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The bullying in Yokohama of an elementary school student who was evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture following the March 2011 nuclear disaster highlights an apathetic attitude on the part of school officials and the municipal board of education. They deserve severe criticism for their inaction and lack of awareness of the difficulties faced by Fukushima evacuees. Behind the bullying was the prejudice held by some students against evacuees from the areas impacted by the disaster’s radiation fallout. It’s easy to imagine that similar bullying is happening in other parts of the country against children of similar circumstances.

The bullies’ attitude toward Fukushima evacuees can likely be attributed to the prejudice and misunderstanding that adults around them have about the prefecture and its residents. It is important for adults to have an accurate understanding of what has happened in Fukushima so they can properly educate their children on the issue. Parties concerned, including the national and local governments, should make serious efforts to disseminate proper information about Fukushima and the hardships that evacuees have endured.

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