Sad homecoming

Mourners in protective suits lay flowers at a make-shift altar during a memorial ceremony for residents from the town of Okuma, inside the contaminated exclusion zone, near the crippled Fukushima DaiIchi nuclear power plant in Okuma. Under tight government supervision, dozens of villagers from the town where the nuclear plant is located ventured deep into an irradiated no-man’s land Sunday to hold a belated memorial for friends and relatives killed by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. See story here.

  • 2

    Laguna

    Wow. That is a powerful photo. In January, such an image would have belonged only to science fiction; how sad that it is only all to imaginable.

  • 1

    ihavegreatlegs

    The suits offer absolutely no protection at all. Shame on those that let them think they do.

    Why use them?

  • 0

    Jan Claudius Weirauch

    They look like restaurant workers...and probably don't help at all!

  • 0

    Kronos

    Protective suits? Are you kidding me?

  • 1

    motytrah

    They are splash suits or class D protective covers. Used in low risk situations where all you really want to do is throw away the clothing. If anything more than that was needed they wouldn't have been allowed in.

  • 1

    Kronos

    I was under the impression that class D protective suit included coveralls and safety glasses or chemical splash goggles. The people in the front have neither. They just wore a coat over their shirts.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Shower caps and face masks are 'protective suits'?

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Wow... ssway, watching that YouTube file made me want to throttle the people sitting at that panel, and I am NOT a violent person.

  • 0

    Spidapig24

    ssway,

    Thank you for posting that link. I just watched the video and all l can say is what the hell is going on in this country. Smithinjapan, l completely agree sitting there watching that arrogant little piece of excrement say that the residents have no rights and that they will not get help all l can say is he's lucky he didnt get decked.

    I think this video needs to get sent out to as many people as possible so they can really see whats happening in Japan.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Spidapig24: "I think this video needs to get sent out to as many people as possible so they can really see whats happening in Japan."

    Exactly, so let's do it.

  • 0

    Spidapig24

    smithinjapan

    "I think this video needs to get sent out to as many people as possible so they can really see whats happening in Japan." Exactly, so let's do it.

    Great idea, just sent the link to a few friends already. Would be good if foreign media got hold of it though!

  • 0

    some14some

    Photo op, good layout, the girl laying flowers must have spent a bit.

  • 0

    Cricky

    smithinjapaan, great video link thank you, I burst into tears watching it- really. Those poor people suffering the unthinkable and the pan faced officials who have no empathy no care and no solutions stupidity that is organized.

  • 1

    Utrack

    @ ssway

    That's the most, I can't. That panel hurt even me when they ran away and I'm not there.

    I am so very sorry that people of Fukushima have to deal with Daiichi and the J Govt's Slow to the point of Dangerous response and attitude. I can't seem to stop crying.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Please don't give me credit for posting this -- it was ssway who alerted me to it in the first place. BUT, send links to everyone you know.

    ssway, how do you download a copy of it?

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    I agree with those above -- the people who collected the urine should have thrown it in the faces of those who refused to collect it. When the man says he's "not sure" Fukushima citizens have the same rights as others.... man... I'm glad i wasn't there. At the very least, a nice, ripe Fukushima tomato in the face was in order.

  • -1

    chewitup

    Far be it for me to laud those "suits" but at the very least, any radioactive dust that otherwise would have fallen on the wearer would be easily removed by removing the suit. Of course there is no helping exposure to the radiation at the site, but that is not really the core problem. The core problem is not taking contaminants home with you, weather on your clothes, on your skin, or inhaled/ingested, thus avoiding prolonged exposure, and the gear is helpful in that respect if you dispose of it after use.

  • 0

    chewitup

    As for the video, I think it is something of a two way street. Yes, the government is totally clueless and totally irresponsible, but what can you do with people who willing lived so close to the ocean in an earthquake/ tsunami zone and so close to a nuke plant in the same zone?

    I know I have been guilty of similar ignorance, but I also have to blame myself. At present though, I am far away from both the ocean and nuke plants. Even so, God only knows what other crap is out there. There could be a factory making extremely hazardous materials in my town, and I would not know.

    Then you got the fact that the Japanese government is FAMOUS for covering stuff up. But what Japanese are paying attention? The government said it was safe, so they stayed??? How much less concern for one's own well-being could you have? If you could leave the area, why in blazes wouldn't you?

    Don't even think I am defending the government with this. They are evil, seflish, lying bastards. But the only reason they are there doing their selfish evil dance is because the people are so gawd awful complacent until its just too friggen late.

    If and when the people start paying attention and making sure those irresponsible government types act respsonsible either through incentives or fear of reprisal, just maybe they might have a decent government in ten years or so.

    Anyway, don't wait for the black knight to change into white armor and come save you! Geezus, just get the heck out even if you got to live with the bums in Tokyo. Help is most certainly NOT on the way.

  • 2

    horrified

    chewitup:

    As for the video, I think it is something of a two way street. Yes, the government is totally clueless and totally irresponsible, but what can you do with people who willing lived so close to the ocean in an earthquake/ tsunami zone and so close to a nuke plant in the same zone?

    Well, the people in the video are a good 50km away from the plant. It's not like they're living right next to it. And, I think it's fair to ask a big energy corporation to at least pay for their mistakes. To leave the people there to clean up the mess is criminally negligent. Tepco should be brought to court. And while that is in motion, the residents should get even angrier and demand compensation.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    I agree the people up front in the video were a bunch of weenies, but did the spectators really think the weenies would take a urine specimin from a non-confirmed source, test it, and base how the entire Fukushima region is treated on the results? Total naievity.

    That said, I wonder what the purpose of that meeting was SUPPOSED to be about. It certainly wasn't about answering the resident's questions.

  • 0

    Lizz

    Granted that asking the government for a "radioactive free" life is a bit around the bend as nobody has ever lived a "radioactive-free" life. It is almost like the federal agency responsible for Nuclear Safety called a meeting entitled “Japanese Government Discussion – Demands for Evacuation Authority” to declare the Fukushima nuclear radiation disaster officially over and censor anyone who dares to contradict the official line.

    The public clearly isn't going to tow the line, though. That is my only hope. They just need to keep probing and at more relevant questions like when are we going to be decontaminated down to a reasonable background level etc.

  • 0

    chewitup

    Well, the people in the video are a good 50km away from the plant.

    But they are that concerned only now, and they are living in the danger zone and they did take the government's words to mean they are safe as they took the government's innaction to mean the same. Do they even know someone with a geiger counter? For decades TEPCO and the government have proven themselves totally unworthy of trust or dependence. If the people do not support and protect themselves, then no one will.

    Again, I am not defending government, those robber barons who steal our money, call it taxes, and do next to nothing that is fair, intelligent or good. They are what they are, and knowing that, the people still slept. For four months they slept.

  • 1

    Lizz

    If there is any blame to be shouldered by the ordinary people of Japan, it would be keeping the LPD in power for four decades as the main sponsor of the nuclear industry to receive the lion's share of bribes. But because victims living around a mismanaged power plant didn't move to safer ground or because there was no confrontation caught on tape before now obviously does not demonstrate the people have been asleep since the accident. It shows they don't have the financial or logistical resources to do what is in their best interest without government assistance. If you look at the community response like Save our Children, local residents are out of their minds with worry about their health and their children's health.

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