Five years ago, March 11, 2011, a tsunami, triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Japan. 15,894 people died and 2,561 still remain unaccounted for – a tragedy that we commemorate and will continue to mourn. Sadly, the disaster didn’t end there. More than 146,000 people living in nearby towns were forced to evacuate due to the nuclear disaster, of which 100,000 remain and have been unable to return. We know that levels of nuclear radiation are still high in some of the areas– figures that the Japanese government have not been telling us – and this is why we’re here. For the people, for the country, and to remind the world that a nuclear disaster is on-going and never-ending.
Thanks to Greenpeace International for this movie.
I am Mrs. Ogawara from Fukushima. Over the past 26 years, I operated an organic farm together with my family, growing about 50 crops and raising some cows and chickens.
Although it was 25 years ago I still remember the Chernobyl leak. My eldest daughter was only two months old, and radiation was even detected in Japan, 8,000 kilometers away from the accident. This made me, a breastfeeding mother, very anxious. Considering that my home was only 40 kilometers away from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, I thought it was important to learn more about nuclear power, in an effort to prevent my young children from similar suffering. I also began warning my friends of the dangers of nuclear power and gave public speeches here and there.
However, with five children I found myself busy rearing them and working on my farm. So my anti-nuclear passion began to fade away. In recent years farmers have suffered plenty of hardships brought about by unusual weather, so I found myself saying if nuclear power helps prevent global warming, perhaps it’s not a bad thing.
On 11 March an unprecedented earthquake occurred in Japan. The mountains were swaying, and the roads cracking right in front of me. After checking that all my family members were safe and sound, a chill suddenly ran down my spine as I looked in the direction of the nuclear power plant. Thinking of the horrors of nuclear leakage, I was struck with guilt because I had already known of the consequences 25 years ago but did nothing.
The spread of radioactive substances from Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant continues. As for the measures taken by the country and the Tokyo Electric Power Company to solve this, my expectations are getting smaller and smaller. Not a single drop of pesticide or any chemical fertilizer has ever been used on my farmland, and now it has been contaminated by radioactive dust!
Nevertheless, I will not give up. I plan to continue my participation in the Global Denuclearization Campaign, and do my best to put smiles back on the faces of people in my hometown and Fukushima!
Dr. K is the President and CEO of Couples Therapy Inc. She maintains her Intensive Couples Therapy practice on the edge of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts.