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Human Rights Violations of Persons with Disabilities in Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Masayo Furui, Toru Furui, Kiyoharu Shiraishi, Rintaro Umenai and Chihoko Aoki
20120326 Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability & Diversity
Hawaii Convention Center

last update:20120402

Note: PDF is available from here.

  Human Rights Violations of Persons with Disabilities in Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Power Plant Accident
  Masayo Furui, Toru Furui, Kiyoharu Shiraishi, Rintaro Umenai and Chihoko Aoki

  Disaster support systems for people with disabilities in Japan.
  Chihoko Aoki
  Ritsumeikan University


1. History of "welfare shelters”
2. Cases
How people with disabilities spent the time after the Great East Japan Earthquake
3. Point at issue
Differences in the courses of action
4. Conclusion

  1. Cases

 Fukushima Map of Japan Region
 22% of people with disabilities were not able to take refuge
 More than the half of those who did take refuge returned to their homes in the area within three weeks (Fukushima Disaster Support Center for People with Disabilities, 2011)

  1.1. Cases of people, who were not able to take refuge

 Mr. A
-Manager of a day care center for the mentally disabled people in Minami-Soma
-On March 12, preparing for evacuation by bus that was to be used to evacuate the users.
-Was not told where the evacuation bus will take them
-"If I follow the bus, I'll be able to get support this way or another"
 The closer to the departure time, the more crowded the place become, and in the "utter crowded mess"
 One mentally disabled person: "I don't want to go” and hid somewhere.
 Mr. A and the family of the person, ended up giving up on evacuation (field notes, April 18, 2011).

(Note: Fukushima Map of Japan Region)

  1.2 Cases of people who after evacuation entered large-scale welfare facilities.

 Mr. B
-lived in a group home in Tomioka-cho of Fukushima Prefecture
-March 11, passed a night in a residential facility
-March 12, after the explosion, all of the people staying in the facility took refuge in Miharu-machi.
-April 15, evacuates into an institution
 But…Mr. B is still staying at the institution even now.
-"It's as if I made a time slip and ended up where I was 25 years ago. In a group home we could all go shopping when we needed anything, hold personal events, eat out, go to work, and when I think about those days, it makes me really sad. It's really tough now."(Yoshida, 2011)

(Note: Fukushima Map of Japan Region)
 Mr. C
-lived in Minami-Soma city of Fukushima Prefecture
-March 13, he went with his family to the house of his relatives in Fukushima city
-urged by his family who "was worried" about him, he entered the institution he formerly entered.
-"thought that I'll be there (in the facility) for about one week“, but he ended up spending there seven months. (Interview on October 27, 2011)

(Note: Fukushima Map of Japan Region)

  1.3. A case of an establishment of a welfare shelter.

 Nonprofit organization "IL-no-kai (company IL)”
-running a CIL in Fukushima Prefecture
 March 12,
-Becomes impossible to maintain its PA dispatch business due to shortages of gasoline
-Decided to close the office and established a welfare shelter
-Requested the city to allow the staff to use the municipal facilities and open a welfare shelter.
-"All those who cannot live without PAs gather at K (location of a welfare shelter)"
-30 members of "IL-no-kai”' and their families as well as two families of the elderly citizens ended up taking refuge. (Interview on August 30, 2011).

 "K (the welfare shelter) was the only way (for us disabled to take refuge). If it was near  (Interview on August 29, 2011)" 
 "After the earthquake, a PA came and said let's go to a shelter nearby, but the truth is, all I was thinking about was what if I can't go to the toilet there, or there'll be no one to take care of me? So I decided that I'd better stay home, and did so.[…]The atmosphere was like even the disabled people living at homes did not have much of a choice, much of a say in the matter. […]I think that there should be PAs, and slopes for wheelchairs so the disabled people can use the place. In terms of protecting the shelter, it does not matter whether you have a disability or not. If people can't use the shelter when the disaster happens, that's just not right. (Interview on August 31, 2011) "

  What should be noted…

 For someone with a disability and requiring special care it was a very difficult step to decide on taking shelter somewhere new
 The majority of them first evacuated to common shelters nearby places, they have had a certain connection to in their everyday lives
 Disabled people who cannot live in a common shelter ended up going from one place to another, facing everywhere the same situation with no guarantees of PAs, life-support equipment, fearing for their very lives.
 Nobody were given the information beforehand about where welfare shelters are located and where people requiring care should escape to.

  2. History of "welfare shelters"

  1987 "Disaster damage prevention white paper”

 1974- Prime Minister's Office, 1975-2001 National Land Agency, 2001- Cabinet Office
 "Vulnerable groups in disaster": People with handicaps that impede them from conducting a series of actions necessary at the time of disasters,
-those who cannot sense danger when the situation is dangerous,
-those who can sense difficulties they are facing but cannot convey this fact to the rescuers,
-those who cannot receive the information regarding dangers or difficulties,
-those who cannot (or can but with difficulty) take necessary actions, when such information on difficulties or dangers does reach them (National Land Agency, 1987).

  1995 Kobe Earthquake

 Over 10 percent of the death toll of Kobe earthquake was disaster-related deaths
 "Disaster-related death": Dying not at the time the actual disaster occurs, but later, when one is already living in a shelter, where care is not available.
 October 1995, the revision of the Disaster Measures Basic Law
-"Measures to accommodate vulnerable groups in disaster" were incorporated as a task to be addressed (Lower House plenary session, 1995).

  1996 "Emergency rescue in large-scale disasters"

 Published by Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Disaster Relief Study Group
 The first mentioning of the words "welfare shelter"
-"Since persons requiring support tend to experience difficulties in respect of ensuring their living space etc., in a regular shelter, it is essential to ensure that social welfare facilities, which can offer institutions to those requiring them, function as shelters. For this reason, it is indispensable to select beforehand from the institutions of the region facilities that people requiring support can use as shelters at the time of disaster and designate them as "welfare shelters" (tentative name). (Ministry of Health and the Disaster Relief Study Group, 1996)

  1997 "Disaster relief manual"

 Summary of the discussion of the Disaster Relief Study Group that was instituted in the Ministry of Health and Welfare
 Notices were sent out establishing institutions as "welfare shelters" for persons with disabilities (Ministry of Health and Welfare, Disaster Relief Study Group, 1998).

  2004 Chuetsu earthquake
 Welfare shelters were established for the first time. But did not function effectively

  2005 "Evacuation support guidelines for persons requiring support at the time of disaster"

 Newly suggested that the government needs to decide upon the method of sharing of information regarding persons requiring support at the time of disaster as well as its evacuation support plan for persons requiring support at the time of disaster.

  September 2005, "Investigative commission regarding evacuation support of persons requiring support at the time of disaster"
 "Vulnerable groups in disaster" start to be called "persons requiring support at the time of disaster".

  2006 revised edition of "Evacuation support guideline for persons requiring special care at the time of disaster”
 Measures specifying institutions as welfare shelters at the time of disasters, began to be implemented
 Welfare shelters divided "establishment of windows for persons requiring support in shelters", and "promotion of establishment and utilization of welfare shelters"
 "Welfare evacuation rooms" (tentative name) are newly suggested

  2007 the Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake
 9 welfare shelters were established
 Again some problems…the delay of establishment, utilization remained at 60%

  2008 "Guidelines for establishment and administration of welfare shelters”

 The users of welfare shelters: "Those who need some special care during their lives at an evacuation site, such as elderly people, the disabled, pregnant women and nursing mothers, infants, and feeble persons, and can also include the family thereof".
 The choice of place: "As facilities that can be used as welfare shelters, the possible options would be institutions that can accommodate those requiring special care without any changes to the infrastructure made, and also the common designated shelters that at present do not have the facilities necessary to accommodate persons requiring support, on condition that those functions are prepared”.
 "The advisable goal is one welfare shelter for every elementary school area".

1987- "Disaster damage prevention white paper”
1995 Kobe Earthquake
1996 "Emergency rescue in large-scale disasters"
1997 "Disaster relief manual"
200Chuetsu earthquake
2005 "Evacuation support guidelines for persons requiring support at the time of disaster"
2006 revised edition of "Evacuation support guideline for persons requiring special care at the time of disaster”
2007 Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake
2008 "Guidelines for establishment and administration of welfare shelters”
 The system to support life of people with disabilities was adopted the system of welfare shelters.

 The welfare shelters might be an ideal system - if it can be really materialized.
 But in many cases during the current Great East Japan Earthquake the system of welfare shelters was not utilized at all
 Actual circumstances that led to the establishment of welfare shelter were quite different from the expectations of the administration
 The welfare shelter did not perform the functions they were expected, and evacuation of the disabled people who need special care was still just as difficult as before.

  3. Points at issue: difference in the direction of measures being devised

  History of the system supporting the lives of the disabled people in Japan.
 Institutions had been created for the stated purpose of "protection and rehabilitation" of the disabled people.
-"guaranteeing the lives of the disabled after their parents die"
 1970s, "boom of colonies"
-Institutions were built everywhere to serve as "protection from birth to death"
 1970s, Independent living movement
 1981 the International Year of Disabled Persons
-"nothing about us, without us"
-led to a review of the role that had been shouldered by institution till then in the "community welfare"
 1993 revision of Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law
 2003 the Assistance Funding System
 2006 the Services and Supports for Persons with Disabilities Act.
 The system supporting lives of the disabled people has shifted from creation of institutions to deinstitutionalization and community welfare

  Measures being devised:
The Cabinet Office

 Narratives surrounding such measures undergo a great change
 Before the Kobe earthquake in 1995
-There was not much discussion going on at all
 After the Kobe earthquake in 1995
-The measures to accommodate evacuation of the disabled people mainly start to appear in the context of the volunteers
-"Disaster damage prevention white paper 2002" introduces the measures adopted by "Kasuga school district voluntary disaster damage prevention association" of Kyoto
-"Disaster damage prevention white paper 2003” similarly discusses the activities of rescue teams and local residents of Tokyo
-Since "Disaster damage prevention white paper 2006", "Training courses for volunteer leaders supporting rescue and support of the disabled after disaster" start to be offered to the public.

  Measures being devised: The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

 1997 "Large-scale disaster relief study group report"
-Institution shall be used as places for evacuation for people requiring support have largely decided the framework for subsequent measures
 2001 "Function of the temporary rescue in large-scale disasters"
 2008 "Guidelines for establishment and administration of welfare shelters"
-Did not go beyond the framework determining that it is the residential facilities that shall play the role of welfare shelters.
In most cases it is the large-scale institutions that are assigned the role of "welfare shelters" for the reason that they can accommodate a large number of people

 In ordinary times: deinstitutionalization
 In time of disasters:
-The Cabinet Office...local residents and the volunteers
-The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare...institutions
 There is a difference at the initial stage of policy making

  4. Conclusion

  "Where do all the disabled people go?"

 "To support vulnerable groups in disaster it is necessary to establish some sort of barrier-free welfare shelters." (August, 2002 entire day Yomiuri Shimbun)
 "It would be best for the disabled to take refuge in the same shelter as everyone else living in the community. And in a "welfare shelter" the disabled would have to take a different path from everyone around them so it would be best if they could be accommodated in an ordinary shelter, where they can go with everyone else. (November 26, 2006 Asahi Shimbun)"
 "Those who need support should have the right to decide for themselves[…]There should be a way for them to select a facility they feel good in, submit the request together with their companions to the municipality, and if the facility is appointed, then the public administration can offer it effective support. (October 17, 2007 Asahi Shimbun) "
 "If they cannot live in the shelters available, there is no meaning in registering themselves as a person requiring support at the time of disaster[…]and a shelter is not a place to escape to, but a place everybody creates and maintains together (Dream and Wind Foundation, 2010).”

  Welfare shelter

 Proposal in the beginning:
-To remove the obstacles in the schools and other public facilities that are impeding the disabled and the elderly from taking shelter with everyone else in the community as well as their own families.
 Welfare shelters in fact appear
-The places assigned for evacuation of the severely disabled and the elderly people requiring special care.
-The common shelters remained just the way they were
 What has been forgotten in the problem of evacuation for the disabled who suffer in a disaster?
"Nothing about us, without us"
 The philosophy was missing in the policies from the start has been simply forgotten.

  References (are available in Japanese only)

国土庁 1987 『防災白書』財務省印刷局
国土庁 1996 『防災白書』財務省印刷局 
厚生労働省 1996 「大規模災害における応急救助のあり方 http://homepage3.nifty.com/n-kaz/iinkai/honbun.htm(最終アクセス日 2011年9月13日)
厚生労働省 2001 「大規模災害救助研究会報告書について」http://www.mhlw.go.jp/shingi/0104/s0417-1.html(最終アクセス日 2011年9月13日)
厚生労働省 2008 「福祉避難所設置・運営に関するガイドライン」http://www.sago-octagon.com/menu02/images/hukusihinanjo.pdf (最終アクセス日2011年6月15日)
厚生省・災害救助研究会 1998 「大規模災害における応急救助のあり方」http://homepage3.nifty.com/n-kaz/iinkai/honbun.htm(最終アクセス日 2011年9月13日)
内閣府 2005 「避難時要援護者の避難支援ガイドライン」 http://www8.cao.go.jp/shougai/suishin/kaikaku/s_kaigi/k_32/pdf/ref1.pdf(最終アクセス日 2011年9月13日)
内閣府 2006 「避難時要援護者の避難支援ガイドライン(改訂版)」 http://www.bousai.go.jp/hinan_kentou/060328/hinanguide.pdf(最終アクセス日 2012年2月7日)
災害対策基本法 http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S36/S36HO223.html(最終アクセス日 2011年9月13日)
衆議院本会議 1995 第134回国会衆議員本会議会議録第8号(平成07年10月20日)

「障害者市民防災提言:私ぬきに決めないで 大阪のNPO、防災・支援15項目を提言」『毎日新聞』(2006年11月24日)
「災害時の障害者サポートは地域との連携大切 シンポに80人 大阪・東淀川区/大阪府」『朝日新聞』(2006年11月26日)
「中越沖地震:利用進まぬ福祉避難所 7カ所に設置、定員の約半数−−説明、周知が遅れ」『毎日新聞』(2007年7月24日)
「福祉避難所:災害に備え街再点検 安心の場、指定後押し−−大阪・城東区」『毎日新聞』(2009年12月6日)
「福祉避難所:震災15年…指定進まず 自治体4分の1のみ」『毎日新聞』(2009年12月6日)
「大規模災害時の宿泊確保へ協定 県と旅館ホテル組合 /福島県」『朝日新聞』(2010年11月23日)

  What we felt, shared, and acted with our devastated fellows in Fukushima: In the aftermath of the unprecedented triple disaster~

  The Fukushima Disaster Support Center for People with Disabilities, Koriyama, Fukushima, Japan
  Representative Director
  Kiyoharu Shiraishi

  We will talk about our support activities in the disaster area

-Status report
-Findings and proposals for improvements
(Note: photo of cherry blossom in the City of Iitate, located inside the evacuation zone)

  Status report: 3.11 and the moments that followed

3.11 and the moments that followed

Right after the earthquake at “Ai Eru No Kai”(Center for Independent Living) in Koriyama
-All shelves tumbled, PCs and printers fell from desks, files were scattered on the floor, unable to walk in
-Blizzard started outside while sizeable after shakes continue
-Electricity, water, and phone systems were suspended in most households
-No way of knowing the accident at the nuclear plant located 30 miles away to the East

  Evacuation zone map

(Note: Evacuation zone map and actual radiation map, Source: http://maps-of-japan.blogspot.jp/2011/10/fukushima-map-of-japan-region.html)

  Seawater contamination map

(Note: Seawater contamination map on November 11. 2012)
Radioactive seawater widely spreads around the pacific ocean
-Trade winds
Islands of Hawaii are of course being affected
Global issue

3.11 and the moments that followed

 Municipal welfare center for the disabled substituted for an evacuation shelter
-Due to the loss of living necessity, as many as 30 IL members evacuated to the shelter
-24h assistance was facilitated by IL staff

  3.11 and the moments that followed

1. Start-up of the Disaster Support Center for People with Disabilities
-3.18 Emergency supplies and volunteers from Shiga and Osaka were brought by “Yume Kaze Kikin”(Dream Wind Fund)
-3.19 The Fukushima Disaster Support Center for People with Disabilities started activities in cooperation with several disability organizations in Fukushima

  Delivering supplies

With an emphasis on the City of Soma and the City of Iwaki in the early phase
-Continuous arrival of emergency supplies from all parts of the country
-Delivery to the communities in the City of Soma and the City of Iwaki had higher priority in the early phase
-The 2 cities served as a hub that enabled distribution to further towns and villages of higher demands

  Disaster survey 

Full-scale hearings were executed to obtain real information on the disaster area
-Volunteers gathered from all over the country
-Disaster survey has begun to obtain information on whereabouts, living conditions, and the needs of the fellows with disabilities
-Some were forced to stay on wheelchair for more than 10 days at evacuation shelters
-Some didn’t have a chance to take a shower for more than a month
-One family was forced to live in a car because of a child with Autism

  Searching for our fellow in difficulty

Searching persons with disabilities who need attendant care
-I could not find a single person with obvious disability in the evacuation shelters. …. Where have they gone?
-This led to our All-out Search in the affected area
-Supporters from Osaka, the City of Fukushima, the City of Iwaki and Aizu-Wakamatsu joined the task
-We found that many persons with disabilities who need attendant care were being forced to stay home without appropriate assistances from local government

  UF-787 Project

Planting Sunflowers and Tenderstem Broccoli
-Radiation level at a farmland attached to a facility for people with intellectual disability in the affected area exceeded 14000 Bq (approx 1000 times/legal limit)
-To help decontaminate the radiated soils, we started to grow plants that absorb “radioactive materials”, namely “Sunflower” and “Tenderstem Broccoli”
-Project started from the City of Nihonmatsu”
-Problem still exists as nobody seems to accept harvested “post-decontamination” plants with absorbed radioactive materials

  Findings and proposals
for improvements

Provide Reasonable Accommodations during evacuation from disasters for parsons with disabilities.

  Evacuation Shelters

-Facilities at Evacuation Shelters and Temporally Housing for persons without disabilities never function for persons with disabilities.
-Inappropriate facilities such as inaccessible school gymnasiums were substituted for evacuation shelters.
-Too much “Steps” and “Obstacles” for persons with disabilities.
-Excluded persons who need attendant care or environmental accommodations.
  Proposals for improvements
-Make all Evacuation Shelters Accessible IMMEDIATERY.
-Accessible Bathroom 
-Individual (separated) sections for people who have difficulties in public space

  Temporary housing

-The Japanese Government never learned from the past (The Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995).
-Despite repeated requests from our fellows after 3.11, both national and local governments rushed to build thousands of Temporary Houses without any consideration for Accessibility.
-They put ramps for wheelchairs but with many steps inside houses.
  Proposals for improvements
-Make all Temporary Housing Accessible IMMEDIATERY.
-Make sufficient space in bathroom for care giving.
-Incorporating Universal Design from the beginning will ultimately save costs significantly.
-Extend this concept to regular housing to prepare for the “aged society”

  Care services to persons with disabilities

-Very poor Public Awareness toward needs of attendant care for people with disabilities in the Tohoku area (North East Japan)
-Many persons with disabilities who need attendant care living outside mandatory evacuation zone decided to evacuate to safer towns by their own decision without proper Information and support from local government
-Local governments are reluctant to assume these costs
-Local governments’ negligence and lack-of-policy revealed as the result of the disaster
  Proposals for improvements
-Immediate legislation of “Disaster Care Service Act” which enables to provide affected citizens with disabilities with Necessary Services including Reasonable Accommodations.

  Essential Rights to Life for persons with disabilities

-Persons with disabilities and children may continue to be exposed to higher risks by horrible radiation from various radioactive materials that Fukushima Daiichi emits (immunological perspective).
-Increased risks for Thyroid Cancer as well as other types of cancer
-Japanese government doesn’t seem to learn from Chernobyl.
-It is obvious that our society is paying no attention to the Essential Rights to Life for persons with disabilities and children.
-We are highly concerned about likely “Eugenic Movement” to pressure people into aborting fetuses with disabilities. (“Don’t marry a woman from Fukushima”)
  Proposals for improvements
-Immediate legislation of “Disaster Anti-Discrimination Act” which safeguard the Rights to Life of Persons With Disabilities including unborn babies.

  Last but not least

This is a never ending sad story but we live with hope
-Many work places in Minami-Soma for people with disabilities have been closed due to the nuclear accident
-A new project is in progress to provide these fellows in difficulty with a job.
-Design, manufacture, and sell original Can Badges, praying for recovery
-All process are handled by affected fellows of Minami-Soma
-Someday we will get our homeland back
-Until the day we live with hope
-Please purchase ONE and join the prayer $1.00/piece

  Human rights violations of persons with disabilities in Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant accident

  Masayo Furui 1), Toru Furui 2)
1)Society for Health and Life of People with Cerebral Palsy
2)Osaka Kawasaki Rehabilitation University

 ALOHA, I am Masayo Furui, and my husband Toru Furui will read out my presentation for me.
 The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th. The tsunami reached shore 49 minutes later. Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant was hit and 7 minutes later lost all power and control over the reactors. We know now that 4 hours later, the nuclear meltdown had already started. The first explosion occurred one day after the loss of power.

 Idate village is the one of the village that became famous during this disaster due to its alarmingly high radiation despite its location. Iidate Village lies 30km from the power plant. On April 22nd it was designated as a Planned Evacuation Zone and the villagers were given 1 month to move out. By then, the high level of radiation in Iidate Village was a known fact.
(Note: photo of Iidate Village)

 The first time Masayo visited Iidate Village was on April 20th, 2 days before the official evacuation announcement. She saw elementary school children walking back from school. The children did not have masks or any other forms of protection from radiation.
(Note: photo of the supermarket in Iidate Village, posted
"We will be closed at 5 PM May 27th")

  The radiation level measured on May 11th at 11AM at ground level in front of the Iidate Village Office was 35μsv.

 Masayo went to Iidate Village again on May 27th which was past the 1 month evacuation period. This photo was taken during this visit. You can see this lady driving back from grocery shopping. 
(Note: photo of May 27th 2011, Iidate village. Fukushima)

 People in the village were going on with their daily things just as usual. The supermarkets were open selling vegetables grown locally, and people were buying them. No one seemed to care about the radiation.
(Note: photo of Iidate Village Farmer's Market)

  Everyone had evacuated

 Later, Masayo heard how Iidate village became after her visit from a person who went there on August 29th. Everyone had evacuated by then and weeds were growing everywhere. People were allowed to pass through the main road by a car to get across to the other side but were not allowed to get out of the car
(Note: photo of Iidate Village)

 They measured the radiation inside the car as they drove through. Even in the moving car the radiation level was 4μsv.
(Note: photo of Iidate Village. The radiation level was 4μsv.)

  The JDF Disaster Area Support Center for People with Disabilities Fukushima

 Koriyama City has many temporary housing for people from the evacuation zone and once had a large evacuation shelter. JDF Disaster Area Support Center for People with Disabilities Fukushima was set up by Kiyoharu Shiraishi, is also in Koriyama. This Support Center was set up in an effort to support people with disabilities from the evacuation zone. Volunteers from all over Japan have come together here. Masayo and I took part in this organization and visited Fukushima several times. As a activity of JDF Disaster Area Support Center for PWD Fukushima, we have search all over for people with disabilities who have evacuated from the evacuation zone.
(Note: photos of Support Center)

  At ground level : 5.67μsv,
 1 meter from the ground: 0.26μsv.

 On September 2nd, We measured the radiation level just outside the Support Center. At ground level it was 5.67μsv, and at 1 meter from the ground, it was 0.26μsv. It showed that the closer you are to the ground you are taking in more radiation. Both children and people in wheelchairs are at higher risk.
(Note: photo of a young man with Cerebral Palsy)

  Radiation has no collar, and no smell.

 Masayo spoke to more than 20 people with cerebral palsy who lived in Koriyama. They all had the same opinion. "You don' t see it. You don' t smell it. Everyone including children is going on with their daily life just like before. That is why we don' t feel the need to relocate." 
  Fukushima Prefecture decided not to ship beef from the prefecture because the cattle have been exposed to radiation.
(Note: photos of a CIL in Koriyama.)

  Local vegetables at a farmer's market

 People in Fukushima are being exposed to the same radiation, and in addition to this, many people are drinking tap water, drinking locally produced milk, buying vegetable grown locally sold at the local supermarket, and some people get their vegetables directly from local farmers. In autumn, rice was harvested, and many people eat this too. People seemed to have accepted that that is the way things are.
(Note: photos of a farmer's market)

  Exposed to radiation

 Radiation exposure is an attack on the DNA, and small children and expecting mothers are most vulnerable because they are experiencing rapid cell growths. It is a basic human right to live in a place that does not harm your health, and children should be able to grow up in a place with as little radiation exposure as possible.

  One side "safe",
and one side "contaminated".

 And yet, the government has put together a "safety" standard that was easily brought up 10 folds when setting up the evacuation zone to draw a line across Fukushima Prefecture after 3.11 to call one side "safe" and one side "contaminated". A safety standard thought to be absurd outside of Japan. The government limited the evacuation zone so that it did not cover the larger cities in the surrounding area. The government is providing public support and funding only to the people from the evacuation zone and is denying public support and funding for anyone else wishing to relocate from outside the evacuation zone.
(Note: photo of a signboard of Institution)

  Lack of Support

 This is preventing even families with small children from getting to safety because even if they know relocation is the right thing to do, many do not have the financial means and resources to do so. This lack of support is what is driving people to ignore the dangers of radiation exposure. It is making people give up and accept that this is the risk they must live with because everyone else around them are doing the same. People feel hopeless and decide to not notice the unsettling realities and look away from the facts.
 In addition to not providing support to people who wish to relocate, the politicians are also sending out massages to make people believe that the areas outside the evacuation zone are safe trying to bring a false sense of ease to people who feel hopeless and trapped.
(Note: photo of a workshop which evacuated from Namie-cho to Nihonmatsu-shi.)

  Direct aid by persons with disabilities

In next topic, I would like to point out that the direct aid by people with disabilities is absolutely necessary. We cannot let people without disabilities take over the discussion and decision making for people with disabilities.
(Note: photo of temporary houses)

 When we tell people Masayo visited Fukushima to support the activities of Mr. Shiraishi,/click/ both people with and without disabilities alike tell us "Oh no, but you must have gotten in peoples way.", "What would you do there?", and "You were probably just an extra burden on them." We have to realize this kind of mentality and value system are what rob people of their independence. /click/ People need to be there, know what is going on, and think for themselves. Masayo was able to gain valuable information and firsthand accounts through her visits to Fukushima. Many of her findings and insights were only possible because she was able to see things from the point of view of people with disabilities. Today we would like to share some of her findings about what happened to people with disabilities in the tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster.
(Note: photo of a woman and Masayo Furui in Fukushima)

  Nursing home where bedridden elderly were washed away

 When we visited Minami-Soma City, we heard of a very brutal and graphic reality. Just at the borderline of the tsunami, there was a nursing home for the elderly. Here, people actually saw bedridden elderly floating on mattresses being washed away one by one. People who had climbed onto roofs witnessed this. There was nothing they could do to help. Among the witnesses, there must have been staff at the nursing home. There may have even been, among the witnesses, elderly at the nursing home who could walk just enough to get to safety. It is believed that most of the people with disabilities who could not walk died in the tsunami unable to escape. People who saw it happen, however much they tell themselves that there was nothing they could do, will feel that they let people die before their very eyes and did nothing about it.

(Note: map of Mandatory Evacuation Zone and 40 km of tsunami hit area)
 The grave reality is that the radioactive contamination from the nuclear power plant created an even more appalling case of leaving people to die. The mandatory evacuation zone is set up in a 20 kilometer radius from the nuclear power plant. This means it covers 40 kilometers of the coastline, that is, the diameter of the mandatory evacuation zone. The tsunami reached about 4 to 5 kilometers inland.

  What happened in this area?

 We would like you to imagine what happened in this area, an area where helicopters didn' t fly over and where the Self-Defense Force didn' t enter. Is it plausible to believe that no one was stranded in this forgotten 40 kilometers of coastline that neither the media nor the people who lived there ever entered again?
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  They' ve been left there.

 Many people in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures were rescued from the tsunami area, but in this strip of coastline, 40 kilometers long and 4 to 5 kilometers wide, no one went in. Most likely there were just as many survivors here waiting to be rescued as in Miyagi and Iwate, but there was no rescue, and they' ve been left there ever since.
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  "someone will come"

 We left them to die out. People with disabilities, children, and the elderly all waited for rescue that never came. They hung on believing that "someone will come", stranded, looking above into the sky for signs of people coming to help them.
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  Gruesome Fact

 We must accept and face this gruesome fact. People with disabilities in the tsunami area of the mandatory evacuation zone where left to die in this way
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  Where have all the PWD gone?

 We met a physician who told me about his experience. We met him at the first aid center of the special care evacuation shelter. This special care evacuation shelter was set up inside a large evacuation shelter for people from the mandatory evacuation zone.
(Note: a photo of a shelter)

  Witness of deaths caused by lack of medical supplies

 Before the earthquake, this physician had his own hospital in a town near the nuclear power plant. His town was part of the mandatory evacuation zone, but his hospital was not harmed by the tsunami and he had hospitalized patients. As soon as the mandatory evacuation zone was set up, communication lines were cut off and supplies stopped coming in. Some of his patients needed oxygen tanks to survive so when a Self-Defense Force personnel came, the physician asked for oxygen tanks and medicine. The Self-Defense Force personnel promised to return but never came back. Some other people came to survey the condition but they also never came back. His patients died as the oxygen tanks ran out.
When there were no more patients left at his hospital, this physician went to help out at an evacuation shelter. This evacuation shelter was within the evacuation zone but outside the mandatory evacuation zone. However, again, supplies stopped reaching. People who evacuated to this shelter did not expect supplies to stop and so they did not have large stocks of oxygen tanks. And again, people started to die as the oxygen tanks ran out. The physician voiced his agony to us.
(Note: a photo of the aid station of a shelter)

  "People must have starved to death."

 This physician use to make house calls before the earthquake so he knew where people with disabilities and elderly with nursing care needs lived. He knew these people individually. He could name the people who lived just by the shore line. After the nuclear power plant explosion, no one ever entered that area. Showing great frustration, the physician told us that if the tsunami did not take their lives, then these people starved to death.
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  The physician' s policy

 He continued to witness such deaths as he was assigned to different places inside the evacuation zone. In an effort to prevent deaths caused by lack of medical supplies and care, when this doctor was assigned to the first aid center at the special care evacuation shelter, his policy was to send everyone who need nursing care to institutions with medical facilities in nearby municipalities. His efforts were so successful that now there is no one left, both people with disabilities and the elderly, who require nursing care at the evacuation shelters. This doctor negotiated with the prefectural government so that the nearby municipalities would accept people with nursing care needs into the institutions over and above the capacity of the institutions.
(Note: a photo of a shelter)

  Revived Institutionalization.

 We can understand why this doctor did what he did. However, even with this understanding, we want to point out that in this process of sending people to institutions, the will and the decision making of the people with disabilities were most likely not taken into account.
(Note: a photo of an institution)

  40 years fight against institutionalization

 People with disabilities, including Masayo and Kiyoharu themself, fought for over 40 years against institutionalization. When we look at the predicament of people with disabilities in the disaster areas in this light, we see that after major disasters, people with disabilities are easily forced back to a state where our human rights can simply be taken away.
(Note: a photo of a demonstration 40 years ago)

 Furthermore, this situation only became apparent because a specialist from the JDF Disaster Area Support Center for People with Disabilities Fukushima visited the evacuation shelter to gain this testimony in person, and this information was never offered to people at any time during our activities in the two months following the disaster. We fear that the history of institutionalization and segregation of people with disabilities will be repeated once again.
After the day onwards, we started to visit the institutions where the people with disabilities with nursing care needs were sent.
(Note: a photo of an institution)

  Died in Inhumane Conditions!

-People with disabilities
-Sick people

 It is true that many people died in this disaster. But what we want to point out is that many people who could not escape by themselves were left to die in inhumane conditions, and this reality is rarely even mentioned, as if people are trying not to notice. We cannot ignore this fact and act like it never happened. We need to let people know that people with disabilities, the elderly, children and the sick were left to die in the tsunami and the mandatory evacuation zone of Fukushima. We need to all think about what we could have done to prevent such tragic deaths so we can be prepared in case of future disasters. We came here today because we want the international community to also know what happened and to think together with us.

  list of the violated articles of the CRPD

-Article 11 (Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies)
-Article 19 (Living independently and being included in the community)
-Article 9 (Accessibility)
-Article 10 (Right to life)
-Article 3 (General principles)
-Article 4 (General obligations)
-Article 8 (Awareness-raising)
-Article 13 (Access to justice)
-Article 14 (Liberty and security of the person)
-Article 16 (Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse)
-Article 17 (Protecting the integrity of the person)
-Article 18 (Liberty of movement and nationality)
-Article 20 (Personal mobility)
-Article 23 (Respect for home and the family)
-Article 25 (Health)
-Article 26 (Habilitation and rehabilitation)
-Article 30 (Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport)
-Article 32 (International cooperation)
-Article 33 (National implementation and monitoring)

 As we have pointed out, there were human rights violations of persons with disabilities in Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant accident. The violations include leaving people to die, death from starvation, rejection from evacuation shelters and temporary housing, confinement into institutions against will, segregation from the local communities, maltreatment at institutions, suffering higher levels of radiation exposure and health damage, likely rise in abortion of fetus with disabilities, and likely rise in discrimination against disabilities caused by radiation exposure. 

  Vast Scale Violations

 These violations occurred in a vast scale. In the media coverage of the disaster, an emphasis has been placed on the gravity of the disaster and devastation, and the human rights violation in general, and more specifically, human rights violation against persons with disabilities have been downplayed and nearly never even mentioned.
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  Focusing on the major catastrophe of Japan

 The government and policymakers are trying to set the tone that in the major catastrophe the Japanese people had to face, even if some human rights were sacrificed, it was inevitable and so we should not dwell on them but focus on moving forward to rebuild and to get the country back on its feet. Unfortunately, Japanese people took well to this message and questioned very little about what really happened. Our aim is to get the predicament of persons with disabilities in Fukushima known to the international community so that an ethical discussion can be started.
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  "Save yourself first."

 The general rule in emergency situations is to "save yourself first." We must look at the ethical implications of this to see if it justifies leaving behind people who cannot escape or fend for themselves. We are also told that in times of trouble we all have to make sacrifices, but we must consider if human rights of persons with disabilities can be sacrificed and priority placed on aiding the vast majority. 
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  All Lives Worth Saving!

 Also, under the surface, there is a subconscious selection and labeling of lives which are valuable and therefore worth saving and lives which are not. This mentality determines how our societies act in crisis situations and what policies we create. 
We must first know what happened, then understand what caused us to act in such a way, and discuss what we need to change so that we can make better decisions in the future and remedy the wrongs.
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)


 Increasing number of PWD!
 Contreat change!
(Note: a photo of tsunami hit area)

  Accessibility cost no additional money!
 No-Step Entry
 Adequate Doorways
 Usable Bathroom
(Note: pictures of woman with wheelchair)

 20% of US citizens have disability(Aged<60; 13%)
 5% of Japanese(Aged<60; 23%)
(Note: pictures of accessible homes)

(Note: pictures of accessible homes)

 There is so much more that we want to say that we could not covered in this presentation. She has a website where you can read more on this topic. Please come to her website and read more about disability rights and the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 Thank you
(Note: a photo of reporters in Koriyama-shi Fukushima)


There is so much more that we want to say that I could not covered in this presentation. She have a website where you can read more on this topic. Please come to my website and read more about disability rights and the Great East Japan Earthquake.

 Thank you

*作成:Chihoko Aoki
UP: 20120402 REV:
災害と障害者・病者:東日本大震災  ◇被災地障がい者支援センターふくしま 
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