Wednesday 11 April 2012


Driving along on Saturday lunchtime, heard a programme on the local radio station where they get a couple of doctors in to answer listeners' questions. E-mail from a woman, pregnant, wants to know if it's safe to breastfeed her baby. Answer: the benefits of breastmilk outweigh the risks. But to be on the safe side, try and reduce your internal exposure. The doctor didn't give any specifics but I would understand that to be: wear a mask on windy days; eat food from as far away as possible; and if you're really concerned, drink bottled water.

Many pregnant women and mothers of small children chose to leave. Some, like the woman above, have chosen to stay. One's attitude to risk is such a personal thing. Here's an interesting article. Many people choose to use a sunbed even though they know it's dangerous but it's their choice -they have control - so they can live with it. Being the victim of a nuclear accident is completely different, we have no control, so feel at great risk. Nonetheless, I think most people weighed the pros and cons and decided pretty quickly what level of risk they were willing to accept. Maybe we're more level-headed than people further away?

At first Tepco wasn't going to pay compensation to those who evacuated voluntarily but later changed its policy. I think this was good as it was recognition that everyone is different, that everyone copes with this kind of stress in a different way, and that no one way is right. My form for compensation has just arrived and as I'm neither under 18 nor pregnant, I'm entitled to 80,000 yen (just over 600 GBP). The form seems pretty straightforward. Just personal details and bank details. I don't have to promise never to claim for compensation again. No space either to claim for expenses (a friend was threatening to claim for all the bottled water and a futon dryer she bought!). It seems more concerned with Data Protection than anything else. Is 80,000 yen a fair payment for all the stress I've suffered? Hard to put a monetary value on it but it's something.  So, if you'll excuse me, I'll be off to the city office for some ID, and get my application in the post.  All the best,
Tepco Form for Compensation.
400,000 yen for each person under 18 or pregnant woman who stayed. 600,000 yen for each person under 18 or pregnant woman who evacuated voluntarily. And 80,000 yen per person for the rest of us.


  1. Former Fukushima ALT26 April 2012 at 14:41

    Hi, Anne.

    I stumbled upon your blog, as I'm trying to fully understand the TEPCO papers. (Like you, I'm also entitled to the 80,000JPY because I was living in Fukushima at the time.)

    Was wondering if you could shed some light as to what documents are considered "proof of eligibility?" So far, I've assembled copies of my: old Japanese driver's license (with my address), gaikoukujin card, passport pages and my gensen choshu hyo. I no longer have any utilities' bills from that time. I'll also try calling TEPCO when they actually have an English rep in the office, but I'm hoping some other Fuku residents might have some advice.

    Thanks in advance...

    1. Hi
      I still live in Koriyama and am registered here so my form came through the post. I thought I would need some proof of identity but I didn't and just sent the form off as it was (though I haven't received the money yet).
      I can't say what documentation you would need. Take a look at the Facebook site, Fukushima Info which is an Englsih language forum for us foreigners here. There's a discussion on March 25th about this.
      Good luck!