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  3. Symposium “A philosophy of post-Fukushima”(Iwata Wataru, Muto Ruiko)

Symposium “A philosophy of post-Fukushima”(Iwata Wataru, Muto Ruiko)

Symposium “Aphilosophy of post-Fukushima”,2nd Unit“Techniques Forfighting against Fading”

風化1   On Saturday, November 30, 2013, a symposium titled "Techniquesfor Fighting against Fading" was held as a part of study group session series“A philosophy of post-Fukushima”at the Toyo University Hakusan Campus (Building 9, Meeting Room4). Speakers were Mr. Iwata Wataru of Citizens' Radioactivity Monitoring Station (Crms) and Ms. Muto Ruiko, the representative of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs.  

  The symposium started with the opening address by Murakami Katsuzo(Ircp Director). Since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident on March 12, 2011and after, not only have the government lacked in effective responses but they and the media have concealed information. Little progress in responses thus seems to have been made. This symposium was held with interest in the problem of how to confront the situation of fading and concealment for long years to come. 

   First, the talk by Iwata was titled "Monumentization of 'Fukushima'." He argued that generically calling the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident "Fukushima," as is often seen abroad or even in Japan, inevitably entailed concealment or fading. Soil contamination by radioactivity, for instance, hasnot remainedinside the prefectural border but ranged over several prefectures. Radioactive substances in the air flew beyond the national border. "Monumentizing" the accident nonetheless by using the generic name of "Fukushima" and emphasizing the name of one prefecture may entail the "recognition trap" that underestimates the impact of the accident and regards this "event" as "something that is over." In his talk Iwata persuasively argued for these pointsrefering to specific cases and using quantitative data.

風化2   Muto's talk that followed was titled, "Report from Fukushima." After describing the present situation of Fukushima – including the present situation of Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant including spent fuel extraction and contaminated water, the situation of regions in Fukushima Prefecture where high-dose contamination still continues, the problem of decontamination, and health hazard to children–, she introduced the activities of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs, which she is currently involved in. This plaintiff group organized in June 2012 is composed of plaintiffs totaling over 14,000 people and has demanded the strict investigation into the nuclear power plant accident and the pursuit of legal responsibility. Fukushima District Public Prosecutor's Office, however, transferred this case to Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office in September 2013. It was decided immediately after that not to prosecute any of the defendants. Muto explained in detail how Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs continues to work on the case given such an outcome. Muto concluded her talk by describing, with beautiful photos, how she herself had lived in Miharu, Fukushima, where she still lives now, and how she had came to be interested in the nuclear problem.

   Both talks were specific and persuasive as speakers hadlived in Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear power plant accident and watched what hadhappened there in detail. During the discussion between speakers and the audience after these two talks, such questions were raised as what the present situation of Fukushima was, how radiation damage differed between Hiroshima and Fukushima, and how the problem of discrimination against disaster-affected people should be considered. While 1000 days have passed since March 2011 with "fading" progressing more and more, this conference can be said to be a fruitful one. 風化3