It was billed as a future hot spot for disaster tourism but a plan by Japanese entrepreneurs to bring visitors to the Fukushima nuclear plant now lies in tatters. Graham Mackay reports
It was billed as a future hot spot for disaster tourism... But like practically everything at the Fukushima nuclear plant, plans to bring in visitors now lie in tatters. For the past four years, a group of entrepreneurs has been aiming to set up tours of the site, so that ordinary people could one day see it getting decommissioned. They were only aiming to start the tours in 20 years time. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HEAD OF THE FUKUICHI KANKO PROJECT, HIROKI AZUMA, SAYING: "Most Japanese simply aren't capable of supporting or even understanding that it is possible to turn a major disaster into something that will bring people in or that building a museum to show the facts of the disaster can provide a good lesson for future generations." Japan already has certain dark tourism sites, like the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb dome... But even though this week marks five years since the Fukushima disaster, many are still uncomfortable even bringing it up in conversation. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) WORKER FROM FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE, MARIKO MATSUMOTO, SAYING "I don't believe we should even be associating the word tourism with the Hamadori region." Curious visitors can stop in at the Fukushima Tourism information centre where food and souvenirs give a flavour of local history But there's a major part of that history that, at least for now, they'll never be able to see for themselves.