Japan's nuclear refugees face bleak return 5 years after Fukushima

Tokuo Hayakawa, a 76-year-old Buddhist priest who returned to his 600-year-old family temple in Naraha in September 2015 when the evacuation order was lifted, shows photos of his grandson as he speaks to Reuters at his temple in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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  • 8


    "They" won't go back.

    Not if they are smart!

    And hell with Abe's dreams of reconstruction Naraha and other towns.

    By the way, that sea-wall they are building .... in case of a strong earthquake it won't be worth one Yen. Just providing concrete companies with some extra cash, I assume.

    I feel sorry for those who had to leave their home and will have no chance to return.

  • 9


    Rebuilding Naraha and other towns in the devastated northeast, he says, is crucial to reviving Japan.

    Abe, the only people drawn by concrete are LDP fundraisers.

  • 8


    Everyone knows natural background radiation is not the same as Nuclear Radiation. There is no Radioactive Plutonium, Cesium, Uranium etc. in natural background radiation. RIP Naraha I am sorry J Govt wishes to beat a dead horse.

  • 4


    half life of cesium is 30 years give or take. It can't be wished away in 5

  • -7



    Read this entirely and stop rumors. Excellent page.

  • 6


    Why the HELL are they wasting $$$$$$$$$$$ on a seaway for NO ONE & that WONT WORK anyway! W........T......F!!!

    Clearly this town is done finished, if a few old people want to live out their lives there by all means do something for them to ride out their remaining years but DO NOT attempt to re-build the town!! this is clearly a colossal waste of $$$

    This is the next round of disasters, the re-building of places NO ONE but a few old folks wants to LIVE!!!

    Clearly Japan is on The Highway to HELL!!! This is beyond nuts!

  • 2


    Tokyo pledged 26.3 trillion over five years.

    Well, that five years is just about up. Would anyone else like to see how that huge amount of OUR money was spent?

  • 3


    Considering that rural communities all around Japan are struggling to survive and retain the younger generation, Naraha--with its added "selling point" of radiation contamination--is screwed.

  • 0


    Why doesn't Shinzo Abe go and live there, to show how 'safe' it is? Or he could send his family.

  • 1


    “Reviving this town is impossible,” he said. “I came back to see it to its death.”

    This is so sad...

    Tokuo Hayakawa, a 76-year-old Buddhist priest who returned to his 600-year-old family temple

    Over twice the age of my home country, These places I know are common here in Japan but they still need to be preserved. Where is the effort in getting rid of the sacks of radioactive dirt? What happened to all the clean up effort? this job was half assed from the beginning. For a PM that supposedly only cares for the welfare of his citizens he's sure doing a shit job of showing it.

  • -1


    I think that shonanbb's link explains everything that needs to be explained about a large number of contributors on here. He has posted a link to an American University website which discusses radiation. Not one person has questioned it. Not one person has tried to present an argument against it. Yet he's got very high negative marks.

    The lack of understanding, even after 5 years, is remarkable. Erm radiation. I'd bad m'kay and no science is going to tell me otherwise. I mean what could the physics department of Idaho State University tell me ?

  • 1


    You are assuming that people are staying away only because of radiation fears. But the likelihood is that even if you could guarantee them that they wouldn't suffer any adverse radiation effects, most would probably still not return. Too much trauma, too many bad memories; new starts have been made elsewhere and there is little to go back for. Further up the coast in Onagawa, a town whose reconstruction I have witnessed on regular visits, there are no radiation fears and the newly built park, station and shopping street are lovely... but most of those who left have not returned, and the town's population is significantly lower than it was.

  • -4


    Indeed. And that story is repeated across Tohoku. The media want to blame it all.on Fukushima because that's an easier story than Tohoku is dying. Even when we were going to Iwate in April 2011 there were a lot of areas that were shutter towns...people were already leaving because there were no prospects and the shutters were coming down on all the stores.

    The rebuild could and should have gone someway to try and solve this issue but it hasn't and it's only going to get worse.

  • 0

    William Wong

    Japan has its own refugee crisis. Cant resettled then might as well do what they can to survive at temporary camp. Make it permanent, whatever they like. Goverment cant help them with land. So does public. In this kind of gloom economy, best move on. No point holding government responsibility. They are what they are. Pointless to protest and twist. Well japan has its own taste of own refugee crisis like any other 3rd world country eg africa. Its normal. You not going to spend yen taxes on these former fukushima related refugees. For how long. Can you afford it. Yes for start be like other normal country do. Leave it alone and continue with taking for granted lifestyles.

  • -2

    Bob Sneider

    Not only that, but these refugees are increasingly being discriminared, and viewed as second class citizens. Sickening. What happened to all that compassion and support immediately after the earthquake

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