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Question 2: Where in Fukushima did you live at the time of the March 11 Earthquake?

0% 3% 15% 12% 9% Soso

Question 3: Where do you live now?

Iwaki Kenpoku Kenchu

13% 5%
Same Place Another Part of Japan


Kennan 40% Aizu Minami Aizu

Left Japan


Different Part of Fukushima

Question 4: If still in Japan, where do you work?

JET Programme

Question 5: How long have you lived/did you live in Japan?

0% 18% 29%
0 - 1 Year 1 - 2 Years 2 - 3 Years

Private English Teacher



Own a Business Company/Association/Student

21% 16% 16%

3 - 4 Years 4 - 5 Years 5+ Years

Question 7: What were conditions like in your town in the days after the earthquake and/or tsunamii?

70 60 50 40 39% 30 42% 63% 63%

61% 50%

Destroyed/Nothing Left No Power No Gas (cooking) No Information No Internet No Transport Shops Closed/Limited No Food No Gasoline/Petrol No Running Water

t d n p s e r f o %

20 10

24% 18% 8%


Conditions of Town/City After Quake

Question 8: What did you do immediately following the quake and in the weeks after?

3% Temporarily Left Japan 24% Stayed in Japan, But Temporarily Left Fukushima

52% Stayed in Fukushima 21% Left Japan Permanently

Question 11: For those who stayed in Fukushima, what was your MAIN reason for staying?


9% 9%

Felt Safe Felt Worried But Not Enough to Leave Felt Duty to Workplace Wanted to Stay and Help





My neighbours are like my family and if I left I felt that would be like abandoning them. They also told me that if worse came to worst, we would go to their relatives in XXX Prefecture, so I had a back up plan in any case and felt prepared as much as possible given the situation. I felt worried, but not so much as to want to leave, true, but also felt a duty to my workplace and there was a chance I could do good. So pretty much, the last three options on your list. I didnt want to go too far from my work or my home. I also felt like leaving wasnt really an option because Fukushima is my home. My wife's family lives in XXX City. My wife and I felt safe in her apartment in XXX Town. So we waited until the road conditions had improved and petrol was available to go to XXX City to help family. It allowed me to stay close to XXX Town, and help when necessary.

Question 12: For those who left Fukushima, what was your MAIN reason for leaving?

11% 29% 14%

Felt it was Dangerous

Duty to my Worried Family


Too Stressed to Function

Didn't Trust Japanese Government to Protect Me




It wasn't clear how bad the nuclear situation could become. School was on holiday so there was no harm in me going home just in case the problems developed further. I knew if I chose to stay in XXX Town then I would have been isolated from the JET community and would definitely have to stay put since my car had no petrol and there were no trains. XXX Town is only XXkm from the plant so in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake it was not clear whether the evacuation zone was going to get larger so if I didn't go with the other JETs then I might have issues if I did need to evacuate. Basically, the main reason I left was because my friends left me and I felt I would be very isolated and could potentially be in trouble if I stayed alone. Actually, several of the above apply. The first two, and the one regarding the government. I'd say it was a combination of all these things, but the main reason I left the country was to see my parents. I was planning to originally stay in XXX Prefecture for a little while, and that was more or less to help me gain a little more peace of mind. I was also highly suspicious of the government as well because although I get how many foreign news outlets were hyping the story quite a bit, to say that things were just fine (as I was hearing from some that I worked with) was also far from the truth, and irresponsible. My apartment was XXX feet from the evacuation line I didnt feel comfortable living there. My main concern was not what had already happened, but what could possibly happen at the time I left it seemed that there was every possibility that the plant could have a complete melt-down. And judging by the Japanese Governments/TEPCOs response so far at the time I had absolutely no confidence in them to protect me or my family from harm should the worst happen I had no way out, no one I could rely on, no way of escape later on, there was absolutely no support for me no matter which way I turned, so when the opportunity to evacuate presented itself I had to take it for the sake of protecting my family my childs health was not worth the risk.

Question 16 (part 1 & 2): For those that left Fukushima temporarily, when did you come back to continue working/living here? For those that left Fukushima temporarily, what were your main reasons for returning?

7% 14%


March April May June

13% 26% 3%

Felt Safer Felt Like a Burden on Friends/Family Wanted to See Japanese Friends



Wanted to Help Japan Wanted to Calm Family & Come Straight Back


Unavoidable Reasons (would rather not be here)



Felt Duty to Return


I returned as I felt the situation had become much safer and, as the holidays had finished, wanted to get back to teaching. I returned because my boss threatened to fire me if I didnt come back. I came back because of a number of reasons I adore Fukushima, for one - but the main one was probably feeling a duty to my workplace and wanting to finish out my contract. I was not welcomed on returning, and although I expected some antagonism, the reception has been much frostier and lacking in understanding or compassion than I had ever imagined. In many ways, at least where my workplace is concerned, Im sorry I came back. I felt guilty for staying away and imposing on my friends in XXX Prefecture, so I decided it was time to return to Fukushima. I returned because I felt like I should, but not in a negative way. I felt like where I was, was safe enough, and I wanted to make sure everyone I knew was ok... There was pressure from the work place but I tried not to let that be the main reason I came back. Mostly, I felt safe enough and I really wanted to see my school and my students. There was also a need to be back with people who understood what I had gone through during the earthquake.

Question 10: How did the information (or lack there of) regarding the nuclear situation make you feel?

70 60 50 47% 40 39% 30 53% 63%

Not Concerned Felt Reassured by Japanese TV Upset by Judgemental People 50% Stressed by Over-Worried Family Lack of Info Made Decisions Difficult Didn't Know What To Do

t d n p s e r f o %

20 10 0

24% 21% 18% 13%

Japanese Info Was Vague/Untrustworthy Really Stressed Confused/What's Going On?! Conflicting Info Was Distressing



Feelings About Nuclear Situation

Very Concerned


I researched it on my own. Made my decision based on the info available and my own situation. I was worried but I'm satisfied with the decision I made and won't feel regret about it. I had the internet, and also BBC and CNN on Satellite TV. I knew the extent of the situation, and was following the monitoring of radiation levels. I was stressed whenever I was contacted by family back in XXX Country who seemed to be receiving very sensationalist news. I never knew what was the safe thing to do. I was impressed by everyone's calm composure during the events. I felt that everyone made different decisions and that no decision was wrong or right. It was stressful and I was somewhat upset. A lot of that was multiplied by other people's opinions. Certain people thought it was nothing and told us to stop worrying and stay put whereas others were panicky and wanted to leave right away. Right after we heard about the possibility of a "nuclear situation" we spent a lot of time glued on NHK news hoping it would tell us something. Conflicting information was the worst. Something bad would happen (ie explosion) and we would be ready to leave but then we would hear it was ok. The stress of knowing whether to leave or not was the worst, but overall I think I faired ok. I didnt want to leave until I was sure there was a major reason to. Pretty stressful getting conflicting reports and not really knowing what the hell was going on. The conflicting information was maybe the biggest source of stress throughout this whole ordeal. I could never gauge how safe it was to stay here because every news outlet had its own version about how serious (or not serious) the situation was. My supervisor was telling me things were safe outside of the exclusion zone, but a lot of what I was reading online was saying that the whole prefecture was done for, and no one seemed to have any facts or figures to back any of the claims being made. Or the data seemed to trivialize things (You'll be fine; this is like 2 banana equivalent doses of radiation, etc). It made me feel upset, stressed, worried, confused--all of those. More than anything though I was angry at how CLAIR, my BOE, and my school didn't do anything to help or show any sort of understanding towards my situation and just wanted me to return to work so I could sit at my desk and do nothing. I felt stressed because the Government kept telling us it was safe, when anyone with half a brain could tell it wasnt, at least in my area. I was very worried. It seemed like TEPCO was hiding something from us. They would tell us one thing, and then hours or days later say the opposite, only to admit that they knew about it before the initial news conference happened.


Not a single person from my town contacted me to see if I was okay or to tell me about the nuclear situation. We learned all our information from the TV and from a CIR in XXX Prefecture (friend of a friend). It made me really angry that work didnt contact me even once to give me information or see how I was doing. The first contact I had from the BOE after school had been cancelled for the rest of the month was them scolding me for not being at home/school when I was at a friends house in XXX Town (15 minutes away) using her Internet to contact loved ones at home and to get information in English. Yes, I chose to be in Japan where English is not the main language spoken HOWEVER in a crisis where my life is at risk, I dont think its abnormal to hope that a little information in English be provided or that supervisors at work would check to see that I was okay. Japan let me down there for sure. The thing that upset me more than anything else, including the lack of information, was the complete lack of concern from my workplace, and the judgmental and sometimes downright condescending attitudes of some people around me (both Japanese and foreign) about my worries for my familys safety. When I had trouble finding transport to work because of a lack of fuel, and disappearance of my bike, my workplace told me to walk (over 7kms, and in the snow) at a time when we were being advised to stay indoors because of the radiation, which I later found out was very high in my area in the days and weeks following the accident. Disappointed wouldnt even begin to describe how I feel.

70 60

63% 53% 42%

International Association Was Supportive Other

Question 13: What do you feel was done well after the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear accident?

50 40 30 20 10 0

Gas Stands/Shops Rationed Things Community Pulled Together

t d n p s e r f o %


Town Was Organised


What Was Done Well After Earthquake


I was impressed with the evacuation centers in my town I was too afraid to stay in my apartment the first night and they gave me some food and water and a blanket to sleep on. They even had some soup ready. I cant say enough good things about the community here they are awesome. The same cant be said for the Japanese Government though. Nothing was done well! My Contracting Organisation was incredibly helpful and supportive throughout the crisis; I couldn't fault them! Teachers at the school I was at at the time acted quickly and responsibly. I felt that the students were well taken care of. Everybody dealt with the situation with a calm disposition, which I felt was impressive. People were really kind and supportive - they kept saying "thank you so much for staying and helping out" but when I was looking around, I was no different from anyone else - they had all made sacrifices and were working hard, doing what they could. I was not better than them; we were on the same level, but they kept giving me things - ie, food and water, even though they probably needed it more themselves. The teachers at my school really made me proud - they worked hard to distribute the donated goods to the refugees, and worked long hours. The community worked well together. Fuel shortage was THE biggest problem. Folks who didn't have enough felt trapped, especially when the nuclear plant accident occurred. Fukushima Info group on Facebook was AWESOME! Thank you to everyone involved. I evacuated with many members of my community. Everyone supported each other at the shelter. I was the only foreigner, but many people shared food and information with me.

Question 14: What do you feel was NOT done well after the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear accident?

80 70 60 50 40 42% 55% 47% 47% 47% 66% 68% 68%

Complete Over-reaction Lack of Utilities Wanted to Volunteer, But Was Refused Discrimination From Workplace Slow Cleanup Evacuation Zone Not Good Enough Lack of Support For Foreign Population

20 10 0 3% 13%

t d n p s e r f o %



Foreign Media Blew Things Out of Proportion Inadequate Food Safety

What Was Not Done Well After Earthquake

No English Info From Japanese Government Japanese Government Response Was Too Slow

SELECTION OF COMMENTS: I cant fault the community in Fukushima they worked hard to support each other, but to be blunt, I couldnt be more disgusted with the Japanese Government than I am right now. I feel like they served the people of Fukushima up on a silver platter, to save themselves face, and to save their precious perks from companies like TEPCO. They have done little to nothing to help with clean up in my area the people of the community are just doing it themselves without proper safety equipment, and the paralysed response of those in charge makes me sick! The Government wont allow independent research on radiation levels in Fukushima (or in the food) either. How is this supposed to make me feel safe and reassured?! God help Fukushima it is the people here, and children in particular, who will pay for their Governments pompous, self-serving lunacy. I believe the local governments have done well and that the government in Tokyo needs to get some common sense knocked into them. It surely wasn't the time to be placing blame on so and so, etc. Although the Japanese people acted calmly and rationally, I can't say the same for their government. It would have probably been the exact opposite in XXX Country if this had happened. Our government is usually quick to act, but people can be quite stupid. There was absolutely no English information in my town (I'm far away from XXX down town, and without a car and petrol I had no way of getting there). I think that the evacuation zone should have been wider, and they should have checked the individual towns' levels and made decisions on that, not some arbitrary radius. In hind sight, an 80km radius evacuation zone, at the very least, was probably a wise idea. Seriously 20 km is no where near far enough away if a full scale meltdown were to happen. What would they have done? Wait until the last second and then panic? It would have been far too late to do anything for the people here. People are just plain lucky that nothing worse happened they would have been screwed if it did. The Japanese Govt put their citizens at unnecessary risk, and the lack of concern shown for peoples safety is very disappointing. I expected much better from them. I have serious doubts even now about whether they are telling us the truth. I still don't know 100 percent if Japan is safe to live in where I currently am now. Truthy I don't think anybody knows for sure. Nuclear radiation is quite a scary thing because it's invisible. Mainly this is a bigger problem. In a world sense Governments need too stop taking bribes from companies. This is a world problem. This I think was just an example. Foreign media were pathetic. Utterly. Even an interview I gave, saying that I thought things were being blown out of proportion, was edited to make it seem like I was in a panic. Comparing it to the Chernobyl disaster was a bit lame as well. Caused so much stress to my parents and grandparents, because if you can't believe the news, what then, can you believe? People who say everything is fine dont have young children! People with young children are right to be worried and frightened. We dont know which is enough to frighten anyone with kids. And it doesnt help when people without kids tell you not to worry that you are overreacting. Can anyone honestly tell us that our children wont get cancer in ten years? Saying that we think it is NOT dangerous is not the same as saying it is safe!

SELECTION OF COMMENTS (cont.): To be honest, besides being in contact with my supervisor immediately after the earthquake, I had no contact with him until a long time after. The unofficial foreign supervisor was under-reacting to everything. He was unconvinced that there was anything wrong with the nuclear reactors and kept telling us the water would come back in a few days. (In reality it took about 3 weeks.) Also, the Japanese and foreign supervisor was not very supportive of people who went home during the earthquake. It was looked down upon that people weren't returning back to their jobs on time. I felt let down by XXX embassy who barely gave any information or help to us. I also felt let down by CLAIR and the JET programme in general (not the JETs as people) and felt they provided no support for our PAs/CIRs who were under great stress after the earthquake which in turn meant that our PAs couldn't give us the support that some ALTs may have needed. It seemed that CLAIR did not want to take any decisive action and keep with their ESID crap which meant some JETs had barely any help in evacuating away from the power plant and no support afterwards i.e. job security/being re-homed. Two of the choices above are referenced to people over-reacting. If anything the population under-reacted, and didn't come close to challenging the government enough regarding what was transpiring. Basic questions such as 'If it's not really that dangerous here, why did the families of half of the medical universities doctors leave?' MANY more questions. Then the head of the government's nuclear program resigned admitting he'd been lying, and on and on...These things are to be expected from most governments though. Lack of objective outside inspectors to confirm government claims. I can list a hundred items if interested. It's hard to be angry at a country not providing support to you in your native tongue if you don't speak the local language, but i was frustrated that I couldn't make heads from tails of much of what was initially being broadcasted about the nuclear situation. NHK started to come through though as they had some English simulcasts up on their websites for their news. Much of the foreign press was pretty terrible throughout this whole thing, and some of it remains terrible. Lost my faith in a lot of news sources back home, that's for certain. Another thing that concerns me is that I don't know how well they're checking foods for radiation contamination. There's been too many reports already about how shipments of foods clear inspection, then turn out to be unfit for consumption after all. That's unacceptable. It goes a little far to say that my workplace discriminated against me. Many of my co-workers expressed a desire to get away for a while as well but felt they were unable to. I was chastised for not giving adequate notice before taking time off and of course, I was forced to use all my nenkyu despite school not even being in session while I was away. This caused some problems later on and I was forced to take unpaid leave. I felt that the extreme differences in how various BOEs handled the situation was frustrating. I had no choice but to return to work after only 7 days or face a reduced paycheck whereas other JETs were fully paid while being gone for months. Obviously there are many factors to consider, but it was very frustrating and caused me a lot of stress. I asked to leave, and I was told to fill out a nenkyuu form by my kyoto. When I took this form to my kocho, he just ripped it out of my hand and waved me away like a dog, then he said "Oh, you are running away to XXX Country? Ok, go. Run away. Bye bye." Those were pretty much his last words to me until I came back. Some other teachers also made it a point to ask me if I was running away. And when I returned, the kocho's first words to me were "Oh, milliseivert very high in XXX Town. Run away again? Also, everyone was aware I had no home or anything to live in. They just kind of avoided me and left when it came time to go home. I was lucky enough to have made friends with a teacher here, who offered to take me back to his place a few times. Understandably, I had no contact from my BOE during this time. It seems a bit ridiculous that the government has stated that the acceptable dosage for children is 20 millisieverts/year and wants to raise it even further. People have lost faith in the government in relation to food safety. Restrictions on food from Fukushima were not strict enough. Everything was voluntary and not mandatory some things that should not have made it into the marketplace, did so. I think suppliers were more worried about their own profits than food safety.

Question 15: How can things be improved for the foreign community in the event of a disaster in the future?

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 How To Improve Things In Future 13% 53% 53% 53% 53% 66% 61% 47% 79% 71%

Other More Proactive Response Better Communication Between Response Teams Support To Clean Up Contaminated Areas More Reports in English Devices to Measure Food Contamination Faster Decision Making News in English From Japanese Government Workplaces Need to be More Understanding More Transparency & Info Flow


The government has received a lot of criticism about its handling of the disaster, but this was a disaster on an unprecedented level. Information is not always going to be immediately available. I was very satisfied with the response of those in my community. My work place was also very understanding if I wanted some time off, but I chose to stay and help. Govt was very slow at responding to the needs of not only tsunami victims, but also to the needs of people needing to know more about radiation. They should learn how to stop trying to save face... I hope that every man or woman that went to work in that reactor after the nuclear threat occurred is a billionaire for the rest of his or her life. The Govt was slow to react and info was given out only months after the incident. A nation is supposed to help its foreigners evacuate, but Japan decides to blame people who evacuated. Ask the Japanese people what they would have done if they were overseas and a disaster like this happened. Japan can improve by focusing on the problems at hand instead of going silly over people that evacuated the amount of foreigner bashing that went on is just ridiculous; as is the hero attitude toward those who chose to stay behind as if staying behind somehow makes you more dedicated to Japan than anyone else. In my experience, some people who temporarily evacuated have been treated like traitors after returning in any other country, the kind of treatment I have witnessed would be illegal! Get out of your cave-man mentality for goodness sake. If the shoe was on the other foot, Japanese people would abandon the foreign country in DROVES so many Japanese people have told me so yet they turn around and get all judgemental and superior about people who chose to evacuate. I have lost all respect for so many people because of this. My workplace was quite understanding of the JETs need to leave XXX City until they were sure it was safe and livable, I for one did not return until my water came back on and they were ok with that. But I heard some other JETs had a hard time, such as the high school JETs who I believe were told to use nenkyu! After a disaster like this you should not need to use any nenkyu at all, you should be able to use your disaster leave! People should be more understanding in these situations. Making people take paid leave during a disaster is just ridiculous. Who does that, really? It would be really difficult not to improve the situation as I dont think it could get worse than it was/is.

t d n p s e r f o %

Question 17: Have you been involved in any kind of support for Fukushima?

100 90 80 70 60 50 47% 84% 89%

Raised/Donated Goods Other

30 20 10 0
Supporting Fukushima

t d n p s e r f o %


Organised/Took Part in Volunteer Activities


Raised/Donated Money

Question 17: Any other comments you would like to add?


There was absolutely no time for me to reflect back on what had happened. I was basically at school 24/7 from when the earthquake happened till the day I left. Outside of the students, I didn't see a single ounce of emotion from any of the people here. I guess I got caught up in that... and I haven't had a chance to be sad, or angry, or frustrated, or whatever. Pretty sure that's not healthy - haha. I sometimes think back on the time after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear situation, and it literally makes me feel sick. I get uncontrollable waves of sadness, and anger. If I think too much about it I cant eat or sleep properly because I get so upset. The whole big mess still affects me terribly. I suppose my situation after coming back only fuels the negative emotions things have been very difficult for me and the treatment from my work place (and several other people) has made me lose all the passion to live and work in Japan that I once had. People who I considered friends have turned their backs on me or been outwardly offensive, for no reason other than the fact I evacuated temporarily and in hind sight, Im more than positive I made the right choice too, as the level of contamination where I lived sky-rocketed during the time I was away, and you cant trust the Japanese Government to do anything to keep you safe! What is so wrong with wanting to protect my child from harm?! Im sure that most people havent had the same sort of reaction as this, but my own personal experience has been nothing short of terrible. Im worried that once I leave, this kind of negative image will be stamped so firmly in my mind that I will never want to come back to Japan and this upsets me very much. My biggest complaints are not with JET or the Japanese government, but with the Tokyo Electric Company. If they hadnt been so stubborn, I would still be working in Fukushima and I wouldnt be doing a crap ton of paperwork. I would really like to say that all the Japanese people I encountered were very helpful and I experienced no racial bias. I have experienced some Fukushima bias from people in XXX Prefecture, not employment, just some less than friendly comments. (They didnt know I could understand them, and quickly apologized once I had a few choice words of my own). Our amazing JET community in Fukushima was absolutely AMAZING following the earthquake and absolutely crucial for me ability to stay calm during the earthquake. If it were not for my fellow JETs in Fukushima, this situation would have been much, much more stressful and nervewracking, but because I had such a great support group, it was much easier to handle. CLAIR and the JET Program deserves credit for bringing us together, but I think FUJET also deserves a lot of credit. On the other hand, CLAIR pretty much failed in every other respect. It took way too long for CLAIR to do anything after the quake and the things they did do was absolutely not enough. I was quite disappointed by that. But it definitely forced us JETs to come together and work to make sure every last one of us was okay, and that in itself was amazing.


The Japanese news portraying all the foreigners as assholes for leaving the country was pretty terrible as well. It's such crap that foreign people are paraded around like mascots on commercials and posters at your local stores but aren't really treated the same (of course this has good and bad elements). Foreigners in Japan aren't even considered as real people in the eyes of some -- some people even really just hate foreigners -- and yet when some decide to leave, there's an uproar. I read news reports about people claiming foreigners that left have "betrayed us!" What loyalty have you shown them? Not to mention there were A LOT of Japanese people at the airport when I was there compared with foreigners. And there was next to no coverage about how many Japanese people were fleeing the country either. I was with a friend once at a bar and the barkeep asked us if we had left after the quake, and my friend said he didnt and the man replied with "" and that made me think -- what's so wise/noble about choosing to stay in a situation that you think and feel to be dangerous? I get asked that a lot, if I went home after the quake, and it depends on person to person how I answer that, but I've gotten pretty offended by it in some rare cases, because why does it matter? I'm here now. If I didn't care, I wouldn't have come back, and I wouldn't bother to help anymore if I had, but I am. With those that I know personally and work with, they were more or less relieved to see me once I returned, and I was worried about my friends here, as well as students and coworkers while I was away, and was equally relieved to find all of them safe. I haven't received any criticism from people I know personally about my decision to leave, but you still get the feeling talking to people here and there that they're a bit sad that you went. I was talking with a colleague the other day about the radiation danger after the quake and many Japanese peoples inability to evacuate because of their jobs/livelihoods. Where I live, the level of radiation in the environment shot up to well over 500 times the natural level (over 20 usv per hour) in the days following the disaster because we were at the edge of the worst part of the radiation plume and it rained on top of us. But because we are XXkm from the power plant, no one was allowed to evacuate, whether they wanted to or not. My colleague was saying how wrong she thinks this Japanese mentality is (being expected to be blindly dedicated to your work), and that she doesnt blame anyone who had the guts to leave, because if she had half the chance to do so, she would have too. I think this sums up the situation very well. Also, to top things off, a friend of mine who is in the know, told me that 24 usv/hr (which is the official info regarding the highest level XXX City had) was actually false, and that according to him (he had a Geiger counter), the actual average level here was MANY times higher He also told me not to completely trust everything we hear from official channels due to them having their own agenda as he put it, and to be very careful about the food from Fukushima and this is someone who has first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the goings-on here. Its hard to trust the official information when people you know to be very reliable tell you things like this.