Sources close to the Japanese government claim that the Reconstruction Agency had a secret agreement with other agencies to put off assistance to the victims of the 2011 nuclear disaster until after the Upper House elections held on July 21. They agreed to decide on which organ would lead the decision over the radiation dose standards, an important factor in coming up with support measures for the victims, until the matter of the seats at the Diet had been resolved by the election.
The radiation dose standards were needed under the Act on the Protection and Support for the Children and other Victims of the Fukushima disaster, considered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. This news that they conspired to further delay the assistance comes at a time when the victims, most of whom are still displaced due to radiation fears, have been calling for swifter steps from the government because it has been a little over a year since the law was enacted and yet they have not reached a decision on the radiation dose criteria. The sources say that they agreed to postpone the decision since anything they decide on would be met with criticism by different parties and may have adverse effects on the elections.
A former senior Reconstruction Agency official tweeted last March 8 “One of the pending issues was resolved today. To be precise, the concerned parties agreed to leave the matter ambiguous, without determining black or white,” which observers say now may have been referring to that “secret agreement” between the agency and the government agencies concerned. That official was later on punished for making slanderous remarks against lawmakers and an NGO over their recovery efforts on his personal Twitter account. He was in charge of the law for supporting Fukushima victims. And five months after that secret agreement, there still hasn’t been any examination conducted by any agency on the dose criteria, leaving the Fukushima victims, once again, waiting on their fate.
[ via Mainichi ]