Fukushima Workers Blamed By Locals

Workers at Fukushima Daiichi had already been cited by psychologists as suffering from post traumatic stress type problems. The media has documented the difficult conditions they work under and the life and death stakes as they worked to gain control of the disaster.

A paper coming out later this week will detail what two psychologists explain as the stress and social stigma the workers and their families are living under.

Workers have said they are being discriminated against and the target of anger by many impacted by the disaster. Yet many of the workers are also victims of the tsunami and nuclear disaster themselves. Most lived in the area and lost homes and family due to the disasters. Even a female former tour guide for the plant has had people lash out at her and ask what she is going to do to fix the disaster.

Sadly, the Japanese media has done little to praise the workers or explain their plight and how they differ from the executives and upper management at TEPCO who fostered the broken system that allowed the disaster to happen. This system frequently tied the hands of technical workers trying to do the right thing. As many of the workers will already face the stigma of being hibakusha they will have the additional burden of being blamed by everyone for the disaster. The reclusiveness of many of the workers, reluctance to speak to the media and TEPCO’s desire to prevent them from doing so continues the cycle of misunderstanding.

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