Family finds Dunedin safe haven from disaster, Otago Daily Times By John Lewis, Dec. 18, 2011:
The 34-year-old escaped Fukushima with sons [...]
But her 40-year-old husband remains in Fukushima, working to earn money so his wife and sons can live temporarily in New Zealand. [...]
[She] said this Christmas would be the first in more than 10 years that she will not spend with her husband; a thought which was very upsetting for her.
As for what she wants for Christmas, she said: “My first Christmas without him… I don’t know. All I want is for us to be together again.”
She and the boys have been suffering ongoing health problems since the catastrophe, including diarrhoea, chest complaints and swollen glands, and many of her friends and family back in Fukushima have similar symptoms.
Criticism Back Home
She has since come to Dunedin, a decision which has attracted much criticism from her family and friends.
“It was a strange time. On TV, people from other countries were saying we [Fukushima residents] should leave Fukushima. The [Japanese] Government said the radiation was OK, but we feel it was not OK.
“It was very frightening.
“[Family and friends] say you are stupid for leaving because there is nothing wrong here, the Government says it is safe.
“Others say, ‘You are leaving to save yourself, what about us’?”
While she feels some guilt for leaving, she does not regret her decision.
Published: December 18th, 2011 at 8:19 am ET