One Man Lives Alone In Fukushima Dead Zone Town To Take Care of His Animals

 By Daniel Miller They call him Radioactive Man, the Japanese farmer who refused to leave his home town despite it being less th...

 By Daniel Miller

They call him Radioactive Man, the Japanese farmer who refused to leave his home town despite it being less than six miles away from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Defiant Naoto Matsumura, 53, is the only remaining inhabitant of the town of Tomioka which was a thriving community of 16,000 people before the tsunami hit two years ago.

The rice farmer disobeyed government orders to leave and has stayed on to feed the town's animals including his own 50 cows and two ostriches.

Mr Matsumura is permanently exposed to up to 17 times the level of radiation that is considered safe.

He put his health at further risk by eating food that had also been exposed to radiation, although he is now surviving on relief supplies delivered from outside and water that has been checked for radiation.

When researchers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency conducted tests, Mr Matsumura was found to have the highest level of radiation in anyone they had tested.

He told Vice magazine: 'When I went down and let them look me over, they told me I was the "champion".
'But they also told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 or 40 years. I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less.'

'They couldn’t stand the wait, so they’d all gather around barking up a storm as soon as they heard my truck. Everywhere I went there was always barking. Like, ‘we’re thirsty’ or, ‘we don’t have any food.’ So I just kept making the rounds.'

Among the animals he rescued was a dog that had been trapped inside a cattle barn for a year and a half. 
It had only survived by eating the flesh of cattle that had starved to death. When Mr Matsumura rescued it in the summer of 2012 most of its fur had fallen out.

But thanks to Mr Matsumura's loving care it has made a remarkable recovery and most of its fur has now grown back.

Mr Matsumura named him Kiseki, which means 'miracle' in English.

Without any humans about many of the town's dogs and cats havegone feral and now live in the forest. 

Sadly hundreds of head of cattle were left to starve to death inside a nearby barn and despite Mr Matsumura's efforts many of the survivors are severely undernourished.

Nevertheless he has pledged to stay on as long and care for them for as long as he can. 

He said: 'I was born and raised in this town,' he told us. 'When I die, it’s going to be in Tomioka.'




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