Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

President Trump? Celebrity billionaire confounds Republican party (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

President Trump? Celebrity billionaire confounds Republican party (part 1)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Helen Clark: 'I’m the best person for the job of UN Secretary-General'

Read more

FOCUS

Gulf states starting to feel the pinch of cheap oil

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Fast fashion: Wearing the world out

Read more

ENCORE!

Something's not quite kosher at bakery in sweet comedy 'Dough'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Who is Moqtada al-Sadr?

Read more

FACE-OFF

New labour reform bill: A major gamble for Hollande

Read more

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

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

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

2016-04-28 USA

The vicious cycle of student debt in the US

Student debt in the United States now stands at over a trillion dollars. And it’s going up, to the tune of 2,700 dollars per second. FRANCE 24 reporters Philip Crowther and...

Read more

2016-04-22 Syria

Exclusive: Interethnic coalition takes on the IS group in Syria

FRANCE 24 brings you a rare documentary filmed inside Syria. Our reporters gained exclusive access to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab militias, as...

Read more

2016-04-14 Turkey

The forgotten shipwrecked migrants of the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea, between Turkey and Greece, is a transit point for refugees fleeing the war in Syria or the Taliban in Afghanistan and trying to reach Europe. But their makeshift...

Read more

2016-04-07 Corsica

Corsican nationalism: The test of power

Last December, Corsican nationalists won a historic and unexpected victory in France’s regional elections. After decades of violence, they now have two years to prove themselves...

Read more

2016-04-01 mafia

Video: Vast mafia network on trial in Rome

In November 2015, the trial of a vast mafia network opened in Rome, with 46 people in the dock. They stand accused of extortion, corruption and misappropriation of public funds....

Read more