A group of people who evacuated due to the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has spoken out about the many problems they face, including recent bullying of evacuee children.
The group consists of plaintiffs in lawsuits demanding compensation for damages from the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant.
Group representatives called for understanding of their suffering in a statement released at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday.
The plaintiffs living in and outside Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located, took the action after a revelation last month that a student evacuee was bullied at school in Yokohama, near Tokyo.
The bullies demanded money from the boy. Similar cases have since been revealed elsewhere.
The statement says it is regrettable that evacuees, who are victims of the accident, suffer from insensitive criticism and unreasonable acts by others. It says the group seeks understanding of the seriousness of the situation.
A senior official of the group, Mitsuo Sato, said what has been reported about bullying is the tip of the iceberg. He said adults also face harassment and insensitivity. Sato said he wants people to know that bullying and discrimination affect all evacuees.
A woman who voluntarily evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture with her daughter asked people to think about why they had to leave their home. She added that the nuclear accident is far from over.