“The government and the media say the radiation has been cleaned up, but it’s all lies,” said Miyakoji villager Kim Eunja, with her husband, Satoshi Mizuochi. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

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MIYAKOJI, Japan — Ever since they were forced to evacuate during the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant three years ago, Kim Eunja and her husband have refused to return to their hilltop home amid the majestic mountains of this rural village for fear of radiation.

But now they say they may have no choice. After a nearly $250 million radiation cleanup here, the central government this month declared Miyakoji the first community within a 12-mile evacuation zone around the plant to be reopened to residents. The decision will bring an end to the monthly stipends from the plant’s operator that have allowed Ms. Kim to relocate to an apartment in a city an hour away.

“The government and the media say the radiation has been cleaned up, but it’s all lies,” said Ms. Kim, 55, who is from South Korea, and who with her Japanese husband runs a small Korean restaurant outside Miyakoji. “I want to run away, but I cannot. We have no more money.”

She is not the only one. While the central government and national news media have trumpeted the reopening of Miyakoji as a happy milestone in Japan’s recovery from the devastating March 2011 accident, many residents tell a darker story. They insist their homes remain too dangerous or too damaged to inhabit and that they have not received enough financial compensation to allow them to start anew somewhere else.

Photo

Yoshikuni Munakata works to repair his home, which was abandoned for three years after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

They criticize the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, for failing to reimburse them for the value of their homes, usually their family’s largest financial asset. Depending on where they lived, they say they have received amounts from half the preaccident value to just $3,000, a tiny fraction of the original value of their homes.

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Japan’s government deceives evacuees to return before radiation readings disclosed

flag-japanRadiation study on evacuation zones kept undisclosed for 6 monthhttp://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140416/radiation-study-evacuation-zones-kept-undisclosed-6-mo The  government kept undisclosed for six months a report on an individual radiation dose study in areas around the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, including a district recently released from an evacuation order.

The study, covering the city of Tamura and the villages of Kawauchi and Iitate, showed that the radiation level in many areas is still beyond 1 millisievert per year — a level the government is seeking to achieve at contaminated lands in the long term.

The government lifted an evacuation order imposed on the Miyakoji district in Tamura on April 1, but the content of the interim report, compiled in October, was not conveyed to the citizens or the local governments before the action was taken.

The government explained the content to local governments later, while the report was posted on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday. It also plans to release a final report on Friday. A government team tasked with supporting people affected by the crisis said it did not initially plan to release the interim report but decided to make it public because of the “high attention among residents.”

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The Japan Times

Fukushima radiation report secret for six months

Dose study kept from returnees

Kyodo

The government kept a report about a study of individual radiation doses around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant — including an area recently released from an evacuation order — under wraps for six months.

The study, which covered the city of Tamura and the villages of Kawauchi and Iitate, showed that the radiation in many areas is still over 1 millisievert per year — a level the government is looking to achieve in the long term.

The government lifted an evacuation order on the Miyakoji district in Tamura on April 1, but the content of the interim report, compiled in October, was not conveyed to its citizens or local governments before the action was taken.

Skepticism about the government’s disclosure habits concerning radiation levels from the Fukushima crisis has been growing, and the latest incident is likely to amplify public health concerns.

The government explained the content to local governments later, and the report was posted on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday. It also plans to release a final report on Friday.

A government team tasked with supporting people affected by the crisis said it did not initially plan to release the interim report but decided to make it public because of the “high attention among residents.”

 

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