Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (Mrs. Inger-Margarethe Eikelmann)
Mutadis (Mr. Gilles Hériard Dubreuil)
Fukushima University (Pr. Hiroshi Suzuki, Pr. Kenji Nanba)
Tokyo Institute of Technology (Dr. Takehiko Murayama)
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Mr. Hideyuki Mori)
“Even though four years and six months have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster and the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accidents, Namie Town people are still experiencing severe difficulties in their life after the mandated evacuation of all 21,000 residents that has resulted in scattered displacements away from their hometown within and across the prefectural borders. They experience precarious and temporary living conditions without a clear perspective for the future and without fair support and compensation to rebuild a meaningful life.
We have demanded of the central government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to take adequate measures in order to restore and to recover the lives of evacuees, but their responses have been very slow. Almost all evacuees face severe anxiety and feel extreme stress about their lives in the future. The number of disaster related deaths has increased to 370, including deaths in solitude.
These conditions are connected to a breach of fundamental human rights. Article 25 of the Constitution of Japan, which is a leading peace-oriented constitution in the world, states “All people shall have the right to benefit from the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living. In all spheres of life, the State shall endeavour to promote and extend social welfare, security and public health.”
The Constitution of Japan also states “All people shall be respected as individuals. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs” (Article 13). Those who suffer because of the nuclear disaster have been deprived of their right to the pursuit of happiness. We, Namie Town Municipal Government must strive to recover these fundamental human rights. At the same time, we would like to request of everyone to thoroughly think whether humans should continue using nuclear energy that is not at all inexpensive, considering the costs of decontamination, compensation and radioactive-waste disposal, as well as its harmful environmental impacts.
I welcome the publication of this document that presents the outcomes of European and Japanese research on our deep and complex post-accidental problems. It is based on the experience of people suffering from the nuclear disaster and confronted with the threat of long term radioactive contamination in their day-to-day life, that we, Japanese people, share with the populations affected by the Chernobyl accident. It also takes stock of the experience of people and organisations supporting the efforts of these populations to reconstruct a viable, dignified and meaningful life.
The recovery and reconstruction vision of our Namie Town stems from the following fundamental ideas: “Even though our people are displaced from our hometown, they are all Namie Town people”, “We will regenerate our hometown Namie”. The Namie Town Municipal Government will continue making its best efforts to assist townspeople to make a suitable choice for the recovery and reconstruction of their livelihoods, along with reconstructing infrastructure and monitoring the progress of thorough decontamination work (for which the central government is responsible) for the recovery of an appropriate environment for human livelihoods.
We respect the freedom of choosing where to live (i.e. coming back or settling in to another area) as a fundamental right for every townsperson. Therefore, the townspeople are entitled to receive support and fair and immediate compensation from the central government and from TEPCO, in order to rebuild their lives at individual and community levels. In addition, we are planning to seek opportunities to bring new types of industries, for example, to be a hub of renewable energy industries, in order to secure stable employment for townspeople. We kindly request assistance from EU and other international communities on this matter.
We have been facing many challenges. Your continued support is essential for us to carry out our responsibilities as a local public administrative office.”
Mayor of Namie Town
12th November 2015
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