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» Bring the voice of the evacuees from Fukushima to the TEPCO Nuclear Disaster Victims’ Support Act

Bring the voice of the evacuees from Fukushima to the TEPCO Nuclear Disaster Victims’ Support Act
-Public Symposium held in Yamagata-

 “The round table discussion to consider the TEPCO Nuclear disaster Victims’ Support Act” was held at Yamagata city in Yamagata prefecture on November 25th, 2012. This was the first study session by citizen’s groups held in Yamagata where 13,000 evacuees from Fukushima, the biggest number among all prefectures in Japan, are living. 

Following the address from Ms. Meguru Mikami, the representative of Japan Nuclear Disaster Aid Association, the summary of the survey on evacuees in Yamagata was explained. According to the survey conducted by Yamagata prefecture in October 2012, 39.5% among 1,275 evacuating households who answered the questionnaires are evacuating with only mothers and children. 65.6% of them have evacuated voluntarily because they were worried about the bad effects of the radiation. Regarding living costs, 40% of the household spend less than 100,000 yen per month; it is very humble compared to the standard in Japan. Many of them are in the financial difficulties because of the extra expenditures such as the transportation costs for meeting the other family members staying at their original places.
Mr Yoshimine
Subsequently, Mr. Yoshimine, the lawyer belonging to the Lawyers Network for Protecting Children in Fukushima (SAFLAN) introduced on the outline of the TEPCO Nuclear Disaster Victims’ Support Act and the current national initiatives at the moment.  This law is epoch-making in terms of admitting the victim’s rights of evacuation, and it states important matters such as exemption of the medical cost and prevention of the health damages in the future. However, this law is still at the philosophical stage since it was rushed to be passed through the national assembly, he explained that the basic policy to be formulated would be more important and the first step for us to do is to raise the voice from victims. Moreover, he mentioned that the supporters should respect “the right of self-determination” which is for the victims to choose their own life styles by themselves.
Workshop
At the latter half session, participants are divided into “the evacuees’ group” and ” the supporters’ group”, and conducted the workshop to collect the voices to be incorporated to the basic policy of the new law. From the evacuees’ group, there were some demands raised such as the subsidy for the transportation fees to meet the other family members living separately and the firm promise of the compensation even after transferring the residents’ card to outside of Fukushima. 

The opinions collected during the workshop will be submitted to Reconstruction Agency by the Citizens’ Forum for the TEPCO Nuclear Disaster Victims’ Support Act, as the requests necessary to be included in the draft of the basic policy.


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