37% of those relocated from Fukushima, Japan, may have PTSD: Study

Japan Fukushima Nuclear PTSD
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According to local media, approximately 40% of Fukushima residents who fled to locations outside the Japanese prefecture following the March 2011 nuclear accident may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Waseda University and a citizens organisation distributed questionnaires to 5,350 homes, primarily in the Kanto area near Tokyo, that had evacuated Fukushima following the nuclear accident, and received replies from 516, according to reports.

According to the findings, 37.0 percent of the refugees experienced PTSD.

Long-term stress causes, such as recollections of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident, severe changes in living situations, and challenges emerging from the government’s post-disaster actions, are behind the high rate, according to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun.

Nevertheless, 34.5 percent reported that they “still have no job.”

In terms of explanations, 16.3% stated a “inability to resume my self-owned business yet,” while 14% said they “could not work due to illness.”

The study, which was conducted from January to April 2022, also indicated that evacuees’ financial condition was deteriorating, with 56.8 percent saying they were “worried about compensation and indemnification.”

Another issue is an increasing sense of isolation, with 38.9% of respondents indicating they “rarely have contact” or “have no contact” with friends or acquaintances in their present locations.

“Although victims remain in touch with one another, some of them cannot go out on their own,” said Takuya Tsujiuchi, a medical professor at Waseda university, who was involved in the research.

“Such shut-ins alongside depressed individuals and elderly people need personal visits by supporters.”