Suicide Corps: Elderly Volunteers vs Fukushima Daiichi
'Skilled Veterans Corps': Elderly Japanese Volunteer for Nuclear Cleanup Duty
Some of Japan's elderly citizens with technical backgrounds are volunteering for the "Skilled Veterans Corps", which will work toward containing and shutting down the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
These volunteers, aged 60 and over, say that the cleanup and containment of Fukushima Daiichi should not be left to the young, who will certainly live to regret their long-term exposure to the plant's radiation.
Goshi Hosono, special nuclear adviser to the Japanese government, dubbed the group "the suicide corps" during a news conference. However, volunteers are taking issue with the name, arguing that they will die of natural causes before complications from radiation poisoning get the chance to kill them.
'Suicide Corps' is Not Suicidal
72-year-old Yasuteru Yamada, who is organizing the "suicide corps", laughs off comparisons to the Kamikaze pilots of World War II, saying that he and his fellow volunteers do not plan to die during their stints at Fukushima Daiichi. 69-year-old co-founder Kazuko Sasaki said, "My generation, the old generation, promoted the nuclear plants. If we don't take responsibility, who will?"
For its part, the Japanese government has expressed gratitude, but has not publicly committed to endorsing the Skilled Veterans Corps, partly for the Kamikaze comparison.