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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 5 - 11  > Fukushima reconstruction minister under fire over his remarks beating up on voluntary evacuees
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2017 April 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Fukushima reconstruction minister under fire over his remarks beating up on voluntary evacuees

April 6, 2017
An urgent protest took place on April 5 in front of the Reconstruction Agency office building to demand that the minister in charge of the recovery from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster who spoke ill of voluntary evacuees from the nuclear meltdowns be resigned.

Reconstruction Minister Imamura Masahiro on the previous day at a daily press conference said that voluntary evacuees decided to continue to live away from Fukushima and that decision was their “own responsibility”. He made this statement in response to a question made by a journalist about a state support measure for voluntary evacuees after the Fukushima prefectural government terminated its program to provide them with rent-free housing. Further grilled by the journalist, Imamura said that if such evacuees want more assistance they can sue the government, and yelled at the journalist, “Get out of here!”

A man living in Tokyo’s Nishitokyo City learned about the incident through the Internet. He said, “Voluntary evacuees are hesitating to decide to go back to Fukushima due to concern over the impact from radiation on their children’s health. The minister’s remarks are unacceptable.”

A 52-year-old man, Ueno Hiroshi, who escaped from Fukushima’s Minamisoma City to Yamagata Prefecture, is working for a local group supporting Fukushima evacuees. Pointing out that Imamura’s remarks mirrored the Abe government stance trying to shrug off the Fukushima nuclear disaster, he said, “The central government has been avoiding its responsibility for the nuclear accident. Voluntary evacuees are victims of the delay in the government evacuation order. The reconstruction minister has no understanding of evacuees’ situation.”

Past related articles:
> Don’t discard Fukushima victims for the sake of NPP restarts and exports: JCP Chair [March 11, 2017]
> Fukushima evacuees request continuation of housing aid [March 10, 2016]
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