Wherever they went, it wasn’t home
The callous dismissal of those who suffered, were sickened, or died as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, is pervasive among the nuclear lobby. But even as they dismiss those directly affected by the nuclear accident, they ignore victims of the earthquake and tsunami who, because of the high radiation levels caused by the subsequent nuclear disaster, could not be rescued. (See our earlier article about the short film Munen (Remorse) on this.) Shouldn’t their deaths also be ascribed to the nuclear accident, asks Fukushima evacuee, Mizue Kanno? Her poignant testimony forms the second installment of the short film series, Voices of Nuclear Victims. You can watch her 12-minute testimonial below and also a short interview feature with Ms. Kanno made by Friends of the Earth Japan. (Note: We are unable to find a source to verify Ms. Kanno’s claim that people who could not be rescued from the earthquake/tsunami destruction were left to starve to death. This does not necessarily mean it did not happen and it possibly refers to those who were also physically trapped or injured.)
Mizue Kanno tells her story:
There is one thing I would like to tell you: there are lives that could have been saved, if the nuclear accident had not occurred. The coastal areas of our municipality were severely affected by the tsunami, and that on March 11, there were people who were frantically searching: they were firefighters.
Because of the earthquake and tsunami, all electricity sources were cut off. As there was no emergency power supply, at nightfall, it was impossible to light up the sea. There were moans and groans. “Hold on, we’ll be back!” shouted the rescuers. “We’ll be back at dawn!” There were voices of victims responding.
In the pre-dawn darkness of March 12, firefighters and families took the path to the sea.
But it was forbidden to enter within a 5 km radius of the plant. This was because of the nuclear accident. Because radioactive elements were present. That’s why it was forbidden to enter. Family members who had taken refuge in our house returned to rescue the victims, but they were prevented from entering the coastal area.
Finally, when the ban on entry was lifted, among the dead, autopsies revealed many who had died of starvation. These are lives that could have been saved. If the nuclear accident had not happened, these people would have been rescued.
Haven’t they also died because of the nuclear accident?