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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 9 - 15  > Shii: Gov’t should continue supporting recovery from 2011 natural disaster and nuclear meltdown
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2022 March 9 - 15 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Shii: Gov’t should continue supporting recovery from 2011 natural disaster and nuclear meltdown

March 11, 2022

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on March 11 commented on the 11th anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear meltdown.

In his comment, Shii first mourned for the victims of the massive quake and the resultant tsunamis that hit the three prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate in the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011.

He pointed out that disaster survivors’ efforts to rebuild their lives and restore their jobs and disaster-hit regions’ path toward the recovery have been blocked by major obstacles, such as the COVID-19 pandemic-induced slump in major industries such as sightseeing and fisheries, and very poor fish catches supposedly related to global warming.

Shii said that the national government over the past two years has cut back and terminated its support for the people and areas affected by the 2011 disaster as evidenced in the fact that the state budget for disaster victims’ assistance was nearly halved. He demanded that the government secure the funds necessary to implement measures that support disaster victims’ lives and help regain their jobs. He also urged the government to fulfill its responsibility to work for the recovery of all disaster victims.

Regarding the nuclear meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Shii criticized the government and TEPCO for terminating payments of compensation, scaling back support measures to nuclear disaster victims which include lowering their medical fees at hospital windows, and forcing Fukushima evacuees to return to their hometowns although land contamination concerns continue there.

Furthermore, Shii pointed out that it is unacceptable that the government and the utility plan to bulldoze through the ocean release of radioactive water in violation of their promise not to do so which they made to local fishermen. Shii said that the discharge of radioactively-polluted water into the ocean will deliver a serious blow to costal fishermen in Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate prefectures. He strongly demanded the cancellation and withdrawal of the ocean release plan as it will create a serious barrier to disaster-hit regions’ recovery efforts.

In conclusion, Shii said, “The JCP will work hard to change the government to one making the best use of lessons learned from the 2011 natural disaster and nuclear meltdown and working to protect people’s lives and properties from disasters.

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