Hello, My name is "Your Name". I am a Japanese person currently living in "Your City". As you know, my home country Japan is in a terrible situation with earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear plant accident that occurred on 3/11.
With the level of help needed, the Japanese government has been blamed that they are too slow to react and provide help in an efficient manner to those that are needed. Of course that delays the help to those that are most vulnerable - pets and other animals.
A month later the earthquake/tsunami, inside of the nuclear evacuation area in Fukushima is in an extremely catastrophic situation. Currently a 20 kilometer radius around the nuclear plant is designated as an evacuation area. At first, the residents in this area were told to "Evacuate immediately, but you will be able to come back here within a day or two", so they left everything including their pets (they were told pets were not allowed in the shelters). However, after a while they were told by their government that their "home town" has became officially off-limits and they have not been allowed to go back to their homes to get their belongings, pets or other animals.
Among the animals who were left in this area, who were able to escape their leash, roamed around the area looking for their owners and food/water. Some cannot even walk anymore so they just sit in front of their owners’ homes waiting for their return. Many cows and their calves in the barns are dead from starvation, cats who are stuck inside of the house are so starved they eat each other. These scenes are literally hell on earth.( I have more images)
Many animal rescue groups were forced to decided themselves to go into the evacuated area and rescue some of the animals, but there are way too many of them in need of rescue. These organization need government help.
In Japan, animals are viewed as "one's belongings" under the law and they are not viewed as "life". This comes from an old Japanese custom. Hence, there is no modern widely accepted animal protection law like in Western culture, it is creating a struggle for animals and rescuers in Japan especially in a situation like this.
Due to this law in Japan, the Japanese government won't do anything to help the animals, because the animal rescue groups are not the “legal owners” nor do they have “explicit permission” from the legal owners.
Animal rescue volunteers are going out to rescue the animals in the evacuation area with no radiation protection provided by government. Everyday, they go out to these dangerous zones and continue looking for animals they can rescue.
Because you are not allowed to remove animals from their property without their owner’s explicit permission, animal rescue groups leave food and water for these animals wherever they can, but it is clear that for both people and animals, it is clearly passed their physical and mental capability to continue like this.
I understand that human life comes first, but in the evacuation camp, many people have lost everything--family, friends and home. Their only hope is to find and reunite with their missing pets. Some cannot sleep or eat because they feel so guilty about leaving their pets behind. Many people fell ill because of this stress.
There may be people who don't care about pets or animals, but there are people that are healed by our animal friends.
From the sanitary stand point, it is also important to point out that it is unsanitary to keep all the dead animals left in that area. Currently within those 20 kilometers from the nuclear plant, tens of thousand of cows, dogs and cats are left there to die from starvation, many of them already dead. We cannot eliminate the possibility of zoonotic diseases spreading.
If the Japanese government decided to support to provide support in those areas, it would only take a couple of days. If only our government supported them, those animal organizations would not have to risk their lives to stay long periods of time in such a dangerous area to do what they are doing.
Saving animals, saves people’s lives.
Japanese people love their pets, but yet their government is very backwards about animal protection.
I beg you to please broadcast about this in your country and please help push the Japanese government to do the right thing.
Thank you very much for your consideration,