Fukushima Children Come to Russia's Far East for Holiday
- Aug. 18 2013 00:00
- Last edited 16:36
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK — A group of six children and two adults from Japan's Fukushima, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster, have arrived at a Russian health resort on the nearby far eastern Sakhalin island for a holiday, regional officials reported Friday.
"Right after the accident, the Sakhalin Region government offered the Japanese the chance to organize holidays on the island's territory for 250 Japanese children from the affected areas," a local government spokeswoman said Friday.
This year, six children aged between nine and 14, and two adults have come to the island's Chaika center. Last year, several groups of Japanese children spent their holidays on the Russian island, which was once divided between Japan and Russia but has been entirely Russian territory since 1945.
In March 2011, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, causing a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima I nuclear power plant. Some 85,000 people were evacuated from the affected area.
At least 12 minors there have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, considered by doctors to be a consequence of nuclear contamination, while 15 more have possible signs of the disease.