New York-based group Human Rights Watch has criticized the Japanese government for being too slow in providing basic health services and information to citizens in the Fukushima area, nearly a year after the worst nuclear disaster in the country’s history.
The result is that people continue to be confused and suspicious of authorities, the organization said.
“A year on, we are really not seeing basic health services being offered in an accessible way and we are not seeing accurate, consistent, non-contradictory information being disclosed to people on a regular basis,” said a representative of Human Rights Watch.
Referring to the fact that many residents in Fukushima area continue to live with fears about their health state, the organization said that the government should have a “clear plan and place for testing everyone in Fukushima for radiation”. The local authorities should borrow equipment and bring in more doctors, if needed, it said.
The local government is currently providing health tests for pregnant women and children, but the process takes time. So far, about 40,000 children aged up to 18, of the total of 360,000, were subject to thyroid checks, according to the authorities.