It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the tsunami swept the Japanese coast. It took many lives and destroyed homes and businesses, including damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Because of what happened to the nuclear plant, 160,000 people were displaced without any time to prepare.
Out of the tens of thousands of people who were displaced because of Fukushima, many ran without taking anything but the clothes on their backs. Unfortunately, they also left animals behind. Although many people ran as a result of the disaster, Naoto Matsumura and Sakae Kato returned to help animals that were now struggling just to live from day-to-day.
Those two men live inside of the exclusion zone that extends 12.5 miles from the damaged reactor. They live alone, not being related to each other except for the love of animals that they both share.
According to Reuters, 57-year-old Kato has a home that he shares with 41 cats. He also has one stray dog, Pochi.
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His mission in life is to ensure that the animals are as comfortable as they can be. He also helps many other animals in the area, including wild boars that the Japanese government considers to be unwanted animals.
When the disaster happened, Matsumura fled the city with many others, but the 55-year-old returned to get his animals. Once he was back, he realized that there were many other animals in the area that needed to be cared for. It wasn’t only dogs and cats that needed help, but it was livestock as well.
The refugee camps that were set up at the time of the disaster were getting full and much of his family wouldn’t allow him to stay with them because they feared contamination. In 2015, he went back inside of the exclusion zone and recognized that some of the animals were starving.
It didn’t take long for him to realize that people were not coming back to get their pets so he decided to do something about it. According to GNN, he started feeding anything that was hungry and he is now known as the “Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals.”
Although these two men are doing a lot to care for animals, they have been ordered to leave the area because it is illegal to live within it. They are, at this point, ignoring the demands of the government and plan on staying there to help animals for as long as they can.
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