A survey has found that nearly half of the former residents of Fukushima who were forced to evacuate their homes following the 2011 nuclear disaster experienced harassment of some sort.
NHK joined hands with Waseda University and others to survey households from four municipalities in the prefecture near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Of some 741 people who responded, 334 said that they have felt harassed or suffered emotional distress.
In the multiple-choice survey, 274 cited harassment linked to compensation they were entitled to.
In 197 cases, victims felt stressed by those who noted their evacuee status. Another 127 replies were related to the nuclear fallout.
One family was barred from a community event on the grounds they were evacuees. The car of another family was vandalized. Another victim was told he or she didn't need a wage hike or new qualifications as the family had received compensation.
The survey showed that evacuees from Fukushima were harassed as much as their children due to prejudice and other factors.
A father, whose two children were subject to bullying after fleeing from Fukushima, said he, too, was told he wouldn't need to work because if he complained to the operator of the plant, he will receive money. He told NHK he no longer tells anyone they are from Fukushima.
Waseda University professor Takuya Tsujiuchi says people have forgotten that compensation is provided to people whose hometowns were rendered uninhabitable in the disaster.
He noted the need for society to realize that victims of the nuclear disaster continue to be penalized.