Mr Naoto Matsumura is tired of being accused of madness for refusing to leave his farm in the shadow of Japan’s still-leaking Fukushima nuclear plant.
“I’m not crazy,” insists the 52-year-old, who claims he is the only person living in the no-go zone around the crippled reactors on Japan’s tsunami-ravaged northeast coast.
As far as he knows, everyone else heeded the government’s calls to leave the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the plant, where nine months on from the disaster, technicians are still working to bring things under control.
Since everyone else left he has been alone near the town of Tomioka, save for around a hundred cats, a dozen dogs and hundreds of cows, pigs and chickens abandoned by their owners.
Matsumura is aware that the doses of radiation he probably absorbs every day are dangerous. But he says he is less afraid of the radiation than he is of being deprived of his cigarettes.
“I like smoking. If I quit smoking right now, I may become ill,” he laughed.
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