Tokyo Electric Power Company has lost a considerable amount of goodwill following last year’s nuclear disaster. While the level of blame that should be placed on the company as a whole is still to be determined, low level employees of the company often face the immediate brunt of the hostility.
It appears now that even the children of TEPCO employees are having to answer for the choices their parents’ employers made by their classmates. But how are elementary school students so up to speed on the nation’s energy situation?
According to one parent who works for TEPCO in Chiba Prefecture “it’s the influence of morning talk shows with topics critical of TEPCO” which the children watch before going to school.
Then when at school the children blame their classmate by saying “[your parents] spread radiation” and “you tricked us into thinking the plants were safe.” Other times the children are teased by comments like “if I touch you I’ll get radiation.”
The employee also claims that the verbal abuse was especially strong from female students who would lay guilt on their son for not being able to become mothers in the future or by showing him pictures of abandoned dogs and cats of Fukushima.
It got to the point where the son had to transfer schools and now must keep his parent’s occupation secret.
This incident occurred in an area labeled as a “hotspot” which is an area containing places with high levels of radioactive contamination, so tensions are surely high. However, according to another anonymous TEPCO worker in Tokyo “it’s the worst when there’s talk about raising the electricity rates” showing how the problem goes beyond radiation affected areas.
The worker claims that children of TEPCO employees are demanded they give their money to classmates in order to “compensate” for Tokyo Electric’s rate hikes.
“Until now children used to take great pride in having a parent who worked for TEPCO” they explained “it’s like having a parent who works for the national railway (JR) airline (JAL) or television station (NHK). Children can easily identify with this line of work, which is unfortunately also how they can get so angry about it.”
Source: Nikkan SPA (Japanese)