Petition Closed
Petitioning Governor of Fukushima Mr. Sato Yohey and 4 others
This petition will be delivered to:
Governor of Fukushima
Mr. Sato Yohey
Fukushima Prefectural Government, Refugees Assistance Group
Reconsruction Minister
Mr. Tatsuo Hirano
Labor Minister
Fukushima Prefectural Government, Refugees Support & Nuclear Accident Reparations Group

Governor of Fukushima: Continue housing support for Fukushima refugees!

I’m a mom who lives in Fukushima, Japan. I have a daughter in middle school and a son with disabilities. When my daughter moved up to high school, my family had planned to move out of Fukushima because we were worried about the effect of radiation on my kids’ health.

Since 3.11, the state government has provided housing support to refugees displaced by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. But the government recently announced that it will end rent assistance to families who move outside of Fukushima - while keeping it for anyone who stays.

On the same day that I learned Fukushima had decided to stop support for people moving away, I received notice that my son’s exam for thyroid cancer had revealed small tumors. (※1) I'm shocked and scared -- and I worry about how the radiation is affecting my kids.

Many families in Fukushima are juggling difficult decisions, made worse by fears about radiation -- whether to keep their kids in a school with classmates they know, or leave behind their homeland of generations and move away. The state’s housing support is what enables many families who couldn’t otherwise afford it, the chance to move away.

In a recent poll conducted by the city of Fukushima, 90% of Fukushima residents said they were “somewhat worried” or “very worried” about the impact of radiation on the health of their family members. And nearly half of families with young kids said that “even now, they would like to move away” due to fears about radiation. (※2)

The law that is the basis for providing this housing assistance was in place for five years after the Hanshin Awaji earthquake in 1995. It has been less than two years since 3.11, and given the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plants, continuing to provide rental support for families who want to move out of the prefecture is critical.

The government attempted to end assistance to families moving out of state last year in December, but reversed its decision following a public outcry.  (※4)

With your support, I believe we should be able to reverse their decision again this time.

Thank you so much for your support.  

Tokiko Noguchi
Fukushima, Japan

References

※1 An A2 rating for the thyroid cancer test indicates growths or tumors from 5.0 to 20 mm in size

※2 Results from Fukushima City poll
http://www.city.fukushima.fukushima.jp/soshiki/7/kouchou12090501.html

※3 Increased radiation exposure for kids in Fukushima/Nihonmatsu due to more time spent outside
http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20121124k0000m040081000c.html

※4 Fukushima to no longer provide rental support (Yomiuri Shimbun) http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/yamagata/news/20121107-OYT8T01431.htm

※5 Homepage of Fukushima Prefectural Government - Latest thyroid cancer results
http://www.pref.fukushima.jp/imu/kenkoukanri/241118koujyousen.pdf
 

キャンペーンの日本語版はこちらです。


Letter to
Governor of Fukushima Mr. Sato Yohey
Fukushima Prefectural Government, Refugees Assistance Group
Reconsruction Minister Mr. Tatsuo Hirano
and 2 others
Labor Minister
Fukushima Prefectural Government, Refugees Support & Nuclear Accident Reparations Group
The Fukushima prefectural government announced on Nov. 5th, 2012, that it would no longer be accepting new applications for families who want to receive housing assistance if they choose to move out of the prefecture. This means that after Dec. 28th, 2012, families who are living outside of mandatory evacuation areas will no longer be able to receive support for housing.

The housing support program is critical for families who have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the nuclear accident at Fukshima.

Please do not curtail this important program. What is called for now is not a diminishing of support for Fukushima residents, but an expansion.

Even now, in many areas, airborne radiation levels are higher than the publicly acknowledged limit of 1mSv. Citizen groups in Fukushima have conducted radiation tests of the soil, in cities, and along waterways, and there have been reports of radioactive cesium reaching levels higher than 100,000Bq/kg. This is very high levels of contamination (see footnote 2).

A poll conducted by Fukushima City showed that 80% of residents were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the impact of internal and external radiation poisoning. ⅓ of those polled, and half of those with young children in their families, stated that “even now, they would like to move away” due to fears about radiation.

On June 21st, a law was passed stipulating that in areas where radiation levels are above acceptable limits, the state will support residents’ in their decision about whether to stay or move away from the area. While implementation of this law will still take some time, it is critical that there be no ‘break’ in support for Fukushima families and the housing assistance program continued in its current state for the foreseeable future.

Fukushima Prefecture cited the declining number of families who have been moving out of prefecture as a reason for ending its support. However, there is reason to believe families cannot move because there is inadequate assistance -- not because they do not want to. (Footnote 3) In addition, this declining number is no reason to cut off support for families who still require it.

We call on the Fukushima prefectural government to continue to provide housing support and do everything in your power to provide aassistance to refugees of the Fukushima nuclear accident, as stipulated in the law.

In addition, we would like to thank the Fukushima prefectural government for continuing to provide housing assistance for families who want to move to areas within the prefecture with lower radiation levels. The Labour Ministry should also continue to provide the same assistance to those families not living in evacuation areas out of the National Treasury.

We thank you for your timely response.

福島県は、11月5日、福島県外の借上げ住宅について新規受付を12月28日で終了することを発表しました。これにより、12月28日以降に政府指示の避難区域外からの避難を行う方は、借上げ住宅制度による支援を受けることができなくなります。

借り上げ住宅制度は、福島原発事故により避難を強いられた方々の生活にとって重要なものです。

どうか、これを打ち切らないでください。
いま福島県・国がなすべきは、被災者支援の縮小ではありません。
支援の拡充です。

現在でも、多くの地域において、空間線量は公衆の追加被ばく限度である年間1mSvを上回っています。市民団体が福島市内で行った土壌汚染調査では、町中の水路や民家の庭で、放射性セシウム10万Bq/kgを超える深刻な汚染が報告されています。

福島市が5月に行った意識調査の結果によれば、8割以上の市民が外部被ばくや内部被ばくの影響について「大いに不安」「やや不安」としており、全体の3分の1、乳幼児や小学生のいる世帯の半分以上が「できれば避難したい」と回答しています。

2012年6月21日に成立した「原発事故子ども・被災者支援法」は、一定の放射線量を上回る地域からの避難について自己決定を行うことができるよう支援することを基本理念として定め、避難先における住宅の確保に関する施策を講じるとしています。同法に基づく支援の開始までは時間がかかることが見込まれる中、区域外避難者への切れ目のない支援を実現するためにも、借上げ住宅の受付は当面の間継続されるべきです。

福島県は、新規受付終了の理由として、県外への避難者が減少傾向にあることを挙げています。しかし、私たちは新規避難者が減少傾向にあるのは避難者に対する支援が不十分であるからと考えます。また、避難者が減少したことは、避難者の新規支援を打ち切ることの理由にならないと考えています。

よって私たちは下記を要請します。

災害救助法による、借り上げ住宅制度の支援を継続して下さい。
原発事故被災者支援法に基づき、被災者支援を確実に実施して下さい。