Saturday, January 20, 2024

10-Year Update to Fukishima Disaster Impact on Iitate-mura


Professor Tsuboi has prepared a detailed report regarding the 10 years in Iitate-mura after the Fukishima nuclear accident, including the evacuation, clean-up, and return to the village. It includes descriptions of the events, plus many of the impacts on the village people and their vision for the future. 

 You can view the report via these links (in Letter or A4 format). I was particularly interested in the way that the dispersal experience significantly expanded the participants’ understanding of their village and their vision for the future. They have radically changed their vision to include their diaspora--both the people who have not returned and new people who have established important connections with Iitate-mura.

This report will inform the many CRRF and CJ members who wish to learn about their friends in Iitate-mura. We welcome your comments and questions via this blog (see below).

The report also provides stimulating material for anyone interested in disaster impacts and planning. We welcome inquiries and proposals for research studies and comments from researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers interested in disaster planning and mitigation in all its forms, including wildfires, floods, industrial catastrophes, wind, and the many impacts of climate changes that are affecting rural and remote communities. Please contact CRRF via or if you or your students have an interest in such projects.

Thank you, Professor Tsuboi for preparing the informative and stimulating report.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Causes of the radiation leak - controversial positions

Nobuhiro has produced an update to the information regarding the Fukushima disaster. In it he discusses the conflicting hypotheses about the cause of the radiation leak and the implications this has for future decisions regarding safety. You can read this interesting report by clicking on the link here.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I have received an update on the situation in Iitate. The village remains under evacuation orders. If you would like to see a copy of the update, request it via this blog's comments section.

Friday, March 9, 2012

CBC Radio Broadcast

As part of its 1-year review of the Fukushima disaster, the CBC broadcast an interview with Miguel Quintana. Much of the interview concerns Miguel's research in Itate. You can listen to the broadcast via: | The Current | Miguel Quintana on Fukushima | Miguel Quintana on Fukushima

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Evacuation Challenges

Masashi sent the following e-mail about the challenges that Iitate citizens face as they cope with the necessity to evacuate their homes.

"Iitate village is currently facing various difficulties and challenges. It has become apparent that it is really difficult to evacuate within the short period suggested by the national government. Mayor Kanno expressed his concerns to a media reporter that it is impossible to complete the evacuation within a month. It takes time to find places and homes for this kind of long-term evacuation.

The village’s office also needs to move out of Iitate. It will temporary move to Iino district of Fukushima city after the completion of the evacuation.

Currently, the biggest issue is the livestock industry. On May 4th, the cattle raising corporation in Iitate decided to close their operation and sell all its 300 cattle. There are about 2,600 cattle in Iitate and farmers are facing difficulties relocating them to continue their cattle farming. It has created a critical situation for the Iitate brand of beef.

In early May, the dairy organization gave up keeping cows in Iitate and on May 9th, all milk cows were sent to the slaughter house. Farmers expressed their sorrow at this misfortune which had fallen upon their cows. For them cows are not just animals but their family members.

Compensation schemes for farmers are under discussion by the government."

Masashi also attached some recently released data showing the level of cesium on the surface of the soil. It shows that the southern part of Iitate shows higher levels (you can view the map by clicking here). The Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT) and the USA Department of Energy collaborated to assess the radiation levels using aircraft. You can access their website via the following link:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Possible Summer Camp in Canada for Evacuated Children

I received a note from a Canadian student about a summer camp being considered for Japanese children who have been evacuated from their homes. It is initiated through students and researchers at the University of British Columbia ( They are particularly interested in making contact with municipalities in the affected areas. If you know of interested people or groups, please contact Dr. Julian Dierkes (

A brief description of the project is below:

A Summer Camp for Evacuated Children

As a community of students and researchers with strong links to Japan from the University of British Columbia, we would like to offer our services to contribute to relief efforts in the regions affected by the triple disaster of March 11. Through long-standing connections with juku teachers and operators as well as through inclusion of JET-alumni with teaching experience in Japan in our efforts, we are hoping to organize a summer camp for evacuated children during the upcoming summer vacation. Ideally, this would accommodate a significant number of children in a location away from Tohoku to give the children an activity to look forward to during the summer, as well as to offer their parents some time to attend to pressing matters associated with their evacuation.

Planned activities would include teaching and learning activities designed in collaboration between experience juku teachers and JET alumni, as well as structured play activities. We hope to draw on the advice or participation of post-traumatic counsellors in designing activities that would be appropriate as well as helpful to participating students.

We are now seeking direct links with municipalities and/or schools in affected regions to discuss the possibility of such a camp. In addition to the volunteering of project participants as teachers, we hope to be able to raise the funds to offer free participation (including transportation and room & board) to students in a week-long camp.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Evacuation procedures for Iitate

Masashi sent the following information regarding the evacuation procedures for Iitate village.
"On April 22, the Japanese prime minister officially announced the inclusion of Iitate village into the evacuation area. They are designated to complete the evacuation within a month (by the end of May). The national government dispatched several public officers to set up a task force for evacuation within the Iitate village office. They are expected to help Iitate village to complete this evacuation smoothly.

Iitate village also announced the basic principles for evacuation and set a priority of residents to be evacuated. Families with babies or pregnant woman should be given first priority, and then families with person aged less than 18 years old, and three districts which showed higher level of radioactivity. All residents would be eventually evacuated to hotels or apartment houses designated by the village. Gymnastic halls, typically used for temporal shelters after the disaster, are not used in this case."