Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Bye-EU Tapestry is not to all tastes

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

Maverick Mélenchon: French far-left launches its own web TV

Read more

FOCUS

Rise of sandstorms plagues Middle East

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Superjumbo travel: Discussing the future of the A380

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Fighting unemployment: Millions of Indians face layoffs amid shrinking job market

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Deneuve vs. #MeToo: Exploring feminism 'à la française'

Read more

ENCORE!

Meryl Streep on gender equality: 'Something has cracked wide open'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Trump's presidency, one year in: 365 days of outrageous tweets and blunders

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

War in Syria: UN refugee agency denounces rape of men and boys

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2011-10-07

Clearing up Fukushima

Fukushima was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Who would still want to work at the plant? And yet, thousands of people go there every day to work at cleaning away the radioactive debris and trying to secure the site. France 24 went to meet these workers who are ready to risk their lives to save Japan.

In the small world of Tokyo-based journalists, we knew that it would be difficult to meet the workers of Fukushima. Some could maybe talk to us, but only off-camera. Tepco, the operator of the stricken plant, was the first to disappoint us by refusing each of our requests. And no wonder: Tepco and its subcontractors strictly forbid the workers from speaking to the media.

Luckily, a Japanese woman who ended up becoming our interpreter managed to break the deadlock. A Christian, she worked as a volunteer with victims of the tsunami in Iwaki, a workers’ dormitory town located 40 km south of the Fukushima plant. Through a religious centre, she knew a worker who agreed to meet us. His name is Yukio and he is a colourful personality who wants to set the story straight about the plant’s workers. “Yes, it is hard work. But no, we are not slaves”, is his basic message.

The rest is all about luck…and blagging. We go straight to “J-Village”, the workers’ headquarters, located on the threshold of the 20 km-wide “forbidden zone” around the plant. We are not allowed to be there. Most of the workers know it and only give us a wary hello. But some of them agree to say a few words to us.

By Marie LINTON , Guillaume BRESSION , Makiko Segawa

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2018-01-11 Americas

Video: Inside the deadly US opioid crisis

Opioids kill more people than they cure. Every day in the United States, some 140 people die from taking opioids - addictive opiate-based drugs. They’ve become the leading cause...

Read more

2017-12-20 Africa

Egypt's Coptic Christians live in fear of Islamist attacks

Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been the target of unprecedented attacks since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. The election of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012 saw an upsurge with...

Read more

2017-12-15 Africa

Exclusive video: South Sudan, a cursed land

For the past four years South Sudan has been torn apart by civil war – and the situation in the country is desperate. Famine rages across all conflict zones and the first victims...

Read more

2017-12-08 Libya

Video: Trapped in Libya, migrants face torture and slavery

In the past few months, the number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean has shrunk drastically on the back of new migrant policies in Libya and Italy alike. Instead,...

Read more

2017-11-30 Americas

Video: Barbuda, an island paradise wiped out by Hurricane Irma

Three months ago, life on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, in the French West Indies, morphed into nothing short of a nightmare as Hurricane Irma swept in over its shores,...

Read more