Policy / Systems / Technology

April 28, 2013


Japan's Diet Members' Nonpartisan Alliance Established to Assist Nuclear Accident Victims

Keywords: NGO / Citizen Policy / Systems 

On January 22, 2013, a parliamentarians' nonpartisan alliance called the "Diet Members' Alliance to Support Child Victims" was established in Japan to support the victims of Tokyo Electric's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. As of February 22, 2013, 93 diet members were participating in the Alliance for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the Nuclear Accident Child Victims' Law, established in June 2012 as lawmaker-initiated legislation.

The law is significant, as it emphasizes the social responsibility of the government, which had promoted nuclear power, and it targets even areas that are not included in the government's designated evacuation zone. The law also includes respect for a victim's right to self-determination, such as voluntary evacuation, health hazard prevention, exemption of medical expenses, and so forth, particularly in consideration of children and pregnant women.

Specific policies will depend on the basic policies that are currently being prepared at the Reconstruction Agency. After being significantly delayed with the initial plan, the assistance to victims under the law has not yet begun. Therefore, the Alliance first intends to request that post-disaster Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto promptly develops the basic policies that reflect the voices of victims.

Rika Mashiko, who voluntarily evacuated from Miharu Town, Fukushima Prefecture, outside of the government's designated evacuation zone, represents a group called "Tsunagaro! Hoshano Kara Hinanshita Mama Net (Network Group of Mothers Evacuated from Radiation)." Prior to the establishment of the Alliance, Mashiko, at a meeting held in Tokyo on January 21, 2013, talked about the difficulties being faced by voluntary evacuees, including concerns over health and financial issues, and urged policymakers to ensure that the Nuclear Accident Child Victims' Law reflect the realities being experienced by evacuees.