Some Displaced By Japan Disasters End Up In Tokyo The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan destroyed thousands of homes and left nearly 400,000 people homeless. The two natural disasters also caused an accident at the Fukushima nuclear complex that forced thousands more people to evacuate their homes. Some of those people are now living in a shelter in Tokyo.

Some Displaced By Japan Disasters End Up In Tokyo

Some Displaced By Japan Disasters End Up In Tokyo

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The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan destroyed thousands of homes and left nearly 400,000 people homeless. The two natural disasters also caused an accident at the Fukushima nuclear complex that forced thousands more people to evacuate their homes. Some of those people are now living in a shelter in Tokyo.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

NPR's Greg Dixon visited some of them.

GREG DIXON: Sixty-one-year-old Yoshiharu Niizuma sits in an alcove. He says life at the shelter is comfortable.

YOSHIHARU NIIZUMA: (Through Translator) There's plenty of food here. The government workers are kind. The meals are excellent, and there's a lot of clothing available.

DIXON: Phones are available for residents to make free calls and a few computers for email, although children use them to play video games.

DIXON: Seventy-six-year-old retiree Hitoshi Yamada passes the time by reading a newspaper. His house is outside the evacuation zone and survived the quake and tsunami. But he left home, anyway.

HITOSHI YAMADA: (Through Translator) We're not getting clear information. Because nuclear material is invisible, we didn't know how safe we were, so we got scared and left. Unless there is 100 percent guarantee of safety, I'm not going back.

DIXON: But some people have no choice but to return.

KYOKO KOBAYASHI: (Foreign language spoken)

DIXON: Kyoko Kobayashi came to the shelter with 14 members of her extended family. Four have had to return north to go to work. She lives 25 miles from the plant, in an area the government says is safe.

KOBAYASHI: (Through Translator) To be honest with you, I don't believe what they say.

DIXON: But she may have to go back, whether she believes them or not.

KOBAYASHI: (Through Translator) Because I want to support my kid. I want to work and make money.

DIXON: Are you nervous to go back?

KOBAYASHI: (Foreign language spoken)

DIXON: Greg Dixon, NPR News, Tokyo.

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