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Embassy halts Fukushima disaster exhibit in Ethiopia to stop groundless rumors

A vice foreign minister apologized after an exhibition in Ethiopia about the Fukushima nuclear disaster was scrapped following complaints from the Japanese Embassy that the content was “inappropriate.”

The exhibition, planned by volunteers of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was supposed to be part of the Japan Festival held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Oct. 31, 2015.

The festival, jointly hosted by the Japanese Embassy, JICA and other entities to promote a better understanding of Japan, went off as scheduled in the east African nation. But the exhibition about the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was called off after the embassy warned that it might withdraw its participation in the event.

Vice Foreign Minister Seiji Kihara on March 16 apologized for having completely shut the door on the Fukushima exhibition.

“It is important to make known the actual situation in the disaster-hit areas, including Fukushima, so we should have continued our discussions with the aim of holding the exhibition,” Kihara said at a meeting of the Lower House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

JICA’s volunteers, including members of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, conceived the idea for the Fukushima exhibition.

An official of the Japanese Embassy, however, criticized the content, telling the volunteers, “It is inappropriate at a time when the central government is working hard to dispel groundless rumors regarding the disaster.”

JICA also said it received an e-mail from the embassy that said, “If the exhibition is one that runs counter to the policies of the central government, such as by taking an ‘anti-nuclear’ stance, it would be difficult for us to jointly host the event.”

After the e-mail was received, JICA’s local office agreed to cancel the exhibition, JICA said.


March 17, 2016 - Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , ,

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