Questionnaire Research regarding preschool children in Fukushima
Utsunomiya University International Studies Department and Center for the Multicultural Public Sphere (CMPS), Support Infants, Children, and Pregnant Women of Fukushima (FSP) and Project in Response to Needs of Infants, Children, and Pregnant Women of Fukushima (FnnnP) have supported pregnant women, infants, children and their mothers who wish to evacuate or have already evacuated from Fukushima. From August 2011, the organizations with collaboration with Utsukushima NPO Network (UNN) has conducted questionnaires investigating possibilities of relocation as a result of the nuclear accident and other effects on families with preschool aged children in Fukushima as one of its projects. The following is a summary of the contents and results of the organization’s questionnaire research.
[Subject] Questionnaire investigating how families with preschool children in Fukushima view possibilities of “evacuation” as a result of the nuclear accident. [Purpose] In order to consider means of support including “relocation” as well as understanding the situations and inclinations of families who have preschool children in Fukushima after the nuclear accident. [Method] FSP, UNN and FnnnP designed the questionnaire, and UNN with cooperation from Fukushima Child-support Network distributed and collected this questionnaire from 238 families with preschool children in Fukushima from August 2011 to December 2011. FSP with collaboration FnnnP inserted and consolidated the results, and UNN and FnnnP provided support based on their needs. The sample is biased toward anxious families since the main aim of this questionnaire interview was to provide support to families in need. [Results Summary] 218 of 238 parents remain anxious about raising their children in an environment of radiation contamination. 49 parents want to evacuate to a place where there is a lower level of radiation. 76 parents consider evacuating, however, they have difficulty considering their circumstances. 112 parents would like to get more information about radiation protection and radiation doses. In this research, we found out reasons why they cannot evacuate despite their hopes for evacuation, the reasons why they do not consider evacuating, and necessary support. Moreover, many parents provided their comments including the following: “Government built and used [nuclear plants] with national policy, therefore, the Government should rescue people with national policy. ... To announce that it is safe without scientific proof is prioritizing economics. ... If the Government was accountable, no one would have evacuated on their own expenses as people actually did.” “It seems that it is more important for teachers to finish curriculum than health of children. Who is thinking about children’s health? I realized only parents are.” “More than anything, I worry about children’s future. I want to get more precise information [about radiation].” “My biggest worry is the effects on my two children and my baby (pregnant woman). We are not sure when our health will be affected and our fear continues. I would like the Government not to forget about us spending every day in fear and dread and to continue to pay compensation.”
Translated by Rui Ito Proofread by Andrew Reimann and Kumiko Sakamoto