It is over four years since the nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture. More than 14 thousands of people are still driven out of home. Twenty five litigations have been filed to the 20 district courts across the country to charge responsibility of the state government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO). The cases cover over 10 thousands of plaintiffs. It is proven that victims of the catastrophe have been treated unfairly by the nation and corporate authorities.
DELIBERATE DIVISION OF DISASTER-INFLICTED RESIDENTS
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) compiled a policy and presented it to the government to settle the evacuation issue of residents in the Fukushima Prefecture, which includes: (1) the evacuation order will be lifted by March 2017 for the zones designated as Restricted Area for Residence and Prepared Area for Lifting Evacuation Order (covering approximately 56 thousand residents) and (2) compensation payment (during the period of evacuation) amounting 100 thousand Yen a month for an evacuee of the said zones will end in March, 2018.
In terms of the Fukushima Prefecture authority, it plans to finish payment of benefits as of the end of March 2017 to assist house-rent for evacuees who decided to flee hometown with their own will (approx.30 thousand). The policies of the ruling party and the Fukushima Prefecture authority do not sincerely consider the plights of evacuees. The decisions are unilateral and insidious, and definitely intended to split victims.
‘Safety’ is Unreliable
Firstly, a decision to lift the evacuation order or not should rely on the real conditions of evacuees and not on arbitrary judgment of the government and TEPCO. Residents who fled the danger have lost all properties. They live every day in a fear of radiation exposure. Today they are forced to obey polices to back home with a prospect of ‘safety’ that the government defines without scientific proofs.
It has passed four years since the calamity, but Cesium 137 (30 years of Half Life), the most dangerous of all the substances, is still active in the region. Many evacuees claim; ‘radiation dose has not fallen even after decontamination jobs’. In some regions it has surged.
On what rationale does the LDP rely to believe that ‘the situation will be safe by March 2017? There exists no threshold on safety in terms of exposure to radioactive substances. Many things are unknown on the effects and damages from low dose radiation. People cannot feel protected unless scientific data on safety are presented to convince them.
Secondly let’s look at the plans to end compensation payments by March 2018. The decisions are to deliberately split residents.
In fact many evacuees have expressed strong dissatisfaction to the decisions of the government and TEPCO: they are to end compensation payments in a year after the evacuation order is canceled. Especially, those living in the zone designated as Prepared Area for Lifting Order have harshly criticized them. It is because the authorities compel residents to back home after depriving them of money to live.
The government continues to say that compensation payment will be extended to March 2018 if the evacuation order is lifted this year. This means appeasement of victims. For residents living in the zones where the order may be lifted after March 2017, the payment will finish in a year to come.
Fukushima victims receive the same reparation money, or 100 thousand Yen, as those of traffic accidents, but the nuclear accident forced them to live separately from a family member or another, flee hometown and lose jobs. Many die of the accident-related reasons. That counts 1,232 deaths as of March 2015. How do the authorities compensate these people? They want to finish off the problems with less money and divide and control victims.
Victims should be Treated Equally
As aforementioned, the Fukushima Prefecture announced to its municipalities to finish the extension policy of benefit payment in March 2017 to help those evacuated voluntarily from the disaster areas (30 thousands of people) to pay rents for residence (the Fukushima Min’yu newspaper dated May 22, 2015,).
Evidently evacuees are evacuees, but the authorities classify arbitrarily those ordered to leave home from those who left with their own will. It is not fair to categorize victims in compensation.
July 28, 2015