Meet The Minimum-Wage Homeless Who Are "Cleaning Up" Fukushima (For The Yakuza)

Tyler Durden's picture

"We're an easy target for recruiters," one homeless man explains. "We turn up here with all our bags, wheeling them around and we're easy to spot. They say to us, are you looking for work? Are you hungry? And if we haven't eaten, they offer to find us a job." As Reuters exposes, 3 years after the earthquake and tsunami that caused the meltdown at Fukushima's nuclear facility, Northern Japanese homeless are willing to accept minimum wage (from yakuza-based entities) for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong.



Via Reuters,

Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men.


He isn't a social worker. He's a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan's nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.


"This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day,"




It's also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong.




In January, October and November, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of infiltrating construction giant Obayashi Corp's network of decontamination subcontractors and illegally sending workers to the government-funded project.


In the October case, homeless men were rounded up at Sendai's train station by Sasa, then put to work clearing radioactive soil and debris in Fukushima City for less than minimum wage, according to police and accounts of those involved. The men reported up through a chain of three other companies to Obayashi, Japan's second-largest construction company.


Obayashi, which is one of more than 20 major contractors involved in government-funded radiation removal projects, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the spate of arrests has shown that members of Japan's three largest criminal syndicates - Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai - had set up black-market recruiting agencies under Obayashi.


"We are taking it very seriously that these incidents keep happening one after another," said Junichi Ichikawa, a spokesman for Obayashi. He said the company tightened its scrutiny of its lower-tier subcontractors in order to shut out gangsters, known as the yakuza. "There were elements of what we had been doing that did not go far enough."




Reuters found 56 subcontractors listed on environment ministry contracts worth a total of $2.5 billion in the most radiated areas of Fukushima that would have been barred from traditional public works because they had not been vetted by the construction ministry.




"If you started looking at every single person, the project wouldn't move forward. You wouldn't get a tenth of the people you need," said Yukio Suganuma, president of Aisogo Service, a construction company that was hired in 2012 to clean up radioactive fallout from streets in the town of Tamura.




"There are many unknown entities getting involved in decontamination projects," said Igarashi, a former advisor to ex-Prime Minister Naoto Kan. "There needs to be a thorough check on what companies are working on what, and when. I think it's probably completely lawless if the top contractors are not thoroughly checking."




"I don't ask questions; that's not my job," Sasa said in an interview with Reuters. "I just find people and send them to work. I send them and get money in exchange. That's it. I don't get involved in what happens after that."




"The construction industry is 90 percent run by gangs."

It would seem, perhaps, that France (and the US) need their own nuclear accident to unleash an employment boom...

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FieldingMellish's picture

Remember, there but for the grace of God (and a little forward planning) go we.

GreatUncle's picture

Wait your turn but it is coming don't worry.

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Tough to accept that the only people willing to volunteer for this shit job is the desperate homeless.

TEPCO says all is well though.

Sushi anyone?

Four chan's picture

the pride of tepco, an army of bums.

Sudden Debt's picture

In Russia they did the same thing.

But what was even worse by contracting poor people is that they are stealing everything that isn't nailed down.

In Tjernobyl for example, all the television sets, radio's, furniture... all the belongings from the citizens of the city ended up in second hand stores in Moscow and other cities.

Needles to say that all that crap was highly radioactive...

PT's picture

Should dump all the radioactive crap on the CEO's / HR's front door.  Might be able to negotiate a pay rise.  I wonder if any of them will figure it out?

Xibalba's picture

And the unemployed in the USSA say there are no jobs....smh

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Vlad the impaler would sooooooo approve of this!  Fix two problems at once.  Kill off the homeless and almost fix the greatest ecological disaster ever known.  Freakin' brilliant. 

cynicalskeptic's picture

Expect to see the same tactics in the future.  A somewhat more 'civilized' approach that avoids messy 'showers' and crematoriums.    

malikai's picture

The homeless in Japan are referred to as 'lost people'.

That nobody gives a fuck about them in Japan should come as no surprise as nobody gives a fuck about them anywhere you go (as long as they're kept away).

Also, the whole thing is probably easy to justify by the govheads in Japan as they tend to be elderly and less vulnerable to the radiation.

Sickening, but that's what they're probably thinking.

bozzy's picture

Actually, I think you will find that when it comes down to sacrifice, NOONE gives a fuck about anyone else except perhaps their wife/husband and kids, the dog, and perhaps any surviving parents.

Oldrepublic's picture

@sudden debt

interesting article from Wikipedia regarding this cleanup:called liquidator


Yenbot's picture

the pride of tepco, an army of bums.

Show respect. They are no longer bums. They are SACRIFICING THEIR LIVES FOR YOU. Blame the exploiter, not the exploited.

remain calm's picture

Give them CBLB 502 and they will be fine. It is immoral to put them in harms way without this novel safe and effective immunotherapy antidote for radiation toxicity.

aerojet's picture

Nowhere does it say they volunteered.

Deo vindice's picture

Man's inhumanity to man. And yes, but for the grace of God it could be us.

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Haha, are you taking the piss. We're all the same, all equal. Your god isn't going to vanquish one person or group of people because they are "them" and not "us". No, silly me, you are taking the piss.

Pooper Popper's picture

Mea maka big dollah

Dona care if Donga grlow-you worka now!

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

These people are worthless to the authorities, they will not complain, they won't sue and when they die no one will look for them.

TheLoveArtist's picture

I guess the Japanese ran out of Chinese and Koreans to use for the labor.  I am sure they miss their labor camps from WW2 right about now.

GoldRulesPaperDrools's picture

They don't want to use the Chinese or Koreans for this kind of work; they save those people for real work they want done.  They put the homeless to work on this so that a) organized crime makes more margin money on the labor hours using homeless people, b) you keep your foreign, imported, indentured labor for real work, and c) you eliminate a social problem and save money in so doing while cleaning up the site by using the homeless.

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Oi, FM, you never answered my rebuttal of your thesis on gold and why, if it is such a bad thing, central banls are loading up on the stuff like it's going out of fashion.

As to your god comment, "but there for the grace of god go we". I have been racking my brain for a word to succinctly describe the untold suffering of innocents in this world, suffering on a scale that is simply unimaginable and unthinkable. Finally, with your help I have that word: Grace.

Rory_Breaker's picture

This makes me sick

Race Car Driver's picture

Very slowly at first - then, WOW! All of the fuckin' sudden!

The fall and devastation, even over the last 20 years - even with the spiffy new gadgets that makes it seem like we're progressing - has been breathtaking.

Skateboarder's picture

The one thing I cannot stand is the "look how great we are"' and "look how far we've come" mentalities that permeate the technology sector and its end users (all humans now). The smartest of the smart, who actually work on the stuff we 'enjoy' as 'consumers' accept without compromise or question completely-closed-system, mass-produced, limited-functionality products as the crowning achievement of humanity.

The longer the acceptance of an evil heirarchy, the greater the end damage.

Sudden Debt's picture

I've heard of a country that actually build a city right next to a nuclear testing ground where they exploded over 57 nuclear bombs in the open air!!

sick shit...

and it's proven that the people living there are almost all obese and have half the normal IQ's...

suteibu's picture

Which came first, the IQ or the living there?

Quant Jockey's picture

Las Vegas? That would certainly explain all of the dumb ass people I see walking on the strip when it's 117 outside.

ChaosEquilibrium's picture

Japan and the Japanese are SO SO DISGUSTING!  They deserve what will be coming their way!

Race Car Driver's picture

It's not just the Japanese.

And, no one deserves what's coming our way except the fucktards that 'lead' us here.

ZH Snob's picture

nuclear fodder.  the poor always make the best fodder.

Colonel Klink's picture

Beat me to it Snob.  Grist for the mill.

NoDebt's picture

Yep.  There's plenty of them, they make more of them every day and they never complain (unless you count a tree falling in the forest with nobody around to hear it as complaining).

101 years and counting's picture

what a great idea!  maybe ben/fat cow can authorize a nuclear meltdown in the US to create jobs for all the homeless in the states.  if you cant starve them to death, you can radiate them to death.  BULLISH!!!


Just when I thought the elites could not get any lower.........ROT IN FUCKING HELL TEPCO AND NIP ELITES.

101 years and counting's picture

i think they hit the short term bottom in 2001 when they had planes fly in the towers and then blew up the pentagon.  not sure if they will go lower.  altho, drastic times call for drastic measures.  so grab your nuts and hold on tight.  2014 going to be really bad.

loveyajimbo's picture

Perhaps our illegals could be rounded up and sent there to help for 2 years minimum... penance for breaking our laws.  Might also be a good penalty for Contempt of Congress and perjury.

GreatUncle's picture

Amazing, all focus on the financial cost and lets just ignore the concept of people.

The TEPCO CEO should be in there shovelling this shit in the clean up ...he ain't!

Where are the rest of the management team  ... put them in there too.



Kobe Beef's picture

That's how I'd handle it. Round up every TEPCO Board Member and Executive and place them in a conference room onsite under armed guard. Tell them you've made this mess, you are responsible, and you will solve it or die trying. Seize the Chairman and throw him into one of the reactor buildings. Every 48 hours, throw another one in.

Instead, you have the Japanese leadership spinning furiously, the entire country in denial, the Construction Mafia sucking huge amounts of taxpayer funds to turn over dirt, a future water and food crisis, and a large number of children developing leukemia and thyroid cancers. This is only the beginning, and it will get worse.

Look! Olympics!


Recognizer's picture

It makes all the sense in the world and yet no sense at the same time.

You could envy a sociopath... at least until you observe how bored they are.


I think I see a pattern.

Seasmoke's picture

What a bunch of Kamikaze the Japs are

Itch's picture

This is such a life affirming story; to think that these guys at the end of their rope are offered another chance in life. It might seem a little cheesy, but im reminded of a song, so don't feel foolish for singing along ...

I see trees of green, 

red roses too. 

I see them bloom, 

for me and you. 

And I think to myself,

what a wonderful world. 

savedbyfreethought's picture

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars. How people come together and support each other in this difficult time really warms my heart. It reminds me of a song too:

The world is full of beautiful things

Butterfly wings, fairy tale kings

And each new day undoubtedly brings

Still more beautiful things.


Our lives tick by like pendulum swings

Delicate things, butterfly wings

Life is full of beautiful things

Beautiful people, too …

Beautiful people like you.


DeliciousSteak's picture

Still better than going days without food, wondering if that meal of moldy melon bread was the last one. Who knows, maybe some of them will grow into respected nuclear energy experts.