Evacuation and Community Issues Caused by Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima Japan

Akira Takagi


The aim of this study is to clarify the evacuation behaviors of the local residents in a small rural community called “T” district in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture at the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) on March 11th, 2011 and how their personal relationship changed subsequently. This district suffered more impact from the nuclear disaster caused by Tokyo Electrical Power Company Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (TEPCO-1F NPS) accident than from the earthquake itself: a split in the community arising from the residents’ various evacuation behaviors and disagreement in their attitudes toward radioactivity. For example, a serious conflict occurred between those who returned from out-of–district evacuation (“escapees”) and those who consistently stayed within the district (“non-escapees”). However, on the other hand, as a way to maintain their community functions, there was an attempt made by the returnees inside the community in order to temper the conflict and another attempt provided from outside of the community such as the re-start of university student experience program which had been carried out by the local residents before the GEJE. Now that nearly 6 years have passed since the occurrence of the GEJE, the community conflict is becoming less obvious but not yet completely solved.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jad.v3i1.10578


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