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Overall rating:


Reference number: 13711

Date: 2020

Director: d. Yushin Toda

Production company: japan desk scotland

Sound: sound

Original format: unknown

Colour: col

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 70.17 mins

Description: japan desk scotland’s ninth documentary about the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, looking at efforts to make Tomioka Town habitable again.

Credits: p. Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda, japan desk scotland
comm. w. Yushin Toda
ph. Fumi Nakabachi
ed. Yushin Toda
m. Oli Jan

Shotlist: Filmmaker's Synopsis:

This is japan desk scotland’s ninth Fukushima documentary, based on the interviews carried out in December 2012, in July 2016, in July 2017, in July 2018 and in July 2019.

After the Fukushima Nuclear Accident of March 2011, an evacuation zone was designed as a 20km radius from the troubled power plant. The zone included Tomioka Town, and all its residents, about 16,000 people, were evacuated. This documentary follows the works to make the town habitable again.

In March 2013, Tomioka was divided into three zones. In the two zones, decontamination work was started by the Ministry of the Environment. The remaining zone,‘Difficult-to-return’ zone, where about 30 % of the residents used to live, was left as it was, with no decontamination work. In April 2017, following the completion of the decontamination work, the evacuation order was lifted in the two zones. In March 2018, a part of the ‘Difficult-to-Return’ zone was selected as a base, and the decontamination work started there, leaving the rest of the zone as it was. In March 2020, the evacuation order was lifted in a part of the base, following the decontamination work. In the rest of the base and the ‘Difficult-to-Return’ zone outside the base, no decontamination work was carried out.

After the decontamination work, a large amount of radioactive topsoil removed was left behind. It is estimated to be 20 million cubic meters. It is to be stored in Interim Storage constructed in Fukushima Prefecture. After 30 years, the radioactive soil is to be sent to Final Disposal site, which is to be made outside Fukushima Prefecture.

Seiji Ozawa, the Ministry of the Environment, admits the profound distrust of the government among the evacuees following the nuclear accident, making decontamination, another government work, challenging. Because of such distrust, the relevant local authorities set up Decontamination Verification Committee to examine what the government did, and Kencho Kawatsu, Fukushima University, chairs Tomioka’s Committee. He videoed Tomioka Station in November 2011, and his video is included. Norihito Harada, Tomioka Town office, talks about challenges for the Town office. He and his colleague, Ryo Sugimoto, as well as Kawatsu show Tomioka, including the inside of the ‘Difficult-to-Return’ zone, in three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019.

Interviewees (in order of their first appearances):
Kencho Kawatsu, Seiji Ozawa, Ryo Sugimoto, and Norihito Harada