Nuke Refugees Face Uncertain Fate
By Suvendrini Kakuchi
KUSATSU, Japan, May 4, 2011 (IPS) – Tadanori Anzai and his wife Michiko left their town in Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture, more than a month ago to escape the radioactive contamination spewing from the earthquake-damaged nuclear power plant located close to their home and tiny eatery.
Along with sixty others, the Anzai couple and their grandchild travelled by bus to this snowy hot spring town 150 kilometres west of Minamisoma on Mar. 25, after the local government invited them over.
“I survived the terrible earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima that fateful day. But today, I feel my situation is far worse than those who have lost everything in the natural disaster,” said the 58-year-old Anzai.
Referred to popularly as nuclear refugees, the Anzai family are among thousands of people who have left radiation affected areas, some still crammed into hastily prepared evacuation sites, in line with the Japanese government’s new regulation to clear the 30-kilometre area around the nuclear plant.
Where is Kusatsu?
Kusatsu is a small town in Gunma Prefecture, located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region.
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