The aftermath of a natural disaster is never dealt with easily, especially when it comes to developing emergency housing for the surviving victims. Japan is no different, but it does have its own unique issues — namely, a nuclear meltdown and a disproportionately elderly affected-population.

Upon reading “Temporary disaster housing has unforeseen permanence” in the April 3 edition, I was surprised by the victims’ seeming acceptance of the situation — just because the Olympics are coming up doesn’t mean Tohoku should be put on the back burner. I was also greatly disturbed by the lack of sympathy from the Cabinet Office — fear of government dependence is keeping them from fixing an outdated law? The Tohoku victims, at least, want to move on but don’t have the means or are prohibited from going home. It seems to me that the government is escalating a problem it has created by letting it fester. The Tohoku disaster is unique in that the nuclear crisis has made it literally impossible for some to return home. Ignoring the housing crisis is not helping to fix anything — it just aggravates the issue.

This all comes after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the sixth anniversary of the disaster in March, expressed that it was time to move on and that he would no longer be making speeches about it any longer. All I have to say to Abe is this: If you (or your surrogate) can make a yearly visit to Yasukuni Shrine, why can’t you continue to bring awareness to your ever-suffering people in Tohoku?


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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