Education International
Education International

Japan: Fukushima teachers join mass demonstration

published 29 June 2011 updated 30 June 2011

Teachers in the Fukushima region of Japan have joined other trade unionists to protest against the continuing nuclear emergency. The teachers, who are members of the Fukushima Prefecture Teacher’s Union, are fighting to hold the government and the power company TEPCO responsible and accountable for the nuclear disaster in Japan.

The disaster has led to the contamination of food, caused thousands of workers to lose their jobs and livelihoods, and has meant that many thousands of children are attending schools with radiation levels much higher than previously accepted safety standards.

The protestors issued a statement calling for international solidarity and said that TEPCO and the government are putting the interests of shareholders and profits before the interests of the people of Fukushima and in particular the children.

Teachers have expressed their anxiety at the fact that the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant has seen a complete meltdown of the first reactor—the nuclear fuel has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and the outer containment vessels causing destruction of concrete-made foundations. Consequently the toxic facility is now sinking into the ground.