“TEPCO and the Fukushima Forbidden Zone” Press Conference

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February 28th, 2012 : Tokyo, Japan – Naoto Matsumura (52) is a rice farmer living alone about 12km away from the crippled Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear power plant. This puts him well within the government imposed danger exclusion zone but he has refused steadfastly to evacuate from his hometown, Tomioka since the March 11th 2011 disaster happened. Before the nuclear crisis took hold his town was home to 16,000 but now Matsumura-san is the only inhabitant..He has been surviving on canned food cooked on a gas stove and provided by volunteers as he still has no electric power. Most of his days are spent looking after abandoned animals including pets and farm animals left by victims and evacuees. These are his only company. He requested help from the government for this but was told that all they could do was to kill the animals. Matsumura now believes that the reason the government built the nuclear plant in Fukushima was because they didn’t believe it was safe enough to have near Tokyo. .He describes his mission as one to recover the area, which was completely destroyed by the tsunami, earthquake, and radiation. He says “I will never leave my hometown despite the radiation. I hope to see TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company which operates the nuclear plant) crushed.”.(Photo by Yumeto Yamazaki/AFLO)