Letters from Japan pt. 3. Dated April 6th, 2011.
It’s Shinji here. Thank you for your constant cooperation. I appreciate it very much. Cherry blossoms are full-bloomed now in Osaka. My small cherry blossom tree at entrance is blooming too. Now Japan is in the most beautiful season in a year, and the daily life in Osaka is very normal as usual. Although the stricken area is still cold, the circle of relief is extending still without the stopping. It is impossible to understand all situations in stricken area because the scale of the disaster is too wide-ranging. However, the number of those who live in the refuge are decreasing little by little. Some people has moved to other cities to start a new life or to have temporary place with the family, or some people went to live with relatives or families, etc. Some towns had moved to one place with the municipality and townspeople. I think all the cases of these are not completely harmonious method of settlements, but people begin to stand up to recover their own life and this country. However, 160,000 people are still living in the refuge. These people’s damage is more extensive. The municipality not to be struck is announcing their grand acceptances, but many people cannot move from the refuge for various reasons. The first reason that they do not move is that family’s safety cannot be confirmed. 15,091 people are still missing. These people are trying to get missing family’s information even a little. And, old person and sick person doesn’t have the physical strength that moves from the refuge either. Handicapped too.
Uneasiness and loneliness of starting new life at unknown town are also one of the big reason for local people. They had very strong community there. However, most common and simple reason is, there are a lot of victims who cannot do anything by losing everything. According to the specialist’s statistics, it will take about 2 years just to remove all rubbles. I think that a long‐sustained effort and relief is necessary for them. Victims proves people can have positive, strong willpower and energy even on such crazy situation. I am impressed and encouraged very much. On the other hand, the nuclear accident keeps updating the worst situation. And the distress of the stricken area in the nuclear accident region is not told in news at all. Relief is not enough for this area at all. As I mentioned, Japan Chernobyl Foundation is a very few group which enter to support victims in this area. Now I am talking with them again and I am going to keep supporting them.
I do not have a lot of words for this situation. Everybody, please watch this:
On April 4th, Tokyo Electric Power Company decided they renounce 11,500 tons of the radiation poisoning water to the sea directly. It means nothing is getting better on the plant accident. Don’t forget, another tons of very high density radiation poisoning water (Iodine=7.5 million times higher than usual!!!) are leaking to the sea directly still from the plant’s pit. The pit has cracks and TEPCO can not identify the cracked place still. It surely influences to oceans in overseas too. The flow of the tide from Fukushima heads for California and then up to northern west coast oceans. Plus, high radioactivity have been detected also in the area other than the sheltering area. However, the government doesn’t expand the sheltering area. A lot of research laboratories criticize the government, but the government only says, “It is under investigation now”. Also, the radiation poisoning of farm and marine products are still expanding. The radioactive substance is detected from various foods, and it gives rise to bad harmful rumors. And, because the response of the government is ambiguous, all the foods made in Japan begins to be distrusted from overseas markets too. It is a vicious circle. Many research laboratories and professors warns ¼ or more of Japanese agriculture and the fishery are annihilated if the situation is not changed. Even the ordinary person like me can expect this. However, the government and TEPCO are still saying the same thing, like “It is no problem immediately to human health…” Stupid.. They were crying when the press conference, but nobody can believe them anymore, and now the information hiding by the government and TEPCO became clear. Now everybody knows they never announce the dangerousness until the worst situation had happened. The announcement is always same, like “We tried hard but the situation is going worse than we expected…” It means all crisis-managements had not been assumed at all. Therefore, their countermeasures are always claptrap.
We can’t accept a groundless safety dogma anymore. We want the guarantee of the safety based on a clear standard and the analysis. Unfortunately now we have to get the important information from the announcement of specialized agencies or the analyses from the research laboratories of municipality and university, or news from the foreign countries, not from the government or Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency. For example, I got information that the wind changed for the west and the radioactive substance will fly to Osaka too today, April 6th, from the news of South Korea. We cannot get those information in usual life in Japan at all. Recent Japanese TV news reports mostly the beautiful story, like, a dog miraculously rescued, fresh friendship story between high school volunteer group and victims, or, heroic story of indomitable worker who are working in nuclear plant accident, etc. These are also true stories I guess, but I think it is not the most important topics now. It is very miserable. Please don’t forget, Japan is still in the midst of the nuclear accident. We should carefully watch the transition of the situation and the fact.