Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident
The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) and ensuing hydrogen explosions in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) in March 2011 devastated the Tohoku (Northeastern Japan) region, which includes Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. This was a triple disaster of an unprecedented magnitude. This chapter describes the first 6 years of childcare projects carried out in two different cities after the disaster. After 6 years, the project in Miyako yielded a sustainable system of child mental healthcare, and the project in Koriyama succeeded in counteracting the pernicious effects of fear and stigma in the wake of radiation exposure. Despite great gains, including the construction of the largest therapeutic indoor playground for children in the Tohoku region, recovery has been complicated by government misinformation and attempts to silence civic discussion. As a candid disclosure of the details of the disaster emerges among the survivors, so too does awareness of mental health problems that exist in its wake. In order to build a more sustainable society and to counteract fragmentation in this highly industrialized country, Japanese citizens need to advocate for transparency, cohesion, and continued research in the aftermath of this disaster. This would help to mitigate ongoing effects of this disaster and better prepare Japanese society for traumatic events in the future.
KeywordsTriple disaster Earthquake Tsunami Nuclear accident Power plant Infant Mental health Obesity Loss Strength Bullying Japan Disease Zero process New normal
The authors acknowledge the late Tatsuo Kikuchi, Mayako Noguchi, Kaoru Okazaki, Kunio Yanagida, Joy and Howard Osofsky, John Takayama, Craig von Dyke, Kaija Puura, Miri Keren, Palvi Kaukonen, supporters from FOUR WINDS and WAIMH, and all the victims who came forward to recount their experiences.
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