Mobilisation, Action, Solutions and Peaceful Resistance.
A reality in Japan from one of my Japanese blog readers.
From what I hear and read, she is not alone at all, and she doesn’t even live in Fukushima. More she tries to do to protect people she cares – family, friends – people think she’s crazy.
She may not be eloquent or sophisticated as Ms. Numauchi, but she is just as sincere in her fear and courage (though she says she’s not courageous).
From the reader “Nectarina”, from her original Japanese writing sent to me:
I am a housewife living in Aichi Prefecture with my husband. I was born in Shikoku. My life completely changed in 2011. Before the nuclear plant accident, I enjoyed my hobby (crafts) and taking a walk on the beach. But after March 11, I don’t feel like doing any of that, because I am afraid. How long can I remain healthy? Will something happen again tomorrow?
What’s been sad about the nuclear accident, radiation:
My husband, whom I shared the same values and whom I trusted, has changed. When I try to talk to him about the nuclear plant accident, the color leaves his face and he becomes angry. When we had a big fight, I asked him why. He said “I don’t want to know. If I knew I wouldn’t be able to work”. My husband puts a lot of energy in his work, so I suppose he wouldn’t be able to cope. So, even when I learn about some horrible news I cannot tell my husband. I deal with it by crying when I’m alone.
My husband resents it when I try to store safe food items like old rice. He thinks anything that’s being sold in the marketplace is safe, and thinks I’m crazy. Because I don’t want to argue with him, I use my savings to buy food when there is not enough money for [safe] food.
My husband approves of the wide-area disposal of contaminated debris. His reason is that the disaster-affected areas alone cannot dispose all of the debris. It doesn’t occur to him that the debris may be contaminated with radiation. I believe he’s wrong, and I cry the tears of misery.
He doesn’t care about food or drinks, and doesn’t appreciate my effort to make sure of the safety of the food I buy.
My mother back in Shikoku doesn’t understand at all when I tell her about the danger of radiation-contaminated food. She says I’m too nervous and it’s too tiresome. She believes TV more than me, her daughter, and thinks I’ve gone crazy.
I have a friend in Fukushima. I told him a number of times to leave Fukushima, but was dismissed. He is still young, single and healthy, and able to move anywhere, but he says he doesn’t want to leave his home and his family. We have become distant as the result, as I don’t know what to say to him any more, who is like a total stranger now.
And My sister. She’s been married for 5 years, and she became pregnant before the nuclear plant accident. During her pregnancy I wanted to tell her to be careful with food and to wear a mask. But my sister didn’t care at all about the nuke accident, and I feared that by telling the truth she might be shocked and that might affect her baby. So I couldn’t say a word. I felt I was a coward not telling the truth. But I bought a teddy bear as a present for the new baby. I prayed every day to the teddy bear to protect the baby.
But 7th month into the pregnancy, the baby suddenly stopped moving. The baby was dead, and had to be aborted. It was a late child-bearing, so I know it’s not necessarily because of the radiation. But I think it’s wrong if you cannot bear a child safely.
Afterwords, my sister told me that she had recovered and was now back to work. I thought the future was more important than the past, and plucked up my courage and told her to be careful with food she ate. My sister hasn’t contacted me since. Just like my mother, she must have thought I was crazy. Or she was shocked. I failed to make her understand, but I’m not regretting that I told her.
What’s been good:
No family member nor friend understood me, I was alone. With horrible news, I was crying by myself every day in the early days of the accident. But in a blog that I often visited for my hobby, there was one person who was writing articles on the nuclear plant accident. I left comments to the articles and emailed that person, and soon we hit it off together. With that person and that person’s friend, three of us started an anti-nuke plant blog. My first friends after the plant accident.
On their recommendation, I started using Twitter, where I met several more kindred spirits. On further recommendation I started using “mixi” (a social site), where I found more friends. Now, I’m active in anti-nuke plant movements. To have met with the like-minded people via the Internet is the happiest thing for me.
What is scary:
All my life, I have believed that Japan is a safe, and good country. I am very shocked that it was nothing but an illusion. [The government] is hiding and lying about the situation of the nuclear plant accident, in collusion with TEPCO and the media. There are many people who could have avoided radiation exposure if the government had warned the danger right away. Children and pregnant women still live in the high-radiation contamination areas in Fukushima Prefecture.
The government wants to spread the radioactive debris from the disaster-affected areas all over Japan. Most municipal officials don’t have knowledge of radioactivity. The government is trying to coerce people into accepting the debris with words like “share the pain”.
Food is distributed throughout the country with hardly any testing for radiation. With the high numbers set for the safety limits, the [contaminated] food is used in school lunches. When I try to pick food by the place of origin, it is often disguised. I’m scared to go shopping, for I don’t even know what’s safe to eat.
I am not courageous, I don’t have an ability to take action, and I’m not smart. But for the sake of my sister and her unborn baby, I want to “return a blow” to the government and TEPCO. No matter how small a blow it may be.
To people outside Japan:
Radiation from Japan has contaminated the ocean and the countries around the world. The Japanese who know this are very much shocked. We have done the tremendous damage that cannot be undone. I am truly, very sorry.
Radiation Protection Tips: