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Fukushima Disaster 8 years on: What does it teaches us about internal displacement?

Japan Platform (JPF) - a consortium of Japan-based humanitarian NGOs that has been supporting local NGOs in the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster since 2011 - invites international media correspondents to an exclusive press event to be held on February 14 (Thu), 2019. 

The lifting of evacuation orders in many towns and villages surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the lead up to the eventful 2020 means that the memories of the 2011 triple disasters are rapidly fading, making it ever more difficult to understand the actual situation on the ground in Fukushima. The dynamics between the displaced, those who left and those who stayed, the deep divisions in the families and communities, the job and income insecurity, and the weight of "disaster related deaths (shinsai kanrenshi)"... These and many other factors shaping Fukushima's complex reality offer important insights that could be highly relevant to improve our understanding of many global issues our world is facing and/or could face in the future.

How could/should we understand the current situation? What lessons could/should we learn for our future? The event will provide insights into Fukushima's reality taking into accounts relevant international and domestic developments, and through voices of people affected by the disaster. We hope this event could serve as an opportunity to rethink Fukushima's current reality and how we communicate it.

Press Event Information

February 14 (Thu.) 2019 13:30-14:30 (30 mins Q&A to follow)
Kojimachi Central Building 4th Floor, 2-2-4 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-City, Tokyo, 102-0083
Japanese, English (simultaneous interpretation is available)

Programme ※Subject to change

1. Displacement and technological disasters: Insights from Fukushima.

Ana Mosneaga: Programme Coordinator, Japan Platform

"Internal Displacement" or "Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)" may not be a familiar term for many, even if last year actually marked the 20th anniversary since the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement 1998. According to existing data and estimates, over half of 30.6 million IDPs newly displaced in 2017 alone, were uprooted by disasters. Yet, little international attention has been devoted to disaster-induced displacement and even less to displacement in the context of technological disasters resulting in long-lasting environmental contamination - such as Fukushima's nuclear disaster. This presentation will share insights about evolving needs and vulnerabilities on the ground in Fukushima and how they interact with more deep-rooted issues - including regional inequalities, job/income insecurity and socio-economic marginalisation - which, albeit to a varying degree, are common to many industrialised and developing countries alike.

2. The transition of needs and response phases in Fukushima: past, present and future

Tsutomu Yamanaka, Programme Coordinator, Japan Platform.

JPF decided to start response operations within 3 hours of the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and has since continued to support the people affected by the triple disasters. Stationed in Fukushima as part of the JPF's dedicated team to conduct regular site visits and to liaise with local civil society and authorities to follow socio-economic developments in the area, Tsutomu's presentation will reflect on the transition of local needs in the affected arears, and the evolution of JPF's response.

3. Case Study of JPF - supported NGO activities - Why mothers in Iwaki measure radiation?

Kaori Suzuki, Director of Tarachine Clinic, the non-profit organization that provides radiation measurement for local people in Iwaki City, Fukushima

To evacuate or to stay are both valid decisions. What should my children be eating? - are one of the many questions Fukushima mothers are grappling with in their daily lives. Kaori Suzuki, who lives in Iwaki, Fukushima, stood up for local mothers and founded Tarachine - an NGO providing local residents to deal with their anxiety related to radiation through "measuring" safety of their living environment and their daily foods. Tarachine is the first NGO that started using β-ray tritium measuring equipment. She will speak about the reality of current living in Fukushima based on her experience with running measurements and clinic providing thyroid scans and consultations.

4. Voices from the ground

Fukushima evacuees and residents will share their respective stories of evacuation and staying put.

About speakers

Ana Mosneaga Programme coordinator, Japan Platform

Ana Mosneaga / Programme coordinator, Japan Platform

Ana is a migration and displacement specialist with over 7 years of experience in research, policy development and advocacy work from international organizations (WFP, UNU, European Commission and ILO), academia and the private sector. Ana is a human geographer and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen.

Tsutomu Yamanaka Programme coordinator, Japan Platform 

Tsutomu Yamanaka / Programme coordinator, Japan Platform

Tsutomu has been working in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake since 2011. He has been in charge of the response in Fukushima area since 2012 and been working to deliver appropriate support taking into account local realities.

Kaori Suzuki Director of Tarachine Clinic

鈴木 薫(すずき・かおり)/認定NPO法人 いわき放射能市民測定室「たらちね」事務局長

Kaori founded Tarachine in 2017 to relieve local mothers in Iwaki of anxiety from radiation in their foods and surrounding environment. Tarachine provides radiation measuring for local people as well as others who want.

About Japan Platform

Japan Platform (JPF) was founded in 2000 as a new and unique Japanese framework for emergency humanitarian assistance. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, over 7 billion yen had been provided by corporate and individual donors for disaster relief, and JPF partnered with intermediary support organizations in providing assistance for local NGOs as part of its effort towards reconstruction.

Contact Information

Takasugi, Public/Media Relation, Japan Platform
TEL:03-6261-4035 info@japanplatform.org

How to apply

Please apply to info@japanplatform.org with the information below
Name, Country, Title, Affiliation
Media type [ Newspaper, News Agency, Magazine, TV, Online ]
Address, Tel, E-mail,
Number of persons: [ Reporter, Camera, TV Crew]
Do you need English interpretation? [ Yes, No ]
*Please write your special request if you have one.
*Photos taken during the event may be used by the organizer for press release

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