Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Spain's Tagus river is drying up

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

'Looking for Oum Kulthum': Breaking the glass ceiling in the art world

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Alabama sent a message to women'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs learn to meditate

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

African leaders meet in Paris ahead of G5 Sahel summit

Read more

FOCUS

USA: Voters speak out ahead of Alabama Senate race

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Facebook to pay taxes where it earns advertising revenue

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Arnie sets green example in Paris

Read more

THE DEBATE

One Planet Summit: Who's going to pay for the switch to renewable energy?

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

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

2017-11-24 Americas

Video: Is Trump slamming door on Muslims' American Dream?

Since US President Donald Trump came to power, Muslim Americans say they feel increasingly unwelcome in their own country. According to critics, Trump’s executive orders banning...

Read more

2017-11-17 Middle East

Exclusive: From Tehran to Najaf, a pilgrimage fraught with danger

It’s one of the most dangerous pilgrimages in the world. Every year, despite the deadly menace of the Islamic State group, millions of Shiites make a pilgrimage to southern Iraq,...

Read more

2017-11-09 Europe

Full circle: The second life of old clothes abroad

Our reporters investigated what happens to old clothes thrown out by Westerners. For several months, our team followed the trail of recycled clothes - from initial collection...

Read more