Few displaced residents returning to Fukushima despite government job aid


Only 18 people have decided to take up jobs in Fukushima Prefecture through a government plan to find employment for those who fled due to the nuclear crisis, according to regional labor bureaus.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry set up a special section in May to support Fukushima evacuees at seven of the government’s “Hello Work” job placement centers in five prefectures.

Eighteen people had decided to return as of the end of January.

Labor bureau officials said there are jobs in Fukushima, but little interest in them. They believe many of the evacuees have resettled elsewhere and also worry about returning to Fukushima as the nuclear crisis drags on with no end in sight.

A 51-year-old man moved to Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, from the Fukushima town of Futaba with his son and wife after he lost his job in the town of Namie following the nuclear accident. He has been taking up a series of short-term positions and looking for a stable job in Saitama.

“If I return to Fukushima, I will probably find a job, but I will be away from my family. It will be a big burden both mentally and financially,” he said.

As of mid-January, 48,364 people were still living outside the prefecture after evacuating, according to the Fukushima Prefectural Government.