IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture--The majority of residents in this city, which has taken in a large outpouring of the evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, feel sympathy toward them but harbor jealousy toward the compensation they are receiving, according to a new survey.
Iwaki Meisei University sent a questionnaire to 1,500 Iwaki residents in January and collected 678 responses to compile the results in July.
About 24,000 evacuees from the 2011 nuclear accident currently reside in the city of about 326,000 residents.
According to the survey, 72.2 percent of the residents said they sympathize with the evacuees for leading difficult lives with uncertain prospects for the future.
The survey also asked the residents about the amount of compensation provided to them by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, compared to that of the evacuees.
It found that 74.2 percent of the residents feel it is unfair that evacuees receive a monthly compensation of 100,000 yen ($920) from TEPCO plus compensation to cover the loss of their real estate holdings.
Many of the Iwaki residents were paid a total compensation of 120,000 yen.
A total of 64.7 percent said they feel "envious" toward the evacuees for receiving a much larger amount of compensation.
In the city, the influx of the evacuees is said to have, in part, caused housing shortages and difficulties at local hospitals.
“The central government should make itself accountable for the improvement of the city’s infrastructure and the injection of human resources such as doctors to alleviate the city's obligations in taking in evacuees for a long period of time,” said Ryosuke Takaki, an associate professor of community society at Iwaki Meisei University.
Source: Asahi Shimbun