Fukushima Faces Severe Labor Shortages For Decontamination Work

Fukushima Faces Labor Shortages for Decontamination Work (JiJi Press, Jan 28, 2013):

Fukushima –The northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima faces severe labor shortages for decontamination work following the 2011 nuclear accident.

This is because of fears over radiation exposure and low pay. According to the labor ministry’s Fukushima Labor Bureau, only about 10 pct of some 1,800 jobs offered for decontamination work in the prefecture get filled.

“The decontamination work cannot last,” an official of a local contractor says. Delays in decontamination work are hampering efforts to rebuild the prefecture devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

“Many people expect high wages for decontamination work, because of worries about radiation exposure,” says Shunichi Hirotani, an official at the “Hello Work” public job placement center for the northern part of the prefecture.

“In reality, wages for the work are almost the same as those for regular construction civil engineering work,” Hirotani says.

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