In Japan People Try To Evoke Change

“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” – Goethe

As the central government in Japan does very little , people in Japan are trying to do something themselves. Those singular acts to start a project, deliver some aid or to speak out so others have more understanding all add up.  

Local officials test school lunches in Tokyo to ease fears.  Parents have requested that school districts disclose the origin and testing results and schools felt no option than to comply.

A farmer in Fukushima tries to do all the right things. He grows peaches that have had a renown for being of great quality and are given as gifts. The farmer and the growers association have done everything they can to promote their peaches including being absolutely honest about the radiation testing results. The farmer in the story took great care to not accidentally increase the contamination on his product. Sales are still drastically down. There is a paradox, people want to help farmers like Shigeru Yui but people don’t want to consume radiation contaminated food even if the levels are low for good reason. The government and TEPCO are offering these farmers no help at all. This is the folly of locating nuclear power plants near agriculture areas. Large areas of farm land will be made unusable and many further away areas will require massive decontamination to make them safe again.

A grant was established to assist Fukushima University students with children so they could move further away to a safe area. We were told the grant amount is very small compared to costs but it may be enough to help someone combined with other sources.

A small program to allow families in Japan to move to Australia was posted on twitter via one of the efforts to protect children.

People distributed fans in Kesennuma
Volunteers in Minami Soma take on the dangerous job of scrubbing nuke contamination from a playground wearing raincoats and paper masks.

Voluntary evacuees battle with TEPCO for compensation. People in the “land of indecision” where the government of Japan and TEPCO have not given a mandatory evacuation order marched on TEPCO’s headquarters to deliver their demands for compensation for their evacuation.

Professor Kodama’s anger creates a buzz online. Why his comments in front of the government took off online probably has to do with the unvarnished truth he spoke and taking the government to task for their inaction.

Someone decided to express their anger with a big sign. Not a bad idea. The building looks like it may be an office, the sign says “Must act, nothing has changed! !”

2500 farmers and fishermen protest at TEPCO headquarters. Agriculture and fisherman’s groups from Fukushima organized the event where the large group marched to TEPCO’s headquarters. The demand for redress and swift compensation was made in the streets and by representatives that met with the head of TEPCO and the Prime Minister’s office.
This kind of action may be the best way to show that they won’t quietly go away to be financially destroyed by TEPCO.

Tsukasa Watanabe, diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer at 79 and survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing has been leaving his hospital bed to do his one man play about the bombing. He is very ill, requiring blood transfusions and iv injections. The show takes a considerable toll on his body yet he is committed to share his story. Read the whole story here, bring a tissue.

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