Challenges Ahead for Japan



The Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami left both a staggering economic impacts and a humanitarian crisis. After the tsunami there were over 300,000 refugees in the Tohoku region, and there were shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for the survivors. Another further serious impact of the tsunami was the critical damage done to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, resulting in severe radiation leaks and the prospect of a long term health and environmental hazard in need of an expensive cleanup.

The first problem at hand was the large amount of refugees. The number was way above 300,000, and some of them died in the shelters or in the process of evacuation. Many shelters struggle to feed them and were not sufficiently equipped. Regardless of Japan's wealthy economy, the amount of damage made by the Earthquake and the tsunami was beyond anybody had been able to foresee.

There us a dire need for temporary housing, as the Japanese government is trying to remove evacuees from larger shelters, where there have been reports of poor sanitary conditions. At the end of July 2011, the number of evacuees in Japan stood at 87,063. Of those, 12,905 were residing in public shelters and 19,918 were staying in inns or hotels. 46,081 of temporary housing units have been erected, but still there is many more to be done, and there is also to take into consideration the construction of permanent housing for the people who lost it all in the disaster.

Following the Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami, a nuclear emergency was declared. This was the first time a nuclear emergency had been declared in Japan, and 140,000 residents within 20km of the plant were evacuated. Explosions and a fire have resulted in dangerous levels of radiation, and the true effects of the nuclear meltdowns still remain unknown as far as the environment and the people around them. Experts have stated that it might be 100 years before the melting fuel rods can be safely removed from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.

These are just some of the many issues that must be dealt with by the Japanese people after the Tohoku Earthquake.

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