Article | The long and difficult recovery of Fukushima

Almost nine years after the earthquake with the largest magnitude and the tsunami later ever recorded in the history of Japan and that ended up causing the acci

Article | The long and difficult recovery of Fukushima

Almost nine years after the earthquake with the largest magnitude and the tsunami later ever recorded in the history of Japan and that ended up causing the accident of the Fukushima nuclear plant, the consequences still to be felt in this prefecture located to the north of Tokyo. The last official data release the chilling figure of 2,563 ivory people remain officially missing in addition to 19.689 deceased. And despite the time that has passed since the accident, 49.619 people are still evacuated out of their homes, in temporary shelters and dwellings to the public. Many hardly will ever go to their homes.

The Government of Tokyo has set a deadline of 30 or 40 years to finish the work of recovery, which means that they can be extended beyond 2050. But not a few experts consider it a term optimistic. "We have problems to recruit workers who want to go to those areas," admitted Tetsuya Yamada, of the Agency for Reconstruction in their offices in Tokyo, during a trip organized by the Government of Japan, to which he was invited to THE COUNTRY.

The impact of the tsunami still sneaks into the day-to-day of the region, the third largest of Japan, dedicated mainly to the fishing industry and agriculture and with a population of over 1.8 million inhabitants. The farmers have to carry their crops, even to devote to their own consumption or food of the cattle, and to a few stores to scan your content. During the high season of harvesting rice, for example, in each center are scanned more than 2,000 bags each day, about 30 kilos each. The cost of the facility, its maintenance and the salary of the workers is the responsibility of the company that owns the nuclear plant, Tepco. From 2015 none of those bags has exceeded the limits considered normal, as the local responsible, and despite that there are still five countries maintain restrictions on the food from Fukushima. The European Union has pledged to lift the caveats imposed, but the decision is still pending of execution. Even in the japanese market, where domestic rice is unquestionable, from Fukushima to be sold with considerable discount in the supermarkets.

"The food of Fukushima are perfectly healthy and safe," he insists Yamada while drinking bottled water from the prefecture, as everyone in the Agency. Despite the efforts of the authorities, the reluctance and the problems still persist. Last December, the japanese authorities announced their intention to delay another five years --2028-- the removal of fuel stored in two of the reactors at the Daiichi nuclear face of the impossibility of ensuring the safety of the process and to prevent further pollution. A as evidence of the difficulties to deal with the catastrophe lived in Fukushima in 2011. The threat of radioactivity has forced farmers to increase fertilizer with high potassium content. But there are lands that will be difficult to return to recover for the crop or livestock, although in some places the authorities had removed the layer of contaminated earth and have been replaced by a new one.


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So that the Government of Shinzo Abe has decided to reinvent the future of the region and place at Fukushima to the head of their plans to boost renewable energy in the country, with a target of 100% the energy of Fukushima comes from sources replaceable by 2040. You want to take advantage of all of these abandoned lands and unproductive to install in them a total of 11 solar power plants and 10 other wind farms take energy to the region and to the megaurbe, Tokyo. The project will take a walk this month of January, with a planned investment of 300,000 million yen (about 2.465 million euros). Today, renewable energy as soon as they reach 18% of the energy mix of the country.

The Executive Shinzo Abe has embarked on a campaign to leave behind the memory of the disaster and want to use the Tokyo Olympics next summer as a showcase of the changes addressed in these years. "It will be the Olympics of the recovery," notes the press japanese, a clear reference to the Games of 1964 when Tokyo showed the world your emergency just 19 years after the end of the Second World War.

When the olympic torch comes to the floor japanese the next month of march and start your tour of the country will, in Fukushima, just where it was installed in 2011 one of the camps to accommodate the victims of the tsunami and will tour 11 locations in the prefecture, any that is near to the central. “It is an opportunity to remember the earthquake and its victims and to thank the support who then loaned us the world,” says Kentaro Kato, director of media relations of the committee on the Tokyo 2020 from one of the buildings near the olympic village. Despite the fact that it will be the capital which will host the bulk of the competitions, the game of baseball –a sport very popular in the country—will be held in Fukushima. A decision that will force them to receive there to the athletes during the entire duration of the championship.

And there again the controversy. South korea has demanded the japanese authorities that the power to get the athletes to not only be certified but that it came directly from outside the region. He has even asked that Greenpeace be able to monitor the radiation levels of the facility where they will move athletes and spectators.

Date Of Update: 08 January 2020, 15:00