【PART 2】 The Mystery of Fukushima: Why Japan Cannot Stop Nuclear Power Plants?

 

【2】 Victims spent New Years Holiday at temporary homes while the perpetrators got bonus payments

 

Cause for resentment was revealed most bitterly at the end of 2011, the year when the accident happened. While most of the victims were worrying about how to spend New Years Holiday in temporary homes, TEPCO gave end-of-year bonuses to employees.

Futaba-town, located next to the NPP, was the most seriously damaged town in Fukushima. Its mayor, Katsutaka Idogawa, had evacuated along with the townspeople to Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo. He said he had never experienced such frustration as he did upon hearing the news:

“People from Fukushima, the victims, lead subsistence lives in temporary homes, cleaning the walls from fear of contamination by radiation. At the same time, why are TEPCO employees, the perpetrators, allowed to receive bonus payments and prepare for New Years without any fear?”

“At present, it is as if we were in a concentration camp. Living daily only with food and shelter makes us no different from livestock.” (“Rally for full compensation” December 3, 2011)

On January 8, 2012, Mayor Idogawa met former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the Fukushima Prefectural Office. He asked Mr. Noda, “Do you think of us as citizens? Are we guaranteed equality under the law? Are we protected by the Constitution?”

That was the exact moment of the coming together of the spirit of the victims of the Fukushima NPP disaster and the spirit of the people of Okinawa, who have been struggling with the U.S. bases for 70 years after the war.