New wave of pain hits Japan in the wake of nuclear crisis

MORE than 7800 children have been evacuated from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, driven by concerns over radiation, following the tsunami-triggered nuclear crisis on 11 March this year.

“Additionally, many mothers have taken their children even from areas in Tokyo to the western part of Japan,” write Tokyo-based researchers.

“More children are likely to be evacuated from the Fukushima Prefecture and live away from their parents or fathers, which could cause them psychological distress.”

Similar family disorganisation was also reported after Chernobyl, they said, and support programs were needed to protect child evacuees against any psychological burden.

There were also reports of bullying by children against quake victims, accusing them of posing a radiation threat.

Lancet Oncol 2011; 12: 724-25