Government to cut housing assistance to some Fukushima evacuees

World Today

Fukushima 1

It’s been nearly six years since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster. Now, the local government is preparing to slash housing assistance for those who fled.
It would require them to choose between returning to places affected by radiation or, to bear the financial burden of remaining in their adopted places of refuge.

CGTN’s Terrence Terashima reports.

The huge earthquake and tsunami crippled a nuclear power plant in Fukushima causing tens of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes

According to Fukushima government, at its peak, about 165,000 people were made to evacuate from the contaminated areas.

Some decided to return to their hometown after evacuation orders were lifted. But decontamination and renovation work took time and money

Some decided to leave their homes permanently, finding jobs and life elsewhere.

Over 81000 people are still displaced.

However, the number is said to be much larger, including those that voluntarily evacuated from areas not designated as mandatory evacuation zones, from fears of high levels of radiation in their homes.

The Fukushima local government is preparing to slash unconditional housing assistance for these voluntary evacuees on March 31st.

Many have to choose either to return to areas where they still fear of radiation, or bear the financial burden to remain at their place of refuge

It said that over 32,000 people have to make a choice to self-support themselves or return to Fukushima. where recovery work is slow.

Evacuees said the government is trying to end the Fukushima issues before the Tokyo Olympics, to show the world that “Fukushima is under control.”

It is expected that many will choose to return to Fukushima. But majority say they will not feel safe and under constant fear of lingering radiation. Some even expressed their concerns of possible radiation spills during the decontamination process.

It might be decades until the residents in Fukushima feel truly at ease.