Homeless recruited to help clean up Fukushima nuclear plant

Japan addressed worker shortage


Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Nearly three years after an earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan’s northeast coast, the cleanup around the Fukushima nuclear plant is running behind schedule and few people (understandably) are lining up to take on certain jobs around the radioactive wasteland. In response to the worker shortage, Japanese subcontractors are now recruiting the homeless, who are tasked with clearing out debris and soil in the disaster area not far from where three reactors melted down in 2011. In some instances, their paycheques reportedly fall below minimum wage, after deductions for food and accommodation.

There is still plenty of money to be made in the cleanup, which has already cost taxpayers $35 billion. Recruiters earn $100 for every worker they round up, and Reuters, citing arrest records, reports that three big crime syndicates are involved in the process, working under a long, shadowy chain of dozens of subcontractors with little oversight. And there doesn’t appear to be an end to the workload. It could take another three years before residents in the most contaminated areas can return home.

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Homeless recruited to help clean up Fukushima nuclear plant

  1. It’s unfortunate that the Japanese government doesn’t hire the homeless persons directly, instead letting the parasitic “subcontractors” take most of their wages. Job shops of this sort are wrong anywhere.

  2. Mayor of Town That Hosted Fukushima Nuclear Plant Says He Was Told: “No Accident Could Ever Happen”
    JANUARY 17, 2014 Democracy Now!
    There are 59 children with thyroid cancer and there are hundreds more on the way. Fukushima is NOT livable, and Japanese Government says so. The radiation level is still very high.

    Japanese Government ignores all the problems we’re having. There are many young people between 15 and 19 in Fukushima who are in high school who have died suddenly. But Japanese Government NEVER recognized it — Japanese Government will NEVER recognize it as being caused by the radiation.

    Another huge issue is those who are forced to live within Fukushima do NOT have access to full health measurement. They’re also told that any diseases that they have is NOT caused by the radiation. The Fukushima disaster is a disaster on international level — so Japanese Government needs to really recognize this.