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March 11 marked the 5th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which was initiated by a tsunami and resulted in three nuclear meltdowns and a massive release of radioactive waste. Real World Radio had the opportunity to interview Ayumi Fukakusa from Friends of the Earth Japan to discuss the impacts of the nuclear disaster and the current climate of clean energy in Japan.
Following the 2011 disaster, Fukakusa claims there are still more than 100,000 people that are unable to return to their homes due to radiation. It has also led to the contamination of water and land, which has forced fisheries and farmers to continuously monitor radiation levels, and sometimes prevents them from selling their production in the market when the levels are too high.
Fukakusa claims the Japanese government has not done enough. She claims the government wants to lift the ‘no return’ zones, however, a solution has not been found to control the contaminated soil and water, and to dispose the radioactive waste.
FoE Japan believes it is up to government to better handle the situation - in terms of compensating those that have been displaced, and finding a solution to the waste management and contaminated soil/water. Fukakusa holds that the Japanese government need to support an energy shift from dirty energy to renewable, in accordance with the desire of the people - many of which are now against nuclear energy following the accident.
The nuclear disaster has led to a rise in grassroots actions and Fukakusa claims that people have been demonstrating and continue to do so. She states that many groups have started community solar projects and are seeking green alternatives.
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