Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Do you need to leave Fukushima-ken or Tohoku because of the nuclear accident or earthquake and tsunami?

Are you afraid for your children or yourself, and want to leave Fukushima-ken or somewhere else in Tohoku until the situation improves and the danger is reduced? Do you know or work with people who may need accommodation or respite? 

Many prefectures in safer areas like West Japan are now offering temporary accommodation to evacuees and those made homeless by the earthquake, tsunami, or nuclear accident. This may be free for up to a year, and food, equipment, and welfare support may be on offer for official evacuees and those made homeless in some areas. Evacuees from official zones, and those made homeless by earthquakes and tsunamis have priority, but help for others who make their own decision to move to a safer area may also be available. Details vary from place to place, but here is an idea for what to do:
  1. Contact the City or Prefecture office in the area you want to go to, for example in West Japan (List of prefecture and city homepages - most have English pages)
  2. Ask for the department offering emergency accommodation, for example the housing management office. Explain your situation and ask for help.
  3. If they say that you do not meet their priorities, ask for the NPO support office number for that area, or similar NPO network (list of NPO support offices in Japan)
  4. Phone them and explain that you have been refused official help, and ask them if they can negotiate for you, or if there are any NPO’s arranging help or volunteer hosts in the area – get their contact details and contact them.
Example: temporary help in Hiroshima
The city is preparing  apartments (100 so far today) free for 12 months: here are the details on the Hiroshima-ken government site

Contact details:

  1. Hiroshima housing management 082 513 4171 to negotiate for help based on your circumstances
  2. Or the Hiroshima NPO support centre will help you find other NPO’s who can help. TEL 082-511-3180
  3. An example of an NPO (100km NE of Hiroshima) offering help without criteria: Saijosatoyama Koryyukan: tel: 0824 82 7171
  4. A Christian church who may be able to offer hosts for a few families: Reformed Christian Church: Mob: 080 3125 0690 (Shin-san)
As time goes on and immediate critical needs have been met, it is likely that government, NPOs and volunteers all over Japan will provide more help and temporary accommodation for people with children who arrive from Tohoku, and especially near the reactor. Keep asking so they know what people’s needs are.

If you have any corrections or other useful information that you have verified to be correct, please post it in a comment

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