Fri, Mar 21, 2014 - Page 9 News List

Job of cleaning Fukushima falls to desperate

A labor crisis has left unskilled, destitute workers in dangerous conditions at Japan’s wrecked nuclear plant

By Hiroko Tabuchi  /  NY Times News Service, NARAHA, Japan

Other contractors in Fukushima and labor activists say Takahashi Kensetsu is affiliated with a local chapter of Inagawa-kai, one of Japan’s largest organized crime groups, or yakuza. Workers, contractors and lawyers say the yakuza has long been involved in providing workers to nuclear plants, and at least one contractor penalized over labor-law abuses at Fukushima was identified by the police as having ties to the yakuza.

“Tokyo Electric has no idea who’s really handling the job on the ground,” said Takeshi Katsura, who helped the worker win back pay. “It’s a free-for-all.”

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