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    Executive Arrested for Exploiting Youth to Help Cleanup at Fukushima

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    Aichi Prefectural Police arrested a construction firm executive on Wednesday for sending a 15-year-old boy to help clean up radioactive waste outside the Fukushima nuclear plant.

    Police arrested the manager of a construction firm at Fukushima for using a 15 year old boy to help eliminate soil and debris contaminated by radioactive substances released in the nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture.

    Yuji Chiba an executive of the Moriyama Ward Company, is suspected of sending a 15-year-old to Fukushima for the work, in violation of the labor law.

    The executive admitted his involvement but downplayed the seriousness of the matter.

    "All I did was send him to a company conducting decontamination work so he could work part-time," he said, reports Asahi.

    Chiba apparently told the teenager not to reveal his real age, saying: "Our construction sites do not allow minors under 18 years of age to work. If anyone questions you, tell them you're 18."

    The boy was to be paid a daily income of 3,000 yen ($25.25) for the decontamination work. However, he left before being paid after he was physically attacked by Chiba.

    According to the police, there were more cases of minors involved in similar jobs in the Fukushima region.

    The Koriyama branch of the Fukushima District Court sentenced the president of a Fukushima-based construction firm to two years in prison in October 2013 for having seven minors lie about their ages and participate in decontamination work.

    The involvement of criminal organizations in the business has also become a rising concern. The tax money for decontamination is likely to be funding criminal organization.


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    violation, children, child labor, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Fukushima, Japan
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