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Fukushima survivor submits evidence to UN over Japanese 'human rights abuses'

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-13 10:02

GENEVA - A Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster survivor on Thursday submitted evidence of the "ongoing human rights abuses of Fukushima victims" to the UN Human Rights Council, a source with the Greenpeace Japan in Geneva said.

Mitsuko Sonoda, the survivor, said she was forced to flee her home in order to protect her then 10-year-old son in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima on March 11, 2011. Since then, she and other mothers have been standing up to fight for themselves and their children.

"I want to tell the world we haven't had our human rights respected since the disaster. I don't want this to happen to anyone else in any other countries," said Mitsuko Sonoda.

"I know so many mothers who have been suffering and struggling as a result of the nuclear disaster, because the Japanese government and (the company) TEPCO won't admit to their responsibilities," she said.

According to a statement released by the Greenpeace Japan in Geneva Thursday, despite residents' opposition and the fact that there are areas in Fukushima Prefecture that remain too contaminated for people to safely live, the Japanese government has moved forward with lifting evacuation orders and pushing for nuclear restarts.

What's more, the statement said, evacuees from contaminated areas that were not under a mandatory evacuation order lost housing support in March of 2017, and in March 2018, former residents from those areas will lose what remains of their compensation.

"The Japanese Government's resettlement policies not only fail to meet obligations under multiple human rights treaties, but also clearly violate Japan's own domestic law regarding the treatment of people impacted by the nuclear disaster," said Kendra Ulrich, Senior Global Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Japan.

"Although most Fukushima nuclear evacuees meet the criteria for consideration as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the Japanese government has refused to acknowledge them as such and ignored international frameworks for their protection," Ulrich added.

The Fukushima disaster was the most significant nuclear incident since Russia's Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986.

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