The Radioactive Beggars

More than 70 thousands people constantly work in the nuclear power stations and reactors allocated in Japan. Although nuclear plants have their own employees for technical jobs, more than 80% of their workers have no training, and accept short term contract jobs.The beggars are reserved for the most dangerous tasks, such as cleaning the reactors or decontaminating when there is a leak. The recruitment of beggars to do these jobs,which are done by robots in other countries, has been taking place in Japan since 1970.

The Japanese mafia, called yakuza, takes over the searching, selecting, and the clandestine hiring of the beggars for the companies, which are totally dependent on the engagement of beggars, to carry out their work.

The most probable destiny for these underground workers is death, which is caused mainly by bone cancer, induced by the big amount of radioactivity in their body, much more superior than the levels admitted in the European Union.

The “nuclear gypsies” as they are also called because of their nomadic way of life, keep on travelling from one nuclear power station to another until they fall ill and finally die. The engagement of the beggars is only possible with the government’s acquiescence.

According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo “the companies that manage the nuclear plants, hire the beggars until they have received the highest dose of radioactivity allowed, afterwards they sack them `for their safety´ sending them again to the streets”. After some days the same labourers are hired again under fake names.

The mafia acts as an intermediary. The firms pay the equivalent of 216€ for one day worked, but the worker only receives 144€. The yakuza pockets the difference.

Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi would be some of the multinational companies which in an indirect way hire beggars. The big demand of electricity, that the Japanese society requires, determines the huge necessity of nuclear energy that the nation suffers.


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