1215 GMT March 23, 2019
Almost eight years after the massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that triggered the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the government and other public institutions should play greater roles in protecting the lives of people in the affected areas, particularly those of children, they said, japantoday.com reported.
"Eight years after the incident, Fukushima is paid less attention to and this makes us less willing to say we're living while being concerned about radiation," said Noriko Tanaka of nonprofit organization Mothers' Radiation Lab Fukushima.
The government has lifted evacuation orders in many towns and villages surrounding the plant ahead of 2020 when Tokyo will host the Olympics and Paralympics, complicating the efforts to correctly understand the situation of Fukushima, said Japan Platform, a consortium of humanitarian nongovernmental organizations that organized the event.
Kaori Suzuki, another member of Mothers' Radiation Lab, said she feels ‘divisions’ in the affected families and communities over job and income security as well as their awareness of risks from radiation.
Suzuki warned that such gaps could possibly lead to differences among parents in seriousness about protecting their children, urging public institutions to pay close attention and make sure that ‘all children are protected equally’.
The Fukushima Daiichi plant spewed a massive amount of radioactive materials following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that flooded the facility on March 11, 2011. As of January, over 32,000 people remained evacuated in other prefectures.