Fukushima high school students launch nuclear study group -THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
November 09, 2012
By AYAKO NAKADA/ Staff Writer
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Two high school girls from Fukushima Prefecture are to launch a peace discussion forum, inspired by the success of a similar long-running nuclear study group run by students elsewhere in Japan.
Later this month, Sayako Ogata and Saki Nezu, both second-year high school students, plan to invite fellow students to a screening of “Hoshasen o Abita X-nen-go” (X years after radiation exposure), a documentary about fishermen exposed to radiation from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in 1954.
Ogata and Nezu saw the movie themselves on Oct. 7, when they accepted an invitation to a screening and discussion afterward with the film’s director, 52-year-old Hideaki Ito, and 83-year-old Akira Hayasaka, a writer.
Ogata said she felt a personal connection to the movie’s subject. “I am worried that I might get sick in the future,” she said.
In the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, her house was among buildings that were decontaminated.
Nezu evacuated temporarily to Aizu-Wakamatsu, a city in the same prefecture where her father was on a job posting away from his family.
“My parents’ and grandparents’ generations may be to blame for allowing the nuclear power plants, but both adults and children are responsible for thinking together about the problem,” Nezu said.
Ogata and Nezu have been friends since childhood. Even though they now attend different high schools, they belong to the same poetry-reading group.
Inspiration for the study group came from a team of high school students in Kochi Prefecture that calls itself the Hata High School Students Seminar.
The girls met the group last November and spoke of their experiences, on a visit arranged in part by the poetry group’s president.
The Kochi group has been in existence for about 30 years. It has been involved in studying the crew of the fishing boats from Kochi Prefecture, which were exposed to radiation from the hydrogen bomb test.
Over the years, students from various high schools have been helping each other to gather information about more than 200 former fishermen and their survivors.
“I can’t believe they are the high school students just like us,” Ogata recalled thinking when she met the group.
“Victims of the H-bomb test and of the Fukushima nuclear plant accidentshare a common problem: internal exposure to radiation,” she said.
The group’s members briefed Ogata and Nezu about their activities, and the pair came away thinking about starting a similar study group in Fukushima.
The students’ first project–screening the H-bomb test movie–is now under way.
The idea for the showing came from a high school teacher who is active in peace education in Fukushima Prefecture, who is a friend of their poetry group’s president.
The girls agreed, and two other high school students joined them this summer in preparing to launch the group.
The students said they want to conduct a study on the damage from the Fukushima accident in the future, in cooperation with the Kochi group.
THURSDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2012
“Unheard voice” from high school girls in Fukushima
Since I posted the deleted youtube link on Aug. 8, 2012, lots of people have read my article: http://fukushimaappeal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/unheard-voices-from-high-school-girls_8.html Sorry to let you know late but Nick who sent me comments in this previous article kindly sent me the above different links to see this video.In my previous article, I wrote about how the Fukushima local government including the Education committee has been intent only on restoring the local economy, refusing to accept the radiation danger: I think majority of it is true, however one of Soma highschool teacher and an advisor of broadcasting dept., Mr. Watanabe sounds different. I would like to write what I found out in the various reports including his twitter page to clear some possible misunderstanding by reading my previous article. Mr. Watanabe had been encouraging his students to express their feelings and thoughts. He was moved by what these girls had to say and helped them to turn it to play. The girls belong to broadcast dept of Soma high school and had been performing in various places in Japan during the summer holiday and were welcomed wherever they were. They were even allowed to perform in Fukushima city, too. The youtube video was erased by the broadcast depart of Soma high school. One of the reasons why it was deleted was that Mr. Watanabe felt a need to protect the girls from harsh criticisms and comments from wider audiences. I understand his point of view because I am aware that there are people who write unfair comments and criticisms on the blog or website that have been supporting anti-nuclear movement and talking about the danger of radiation. Some of them are paid agents who work for nuclear power and post the comments to confuse citizens and help to generate ill feelings among people between Fukushima accident victims and people who try to help. I think “Unheard voices” belong to the three girls because it’s their experience and their words, so nobody can manipulate them. I hope they are not going to delete it this time.
I also hope that audience of the video feel warm towards the girls, and their voices touch hearts of many people.Also I must say that children in Fukushima not just living with fear for their future. Half of them developed thyroid abnormalities; already one of them developed a thyroid cancer. When we looked at what happened to Chernobyl children, we could easily guess what could happen to Fukushima children.
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