Man Sneaks Into Restricted Fukushima Zone, Captures These Never-Before-Seen Photos

In 2011, a nuclear disaster forced residents in Fukushima, Japan, to abandon their lives. Recently, a man snuck into the Fukushima exclusion zone and captured the aftermath.

Keow Wee Loong

Keow Wee Loong


In 2011, a nuclear disaster took place in Fukushima, Japan, forcing residents within 18 miles of the facility to evacuate. One individual stayed behind to care for the forgotten animals (which you can read about here), but most residents left with few possessions to their names.

In the time since the disaster struck, seemingly little has changed. Or, at least, that’s been the common thought. But one man’s recent endeavor which resulted in him illegally sneaking into the Fukushima exclusive zone confirms what the disaster zone looks like five years after the incident took place.

Keow Wee Loong, a 27-year-old Malaysian photographer, posted on Facebook that he chose to ignore long government procedures and took his chances sneaking into the zones to capture never-before-seen photos of the town.

The daredevil wore a gas mask, but he did expose his bare skin to heightened levels of radiation in order to snap the highly coveted photos. His efforts have been praised and criticized. For example, one Reddit user who reviewed his trek wrote:

“Fukushima resident here. It’s upsetting to see this, to say the very least.

Not only is what he did illegal, but extremely disrespectful to victims of the disaster who had no choice but to leave their homes. Additionally, his post is full of misinformation about the disaster, radiation, and much more, specifically aimed at promoting the sensationalist image of Fukushima, rather than the truth.

Undoubtedly, protocols exist to ensure peoples’ safety, and it’s always an intelligent option to adhere to regulatory procedures. However, it cannot be argued that the photos he captured shed indescribable light into how the town looks five years after residents were forced to evacuate.

He wrote:

“Never seen before photo of the Fukushima exclusion zone. When i enter the red zone, i can feel a burning sensation in my eyes and thick chemical smell in the air. before i went there the authority told me that i need a special permit to visit this town and it take 3-4 weeks to get the approval from the local council,, well too much bureaucracy bullshit for me..so i just sneak in the forest to avoid cops on the road …AND IT WAS AMAZING !!!!!, I still remember what is like to only have a GPS and google map walking in the wood at 2am in the morning to get into the town of okuma,futaba and namie.

[…]

everything is exactly where it is after the earthquake struck this town . the reident started to evacuate the town when tsunami warning came in ….hours later the fukushima daichi power plant exploded that lead to harmful radiation leaked.

people seen this town for the last 5 years…is like it vanished … i can find food,money,gold,laptop and other valuable in the red zone….I’m amaze that nobody looted this town clean. unlike chernobyl the entire town is been looted clean. this is the difference between chernobyl disaster and the Fukushima disaster.”

Following are 14 never-before-seen photos of Fukushima in present-day:

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