On 16 February UNU organised a public symposium in Fukushima City on the Human and Social Impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster. The symposium presented and discussed research findings from the Fukushima Global Communication (FGC) programme on issues of displacement, restoration of livelihoods and risk communication in the context of nuclear accidents.
Opening remarks were delivered by Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Senior Vice-Rector, UNU), who introduced the FGC programme, and Masao Uchibori (Governor, Fukushima Prefecture), who provided an overview of reconstruction progress in Fukushima.
The event continued with presentations from FGC researchers Ana Mosneaga and Akiko Sato. They emphasised that Fukushima’s evacuees should be recognised as a case of internal displacement in need of durable solutions, and highlighted key issues in current risk communication practices, calling for support mechanisms to assist affected people in understanding and utilising radiation data in their daily lives.
A subsequent panel discussion brought a wide range of perspectives from academia, government and civil society organisations. Audience members also participated in the discussion, suggesting that risk communication should be an integral part of disaster risk reduction efforts, and emphasising the need to communicate and reflect on the experience of Fukushima globally.
For more information about the event and the Fukushima Global Communication programme, visit the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability website.