Tour of Fukushima, “Fukushima wo Miru, Aruku, Kangaeru (Watch, Walk and Think of Fukushima)”

On November 3rd, 2013, ZENKYO planned a tour of Fukushima, “Action of Watch, Walk and Think of Fukushima. Two Years and Eight months have passed since the accident of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants”, cooperated with Fukushima High School Teachers and Staff Union. There are 24 participants from all parts of the country, and they visited Iidate-mura, Minamisōma-shi and Namie-machi.

They saw views around Ukedo elementary school in Namie-machi. From the elementary school, they could see the ocean far away because houses and a pine-forest were washed away by tsunami. Houses’ foundations were covered by Solidago Canadensis. Ships and cars damaged by tsunami have left on the ground since the accident, and there are mountains of debris still there. They are actual situations of Fukushima after two years and eight months after the accident.

There are 150,000 people have been living as refugees since March 2011 because of the accident. There are no people on streets in Iidate-mura, and a lot of weed-grown farms. Ms. Tatsuyo Watanabe, a guide of the tour, said, “Citizens of Iidate-mura can make brief visits to their homes, however, they can’t stay there. Children want to go back to their homes, but their parents oppose it because of harmful effects of radiation. They are stressed out.” At that time, the numerical value of 1.5μSv/h level was observed in Iitoi Elementary School.

Ms. Akiko Onuki, a member of Fukushima High School Teachers and Staff Union, said, “There is no distinct smells to radioactive materials. It is scary that people can’t recognize how radioactive substances harm us. There are many children who diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid in Fukushima. The numbers of children are increasing; however, the Japanese government denies relevance between radiation effects and cancer of the thyroid because it takes a long time to develop the cancer. I want everyone to know actual situations of Fukushima. I want to continue to let people know radiation damage from Nuclear Power Plants.”

One of the participants stated his impressions, “There are no people even though houses and stores stand in the areas. Traffic signals work, but there is few cars. I have never seen this kind of situation. I recognized invisible enemy, radiation effects, and want explain them to friends and children.”

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