the court lately.
EVACUEES THEMSELVES STAND UP TO FIGHT
According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper dated March 2, the number of boys and girls of elementary schools and students of junior high schools who have left Fukushima and live in other prefectures is 5,900 as of today. Approximately one thousand students have come back to Fukushima since last April, but at the same time young students have left home towns.
Some have returned to Fukushima, but it is not because uncertainty on radiation has diminished. Children live with one of their parents due to the family's job. For youngsters two-year-long separation of family members is hard.
Children have come back to home towns to find a spot with a sign of 'do not enter' even in the schoolyard in Fukushima City, located 50-60km west of the Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant. A rope is put around it to prevent from entering. People fear a possible thyroid cancer.
Evacuees are Hurt
The said newspaper reports that evacuees feel embarrassed. A woman who has settled in Niigata Prefecture says: 'I always pay attention to people around who might speak ill behind me, misunderstanding that I am financially well-paid by the government'.
My friends from Fukushima frequently complain about similar concerns.
In the nearby parking lot of our temporary houses for evacuees 44 cars have been damaged. Children are jeered at the local schools where they take refuge, '100 thousand Yen, 100 thousand Yen (a monthly compensation paid by TEPCO=Tokyo Electric Power Co. for mental consolation)'. Or people talk a scandal, saying 'he drinks during daytime and plays at the Pachinko parlor'.
A peasant used to spend all his life in farming and stock-raising. One day he was robbed of his land and animals. He has no possibility to return to his native village. His future is uncertain. He does not have a fund to change his profession. He is paid a small sum of monthly consolation money. What will happen to him?
Some commit a suicide. Some shut down themselves from others to get ill, suffering from depression.
Injuring Party Imposes Rules
Today many victims and evacuees join legal actions. People file a suit before the law court. A trial for damage claim will start in the Iwaki District Court. This is a suit to enable plaintiffs to rebuild their lives. In April the second round of class action case will be presented to the court in which a group, Soso-no-kai, participate.
In February several class suits were brought before the court: a case for compensation for 19 deaths out of 390 patients during five days in the Futaba Hospital due to the evacuation travel, a case of the bereaved family of a dairy farmer of Soma City who committed suicide, leaving a farewell note in the cowshed which says 'if it had not been the nuclear power plant', and etc. On March 11 a class suit of 300 plaintiffs was filed before the Iwaki District Court to claim compensation for low-dose irradiation damages.
The common character is that people themselves have begun to demand their just rights as victims of the accident. They do not want to be bound by the unilateral rules of injuring parties (government and TEPCO) on compensation and evacuation.
The most important basis not to make 3/11 weathered and to decommission all the nuclear plants lies in the consequences of disaster. If the victims are compelled to give up, imposed with the compensation norms that the injuring company set up and slandered or spoken ill of, real damages will be covered up.
Let's support the lawsuit of Soso-no-kai (led by Mr. Kokubun Tomio). Let's organize rallies across the country to learn about damage claim cases and to convey voices of plaintiffs and victims to other people.
March 12, 2013