The Ministry of Education's committee to discuss the compensation for Fukushima residents who evacuated from Fukushima on their own has decided to compensate those who fled Fukushima right after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident because "to flee in a panic is rational". The committee has postponed the decision on the compensation for those who evacuated much later.
Never mind that it was the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government who were spreading baseless rumors of safety right after the accident. Too bad for the residents who were lulled by the soothing words of Dr. "Damashita" (deceitful) Yamashita and did not get the hell out. Or those who thought they were acting rationally by not panicking.
Well, as I say in my blog graphics above, never trust the government, never rely on the government.
From Mainichi Shinbun (10/4/2011):
People who voluntarily evacuated from Fukushima are confused with the government's compensation scheme. Last month, the Ministry of Education's committee on nuclear accident damage arbitration decided to compensate people who evacuated within a month of the accident but delayed the decision on compensating people who evacuated afterward. "So are you now telling us we should have evacuated as soon as possible?" "It is only recently that we knew how bad the contamination was." About 120 people gathered in a meeting held in Tokyo on October 3, and appealed for the equal treatment.
"I was worried right from the beginning. But the national government and TEPCO kept saying "It's alright" and I believed them." Chikage Sugano, 46-year-old housewife from Fukushima City regrets. It was only at the end of August that she took two daughters, aged 13 and 7 to Kyoto City.
Her home was about 60 kilometers from the plant. She thought of evacuating right away, but was hesitant because of the home loan and the uncertainty of being separated from her husband. She also did not want to hurt the feelings of her older daughter who was starting her junior high school. She had a strong attachment to Fukushima, where she was born and grew up.
In June, she learned that the district that she lived had a relatively high radiation level. She attended the lectures and gatherings by the citizens' groups. The radiation level and the evaluation of that level were different from what she had heard.
She measured the radiation level of her own home. The children's room on the second floor measured 0.95 microsievert/hour. It was 20 times as high as the normal [before the accident] outdoor radiation level. She cleaned the house with moistened cloth but the radiation level didn't go down. She made her daughters wear long-sleeved shirts and masks to go to school. They decided to evacuate before the 2nd semester at school.
On September 21, the committee decided to categorize the voluntary evacuees into two groups - those who evacuated "right after the accident", and those who evacuated "after certain period of time". The committee was unanimous in deciding to compensate those who evacuate "right after the accident" because "it was rational [or it made sense] to evacuate out of fear". As to what time period would be considered "right after the accident", the committee is considering either up till April 11 when the national government announced the planned evacuation zone, or April 22 when the planned evacuation zone was implemented.
Mrs. Sugano feels disconsolate. "We thought we were acting rationally right after the accident, and stayed. We are sorry for our children who may be affected by the radiation. And no compensation on top of that". It cost a lot of money to move, and still does as they have to maintain two households. [Her husband apparently remains in Fukushima City.]
(The article continues with another such example.)
Regardless, some sort of a new propaganda using Twitter seems to be on. Tweets are supposedly written by a concerned housewife and mother who lives in Fukushima, and through her interactions with "scientists" and "experts" on Twitter she has been transformed from someone who was afraid of radiation contamination in Fukushima and wanted to leave into someone who has decided to stay and not to worry about radiation any more. (If it is not a propaganda then I lose hope for the country.) If you read Japanese you can read the whole exchange at Togetter.