On 11 March 2011, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake followed by a 40-metre high tsunami struck the east coast of Japan, that killed over 15,000 people and then broke the flood defence walls at the Fukushima Daichi Power station, causing one of the worst nuclear disasters since Chernobyl. 150,000 citizens were evacuated from their homes due to the dangerously high levels of radiation released into the atmosphere.
Greg Dickinson, a reporter from The Telegraph visited Fukushima in 2019 to see whether it is still a safe place to go to. He wrote, “I was in the Fukushima exclusion zone along with the Telegraph film crew, and we were under strict instructions to keep our windows shut.”
Now, Fukushima is subject to what we call ‘dark tourism’ – which essentially means tourism to places that have suffered death and disaster. It is becoming a lot more popular In some situations, dark tourism might be seen as insensitive – like taking a selfie with their thumbs up in Auschwitz – but this all depends on the intent behind someones visit.
Fukushima needs tourism more than just to give people an idea of what happened there 9 years ago, but to also show it’s old citizens that it is a safe place to return to. Only a fraction of the evacuees have returned since the disaster, some of their homes are still exactly the way they left them all those years ago.
Original created and published by The Telegraph