Social and economic impacts caused by nuclear accidents becoming evident
Our colleagues at Friends of the Earth Japan are writing a blog on life after the earthquake and tsunami. They will be documenting how they, and fellow citizens, are rebuilding their lives and addressing some of the issues that have arisen as the country recovers from its biggest crisis since World War II.
On 24 March a 64-age vegetable farmer in Fukushima committed suicide. It was just one day after the Japanese government declared restrictions on eating several kinds of vegetables produced in Fukushima and neighbouring areas.
He had a cabbage patch growing 7500 cabbages. According to Mainichi Newspaper, his son said 'If we did not have the nuclear accidents, he would still be here today.'
In addition, last night, I saw on the NHK news that a very old Ryokan (Japanese Inn) in Fukushima was closed for the first time in more than 100 years due to cancellations after nuclear accidents.
The Ryokan was not affected by earthquake and tsunami, but it was 60km from the nuclear plants, outside of the evacuation zone. Rooms were fully booked up until mid-May. However, they were all cancelled after the nuclear accidents.
These are the stories covered by the major Japanese media, but I guess there are hundreds or thousands of similar stories.
It's really difficult to describe how I feel about this story.. It's just so sad. Those affected can ask for compensation or help from TEPCO, or the government, but life will never be how it was before the accident.