Now, please let me update you on the current situation in Fukushima, as well as give voice to some of those raising an alert over the radiation-contaminated soil in Japan.
【Voice of affected people】
Voices from Miyakoji
“It’s been more than three years since the disaster. In 2011, I went through enormous fear and anxiety. Now, more than three years later, local residents are suffering more worry than ever.
But our country has abandoned us. They do not listen to anything we say. None of our government, town, or parliament are responding to our concerns. Not a single person can tell us what levels of radiation are safe, or dangerous. When we asked, “Is it safe to be exposed to less than 0.23 μSv/h?” they said, ‘We cannot say anything about it.’ Even our city officials and ward mayors are not able to clarify it properly. Our anxiety is reaching a breaking point.
In one room in my home, in fact, the level of exposure is 0.3-0.4 μSv/h. We are exposed to 0.56 μSv/h of radiation in our garden, and 1.8 μSv/h of radiation in a cedar forest in our backyard. Although these areas were decontaminated and previously had lower levels of radiation, the levels are rising.
And even with all this, we are pushed to go back to our hometown. I have heard that temporary housing will be closed in March 2016. We don’t sleep at home. We come back to the temporary housing. Since we cannot abandon our fields, we visit home and work there four to five hours per day.
Our nation’s government used to tell us that we would be safe as long as we were exposed to less than 1μSv/h per year. Now they say that we’ll be safe exposed to the extent of 20μSv/h. Why nobody seriously tackles the issue of radiation contamination? We are frustrated. Our voices are not being taken seriously.
I was told, ‘When are you going back to your home? I assume you already know the evacuation order has been canceled.’ There is nobody who truly understands our struggles.
Even in the same Miyakoji municipality, the level of radiation contamination varies from place to place. This situation creates emotional divides between the residents. We are not unified. People no longer gather even if we call for a meeting. We are no longer able to have a festival.”
“In temporary housing, we have one 4-tatami mat room for one to two people, two 4.5-tatami mat rooms for three to four people, and three rooms for families of more than five (one 6-tatami mat room, and two 4.5-tatami mat rooms), Each room has only space for bedding. There is no furniture and there are no closets.”
A voice from Ookuma
“Families and friends were separated, with no choice. Do you understand how it feels to lose every single thing, including our hometown? Do you know how hard it is? Don't even joke that you are motivated by money. It is unbelievable how many unsympathetic people are working as councilors. There are 800 people in the Congress. Why don’t they take contaminated wrecks into each of their houses? I sincerely hope they understand our feelings. I would like to say to the affected people: ‘Enough graciousness. How long are you going to bear living in temporary housing? How long are you planning on complying with this nation? Why don’t we stand up? Enough.’”
A voice from Namie
“It took two hours each way to visit my home in Namie. It was not inhabitable any more. I disposed of all my possessions. I put the combustible things outside of my house. Since it has not been decided how to dispose of non-burnable things, like plates and utensils, I kept them inside of my house. My house was completely covered with mold. Each of the recovery housing units can accommodate twenty families. But we don’t know how long it will take until we can move, since senior citizens and families with small children are prioritized.”
【Warning of Danger】
“Please wake up, every one! Since shortly after the nuclear accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, I’ve been saying that it is far better to tell the truth only once, rather than saying, ‘Go for it, Japan!’ a million times. Our government ought to check radiation strictly, buy contaminated land and houses to turn them into public land, and support the victims in order for them to be able to live comfortably on new land.
I’d say Japanese people are ‘the kindest people’ in the world. There is a word called ‘Unomido’ in Japanese, which means how much people accept things without questioning. I’d say that around 70 percent of Japanese people accept without questioning what schools and textbooks teach and what media shows. They don’t know how to develop a critical view.”
Atomic Bomb Survivor in Hiroshima, Dr. Shuntaro Hida
“Children are vulnerable to radiation. The rapidly dividing cells are the most vulnerable. They are far more vulnerable than adults; therefore it is extremely important not to let them be exposed to radiation.
Nevertheless, our country’s government says that children are safe to be exposed to less than 20 μSv/h. How do they take responsibility for that? They have been acting recklessly, saying ‘It’s alright,’ although radiation has been falling on us every day.
There must be a forced evacuation order for all children in elementary schools and junior high schools in Fukushima. This must be made to happen; this must be implemented in reality.”
【Please support affected people】
The following items are needed:
Under ware, blankets, disposable diapers in adult sizes, sanitary pads, household expendable supplies, water, spices, rice, food in general
Thank you for your support!