Nuclear Power Stuff–Foreigners working to clean up Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (?)

Before I get to the topic of this post, I want to mention that that there are not many foreigners living/working in Japan.

Usually, Japanese people themselves do the blue-collar jobs in Japan. However, the population is aging here and there aren’t enough workers, so it’s been decided by the government to bring in workers from foreign countries to do some of these dirty/dangerous/low-paying (etc.) jobs.

The benefit for the foreign worker is that he (I think it’s usually a “he”) can earn more money than he can in his own country. Eventually, he’ll return to his country and he will have more wealth than he would have earned if he had not come to Japan.

Here is an article about this:

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2018/12/52a397ab6024-update3-japan-parliament-passes-bill-to-accept-more-foreign-workers.html

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So TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company–the owner of the failed power plant Daiichi) must decommision the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. (Clean it up.) It was considering hiring foreigners for this job. A huge problem, however, is that foreigners can be easily exploited (and have been exploited in the past.)

This article is from April 2019

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2019/04/b839c3aba30f-tepco-eyes-using-foreign-workers-at-crisis-hit-fukushima-daiichi-plant.html

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Here is an editorial written in response:

https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/other/editorial-safety-language-measures-needed-for-foreigners-to-work-at-fukushima-plant/ar-BBWeBuB

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But now, as of May 2019, it’s up in the air whether foreigners will be hired for the decommissioning of the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/05/23/national/tepco-wont-hire-foreign-nationals-new-visas-fukushima-nuclear-work-safety-guaranteed/#.XPBv4fZuJhE

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My own opinion?

I agree that if foreigners are hired to help clean the plant, those foreigners will almost certainly be exploited. The foreigners who do these blue-collar type jobs will not know either the English language or the Japanese language and so from a communication point of view, it will be a dangerous undertaking to hire them to work in a high-radiation environment.

In addition, I know from experience as a foreigner in Japan, often I have no idea what’s going on.  Japanese people are not good about informing foreigners of important issues. Japan is very much a We Japanese society, so I can only imagine that TEPCO thinks of these foreign men as expendable. TEPCO won’t say that, of course, but they’ll be thinking it.

TEPCO was responsible for preventing any quake or tsunami from wreaking havoc on the plant. It failed in its duty in March of 2011. TEPCO still owns the plant, but I do not trust TEPCO, not one single bit. So no, I can’t imagine that TEPCO will be considering the best interests of the foreign workers. TEPCO will likely exploit them as much as they can get away with.

 

About kireikireikireiI am a mom.

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