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" A Philosophy post-Fukushima ", 2nd Unit: Driven out of a Nuclear Town Movie Screening and Lecture

"A Philosophy post-Fukushima ", 2nd Unit:Driven out of a Nuclear Town Movie Screening and Lecture

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 On May 30, 2014, the “A Philosophy post-Fukushima” research meeting hosted by the 2nd Unit of the Ircp was held at Toyo University Hakusan Campus (Building 1, Room 6102). The movie Driven out of a Nuclear Town: A Documentary about Refugees from Futaba was screened, and its creator, Ms. Horikiri Satomi, gave a lecture. This movie is a record of interviews with Futaba residents who were forced to evacuate their town due to the nuclear accident after the Great East Japan Earthquake. From 2012 to 2013, Horikiri patiently gathered material for the documentary at the former Kisai High School in Kazo, Saitama, where Futaba residents had evacuated to.

 The movie is notable for its presentation of residents’ candid opinions and emotional subtleties, which were drawn out by Horikiri. These truly “living voices” share with viewers the harsh lifestyle of evacuees that was forced upon people who had their land contaminated and taken away, as well as the lack of understanding“You ran away from Fukushima!”—they face as individuals who evacuated to save their own lives. The Futaba residents’ lives as long-term evacuees have resulted in inner conflict that is often unnecessary. A split eventually emerged among them over the inadequate choice between living as evacuees outside of Fukushima prefecture or returning to their homes. This forced choice arose due to pressure from the external circumstances of government administration and daily life, which were unrelated to the essential issue: the influence of the damage caused by radiation (health damage that could be a matter of life and death). Of course, these external circumstances are also the vicious products of the nuclear accident, which continues to give rise to problems over three years later. This documentary vividly shared the pain and loss of people who were torn away from the area were they grew up without having any say in the matter. With regard to this, Horikiri said, “Japan is divided into those who have a precious hometown and those who don’t.” This left a strong impression on the audience, and will probably serve as an important statement for this “A Philosophy post-Fukushima” research group.

 Despite the late time of this research meeting, many students attended, as well as approximately thirty people from outside of the university. While it was unfortunate that there was not an adequate amount of time for the question and answer session, the time that was available was filled with a lively exchange of opinions between Horikiri, attendees, and researchers from the International Research Center for Philosophy. It is not easy for everyone to develop their own understanding of the Fukushima nuclear incidentand to continue to bear in mind their memory of it. However, it appears that, through this meeting, participants reaffirmed that “Aphilosophy post-Fukushima” is an important activity for persisting in constantly thinking (the foundation of philosophy) about Fukushima.2