It’s like a postcard of rural Japan… lush forests, waterfalls and bubbling streams; quaint villages where pink cherry blossoms festoon the streets.
But there’s a grotesqueness here. Houses which rang with the sounds of life and laughter are being swallowed by weeds and vines; inside they are choked by cobwebs and dust.
This is the countryside of Fukushima. Five years after the nuclear meltdown, it remains full of radiation, and virtually empty of people.
In the beginning I felt extremely lonely. But now I’m used to it. – Naoto Matsumura, a farmer who stayed put to care for abandoned animals – and who is described as Japan’s most contaminated person.
In contrast the stricken Fukushima plant is thronging with activity. About 6500 courageous workers toil to contain the radiation but, as former Japan Correspondent Mark Willacy reports, it could scarcely be said that they are winning…