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Fukushima disaster: it's not over yet

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 02:32 PM
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Fukushima disaster: it's not over yet
Fukushima disaster: it's not over yet
Six months after the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the streets have been cleared but the psychological damage remains

Jonathan Watts, Friday 9 September 2011 18.01 EDT

It was an email from an old friend that led me to the irradiated sunflower fields of Fukushima. I had not heard from Reiko-san since 2003, when I left my post as the Guardian's Tokyo correspondent. Before that, the magazine editor had been the source of many astute comments about social trends in Japan. In April, she contacted me out of the blue. I was pleased at first, then worried.

Reiko's message began in traditional Japanese style with a reference to the season and her state of mind. The eloquence was typical. The tone unusually disturbing: "It is spring time now in Tokyo and the cherry blossoms are in bloom. In my small terrace garden, the plants tulips, roses and strawberries are telling me that a new season has arrived. But somehow, they make me sad because I know that they are not the same as last year. They are all contaminated."

Reiko went on to describe how everything had changed in the wake of the nuclear accident in Fukushima the previous month. Daily life felt like science fiction. She always wore a mask and carried an umbrella to protect against black rain. Every conversation was about the state of the reactors. In the supermarket, where she used to shop for fresh produce, she now looked for cooked food "the older, the safer now". She expressed fears for her son, anger at the government and deep distrust of the reassuring voices she was hearing in the traditional media. "We are misinformed. We are misinformed," she repeated. "Our problem is in society. We have to fight against it. And it seems as hard as the fight against those reactors."

She urged me to...

When I read this I couldn't help but think of this post I wrote in April.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-15-11 03:35 PM
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1. Thank you for your continued work on this topic.
And a big K & R.

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