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Fukushima City Housewife: “Fukushima 50” No Hero, Because They Work for TEPCO



Ms. Seiko Takahashi responds to BBC‘s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes (1/3/2013) when he asks about “Fukushima 50”, workers who remained at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant after Reactor 3 building exploded and kept on doing whatever they could to contain the situation:

Before the meltdowns, Seiko Takahashi never thought of activism. Now the middle-aged mother from Fukushima City is a passionate anti-nuclear campaigner. And she admits there is little sympathy for the Fukushima workers.

“They are not heroes for us,” she says. “I feel sorry for them, but I don’t see them as heroes. We see them as one block, they work for Tepco, they earned high salaries. The company made a lot of money from nuclear power, and that’s what paid for their nice lives.” 


She is essentially saying they get what they deserve, for having worked for TEPCO.

Her city, Fukushima City, is in the highly contaminated middle-third of Fukushima Prefecture. While most Japanese (and foreigners) may sympathize with her and her city’s plight, many of them are also angry that the city, along with almost all municipalities in that prefecture, continues to grow crops and sell them outside, claiming they are “safe” (i.e. less than 100 Bq/kg of radioactive cesium), and claims it suffers tremendously from “baseless rumors”.

For how some of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant workers have been treated by their fellow Fukushima residents, see my post from February 2012. That post was about an article that appeared in Germany’s Der Spiegel. I have seen hardly any coverage on the issue in the Japanese media.

As BBC’s Wingfield-Hayes says at the end of his report,

There is wide sympathy here for victims like him, [Mr. Yoshizawa the cattle farmer in Namie-machi] but the Japanese public appears to have little sympathy or concern for the suffering of Fukushima workers.

That’s Japan for you.


January 12, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


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