YouTube Added: 23.06.2012
“Nuclear Refugees, the people of Iitate Village, one year later” (2012/ Japan/ 18 minutes)
producer/ camera Koji Fujita 藤田 浩二
director/ editor Ian Thomas Ash
STORY: In May 2011, two months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the entire village of Iitate was evacuated. This documentary combines interviews with the villagers as they are preparing for evacuation, along with footage of the village filmed one year after evacuation.
BACKGROUND: For two months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the people of Iitate Village, 40 km from the damaged nuclear plant, were exposed to high levels of radiation due to the wind direction. The village was outside the official evacuation zone (20 km from the plant) and the villagers were not put under orders to stay indoors (such as the area 20-30 km from the plant). As a result, the villagers, and their children, remained in Iitate until the government eventually ordered them to evacuate two months after the meltdown.
NOTE: I was originally inspired to go to Iitate Village after reading this article by David McNeill in the Irish Times.
David kindly to introduced me to Katsuzo Shoji, whom he interviewed for the article. Shoji-san is the cattle farmer who appears at the end of the film.