- Broken lives of Fukushima
In Japan, the adverse effects associated with Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown have been devastating. The mortality rate of elderly people who were in retirement facilities near the nuclear plant has reportedly tripled. There has also been reported increase in the number of children with flat feet, thought to be the result of kids playing on radiated soil. Devastation from the traveling radiation has even sickened infants born in other countries. Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj returned to the deserted land to capture these haunting photographs.
- Japan allows people to return to Fukushima disaster zone
For the first time since Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster more than three years ago, residents of a small district 20 km (12 miles) from the wrecked plant are about to be allowed to return home. The Miyakoji area of Tamura, a northeastern city inland from the Fukushima nuclear station, has been off-limits for most residents since March 2011, when the government ordered evacuations after a devastating earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the power plant. Tuesday's reopening of Miyakoji will mark a tiny step for Japan as it seeks to recover from the Fukushima disaster and a major milestone for the 357 registered residents of the district - most of whom the city hopes will go back. "Young people won't return," said Kitaro Saito, a man in his early 60s, who opposed lifting the ban and had no intention of going home yet.(Reuters)
- Japan tsunami : Before and after pictures
Japan is observing today the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011, disaster that killed more than 19,000 people. Homes were reduced to rubble, cars tossed about like toys and boats flung from the sea into streets and onto roofs. The ocean's fury, and the earthquake that preceded it, left around 19,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. In the last 24 months, substantial progress has been made in rebuilding lives and infrastructure, but much remains unfinished. This new set of before-and-after photographs captures the rebuilding work and efforts to return to normality.
- Japan's homeless recruited for Fukushima clean-up
Almost three years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami leveled villages across Japan's northeast coast and set off multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is running behind schedule. The effort is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, according to a Reuters analysis of contracts and interviews with dozens of those involved.
In January, October and November, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of infiltrating construction giant Obayashi Corp's network of decontamination subcontractors and illegally sending workers to the government-funded project. (Reuters)
- The children of Japan's Fukushima battle an invisible enemy
Though the strict safety limits for outdoor activity set after multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in 2011 have now been eased, parental worries and ingrained habit mean many children still stay inside. And the impact, three years on, is now starting to show, with children experiencing falling strength, lack of coordination - some cannot even ride a bicycle - and emotional issues like shorter tempers, officials and educators say. (Reuters)