40,000 People are Still Displaced and Radiation Levels are Still Dangerous Due to the Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Human Rights Now has released a statement today on the ongoing nuclear disaster occurring in and around Fukushima nine years after it began. The statement focuses on the continuing suffering of displaced people and the high levels of radiation which continue to threaten affected people’s lives and health, both of which the government of Japan must address more seriously in ways the statement describes.

The text of the statement is below, and it is also available in pdf format from the following link: Fukushima_Statement_11_March_2020.pdf.

40,000 People are Still Displaced and Radiation Levels
are Still Dangerous Due to the Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

It has been nine years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 11 March 2011, and the circumstances surrounding affected people remain dire.

More than 40,000 people are currently displaced and the issue of livelihood support and termination of housing assistance has contributed to high levels of stress and suicide rates. The government of Japan should apply the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement to all those affected by this disaster and accept the country visit request by the Special Rapporteur on IDPs in the second half of 2021 under the standing invitation on special procedures extended by the government.

Dangerous radiation levels in affected areas and hot spots in populated areas continue to threaten the life and health of affected people. Authorities lifted the evacuation zone designation for all remaining areas with radiation levels up to 20 mSv/year, much higher than the international standard of 1 mSv/year, and they decided to lift the designation of some areas at even higher levels. A government task force has also recommended releasing over 1 million tons of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean as the quickest and cheapest option for managing it, while dismissing safer options.

The government of Japan must take stronger measures to protect affected persons by implementing a 1mSv/year standard, more aggressively identifying and decontaminating hot spots, and ensuring contaminated water is managed safely.