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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9286-9305; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909286

Radiation-Driven Migration: The Case of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

1
School of Urban Culture, South China Normal University, Nanhai, Foshan 528225, China
2
Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, 5322 Endo Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0882, Japan
3
College of Public Administration, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 22 August 2014 / Published: 9 September 2014
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: radiation contamination; Fukushima nuclear accident; migrant; aging; depopulation; recovery; Minamisoma radiation contamination; Fukushima nuclear accident; migrant; aging; depopulation; recovery; Minamisoma
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Zhang, H.; Yan, W.; Oba, A.; Zhang, W. Radiation-Driven Migration: The Case of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 9286-9305.

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