Re­turn Of ‘Nu­clear Refugees’ Raises con­cerns in Ja­pan

A new pol­icy is in­tended to cover up the truth of health risks in some ar­eas in the pre­fec­ture

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The move ac­tu­ally means to aban­don those “nu­clear refugees” un­der the pre­text of re­con­struc­tion

In the town of Naraha, most of which lies within a 20-kilo­me­tre ra­dius of Tokyo Elec­tric Power Co.’s ra­di­a­tion-leak­ing nu­clear power plant, only six per cent of the res­i­dents have re­turned home. But the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment has been push­ing for a new pol­icy to speed up the re­turn of dis­placed res­i­dents to some nu­clear dis­as­ter­af­fected ar­eas of Fukushima Pre­fec­ture, a move de­scribed by en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists as “very wor­ry­ing.” The new pol­icy is in­tended to cover up the truth of health risks in some ar­eas in the pre­fec­ture, where the Fukushima Dai­ichi nu­clear power plant was crip­pled by the monstrous quake-trig­gered tsunami in March 2011, said the Friend of the Earth Ja­pan (FoE Ja­pan). The move ac­tu­ally means to aban­don those “nu­clear refugees” un­der the pre­text of re­con­struc­tion, as the cause of the nu­clear dis­as­ter has not been clar­i­fied and ra­dioac­tive risks re­main high there, said the Ja­panese branch of the FoE, which is an in­ter­na­tional non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion. Un­der a new pol­icy, the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment will lift the re­stric­tions on res­i­dence in ar­eas around the Fukushima Dai­ichi nu­clear power plant by March 2017, which in­volves some 55,000 people. To press these “nu­clear refugees” to re­turn, the author­i­ties re­port­edly will stop ex­ten­sion of sub­si­dies to them by March 2018, a move seen by many as re­liev­ing Tokyo of po­lit­i­cal pres­sure ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games. Xin­hua

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