Skip to content


Tokyo ‘Recovery Olympics’ offer scant solace to displaced victims of Fukushima nuclear disaster via The Japan Times

BY MARI YAMAGUCHI AND STEPHEN WADE

FUTABA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Nine years after an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster devastated wide areas of the prefecture, the torch relay for the 2020 Summer Games will kick off in Fukushima.

Some baseball and softball games will also be held in the prefecture, allowing Tokyo organizers and the government to label these games the “Recovery Olympics.” The symbolism recalls the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which showcased Japan’s re-emergence just 19 years after World War II.

But tens of thousands still haven’t recovered in Fukushima, displaced by nuclear radiation and unable to return to deserted places like Futaba.

[…]

“This recovery Olympics is in name only,” Toshihide Yoshida said. He was forced to abandon Futaba and ended up living near Tokyo. “The amount of money spent on the Olympics should have been used for real reconstruction.”

Japan is spending about ¥2.8 trillion ($25 billion) to organize the Olympics. Most is public money, though exactly what are Olympic expenses — and what are not — is always disputed.

The government has spent ¥34.6 trillion for reconstruction projects for the disaster-hit northern prefectures, and the Fukushima plant decommissioning is expected to cost ¥8 trillion.

[…]

The radiation that spewed from the plant at one point displaced more than 160,000 people. Futaba is the only one of 12 radiation-hit towns that remains a virtual no-go zone. Only daytime visits are allowed for decontamination and reconstruction work, or for former residents to check their abandoned homes.

The town has been largely decontaminated and visitors can go almost anywhere without putting on hazmat suits, though they must carry personal dosimeters to measure radiation absorbed by the body and surgical masks are recommended. The main train station is set to reopen in March, but residents won’t be allowed to return until 2022.

[…]

On the first floor of the vacant town hall, a human-size daruma good-luck figure stands in dim evening light at a reception area. A piece of paper that fell on the floor says the doors must be closed to protect from radiation.

It warns: “Please don’t go outside.”

The words are underlined in red.

“Let us know if you start feeling unwell,” Muneshige Osumi, a former town spokesman, told visitors, apologizing for the musty smell and the presence of rats.

[…]

To showcase the recovery, government officials say J-Village and the Azuma baseball stadium were decontaminated and cleaned. However, problems keep popping up at J-Village with radiation “hot spots” being reported, raising questions about safety heading into the Olympics.

The radioactive waste from decontamination surrounding the plant, and from across Fukushima, is kept in thousands of storage bags stacked up in temporary areas in Futaba and Okuma.

They are to be sorted — some burned and compacted — and buried at a medium-term storage facility for the next 30 years. For now they fill vast fields that used to be rice paddies or vegetable farms. One large mound sits next to a graveyard, almost brushing the stone monuments.

This year, 4 million tons of those industrial container bags were to be brought into Futaba, and another million tons to Okuma, where part of the Fukushima plant stands.

Read more at Tokyo ‘Recovery Olympics’ offer scant solace to displaced victims of Fukushima nuclear disaster

Posted in *English.

Tagged with , , , , , .


14 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. 042jamz says

    This article is topnotch. Keep it up.

  2. zahiphopmusic says

    Thank You for this outstanding article. Best so far.

  3. 4hitsongs says

    nice write up check out this page https://4hitsongs.com/nechie-lil-durk-like-a-dream/

  4. tinoloaded says

    Great content. Thanks to admin.

  5. Frank obama says

    amazing content

  6. kissanime website says

    Thanks for this vital information through your website. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

  7. Berufsschuhe Arbeit says

    Heavy things happen to Fokushima. Wish the best for the Peoples theres. Thanks for the Article!

  8. gogoanimes says

    Wish the best for the Peoples theres. Thanks for the Article!

  9. biggboss says

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

  10. kshows says

    amazing content Great content. Thanks to admin.

  11. molkkitvs says

    Thank You for this outstanding article. Great content Best so far.

  12. thepinoyflix says

    If you are prescribed to follow a bland diet, you must certainly seek the advice of your physician or a competent dietician for a list of food items. That must increase the customer and income of the Pepsi

  13. hdpinoytambayan says

    Comprehensive content includes entertainment, lifestyle, news, drama, comedy and other programming from GMA Pinoy TV Shows.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.