3 Février 2017
February 3, 2017
200 million yen raised for U.S. vets who helped in Fukushima
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
NAGOYA--Almost 200 million yen ($1.8 million) has been donated so far to a foundation set up to support U.S. veterans who claim they were affected by radioactive fallout after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster when they were in the region doing relief work.
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, one of the founders of the fund, said the total is expected to “reach about 200 million yen by the end of March.”
Koizumi, who said the high amount was totally unexpected, revealed the progress in a lecture he gave in Nagoya on Feb. 2.
The former prime minister initiated the original relief project and later set up the foundation in July along with others including another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, to assist the veterans, who were part of Operation Tomodachi mission to assist after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
“I initially hoped to gather 100 million yen by (the end of the donation period at) the end of March, but the target was surpassed last year,” Koizumi said in the public talk.
Globally renowned architect Tadao Ando and several business leaders are also supporting the cause, according to Koizumi.
“Something like that could happen again in the future and even something more unthinkable could happen. That is what a nuclear plant accident is all about,” said Koizumi in the lecture.
“Once the momentum to create a nation without relying on nuclear power generation picks up, the citizens and corporations will also stand up to help,” predicted Koizumi, who has publicly campaigned for a nuclear-free Japan.