Yakuza Hired By Tokyo In Fukushima
|Homeless Cleaning At Fukushima Daiichi|
Organized criminal groups in Japan known as Yakuza have infiltrated the massive, government-backed decontamination effort underway at the defunct Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to Reuters.
In 2011, an enormous earthquake and subsequent tsunami triggered meltdowns at three of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
More than a year after the earthquake, after the crisis at Fukushima went from bad to worse, the Japanese government commandeered the clean-up effort from Tokyo Electric Power Company, the nuclear plant’s embattled operator.
Despite the government’s intervention, the report published by Reuters suggests that the clean-up effort is still broken.
Reuters revealed that the Yakuza, the notorious criminal syndicates that control Japan’s underworld, are filling a manpower void created by Japan’s aging populations and a legacy of tight labor-market regulations.
More specifically, they are filling the void with homeless men they’ve recruited off the streets.
The sprawl of small firms working in Fukushima is an unintended consequence of Japan’s legacy of tight labor-market regulations combined with the aging population’s deepening shortage of workers. Japan’s construction companies cannot afford to keep a large payroll and dispatching temporary workers to construction sites is prohibited. As a result, smaller firms step into the gap, promising workers in exchange for a cut of their wages.
Below these official subcontractors, a shadowy network of gangsters and illegal brokers who hire homeless men has also become active in Fukushima. Ministry of Environment contracts in the most radioactive areas of Fukushima prefecture are particularly lucrative because the government pays an additional $100 in hazard allowance per day for each worker.