Disasters & Accidents

UN expert to travel to Japan for Fukushima displaced people

Geneva, Sep 21 (EFE).- The UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons will travel to Japan next week to assess the situation of people displaced by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

A United Nations statement said on Wednesday that Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, during the Sep.26-Oct.7-visit, will discuss with Japanese leaders the stumbling blocks in bringing relief to the affected people.

She will hold talks with government officials, evacuees, and other stakeholders.

Jimenez-Damary recalled that the nuclear accident of Mar.11, 2011, forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes.

Tens of thousands are still unable to return more than a decade after the disaster.

Besides Tokyo, she will visit the prefectures of Fukushima, Kyoto, and Hiroshima to talk to government officials, representatives of UN agencies, academics, and civil society members.

She will present the preliminary results of her visit at a press conference on Oct.7 in Tokyo.

A 2021 UN report said more than 40,000 Fukushima citizens remain evacuees yet the government did not acknowledge them as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The number includes so-called voluntary evacuees from areas that were not officially designated evacuation areas

As a consequence, financial, housing, medical and other support are not made available to these people to the level required.

Many evacuees continue to feel they are being forced to return to unsafe areas.

“The day-to-day struggles of IDPs should lie at the heart of Government action concerning the lifting of evacuation orders, attributing social benefits and ensuring the regular monitoring of their health condition,” the UN experts’ report said.

“We recall that Japan has a continuing duty to prevent safety risks and exposure, especially the exposure of children and other vulnerable groups to radiation.” EFE


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