In 2013, two years after the disaster, Japan’s permanent radiation-exclusion zones were unveiled in the Japanese media. The Japanese government identified areas measuring between 20 and 50 millisieverts a year as suitable for restricted living (visitation but not yet permanent inhabitations). Areas measuring fewer than 20 millisieverts a year of annual exposure were designated as habitable zones and preparations were made for lifting evacuation orders in these areas (“About 60 Percent,” 2013).
In effect, Japan increased its national exposure level from one, to up to 20 millisieverts a year, while allowing partial habitation in areas with up to 50 millisieverts. In comparison, the Soviets set the Chernobyl exclusion zone at five millisieverts a year (“Japan Groups Alarmed,” 2011). This elevated level applied for children as well as adults.
In November 2013, Japan announced it was changing its method of atmospheric monitoring to an individualized badge system. According to a November 9, 2013 report from The Asahi Shimbun, the badges underestimated exposure levels by seven times when compared to the atmospheric monitoring technique that had previously been deployed by aircraft (“Lower Radiation Readings,” 2013). This change essentially increases permissible exposure levels.
Children are likely at greatest risk because they are biologically more vulnerable to radiation exposure because their cells are dividing faster. July 6, 2011 the Japanese press Kyodo reported that in a March 2011 survey of 1,080 children aged 0 to 15 in Iwaki, Kawamata, and Iitate 45 percent of kids in Fukushima survey had thyroid exposure to radiation (“45% of Kids” 2011). A separate study measuring thyroid exposure to Iodine-131 conducted between April 12, 2011 and April 16, 2011 and published in Research Reports found “extensive measurements of the exposure to I-131 revealing I-131 activity in the thyroid of 46 out of the 62 residents and evacuees measured” (Tokonammi, Hosoda, Akiba, Sorimachi, Kashiwakura, & Balonov, 2012). In August of 2011, NHK reported that Japan’s nuclear commission had erased children’s exposure data derived from a test of 1,000 children aged 15 or younger who had been screened for radiation affecting their thyroid (“Nuclear Commission” 2011). The report stated that one four year old child had a thyroid exposure of 35 millisieverts, but that the amount was “not considered a health threat.” This exposure level accounts only for Iodine-131 and does not incorporate the child’s total exposure to other radionuclides.
The LDP is now taking active steps to push evacuated populations back into contaminated areas:
Fukushima Pref. looking to end free rent for voluntary disaster evacuees in 2017
June 16, 2015 http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20150616p2a00m0na015000c.html
[Excerpted] The Fukushima Prefectural Government, aiming to encourage residents to return to areas they evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, announced on June 15 its intention to end free rent for voluntary evacuees in March 2017, while continuing to provide limited support for a time.
... Many voluntary evacuees are living in private apartments, and their rent is free. Just like with forced evacuees from areas with evacuation orders placed on them, voluntary evacuees have had their free rent extended on a yearly basis, in accordance with the Disaster Relief Act.
At a press conference on June 15, Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori said, "The construction of publically-managed recovery homes (for evacuees) has made progress, and it will be difficult to maintain the emergency aid being offered under the Disaster Relief Act."
As replacements for free rent, some measures the prefecture plans to offer evacuees include: financial assistance starting this fiscal year for moving into Fukushima Prefecture; financial rent assistance for low-income evacuees starting in fiscal 2017 and lasting a few years; and preparation of publically-managed homes both in and out of the prefecture for evacuees to move into. The prefecture will seek financial assistance from the national government in order to provide these services.
Majia here: So, the Japanese government plans on discontinuing rent subsidies for people who evacuated from areas now measuring 20 millisieverts a year or less, a full 20 X the pre-Fukushima radiation exposure in Japan.
Lack of economic activity, hot spots, ongoing contamination, ongoing risks from plant, and internal contamination are apparently irrelevant to the Japanese government (and US as well), which prioritizes the semblance of normality and the perpetuation of nuclear power above considerations for the long-term health and welfare of its population.
This is dispossession by an economically advanced, so-called "democratic" government.