Request of a country visit to Japan by UN Special Rapporteurs with the aim of fact-finding missions on the human rights situations affected by the East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima First Nuclear Plants accidents
We, the coalition of Japanese Non Governmental Organizations hereby request a country visit to Japan by UN Special Rapportuers for the aim of fact-finding missions on the human rights situations affected by the East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima First Nuclear Plants accidents.
Since the situation is quite urgent and many people's fundamental human rights have been at stake, please kindly consider our request and realize the mission at your earliest convenience.
Human Rights Now
Japan Civil Liberties Union
Friends of Earth, Japan
Single Mother's Forum
Asia-Japan Women's Resource Center
Center for support and education of women's health and security
Kazuko Ito( Ms), Secretary General, Human Rights Now
3F Marukou Building, 1-20-6 Higashi Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Introduction: It has been over three months since the Great East Japan Earthquake which resulted in the deaths and missing of more than 20,000 people. Although the reconstruction works have gradually started, human rights of affected people are still not fully guaranteed. The Tsunami in-turn also caused accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plants, which since then has been emitting a great amount of radiation. The government has 1) announced a 20 km radius of compulsory evacuation zone, 2) designated area between 20 km and 30 km as "Deliberate Evacuation Area" and" Evacuation-Prepared Area in case of Emergency",  and 3) designated certain areas that are outside the 20km radius of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plants, where radioactive materials emitted from the power station have accumulated as a result of climatic and geographical conditions, and the cumulative radiation volumes could reach 20mSv within the period of one year following the accident, as the "Deliberate Evacuation Area" designated the Specific Spots Estimated to Exceed an Integral Dose of 20mSv Over a One Year Period After the Occurrence of the Accident as "Specific Spots Recommended for Evacuation" , while some scientists and academics have called to extend the evacuation zone.
Categories of people affected: From the view point of victims of the crisis, broadly we can categorise them into three groups:
1) People affected by Earthquake and Tsunami.
2) People affected by Fukushima nuclear accident and who are from within official evacuation zone.
3) People affected by Fukushima nuclear accident, but are outside the official evacuation zone.
A) People affected by the Earthquake and Tsunami; and people affected by Fukushima nuclear accident and who are from within the official evacuation zone:
Most people, around 99, 000 people  who fall under these two categories are either sheltered in temporary houses or evacuation centers. Depending on where they are sheltered, they face different problems.
A. 1 Concerns on human rights of other IDPs at evacuation centres
IDPs living at evacuation centres are still lacking basic human rights. As it stands, approximately 41,000 people in the most affected prefectures, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima are still forced to live at evacuation centres. At the evacuation centres, sufficient space is not provided to each evacuee and their privacy is little protected. Food provided at the centres such as bread and ready-made meals are often poor in quality and quantity, with basic nutritional requirements are not adequately considered. Furthermore, at many evacuation centres, women's needs are not recognised and/or ignored since women are excluded from the management of the centres or are not included in consultations. It is also particularly difficult for other vulnerable groups such as children, disabled people and sexual minorities to raise their concerns, as they too are excluded from decision-making process and consultations at the evacuation centres. Some disabled people are forced to be hospitalised or move to other hospitals without their consents. Therefore, we express concern that human rights of IDPs, particularly various vulnerable groups, including rights to IDPs, housing and food, are not adequately guaranteed.
A.2 Concern on human rights of IDPs at temporary houses
A great number of people are expected to live in evacuation centres such as gymnastic halls for the next several months due to the stagnation of planning and construction of temporary houses. Also, the planning and construction have been implemented often without consultation with the affected people which might result in failing to meet their basic needs. As to reconstruction plans of the ruined areas, a system which enables evacuees to participate in consultations has not been established. At the time of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, lack of such consultation created temporary housing which disconnected communities and in which many people died solitary death in temporary housing. Furthermore, some problems are pointed out such as lack of the provision of food to affected people who have moved in temporary houses. Such people are expected to be self-reliant and their basic needs including food are not provided so that a great number of people hesitate to move in temporary houses. It is difficult to be self-reliant, as most of the affected people either do not have jobs or have lost all their savings due to the Tsunami. In addition, a large number of affected people have no choice but to get multiple loans to rebuild their lives since many of their houses were destroyed by the earthquakes and tsunami. In this regard, the governmental supports are far from enough. Therefore, we express serious concern about evacuees' right to housing.
In view of the concerns about human rights of evacuees at evacuation centres and temporary house, we strongly request the following UN Special Rapporteur to visit Japan;
· Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living
· Special Rapporteur on the right to health
B.1 Concerns on human rights of People affected by Fukushima nuclear accident, but are outside the official evacuation zone.
The most serious concern is in relation to radiation from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plants. The radiation continues even today with hundreds of thousands of people living in the surrounding areas living in fear of radiation-related health hazards.
First, the areas designated as evacuation zones under the Japanese government's evacuation orders are too narrow and might fail to protect human rights of residents in Fukushima. Quite a few isolated hotspots, in which significantly high amounts of radiation are measured, are found outside the evacuation zone (20 km) in Fukushima Prefecture. Since the Japanese government has not sufficiently designated all of such areas as evacuation zones, nor guaranteed people's right to evacuation(see, in case of Chernobyl),residents of the areas are forced to evacuate on a voluntary basis due to concerns on their health hazard caused by radiation contamination. Furthermore, a number of people who cannot evacuate voluntarily due to economic reasons are left without effective measures to guarantee their human rights. They have little access to food and drinking water free from potential radiation contamination and especially children have had locally produced food which might have risk of radiation contamination as school meals in daily basis. Even few health checks have been provided. Therefore, we express grave concerns regarding the situation in which rights to health, food and water of the residents, particularly pregnant women and children, who are vulnerable to radiation contamination, have not been adequately guaranteed.
The government has not conducted comprehensive investigations, in a prompt manner, regarding where high level of radiation contamination is measured and to what extend it is dangerous, and/or disclosed accurate and detailed data to the residents. There are conflicting information on how much radiation a person can take in and sometimes lack of information, neither of which helps people in making the right decision on whether to stay of leave the area.
In addition, people who fall under this category and who voluntarily evacuated are not protected as internally-displaced persons (IDPs). Unlike evacuees from the designated evacuation zone, the Japanese government have not provided food and housing to voluntary evacuees. As to compensation, damages which voluntary evacuees suffer from have not taken into consideration. Such considerable disparity in treatment makes extremely difficult for a large number of residents outside the evacuation zone to evacuate voluntarily.
Therefore, we strongly request the following UN Special Rapporteur to visit Japan;
· Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights
· Special rapporteur on the right to health
· Special Rapporteur on the right to housing
We requests the above Special
Rapporteurs to visit to investigate the human rights situation of people
affected by the recent natural disaster in Japan, as well as make technical
advice, engagement with authorities and more broadly making recommendations on
how best to address the concerns described in this letter.
 2011/06/30, The Cabinet of Japan, http://www.cao.go.jp/shien/1-hisaisha/pdf/6-hinansha_110706.pdf
 24,000 people living in evacuation centers, 25,000 people living private motel or hotel, 30,000 people are living temporary houses, apartments and hospitals, 20,000 people living with friends or relatives. Regarding the temporary houses, around 52,000 houses accepted families of IDPs but total number is unknown,