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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 8 - 14  > Akahata survey illuminates gap in recovery between Fukushima and other disaster-affected prefectures
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2017 March 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Akahata survey illuminates gap in recovery between Fukushima and other disaster-affected prefectures

March 10, 2017
Six years have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunamis hit the Tohoku region and a level 7 nuclear meltdown occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. Nearly 80,000 Fukushima people are still unable to return to their hometowns. The recent Akahata survey of municipalities in three disaster-affected prefectures shows that the nuclear meltdown delayed Fukushima’s recovery compared to that of the two other prefectures affected.

Akahata in late February surveyed 54 municipalities in the disaster-stricken prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima regarding their recovery efforts, and released the survey results on March 10.

Regarding a question about the stage of the recovery from the 2011 quake and tsunami, 64% of Fukushima municipalities surveyed said they are still at an early stage. In contrast, the percentage of respondent municipalities in Miyagi and Iwate which gave the same answer stood at 40% and 33%, respectively.

Asked about major factors for the delay in recovery, the respondents pointed to staff shortages and the soaring price of construction materials. Additionally, local governments in Fukushima cited nuclear disaster-induced problems, including destruction of residents’ normal lives, difficulty in lowering the level of radiation, and the spreading of harmful rumors.

In the survey, none of the Fukushima municipalities said that Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the crippled nuclear power plant, provided sufficient compensation for nuclear damages. They criticized TEPCO for its reluctance to shoulder costs paid to clean up radioactively contaminated areas and hire additional workers to deal with nuclear disaster-related issues. In the comment box, a local government official said, “The utility should respond to our compensation demands without delay.”

Past related articles:
> Long and arduous way to decommissioning of Fukushima NPP [February 21, 2017]
> Fukushima farmers demand continuation of payments for damages from 2011 nuclear disaster [February 19, 2017]
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