October 3, 2011
A Request for Appropriate Compensation for Voluntarily Evacuated Residents
and Attention to their Current Situation
We are a group of civic associations and individuals that support various groups of Fukushima residents who live outside the government-designated evacuation zones, have already voluntarily evacuated or are currently planning to do so, and still stay in their neighborhoods after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
We believe that all residents have the “right to evacuate,” i.e., the right to be informed correctly of radiation exposure risks and make their own decisions on evacuation if they want to protect themselves and their families.
Some residents in Fukushima continue to live in the midst of fear because they cannot afford to evacuate even when they feel threatened by high levels of radiation. They are concerned particularly about children and pregnant women in their families; however, even if they decide to evacuate voluntarily, there is no guarantee that they will be compensated for their evacuation costs.
We think that the Japanese government’s current criterion for designating an evacuation zone, 20 mSv per year, is too high in light of both existing domestic laws and internationally accepted standards. The Japanese government should modify the criterion and designate an “optional evacuation zone” in addition to the existing evacuation zones. We also oppose radiation cleanup campaigns that are intended to discourage evacuations, for effective decontamination requires long-term efforts rather than one-time cleanups.
Thus, we believe that Fukushima residents who have voluntarily evacuated from areas outside the government-designated evacuation zones should be compensated comprehensively for their moving and living expenses. Fukushima residents who had no choice but to stay should be also compensated for mental harm caused by radiation threats in their daily life.
In conclusion, the Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation should discuss a compensation scheme by taking into consideration the current situation of voluntary evacuees and other residents in Fukushima.
We hereby request that the Committee do the following.
1. The Committee should provide comprehensive compensations for both people who have evacuated voluntarily from areas outside the government-designated evacuation zones (including cases of evacuation after April 22) and who had no choice but to stay.
2. The Committee should set up multiple meetings to hear opinions from Fukushima residents who have voluntarily evacuated and stayed as well as from civic associations that support these residents.
3. The Committee should distribute handouts documenting citizens’ opinions to its members when it holds meetings to discuss a compensation scheme.
Thank you for your kind understanding.
Organizers and participants of the Assembly on 3rd October at the Diet Member House