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Post-tsunami deaths outnumber disaster toll in Fukushima

Health complications stemming from Japan’s 2011 tsunami have killed more people in one Japanese region than the disaster itself, the local authority said on Thursday.

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A family prays for their relatives killed by the 2011 tsunami at a cemetery in Minamisoma in Fukushima prefecture. Health complications stemming from the tsunami have killed more people in Fukushima prefecture than the disaster itself, says local authority. (AFP PHOTO/Yoshikazu TSUNO)

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TOKYO: Health complications stemming from Japan’s 2011 tsunami have killed more people in one Japanese region than the disaster itself, the local authority said on Thursday.

Data compiled by officials and police show that almost three years after the huge waves smashed ashore, 1,656 people living in Fukushima prefecture have died from stress and other illnesses related to the disaster, compared with 1,607 who were killed in the initial calamity.

“The biggest problem is the fact that people have been living in temporary conditions for so long,” Hiroyuki Harada, a Fukushima official dealing with victim assistance, told AFP.

“People have gone through dramatic changes of their environment. As a result, people who would not have died are dying,” he said.
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