10/08/2012, 00.00
JAPAN

Bishop of Sendai: Stop discrimination against the people of Fukushima

Affected by the nuclear disaster in March 2011, the population of the prefecture faces a new crisis: the social and economic boycott of the rest of the country, fearing the spread of radiation. The local bishop points the finger: "We have lived thanks to their energy, and nuclear power plants are everywhere. Solidarity with our brothers. " Prime Minister Noda visiting the area: "Rapid decontamination is key."

Sendai (AsiaNews) - The radiation that hit the area in Fukushima after the terrible accident of 11 March 2011, "considering the fact that we have enjoyed a high energy-consuming lifestyle until now...should be addressed not only by residents in and around Fukushima prefecture, but Japan as a whole".  This was stated in a public appeal by Msgr. Martin Tetsuo Hiraga, Bishop of Sendai (the diocese which houses the Fukushima plant).

In the text, the prelate explains that " The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Disaster emitted 168 times as much radioactive material as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. This radioactive material has caused serious damage to neighboring prefectures by emitting high doses of radiation. But it mainly destroyed the local economy and the hope of recovery for these people: this is not right, since they are paying for all of us. "

According to Msgr. Hiraga " Nuclear plants are built on the premise that urban areas are inappropriate for nuclear plants, which is based on discrimination against rural areas. During construction, plants divide local residents into supporters and opponents, destroying communal relations. Once plants start operating, a huge number of workers are exposed to radiation, and a tremendous amount of radioactive fallout called "death ash" is generated continuously".

Today the products that come from Fukushima can not find a buyer, and the children of the area are not accepted by the schools of other prefectures despite evacuation orders of government: "This is not right. We must learn to live with the radiation, since it is everywhere in Japan. We must fight to commit the government to find new forms of clean energy, but in the meantime we can not abandon our brothers. "

The appeal has produced some fruits, including the visit made yesterday by the Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda to reactor plants which - after the earthquake and tsunami - were damaged and continue to contaminate the area. Noda called for a "rapid decontamination" and, "the support of all the Japanese people" for the local population.

On 11 March 2011, at 14.46, an earthquake hit the northern coast of Japan. It soon unleashed a tsunami that swept away towns and villages in the prefectures of Sendai, Miyagi and Fukushima and caused considerable damage to the central Daiichi nuclear reactors. More than 19 thousand people were killed in the tragedy.

 

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