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Japanese nuclear plant workers face stigma: Doctors

Updated: 2012-08-08 08:11
By Malcolm Foster in Tokyo ( China Daily)

A growing number of Japanese workers who are risking their health to shut down the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are suffering from depression, anxiety about the future and a loss of motivation, say two doctors who visit them regularly.

But their psychological problems are driven less by fears about developing cancer from radiation exposure and more by something immediate and personal: Discrimination from the very community they tried to protect, says Jun Shigemura, who heads a volunteer team of about 10 psychiatrists and psychologists from the National Defense Medical College who meet with Tokyo Electric Power Co nuclear plant employees.

They tell therapists they have been harangued by residents displaced in Japan's nuclear disaster and threatened with signs on their doors telling them to leave. Some of their children have been taunted at school, and prospective landlords have turned them away.

Japanese nuclear plant workers face stigma: Doctors