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Radiation-driven migration: the case of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Zhang H, Yan W, Oba A, Zhang W - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas.We then analyze characteristics of the subsequent exodus by comparing population data for both before and after the accident.Further research is needed on this issue, especially with respect to countermeasures for addressing this problem.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Urban Culture, South China Normal University, Nanhai, Foshan 528225, China. zhangh3377@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas. The recovery of affected areas, and even those areas with low radioactive pollution levels, is still heavily affected by this problem. This slow recovery consequently affects immigration patterns. This review aims to present possible factors that have contributed to this dilemma. We first present an overview of the evacuation protocol that was administered in the study area following the Fukushima accident. We then analyze characteristics of the subsequent exodus by comparing population data for both before and after the accident. Based on the findings of existing literature, we identify three causes of emigration: (1) The health risks of living in a low radiation zone are still unknown; (2) The post-disaster psychological disturbance and distrust of government information promotes the emigration of evacuees; (3) an absence of economic vitality and of a leading industry renders the area less attractive to individuals residing outside of the city. Further research is needed on this issue, especially with respect to countermeasures for addressing this problem.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Comparison between Labor Force Populations in Minamisoma before and after the Fukushima Accident. Source: Statistics Department of Information, Policy Division of General Affairs Office of Minamisoma.
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ijerph-11-09286-f004: Comparison between Labor Force Populations in Minamisoma before and after the Fukushima Accident. Source: Statistics Department of Information, Policy Division of General Affairs Office of Minamisoma.

Mentions: With the young population emigrating and the elderly staying behind, disaster-stricken areas are characterized by aging populations and dramatic labor force decline. The percentage of seniors over the age of 65 residing in Minamisoma increased from 25.92% on 11th March 2011 to 32.88% on 10th March 2014. In contrast, among evacuees that have migrated to other cities, only 16.66% are elderly residents. As shown in Figure 4, in stark contrast to the 33% labor force decrease in Minamisoma, more than 83% of evacuees now residing in other cities are younger than 65.


Radiation-driven migration: the case of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Zhang H, Yan W, Oba A, Zhang W - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Comparison between Labor Force Populations in Minamisoma before and after the Fukushima Accident. Source: Statistics Department of Information, Policy Division of General Affairs Office of Minamisoma.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4199020&req=5

ijerph-11-09286-f004: Comparison between Labor Force Populations in Minamisoma before and after the Fukushima Accident. Source: Statistics Department of Information, Policy Division of General Affairs Office of Minamisoma.
Mentions: With the young population emigrating and the elderly staying behind, disaster-stricken areas are characterized by aging populations and dramatic labor force decline. The percentage of seniors over the age of 65 residing in Minamisoma increased from 25.92% on 11th March 2011 to 32.88% on 10th March 2014. In contrast, among evacuees that have migrated to other cities, only 16.66% are elderly residents. As shown in Figure 4, in stark contrast to the 33% labor force decrease in Minamisoma, more than 83% of evacuees now residing in other cities are younger than 65.

Bottom Line: The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas.We then analyze characteristics of the subsequent exodus by comparing population data for both before and after the accident.Further research is needed on this issue, especially with respect to countermeasures for addressing this problem.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Urban Culture, South China Normal University, Nanhai, Foshan 528225, China. zhangh3377@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas. The recovery of affected areas, and even those areas with low radioactive pollution levels, is still heavily affected by this problem. This slow recovery consequently affects immigration patterns. This review aims to present possible factors that have contributed to this dilemma. We first present an overview of the evacuation protocol that was administered in the study area following the Fukushima accident. We then analyze characteristics of the subsequent exodus by comparing population data for both before and after the accident. Based on the findings of existing literature, we identify three causes of emigration: (1) The health risks of living in a low radiation zone are still unknown; (2) The post-disaster psychological disturbance and distrust of government information promotes the emigration of evacuees; (3) an absence of economic vitality and of a leading industry renders the area less attractive to individuals residing outside of the city. Further research is needed on this issue, especially with respect to countermeasures for addressing this problem.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus