Japan’s nuclear evacuees denied Canadian refuge

Quote from Calgary Sun  Source


TORONTO – A Japanese woman who claimed exposure to radiation from damaged nuclear reactors has been denied refugee status in Canada almost one year after that nation was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami that left more than 100,000 people homeless.

The woman’s identity has not been released by an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) since she’s seeking asylum in this country. She is among several dozen Japanese nationals who filed refugee claims to stay in Canada following the disaster and is one of the first decisions to be reached by the IRB.

“The claimant feared risks of exposure to radiation,” an IRB member said in a ruling. “She was not convinced by the Japanese government’s assurances of safety from radiation.”

The woman was one of hundreds of Japanese citizens who sought refuge in other countries following the March 11, 2011 catastrophe caused by a magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami that left more than 15,000 dead and nearly 3300 missing.

The acts of nature crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant, leading to core meltdowns at three of its six reactors, and ongoing leaks of radioactive material.

A board member ruled the claimant “feared being a victim of hazards that emanated from a combined natural and man-made disaster.”

The member said the claimant’s risk “is characterized as being widespread and prevalent in Japan.”

The woman can still appeal her case to the Federal Court of Canada, and that decision can still be appealed.

She claimed her life was in danger from radioactive contaminants that spewed into the environment from the Fukushima plant.

More than 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes and businesses in a 20-km no-go zone around the plant.

The accident also raised fears of contamination in everything from fruit and vegetables to fish and water.

It took about nine months for the Japanese government to declare that the Fukushima plant was stable, although it will take about 40 years to decommission the plant.

Japan has since decided to lower its reliance on nuclear power, reversing its plans to boost it to 50 per cent by 2030. Most of its 54 reactors are currently off-line, most of them undergoing safety inspections.


  1. It has always been curious to me why no one seems to use your “evacuation service.” Are there other outlets for finding places for relocation other than your site, Iorisan?

    The media in the U.S. has been silent about Japanese seeking to relocate here.

    It is incredibly callous to refuse refuge like this.

  2. This is because of corporations and governments downplaying the full extent of the disaster. These evacuees fought hard to escape from the radiation, only to be turned away by the rest of the world.

    What will everyone say when the effects of the radiation start to show? Apologies won’t save their lives.

  3. Canada does not seem to be an option. This is mildly surprising to me, because they have an active immigration policy with quotas and points.

    Europeans don’t really have that; fundamentally, their politicians and a large chunk of rightist population don’t want immigration. Sometimes that’s tragicomic, as when Geert Wilders, who is partially of Indonesian descent, rages against immigrants (talk about self-hatred!). Just like more than one Spanish inquisitioner was of Jewish or Muslim descent.

    But let’s go to the practical side of this. Some people claim that this happened because Canada does not want refugees who would be expensive on the system because of their health care needs. I think this claim is largely nonsense.

    Japanese applicants will not be accepted for the same reason that Americans fleeing the US army during the Bush years were not accepted. Politically, Canada supported the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, and it supports nuclear power. Accepting Japanese refugees would mean that they are criticizing nuclear power.

    Now, the big question is, Australia and New Zealand. If they also close their door, most of Japanese refugees will have to go to different places in Latin America (including Brazil), parts of Africa or possibly Russia. Many will still get lucky, but I don’t expect that very large communities
    in the northern hemisphere will be possible.

    All of that being said, as a former refugee I deeply hate anyone who would deny human rights to those in need.

  4. Canada is vast. On a map.

    The reality is our population is confined to small cities and towns. Population is about 35 million for that whole map, about the same number as the city of Tokyo.

    To allow nuclear disaster refugees to come to Canada, would be seen as a diplomatic incident by the Japanese government. Japan seems to want civilians to suffer together in Japan.

    ‘Share the pain’ is the ‘Newspeak’ term of our times. Apparently Canadian grain rail cars are rumored to be rolling around the usual rail routes empty. Who knows, I don’t work for the railroad, so I wouldn’t know. A very quiet partial crop failure in 2011 blamed on other causes?

    Another crop failure may happen in North America this spring during germination. Several months of snow out and frozen ground may release nucleotides to damage germinating grain seeds. Seedlings are vulnerable; even discharged ‘alpha’ particles would be able to penetrate those fine tissues of embryonic plants.

    Will we see an effect on wheat, canola, soy bean, oats and barley?

    Pasture grass was all I had personal access to in Ontario, There was a a lot of non-viable, ‘dead’ seed husks left on the stalks of a ubiquitous pasture grass called ‘Timothy'(Phleum Pratense)’ last autumn.

    So Canadians may have our own problems from Fukushima in 2012. A possible crop failure in ‘the breadbasket of the world’ is no joke.

  5. Folks – this is the main problem!!! Much as the citizens of Japan would want to seek haven in other countries to escape their countries radiation pollution, the situation is not internationally acknowledged as a crisis and hence no ‘refugee’ status is granted to any of them. In which case, getting a migration visa is almost impossible to attain under these conditions of global financial problems with most of the countries cutting back on their migration quotas. The Japan government is partially to blame here as they are insisting on denying the ‘dangers’ of radiation and thus politically saying to the other governments that their citizens have no right to flee to other countries.

    Maybe the Japanese citizens need to riot in their streets and make their government heed the voice of the people to catch the attention of the international scene paving the way for the unrest to have a call for ‘Refugee’ status for it’s citizens. Remember that it took the Tian-na-men massacre to goad the world into accepting refugees from there. I do not advocate violence but the ground root masses of Japan MUST instigate the actions to force the government to change their political stance… as it is right now, the hands of the other governments are tied and much as they would want to give in to their humanitarian charity and allow Japanese to come in, they cannot!!!

  6. This tragic response by governments is truly shocking. Where is the humanity and how can
    the Canadians deny anyone an opportunity to find a safe haven? Worse, where are the
    politicians from the US? Why are they not speaking up and offering safe haven? It takes
    a lot of guts for the Japanese to admit they are asking for help – what in the world is wrong
    with people in government? Are they all psycopaths?

  7. Canadians are getting on board CBC Television ‘Nature of Things’ host Dr. David Suzuki did an interview on CBC radio ‘Q’ this morning and it was very encouraging.

    Please check this out;


    This represents one of the first critical broadcasts in Canada of nuclear industry in general and a very sensitive interpretation of Japan’s experience in particular.

    Hope everyone is as encouraged by this broadcast as I am.

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About this site

This website updates the latest news about the Fukushima nuclear plant and also archives the past news from 2011. Because it's always updated and added live, articles, categories and the tags are not necessarily fitted in the latest format.
I am the writer of this website. About page remains in 2014. This is because my memory about 311 was clearer than now, 2023, and I think it can have a historical value. Now I'm living in Romania with 3 cats as an independent data scientist.
Actually, nothing has progressed in the plant since 2011. We still don't even know what is going on inside. They must keep cooling the crippled reactors by water, but additionally groundwater keeps flowing into the reactor buildings from the broken parts. This is why highly contaminated water is always produced more than it can circulate. Tepco is planning to officially discharge this water to the Pacific but Tritium is still remaining in it. They dilute this with seawater so that it is legally safe, but scientifically the same amount of radioactive tritium is contained. They say it is safe to discharge, but none of them have drunk it.


February 2012