Radiation Stigma, Mental Health and Marriage Discrimination: The Social Side-Effects of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster
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The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster that occurred in March of 2011 has not only strongly affected the environment and economy in Japan; it has also impacted the social and psychological well-being of the people of Fukushima Prefecture. Radiation stigma was a problem for the survivors of the A-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and those with mental health issues have occasionally been subject to discrimination and inadequate treatment. These appear to be similar issues facing those affected in Fukushima, according to news articles covering the nuclear disaster. In interviews conducted with Japanese citizens, it appears that although mental health problems do exist among those affected, mental health discrimination was not reported to be a problem. Some reported specific examples of radiation stigma, and many interviewees revealed that marriage discrimination could certainly become a problem in the future, particularly for women exposed to radiation.