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Many of the print and broadcast features related to the 10th anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami addressed the current circumstances of the people affected, with a recurring theme of how difficult it has been to move on, especially for those who lost loved ones. Amid these stories was one that stood out like a rusty nail, since it covered a less sympathetic response to the crisis: greed.

A three-part series in the Asahi Shimbun focused on the city of Tamura in Fukushima Prefecture, in particular a highland district called Utsushi-chiku with about 1,850 residents, mainly farmers. Some fled after hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 12, 2011, though they weren’t ordered to since Utsushi-chiku was outside the mandatory evacuation zone. However, the government subsequently restricted the distribution of crops grown in the area, so agriculture stopped.

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