Nearly 50% of Fukushima evacuees felt harassed, the children bullied
Nearly 50% of Fukushima evacuees felt harassed
A survey has found that nearly half of the former residents of Fukushima who were forced to evacuate their homes following the 2011 nuclear disaster experienced harassment of some sort.
NHK joined hands with Waseda University and others to survey households from four municipalities in the prefecture near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Of some 741 people who responded, 334 said that they have felt harassed or suffered emotional distress.
In the multiple-choice survey, 274 cited harassment linked to compensation they were entitled to.
In 197 cases, victims felt stressed by those who noted their evacuee status. Another 127 replies were related to the nuclear fallout.
One family was barred from a community event on the grounds they were evacuees. The car of another family was vandalized. Another victim was told he or she didn’t need a wage hike or new qualifications as the family had received compensation.
The survey showed that evacuees from Fukushima were harassed as much as their children due to prejudice and other factors.
A father, whose two children were subject to bullying after fleeing from Fukushima, said he, too, was told he wouldn’t need to work because if he complained to the operator of the plant, he will receive money. He told NHK he no longer tells anyone they are from Fukushima.
Waseda University professor Takuya Tsujiuchi says people have forgotten that compensation is provided to people whose hometowns were rendered uninhabitable in the disaster.
He noted the need for society to realize that victims of the nuclear disaster continue to be penalized.
Evacuated Fukushima children victims of bullying
An NHK survey of former residents of Fukushima who fled the 2011 nuclear disaster has found that dozens of children were bullied at their new schools.
NHK joined hands with Waseda University and others to survey more than 9,500 households from the four municipalities in the prefecture near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
741 families from the towns of Okuma, Futaba, and Tomioka, as well as Minamisoma City, responded to the questionnaire ahead of the sixth anniversary of the disaster on March 11.
54 replied that their children were bullied at schools and other places because they had evacuated on account of the nuclear disaster. Three were kindergarteners, and 28 were in elementary school. 21 others were either in junior high or senior high school.
In the multiple-choice survey, 32 replied they were verbally harassed. 22 were ostracized, 13 experienced violence, and 5 were told to pay money.
Many of the acts of harassment were linked to the compensation the children’s families received.
In some of the acts of violence, one child was pressed to jump from the fourth floor of a building. Another was threatened with a knife and was told that he or she has no right to live.
As a result, more than 60 percent of the children stopped disclosing they came from Fukushima.
Fukushima University specially appointed Professor Tamaki Honda, who has been advising evacuees, noted that the children are facing more hardship as time goes by. She called for the creation of a system that will watch over the children, who have lost a sense of community after fleeing their hometowns.
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