The following articles were located online, summarized and translated by Eclipse Rising and Japan Pacific Resource Network. These articles address various issues including the recovery efforts and on-going nuclear crisis with an emphasis on marginalized communities that Japan Multicultural Relief Fund serves.








 救われた命よ 生きよと
 遺された命よ 目ざめよと














Filipino to sue TEPCO over suicide of husband in Fukushima

SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture—Vanessa Kanno started sobbing when she looked at the messages scrawled in chalk by the man who had provided her with a quiet but happy life.

“I was a father who could do nothing,” one of the messages said.

Vanessa's husband, Shigekiyo Kanno, a 54-year-old dairy farmer, wrote those words on the wall of a compost shed before hanging himself three months after the accident started at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in March 2011.

“I lived with him for more than 10 years,” Vanessa, 34, recently told The Asahi Shimbun on the farm. “I want to see him. He is not responsible, so why does he have to say, ‘I'm sorry?'”

Vanessa, who was born in the Philippines, and her two sons plan to file a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court in March against the company she says is responsible for destroying the family's peaceful life. They will demand about 110 million yen ($1.2 million) in compensation from the nuclear plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Read more →


Children build xylophone from tsunami debris to overcome PTSD

NATORI, Miyagi Prefecture--Elementary school pupils in the Yuriage district here have created a musical instrument from tsunami debris to help them overcome the horrors of the disaster that destroyed the area last year.

Norihiko Kuwayama, a 49-year-old psychiatrist, organized the project in April after learning that some of the children were showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Organizing thoughts by combining the scattered memories of the disaster can help prevent PTSD,” he said.

On April 26, Kuwayama led a group of 10 children from Yuriage Elementary School to the shore to search through the remaining debris.

After an hour, they gathered the collected debris in one place.

“Let’s see if it makes a sound,” a child said, showing a piece of debris.

They made noises on the pieces by striking them with a wooden plectrum. An electronic keyboard was used to see if the children had enough pieces to complete a scale."

Read more →


Japan to Extend Temporary Housing Occupancy Period

Tokyo, April 17 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Tuesday it will allow March 2011 disaster survivors to live in temporary housing for one more year after the initially set occupancy period is over.

The ministry also decided to add water-reheating functions to baths and set up storage facilities for furniture at prefabricated houses in temporary housing compounds.

Currently, the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, mostly in northeastern Japan, are allowed to live in temporary housing for up to two years in principle.

But the ministry thinks it necessary to extend the period because many of the evacuees are unlikely find and settle in new homes any time soon.

A total of 300,000 afflicted people are now living temporarily in some 50,000 prefabricated houses and 70,000 leased private houses, both provided by local municipalities, according to the ministry.


Japan's untouchable workers

Japan's long-discriminated-against rendered as Nuclear Day Laborers in Fukushima post-meltdown cleanup, exposing Environmental Racism, Japanese style In the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima-Daiichi Power Plants, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), "a systemsimilar to the one that governed Black sharecroppers in the southern United States" is starting to emerge. "They move from one plant to another seeking the most dangerous jobs...[i]t is very difficult to follow their health needs since they are not permanent employees and no one monitors their health...The workers are afraid of losing their jobs. And if they protest, the sub-contracting company will lose their job as well and will be replaced by another sub-contractor bringing in more Burakumin."


Back to School (KoreAm March Issue)

"The Koriyama school is one of two Woori Hakkyo schools located in the disaster region; the other in Tohoku was destroyed and has yet to be rebuilt.Part of the challenge in rebuilding the Tohoku school, or in decontamination efforts at the Koriyama school, is that such work is not fully funded by the national or municipal governments. The Japanese government justifies its lack of aid by citing that the Woori Hakkyo schools receive financial support from the North Korean government.

Goo told me there are about 2,000 ethnic Koreans, referred to as zainichi, living in Fukushima Prefecture. Most of them were born in Japan, and don’t care if their ancestors were born in what is now North or South Korea. They are simply proud of their Korean heritage."


BBC Documentary "Children of the Tsunami" Airs

BBC documentary "Children of the Tsunami" shares stories and perspectives of children on the tsunami. Video clips of their narrations describe their experiences of the day of the tsunami and their lives in the aftermath of the day. The children also detail their experiences on the evacuation of their homes near the Fukushima nuclear reactors. Some of their stories, along with some their parent's stories, express frustration and confusion with authorities on issues with the evacuation of children, search for missing bodies, misinformation from the government, and when they can return home.


Fukushima women farmers leading reconstruction efforts through local foods

A farmer-agriculturist in Fukushima, Ms. Tomiko Watanabe, who had been forced to evacuate her village, initiated "Kachans' Power Project" in November, 2011. A collaborative project of local women farmers, Fukushima University, a local nonprofit NPO Hourai, and an organization of residents in southern Fukushima, it aims to help recover and reconstruct their homeland by mobilizing kachans--"moms" in the vernacular--to leverage their power, knowledge, and skills. With kachans' shops, a "kitchen car," and a weekend restaurant, they will sell locally produced food, arts, and crafts to strengthen their local unity. In December, they held a community mochi-pounding event to provide Yui-Mochi, named with their hope to connect (yui) people.

Relevant Websites (Japanese)

NPO Hourai
Website →

Fukushima Minpo: Living the Present
"Women's Power Uplifting the Local Area: 'Kachans' Power Project' Launches to Deliver Local Tastes"
(November 18, 2011)
Website →

Fukushima University press release
(December 7, 2011)

Fukushima Minpo: News
"Selling Food Products and Bentos: Kachan's Power Project"
(December 8, 2011)
Website →

Fukushima FM: Life Information
"Kachans' Power Project"
(December 14, 2011)
Website →

Fukushima Shin Hatsubai
(January 24, 2012)
"Kachans Are Strong!" (Report of the Yui-Mochi event: take a look at the photos!)
Website →


Only half of Tohoku rebuilding budget used

As labor shortage has been delayed the budget process, only about half of the budget has been used to rebuild devastated areas, and less than 20 percent of the budget for public works projects including rebuilding roads, repairing schools and erecting public housing for survivors has been spent. There are still a lot of schools and public buildings remained untouched. The funds are required to be used over a two-year period, so all the funds need to be used up by this fall before it will have to be returned to the national treasury.


Fukushima evacuees losing hope of homecoming

Nearly a year after the Tohoku tsunami and earthquake, residents are increasingly weary of returning to their homes. As radiation levels are still dangerous in some areas of the Fukushima prefecture, many evacuees are worried whether a homecoming would be safe, especially for children.


Japan Multicultural Relief Fund working with Amelia Sasaki, a 30-year Filipino resident of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture


Fukushima women against nuclear power: finding a voice from Tohoku

In the fight against nuclear power, unified voices are needed but often all one can hear are the scattered sounds of rage. In these dark times, nucleur protests have been on the rise and they are being led by the women of Japan. The "Women from Fukushima against Nukes" group (genpatsu iranai fukushima kara no onnatachi) is a collection of mothers against corporations and policy that would endanger the lives of the children just to keep 7-11 running 24-7. They unify for their children whose upbringing they can no longer ensure to be a safe, stable, or successful one. They live in fear that the very food and water they give their children to continue living, will in fact be their end.

The U.S. National Academy of Science has stated that women have a 50% higher chance than men of being diagnosed with cancer due to radiation—infants have even higher chances! And while Fukushima is largely publicized in the media, areas such as Oonami and Watari (hotspots for high levels of radiation), are completely neglected. It is not only the infants of Fukushima that are in danger but the greater Tohoku region. As radiation spreads, both local and central government attempt to redefine "safe levels of radiation," silence the voices that expose them, and hide what lies unseen to the naked eye-toxic levels of radiation. The women of Japan are doing what needs to be done—collecting the scatterd sounds and creating a sole voice against nuclear power.


Students keep transferring: Most from Fukushima because of the nuclear power plant

Students from damaged areas of the earthquake have continued transferring to other schools within and outside of the prefectures. Yuka Kanno, a mother of 3 children, decided to move to Niigata prefecture with her children, leaving her husband who is working in Date City, Fukushima prefecture. Even though the high level of radiation were observed in Date in the beginning of May, the city did not assist its residents who wished to evacuate. Ms. Kanno decided to move to Niigata so their children could play around outside. 6,249 students have transferred to schools in Niigata from Fukushima as of October 6. The board of education hired 29 temporary teachers and sent school counselors which accepted transfer students from Fukushima. On the other hand, for schools which have lost students in the damaged area, it is hard to maintain school activities. In Watanoha Middle School, Ishinomaki, Miyagi, 80 out of 480 students transferred after the earthquake and tsunami. Hiroshi Miura, vice-principal, said, “If we keep losing students, not only are we going to lose liveliness but also we are not going to have people living in this town. Then we are not going to be able to maintain this school itself.”


High School Drop-Outs Due to the Quake and Nuclear Disaster

There is a total of eleven students in the disaster area who were forced to drop out of high school primarily due to the earthquake and nuclear disaster. "I have to support my family since my parents lost their jobs," "It is hard to commute from where I was relocated to," students say. There are some students who are still in school but not attending for the same reason. There is concern that the number of drop-outs will increase unless there are drastic improvements in the job market. The survey which attained these results was conducted in 113 high schools in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima earlier this month. This included 101 public and 12 private schools and out of eleven students, seven of them were found to be female.


Ashinaga Scholarship Society Support Bereaved Children

Togashi Yasuo, talks to orphaned students at the mental healthcare program in Ishinomaki Higashi High School, Higashi Matsushima, Miyagi prefecture.

Ashinaga Scholarship Society has been supporting orphaned children since the wake of the earthquake and tsunami not only by providing scholarships but also mental health care programs. In Tohoku, about 1,500 children were orphaned because of the earthquake and tsunami. Togashi Yasuo, 29, who lost his father when he was 9th grade and received the Ashinaga scholarship, now works for the Society as a student counselor. He has visited almost 100 bereaved children. "Some kids don't show their emotion. They think it's not good to do so because everyone is suffering from the earthquake," Togashi says. Other children have lost motivation for study. Togashi continues to support those children seeking what needs to be done for them to grow up happily.


Half a year after the disaster: Unemployed population has increased by 70,000 in the damaged area

According to Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of those who lost their job due to the earthquake is estimated to be at least 70,000 in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. The number of unemployment in these three prefectures was 82,763 last year. Compared to this year's 153,173, the number grew substantially. The reason for this increase is undoubtedly because of the disaster. The situation for unemployed people will be worse after the expiration of unemployment insurance in the fall. Further, this does not include fisherman, the self-employed, or small business owners. Other investigations says the true unemployment number related to the disaster is 140,000-200,000. Although there are some companies hiring, it is still hard to find a job except in the construction field. The government is urged to create more job opportunities in other fields as well.


More than 1,300 Fukushima Students Transferred During the Summer Break

1,315 students attending schools in Fukushima transferred to schools outside the prefecture during the summer break. 874 students transferred into the prefecture. (In August, 14,176 students already transferred or requested to transfer.) 733 students, on the other hand, transferred from outside the prefecture into the prefecture, coming back from temporary evacuation because of the incident of the nuclear power plant.


Formulating Standards for Certifying Worker's Compensation for Nuclear Power Plant Workers

The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare is starting to lay down the standards for certifying worker's compensation in case the workers at nuclear power plants become sick due to radiation exposure at work. Currently the standards are limited to only leukemia and acute radiation illness, but the ministry will investigate the relations to other diseases such as stomach cancer, lung cancer, and radiation exposure. In addition, it will prepare for an expected increase of application for worker's compensation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. At this time there have been only 10 workers certified for the compensation.


341 Households' Welfare Cut: Donations Considered as Income

The number of households of the earthquake and tsunami, who had been on welfare in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefecture and whose assistance was cut has risen up to 341 because the public donations and temporary compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) were considered as income. Among 42 cities which were visited by the earthquake and tsunami, especially in Minami Soma city in Fukushima, 219 households had their welfare cut. In addition, the criteria on which the local governments consider the donation and compensation as income vary. Japan Federation of Bar Associations is requesting a revision for the welfare cutting which severely impacts the victims.


Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare Creates Database of Workers at Fukushima Daiichi

The Investigation Committee of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare is going to create a database of workers of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the amount of radiation exposure. For those who have been exposed to a certain amount of radiation, the ministry will offer health checkups. For those who have been exposed to more than 100 mSv, they will offer cancer detection checkups once per year free of charge. The database will also be available for use by all the workers of the power plant to search the amount of radiation at any point in time.


30 doctors have left Fukushima after the quake

According to the report from Fukushima prefecture regional medical strategy meeting, the number of full-time doctors has decreased by 30 after the 3/11 earthquake.

The actual drop in number is estimated to be greater since 3 hospitals in the warning region have not responded to the survey. A committee in the meeting says that doctors will not come back until the nuclear radiation pollution is removed. Some younger nurses are even staying away in order to protect their children. It is also reported that about a half of all medical agencies in the prefecture including dental clinics have been damaged by the earthquake, and the total cost of damage has reached over $148 million.


Collapsed Korean Schools in Tohoku

Four months after the earthquake, the Japanese mainstream media has not yet reported the situation of Korean schools in the Tohoku area. Although Tohoku Korean Elementary and Middle School in Sendai, Miyagi were greatly damaged, it continues to be a base for proviing relief supplies and serving meals. On March 27, their graduation, they served students kuppap (rice soup) by building a fire outside.

Currently the students are having classes in dormitory rooms. The Miyagi prefecture supplied financial aid for 2010-2011, which previously had been stopped because of the gunfire attack at Yeongpyeong Island in South Korea by the North Korean military. However, the prefecture has decided not to supply this year’s (2011-2012) financial aid. Although Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), has said it will aid half of the cost for restoration and rebuild so-called miscellaneous schools, including Korean schools, such promises may not come to fruition..

The students of Fukushima Korean Elementary and Middle School in Kooriyama, Fukushima, have “escaped” and been receiving classes at Niigata Korean Elementary and Middle School, in Niigata because of the nuclear accident. The number of casualties and missing persons of Koreans is 16, and more than 100 Korean homes were collapsed or partially collapsed. Although the Korean schools in Tohoku have been receiving relief goods and donations from South and North Korean governments and groups, and Korean groups, a school official stated that “Japanese people don’t have high interest [in helping Koreans].” Mr. Jong Chul Yoon, the principal of Tohoku Korean Elementary and Middle School said, “Interest in Korean schools became higher in South Korea after the earthquake. We would like to continue to exchange at the local level and think of new directions for our schools.”


Minami-Soma City Requests Evacuated Citizens to Return

Minami-Soma city, Fukushima, will send a request to about 32,000 citizens who have evacuated to shelters outside the city to return to their homes or temporary housing by the end of August. According to the city, "We cannot depend on the local governments forever. We need to set up a goal to become independent." Four months after the earthquake and tsunami, currently some 10,000 Minami-Soma citizens live in Fukushima prefecture, 2,600 in Niigata, 2,200 in Miyagi, and 2,000 in Yamagata. Since Fukushima prefecture has announced that the shelters in Fukushima will be closed by the end of August, Minami-Soma city has changed their plans. Yukio Sato, chief of regional development of Minami-Soma city, said, "Since there are different perceptions about risks of radiation, we are not forcing anyone to do anything they do not wish to do" However, this decision is making citizens confused. Ryuichi Kobata, 47, now evacuating in Yonezawa city with his family said, "It is nonsense to request a return despite the fact that radioactive pollution was found from cows in Minami-Soma. If we are talking about safety, shouldn't they say 'do not return!'" Another evacuee from the city said, "The city should listen to the evacuees and make a decision."


IM Japan accepts 6,000 Vietnamese Training Technical Interns for Nuclear Power Plant

The International Manpower Development Organization (IM Japan), which promotes the Technical Intern Training Program instituted by the Japanese government and has been accepting interns from Southeast Asian countries, is going to start a training program for Vietnamese engineers who will be working at nuclear power plants in their home country. The Vietnamese government plans to construct nuclear power plants in 2014 and start the operation in 2021. IM Japan will accept 1,000 interns every year, (6,000 in total). Interns will receive practical training at electric companies in Japan.


Wife to seek work accident compensation over Fukushima plant worker's death / 福島第1原発:東芝協力企業の作業員死亡 労災申請へ

Nobukatsu Osumi's bereaved wife holds up his photo in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture. (Mainichi)

The wife of a man who died from a heart attack while working at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant plans to seek recognition of his death as a workplace accident, it has been learned.

The 60-year-old worker, Nobukatsu Osumi, a plumber from the Shizuoka Prefecture city of Omaezaki, died on May 14, after being dispatched to the nuclear power plant from a company cooperating with Toshiba Corp. to help bring the nuclear crisis under control.

Osumi's 53-year-old wife, a Thai national, plans to file to have his death recognized as a workplace accident eligible for compensation at the Yokohama Minami Labor Standards Inspection Office, which deals with Toshiba's workplace accident insurance, as early as this week.

Toshiba and other sources said that Osumi had experience working at the Hamaoka and Shimane nuclear power plants in the past. From Toshiba's perspective he was a temporary employee for a construction company designated as a fourth-level subcontractor.


東芝(本社・東京都港区)の協力企業から派遣され東京電力福島第1原発事故の収束作業中に心筋梗塞(こうそく)で死亡した男性作業員の遺族が、「発 症は短期間の過重業務が原因」として週内にも労災を申請することが11日、分かった。同原発事故の収束作業をめぐる労災申請は初めてとみられ、労働基準監 督署の判断が注目される。【西嶋正信】

 作業員は5月14日に死亡した静岡県御前崎市池新田、配管工、大角信勝さん(当時60歳)で、タイ国籍の妻カニカさん(53)が、東芝の労災保険窓口となっている横浜南労働基準監督署(横浜市)に労災申請する。  東芝などの説明によると、大角さんは浜岡、島根原発などで作業経験があり、収束作業を請け負った東芝からみて4次下請けにあたる御前崎市内の建設会社の臨時雇いだった。


Survivor Workers: Fukuoka Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Most of the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are the earthquake and tsunami survivors from Hamadori, Fukushima. Some of their family members are still missing. They are working under harsh conditions and exposed to the risks of radiation exposure. A male worker, in his 40s, commutes to the Power Plant from a shelter. Although his wife and parents discouraged him to work in the Power Plant, he continues to work there. He says, "My colleagues are working and risking their lives. Somebody has to do it." Another male worker (34), who works for a sub-sub contract company of the TEPCO, said "It is ironic that I still have a job and am earning money while farmers and store owners have lost their jobs." The other male worker (64), who has worked for the Power Plant for the last 40 years, said "We are the ones who can take care of the TEPCO employees who are not used to working at the site."


Donation: Only 15% Distributed to the Suvivors

Out of 250 billion yen, which was donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Central Community Chest of Japan, only 15% has been distributed so far. The donation was distributed to the prefectures after the Committee's decision; however, the local government has not been able to fully assess the damage and loss yet. As of June, only 3.7 billion yen was distributed to the survivors.

Original (FNN News, May 31, 2011)

Saitama Korean School Serve Bibimbap to Victims from Fukushima

Ethnic Korean Elementary and Middle Schools in Saitama prefecture served the Korean traditional dish bibimbap for victims from Futaba in the Fukushima prefecture. The parents of the Korean school said, "We would like to spread this circle of support to all over Japan"


Little Privacy Raises Stress for Women

As of May 11, 2 months since the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, there are still 110,000 people living in shelters with little privacy. It is especially hard for women, and their stress level continues to grow. At a shelter in Rikuzen Takata city in Iwate prefecture, approximately 500 people are living in a gym, where the space is separated with cardboards. A middle school student is sleeping in a car outside because of the lack of privacy within the gym. Another woman, 28, said "It is scary to go to the bathroom equipped outside the shelter at night by myself. So I go to the bathroom before 9pm, lights-out time. I try not to drink water." Another mother raising an infant is concerned when she needs to breastfeed her baby. She and her family are now spending more time in their car because they do not want to bother other evacuees when the baby cries.


Chongryon members serve meals in Tohoku

Since the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku area, Chongryon have set up crisis teams in each prefecture. One of their activities is serving Korean food such as Korean style barbeque.

Barbeque served in Ofunato, Iwate, by Chongryon Iwate head branch.

In Ofunato city, Iwate, the Chongryon head branch of Iwate prefecture group served meals on April 23 at the Ueyama community center. On the menu was kalbi (Korean style barbeque), hormone (horumon, organ meat), kimchee, and hittumi (Iwate's local cuisine). Approximately 20 residents are sheltering at the community center , including Mr. Chang, Yong Min (age 40). The meal was served not only to the people who are living there, but also to residents in the neighborhoods.

One of the group members, Park, Jung Seo (age 46), living in Tokyo, had also volunteered after the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck 16 years ago. He said, "I wanted to do something—not just watch the news. Rebuilding [Tohoku] will be done by the local citizens and I would like to help them." Two other members also came from Tokyo and Kanagawa to help serve meals.

In Otuchi, Iwate, 9 members of the Chongryon group from Kyoto visited Shiroyama Park Stadium and served 500 meals such as Korean BBQ on April 18. The members of Iwate Chongryon head branch, women group's head branch, and Young Chongryon Tohoku Committee also helped. Earlier, the group from Kyoto sent 6 volunteers to Fukushima and Miyagi.

The members of Kyoto decided to serve meals in Tohoku, under the spirit of mutual aid, "one for all, all for one." Kim, Wi Gwang, the chairman said, "By working with the Tohoku organizations that are overcoming the hardships in unity, we felt empowered by them." Seo, Myung Soo, the chair of Iwate Junior Chamber of Commerce said, "Now I'm determined to move forward with the rebuilding of the Korean community in Iwate."

In Sendai, Miyagi, the Crisis Team of Chongyon of Miyagi Head Branch served 140 meals at Takasago Community Center on April 14, which was their third time.

These food drive activities have been reported in the local newspaper and TV stations in Iwate and Miyagi because they best exemplify how people in the disaster struck regions have been supporting each other regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.


Report from Iidate, Fukushima by a renowned anti-nuclear photo journalist Takashi Morizumi

Iidate, Fukushima, has been contaminated with nuclear radiation. Near the city hall is 2-3 µSv/hour (micro sievert), but in some other locations it is close to 10~30 µSv/hour. This is about 2 to 4 times more than the city of Pripyat (4 kilometers = 2.5miles away from Chernobyl). No one lives in Pripyat anymore; however, about 6,200 people still live in Iidate—including infants.

The picture above shows children coming back from kindergarten and elementary schools that have relocated to Kawamata, near Iidate.
Mr. Shiga, a dairy farmer, who joined the protest at TEPCO on April 26.

On April 26, farmers from Fukushima participated in the protest, organized by the National Farmers Joint Association, in front of the headquarter office of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

At the negotiation with TEPCO, Mr. Shiga, one of the representative farmers from Iidate, said, "The problem for the dairy farmers is not just about relocating the cow, it is also about relocating milking facilities and night-soil treatment plants. Then we will evacuate. Can we find jobs at where we are going to be relocated? If you are not going to compensate us soon, we cannot live because we haven't had any income for more than one month. Why on earth is the TEPCO present not coming to apologize?" The department chief did not answer his questions but did apologize.

Back in Iidate, the assembly of the Iidate residents was held by the youths. One of the representatives said, "This is human disaster, and we are the victims of it. We want people in this country to think that this is their problem too, not just ours, and oppose the nuclear power plants." Another participant said, "We have lost our homes for our grandchildren"

The residents of Iidate lost their home, their families were separated, and the community is scattered. While Iidate has grown as a farm village, they cannot produce rice, get natural products from mountains, or feed their cow. They have been famous for Iidate beef, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, and so on. However, the water has been polluted by the nuclear radiation. The former president of agricultural cooperative, a member of the Communist Party, warned people of Iidate, which is located 40 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, "You need to oppose the nuclear power plants because Iidate will be damaged first."

They have been exposed to such high level of nuclear radiation that the damage might manifest itself someday on the people here in Iidate, as was the case in Semipalatinsk and Chernobyl. The government told them it will not cause health problems immediately, and that it is safe to live in Iidate. However, now the government has ordered a "scheduled evacuation" on April 11, and the people are confused and upset. (People of the village will need to be evacuated in one month or so.)

In Naganuma district, the highest level of radiation was observed. Mr. Tanaka, a dairy farmer, said even if the pollution is higher than the place 200 meters (655 ft.) away from Chernobyl, he cannot evacuate leaving his cows.

It is hard to believe that the beautiful nature will be lost because of the invisible radiation.


A Relief Volunteer's Mental Health & Stress Management Manual

"A Relief Volunteer's Mental Health & Stress Management Manual" (in Japanese only), published by Shin Sugok, Japan's foremost expert on human resources consulting and renowned Zainichi Korean human rights advocate!

"I produced this portable pocket manual for the public workers and volunteers who will conduct relief work in the Northern Japan quake zone, with the Jichiro (All-Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers Union). The manual is a reference guide for the volunteers so that they can be informed about their own self-management and the care of others amidst what is sure to be a stressful situation, and is based on my own personal experience of conducting numerous relief and rescue efforts. If you know any one going into the quake zone please provide them with a copy of this. In the near future, we will also be publishing the manual "What Relief Looks Like 1000 hours After the Disaster." (This is approximately 1.5 month afterwards - and the survivors are just starting to get re-grounded under the new circumstances, having come out of shock and paralyzing despair.) We trust this manual will be packed with useful information to ensure that we are best equipped to provide mutual support. In this day and age, it's all the more important that we support each other as a community, moving forward. To this end, resources like this will prove to be indispensable." --Shin Sugok


Free the Kamagasaki 7: Homeless and migrant worker rights advocates unjustly arrested - 4 remain in police custody

The migrant workers in Osaka losing their voting rights and residency cards, et cetera - very relevant, given the over 400 migrant workers sacrificing their lives to work in Fukushima. Recently, seven people working to raise awareness about this issue have been arrested. Fortunately, three have been released.

Three members of the Kamagasaki 7 were released on April 26th, yet four remain in police custody. Five of the homeless rights advocates, who have been working to realize the voting rights of homeless and migrant workers since 2007, were arrested on the grounds of "interfering with a public servant in the execution of their duties" on April 5th, and one more on the sixth. Documentary film maker Reo Sato, who also participates in the struggle for workers' rights, was apprehended on the 10th outside of polling boxes in Kamagasaki, Osaka after peacefully casting his vote in local elections. Prior to voting he had walked around the neighborhood with other rights advocates encouraging the homeless to participate in local elections.

In 2007, Osaka City invalidated the residency cards of 2,088 people in Kamagasaki, mostly homeless people making a living as migrant workers, on the grounds that the addresses were not valid. Their cards were registered with the Kamagasaki Liberation Assembly Hall, Furusato no Ie, and NPO Kamagasaki. Not only does this make it impossible for these people to vote, but also to obtain driver's licenses and other official documents. Members of the Kamagasaki Seven, have been active in supporting the homeless and migrant workers appeal to regain their residency cards and right to vote.

On the same day as the original arrests, the police also searched 14 different households, including Sato's, while he was not home. Police confiscated 250 DV tape recordings, including the entirety of the footage he had been taking of the movement to restores residency rights since 2007.

The move denying migrant workers the right to vote is receiving increasing criticism by labor unions and their allies. Over 400 migrant workers are putting their lives on the line in relief efforts in Tohoku, yet they are constantly denied the fundamental right to participate as a political entities and determine their own destiny via the ballot box.

Since the arrest, local organizations have been raising awareness of the situation while gathering petition signature in order to pressure the police for their release. Petition information can be found here.

130 rally for the release of Kamagasaki 7 on April 16th (This and more photos at Hatarakibito)

This information and more can be found at the following sites (Japanese Only):



Authored by a high-school female student in Minami-Soma City of Fukushima, heart of the hardest-hit quake/tsunami zone, and sent to a journalist/activist in Tokyo.

Please help us!
I am a high school girl
Living in Minami-Soma City of Fukushima

The tsunami killed my fellow students a lot
Some of my friends lost their parents
My dearest friend cannot evacuate her area
Because her family have no gas to run away

I cannot do anything
But just to encourage her
Sending e-mail or talking over the phone

My friend has been fighting her rising panic
Because of an incredible sensation of fear for radiation

But now she is deeply depressed
She seems to have given up everything in despair

She is only sixteen years old
And she is now prepared to die
She feels the death approaching her stealthily

Even if she could survive
She has to live on
With a fear of radiation

The state, politicians,
Mass-medias, so-called experts--
All of them are our enemies
They are lying about everything

About the nuclear plant disaster
TVs are now broadcasting too little
They are repeatedly showing tsunami scenes
Their interviews are too insensitive
They express insincere and empty condolences
An abhorrent politician insulted us
He dared to describe the catastrophe with outrageous words
"I really do think this is Divine Punishment"

Politicians, you should offer your salaries
Spend all your savings on the affected people

Stop lavish extravagance
And let the affected people live!

You are just bossing around
Looking from a remote vantage point
Come down to the affected areas
And try hard to save the people

We feel like... we are absolute outcasts
Fukushima will be segregated in settlements

We are absolutely abandoned
We will be killed by the state!

We--the people in the affected areas
Never forgive the state for abandoning us
Forever and ever... and keep condemning it!

The people who read this
Please listen to me
I want you to know how hard it is

You never know when to lose your loved ones
Please imagine your dearest one
Smiling beside you
And suddenly passes away

Please care about your loved ones
And love them more than ever
Schools where you spent your vernal years
Have now turned to morgues
Dead people are lying down cold and still
In gym where you enjoyed a lot of sports

How can I let the people know the truth?
As many people as I can...
But I will be grateful
If someone would read this
After much thinking
I took this opportunity to write my feelings
I am sorry
And thank you


Japan Bar Association provides multi-lingual consultations to the survivors

Japan Bar Association started to provide telephone consulting service to non-Japanese speaking survivors in 3 languages (Chinese, English and Portuguese) for broad issues including applying for a re-entry permit for their immediate return, compensation for the property damage, and insurance issues.


4 Filipina caregivers remain in Fukushima

While many leave the disaster struck regions due to the fear of possible radiation from the nuclear power plant explosion, 4 caregivers from the Philippines continue their work to assist the elderly at a nearby elderly home in Fukushima prefecture.


Day 0 and Day 1 in Ishinomaki: A perspective of Nikkei Latin American

Akira Uchimura reports and chronicles his journey to Ishinomaki city to provide relief supplies and services to victims of the March 11th earthquake. As a volunteer leader and Nikkei Latin American, he shares his own perspective and thoughts (as well as photos) on his daily happenings and encounters in Ishinomaki, offering a unique and firsthand account of events currently taking place there.


Koreans and Japanese Working Together

While, the Japanese media has only focused on the Japanese survivors and evacuees, we bring attention to the people from other countries who are also struggling to survive along with the Japanese in the difficult conditions. In the aftermath of the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake, the Korean school was turned into an evacuation center and many Koreans spent time living with the Japanese, helping each other both physically and emotionally. We are seeing similar scenarios in the aftermath of the last earthquake. The Korean middle school in Sendai recently held an outdoor kitchen for the Japanese residents in the area. Roughly 20 teachers and staff members from the Korean middle school cooked Korean style miso soup and rice balls for 400 Japanese people, with a sign that read "Lets all work together - gambaro."

In the aftermath of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, many Koreans were killed by the Japanese when false rumors of Koreans causing riots and poisoning the drinking wells spread. This time around, similar rumors and discriminatory comments, such as "Stop Koreans and Chinese from stealing Japanese land," "Be quiet and go home, stupid Koreans," and "You don't like Japan, so just go home to Korea" have exploded on Internet. What kind of people make such crude and discriminatory comments during a period of such difficulty for all? Can we find and punish people who make these comments and find a way to stop their usage of Twitter to spread these discriminatory statements?


Chinese Student Continues to Serve in Japan's Quake-hit Area

Article primarily focuses on Chinese student, Niu Haili, and her various volunteering efforts to help aid foreigners and overseas students directly impacted by the March 11th earthquake in Japan. While most of her fellow classmates were evacuated from Sendai amid fears of radiation leaks, Niu Haili chose instead to remain and establish a multilingual service center--consisting of volunteers from different countries like the U.S., South Korea and Germany--in an effort to inquire and gather information regarding missing persons from other countries. She says she has received nearly 400 emergency phone calls from Chinese people seeking help and information on missing persons.


Racist and Xenophic Comments Spreading on Internet

Various rumors have been spread out on Internet and through words of mouth, including the nuclear toxic rain and crimes committed by the foreign residents, which imply the 1923 false rumor that killed more than 6,000 Koreans in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Eathquake.


Racist and Xenophobic comments consolidated on Togetter Post (on-going)

This website consolidates rumors permeating on Internet that represents Koreans, Chinese and other foreigners as potential criminals who would steal, rape and kill Japanese people in the chaotic aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. In the aftermath of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, more than 6,000 Koreans were killed because of the similar false rumor.


Reflection on the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake in the post-quake 2011

In the aftermath of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, Korean school was not recognized as an official emergency shelter by the government, and therefore was initially excluded from receiving government’s disaster aid despite the fact it even provided a refuge and aid to the Japanese residents in the area. It took more than 10 days for the school to be recognized as legitimate as a shelter and was eligible to receive government aid. Based on this experience, Korean communities in Japan quickly responded to the earthquake and tsunami disaster this time, and have sent food, water, gasoline, toilet papers, and other necessary stuff to the Korean people in the affected area.


Letter from Fukushima: A Vietnamese-Japanese Police Officer's Account

Excerpts from the letter:

"But the foreign students from Vietnam are not so lucky. I still haven't received news of them. If there were exact names and addresses of where they work and so on, it would be easier to discover their fate. In Japan, the police do not keep accurate residential information the way they do in Vietnam, and privacy law here makes it even more difficult to find."

"I met a Japanese woman who was working with seven Vietnamese women, all here as foreign students. Their work place is only 3 kilometers from the ocean and she said that they don't really understand Japanese. When she fled, the students followed her, but when she checked back they were gone. Now she doesn't know if they managed to survive. She remembers one woman's name: Nguyen thi Huyen (or Hien)."

"No representatives from the Vietnamese embassy have shown up, even though on the Vietnamese Internet news sites they claim to be very concerned about Vietnamese citizens in Japan - all of it a lie."


Report from the Brazilian community in Tohoku Area via Professor Lilian Terumi Hatano of Kinki University

Nikkei Brazilians, often referred as "Invisible Foreigners," have been suffering from the lack of support and feeling extremely vulnerable in the aftermath. The Brazilian parents must go to work, leaving their children at home while they are still experiencing constant aftershocks because without their labors, Japanese society does not function. They ask, if the Brazilian schools are closed due to the damage on the school facility and lack of funding from Japanese government, will their children be welcomed in Japanese school?


Saitama and Miyagi Prefectures announces to defund Korean Schools

The governor of Saitama and Miyagi Prefecture made an abrupt announcement to end funding for the Korean Schools for the fiscal year 2011 (Apil 2011 -March 2012). The Korean schools and the Korean residents in those regions have been severely affected by the recent earthquake, tsunami and resultant nuclear crisis. The end of the de-funding will place a huge burden on the administration of the Korean schools and will impact the students, teachers, staff members, and families in the Korean communities.

*As of April 2, 2011, Saitama governor suspended the decision of defunding thanks to the outcry from both Korean and Japanese communities.


Difficult to Identify Korean Victimes and Suvivors because of Japanese Aliases

There were at least 50 Korean residents missing as of March 14. It has been extremely difficult to identify one as Korean because the majority of the Korean residents (approximately 90% nation-wise, but presumably higher in the Tohoku region) use their Japanese aliases, a symbol of colonial legacy that still haunts Koreans in Japan.

Consequently, the Korean Youth Commerce Community has launched the website specifically to look for missing Korean residents in the area.


Appeal for provisions to prevent sexual violence during a disaster

As a result of the March 11th earthquake in Japan, Rape Crisis Network, an organization providing online information to survivors of sexual violence, has posted an appeal to the Japanese Government requesting provisions that would increase support and recovery services for survivors of sexual violence. A detailed description of the appeal can be seen by clicking the link above.

Make a Donation

Donate Online


Donate by Check

Donation checks can be sent to:
310 8th Street, Suite 305A, Oakland, CA 94607


  1. Please make your check payable to JPRN! We cannot deposit checks written to Japan Multicultural Relief Fund, as it is a Fund setup within JPRN as the administrator for the Fund.
  2. Please make a note for "Japan Multicultural Relief Fund" in the "Memo" line of your check.

Your charitable contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. JPRN's Federal ID # is 94-3008480.