by Jason Bartashius / Deep Kyoto / July 23, 2012 /
On March 18, 2011 Yuko Nishiyama and her three-year old daughter, Mariko, left Fukushima City, 60 km from the Daiichi plant, to live in Tokyo. In June 2011, Yuko her parents and Mariko relocated to Kyoto. In total around 800 Tohoku evacuees have come to Kyoto and about 600 of them are from Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima evacuees are choosing to come to Kyoto because it is one of the prefectures that has offered aid to people living outside the evacuation zone.
I sat down with Nishiyama to talk about the struggles and concerns evacuees face as well as the support projects she has been organizing. Nishiyama is an evacuee, a Fukushima mother, a volunteer, and an activist. In February she did a Greenpeace sponsored speaking tour in Switzerland for which she spoke about her experiences to raise awareness. Here in Kyoto she manages two support groups for evacuees, often gives public talks and has been appearing in the local media.