Netflix's 'Dark Tourist' nuclear episode on the verge of getting sued by Japanese government
The Japanese government officials are considering taking action against Netflix over footage from inside Fukushima, which was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Japan's Reconstruction Agency and Fukushima Prefectural Government are on the verge of taking legal action over an episode of Netflix's 'Dark Tourist,' which showed the place still dealing with the aftermath of the March 2011 triple nuclear meltdown.
This particular episode is the second in the series that was released on the streaming giant on July 20 and follows a New Zealand journalist David Farrier as he visits Japan, with more than half of the program following him on an organized bus tour through areas near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.
Farrier and the other tourists become concerned as the readings on their Geiger counters show radiation higher than what they were told to expect and what is deemed to be safe. The group eventually decides to cut the tour short but stops by to eat at a restaurant in the area while Farrier leaves the group to enter an off-limit gaming arcade. While at the restaurant, Farrier talks about his concerns about the food being unsafe.
"We're examining the video content," a senior official from the prefecture told news agency Jiji.
The parts of the video that the authorities have taken objection to are the section showing the high radiation levels, but not saying where they were filmed, the speculation about food contamination and Farrier's excursion into the off-limits area.
Almost 100,000 foreign tourists are estimated to have visited Fukushima last year as one of the nuclear tourism tours.
In March 2011, nearly 20,000 people died when a huge earthquake set off a devastating tsunami that knocked the cooling systems of the nuclear plant out of action, leading to three reactors at Daiichi melting down. The government has been working to ban food produces from the area and are gradually doing so.
During the episode, Farrier also visits the Aokigahara forest, an area known for suicides. YouTuber Paul Logan faced a backlash at the beginning of the year after posting a video from the forest, where he had discovered a corpse. Farrier also stays in a robot-run hotel and takes a tour to the abandoned Hashima Island. Once a coal mine, the industrial wasteland of the island has attracted tourists and attention in recent years, appearing in the James Bond film Skyfall and the Japanese Attack on Titan live-action movies.
Other episodes on 'Dark Tourist' feature tourism related to voodoo, drug barons, mass murderers, and survivalists.