Leaving Tokyo

(日本語による原文下部に掲載)

Leaving Tokyo
Shiro Yabu
(Translation by Max Black)

After the rain I go to a city park with my elementary-school age daughter. She jumps onto the chin-up bar. I notice that it is dripping wet. Lazily swinging back and forth on the bar, she starts to lick the rainwater off the bar. When I scold her, ‘don’t do that!’ she says, ‘but it’s yummy.’ She gets tired of licking the chin-up bar and now she picks a little flower out of the weeds and pretends to suck the nectar out of it. When I say, “I don’t think that kind of flower has nectar in it,’ she says, ‘yes it does.’ She gets tired of picking flowers and now she picks up the twigs around her and starts drawing a line on the ground. She draws train tracks on the ground and pretends to ride the train. The moment I look away, she puts the mud-stained four fingers of her drawing hand in her mouth. I say, ‘that’s dirty,’ but she isn’t listening. She is busy thinking of other ways to play. This one instance is enough to show everything: a girl or girls will pick things up and eat them even if they’ve fallen on the ground and are covered with dust. And the moment that adults look away, they will drop things, pick them up, and put them in their mouth.

The principal reason that I have decided to move from Tokyo to Aichi Prefecture is that children are like this. It is not possible to raise a child in Kanto, which has become a low-level radiation exposure zone. Maybe some people will take this as an overreaction. So I want them to really, really, imagine the situation that children are living in. When you were a child, what kinds of games did you play? Did you ever used to stop the raindrops dripping down off of the roof with your mouth? We were brought up playing dirty games, as much as we wanted, that make adults wrinkle up their faces — this is what I want you not to forget. Children have a right to these dirty games. So if they want to fool around with the rainwater, they have the right to fool around with the rainwater as much as they want.

Massive urban disaster

On March 17th there was an article by Uchida Tatsuru in the Asahi Shimbun, entitled “A message from Hanshin-for an evacuation to West Japan.”

When the Hanshin Earthquake happened, I lived in an apartment building in Ashiya with my middle-school age daughter. She was awakened by a drawer from the wardrobe falling on her face. She broke a tooth. The wooden buildings in the area were mostly leveled and smoke was rising from the streets of Kobe. Our apartment was half-wrecked and we lived as evacuees for three weeks in the local elementary school gymnasium.

The difficulty this time with responding to the East Japan Earthquake is that the disaster is not yet over. The Fukushima reactor is in a crisis situation. What bothers me is that the information from the government and TEPCO is slow in coming, and the way the commentary continues to play down the damage. There are experts who dismiss the necessity of evacuating the metropolitan area. But if the next thing is a release of a large amount of radioactive material, in what way are these people going to take responsibility?

In a crisis situation, an excessive appraisal of risk is more effective than playing things down, in order to survive. Nobody will blame you if it turns out to have been a waste of time to flee. It is good to be able to say, ‘thank god nothing happened.’ If you are led to assume ‘well, it’s safe,’ and then told, “okay, run for it!” — this is what leads to panic. I get the feeling that statements by the experts who say that ‘the people who can evacuate, should’ are being suppressed in the media.

Since there’s nothing I can do about that, on the Internet I called for an ‘evacuation’ to West Japan, which is safe. For the time being, it would be better for pregnant women, infants, the infirm, and young children to evacuate from the urban areas that are the disaster areas and the focus of rescue operations if they don’t have a reason to stay.

Perhaps the government ought to ask the people who are able to, to evacuate. If the population of Tohoku and Kanto decreased by one or two million people this would decrease the strain on resources and the transfer of personnel and material aid would go more smoothly.

West Japan should take in the evacuees
What is required of us now in West Japan is to prepare to receive evacuees. Because we are safe here in West Japan we should be debating the right relief policies. The mayor of Osaka has said that he will contribute 500 units of public housing, and I think this kind of ‘welcome policy’ is necessary.
At my university, we have decided to take in evacuated students from universities that are not going to meet their target dates for the resumption of classes. I think every university should consider taking in students to the extent that its size allows.

West Japan’s role should be to send people East to give aid and take in people who need aid. We will also need to move some of the functions of the capital, which are concentrated at the opposite end of the country, to Osaka. We need to set up the aid labor that is appropriate to either side’s respective role.

Speaking from my own experience of disaster, the things the victims of disaster have lost are uncountable. You have your life, and the things you have at hand. You have hope. A human being with hope can make it. And finally, you rely on human feeling, Sixteen years ago, I felt people’s feelings all around me.”(Interviewed by Namakmura Masanori)

What Uchida Tatsuru points out is true. There is some circumlocution in his writing so as not to incite too much of a sense of crisis, but the metropolitan area is a disaster area. Most people are trying not to face this since the scale of it is far too large, but since March 11, the entire pacific coast of Tohoku and the entire Kanto Plain have become disaster areas. What I mean by disaster area here is not the damage from the earthquake and tsunami (which was substantial by itself). The problem is the nuclear disaster, that Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has released a large amount of nuclear material.

In order to understand the general outline of the nuclear catastrophe that has now occurred, first we need to think about the size of the population that was affected. The area where nuclear material has been dispersed covers the Tokyo metropolis and eight prefectures. Fukushima Prefecture is one million people, Miyagi Prefecture is 2.3 million people, Tochigi Prefecture is 2 million people, Gunma Prefecture is 2 million people, Ibaraki Prefecture is 3 million people, Chiba Prefecture is 6 million people, Saitama Prefecture is 7 million people, Tokyo is 8 million people, and Kanagawa Prefecture is 9 million people. In the Tokyo metropolis and eight prefectures, there are a total of 45.3 million people. This is about one third of the total population of Japan.

Out of this, we can think of the Tokyo metropolitan area, which is made up of 38 million people, as the center of the disaster and the biggest obstacle to recovery. About 30 percent of the population of Japan is concentrated in just this area. If just one lifeline to this megalopolis is lost, it will produce large-scale chaos enveloping other areas.

Right now, radioactive material is entering the water supply that comes from the Arakawa and Tonegawa rivers. And so the people of the metropolis are buying up bottled water. The Tonegawa is a massive water vessel that supports the metropolitan area. If radioactive material enters the Tonegawa upstream in Gunma and Ibaraki, about half of the metropolitan area will be affected several days later. This area includes Saitama, Ibaraki, and Chiba Prefectures and Tokyo. By rough and simple calculations, twenty million people would lose their drinking water, and would have to be supplied with bottled water. If one person consumes two liters of water a day, this is 40 million liters or 40 kilotons of water. Carried in four-ton trucks, this comes out to about ten thousand trucks. If we factor in the quantity of labor power required to just to carry this water from West Japan or the Koshin-Echigo area is the scale of the operation is too great and unimaginable.

Right now the government is making an appeal against hoarding water, but this is not the problem. This is not something that can be fixed by appealing to individuals’ prudence or notions of their spirit or whatever. We need to face the fact that the water vessel which supports the 38 million people of the metropolitan area has ceased to function and there is an unprecedented damage to city functions. This should be faced directly.

There are two special characteristics of nuclear disaster. The first is that nuclear material is invisible. The second is that the problems in question are too large and one falls into a blockage of thought.

The Problems are Too Big to Think About

As for the first characteristic, radioactive material is invisible. It has no smell or taste, and cannot be perceived by the five human senses. And because small amounts of radiation largely do not affect one’s health immediately, it is difficult to be aware of it.

Still, this does not mean that nothing can be done. The presence and concentration of radiation can be known by using measurement devices. So we should now measure for the radioactive material with these specialized measuring devices in the same way that we have checked for viruses and bacteria up to now. This is not a difficult point. We should expand the role of hospitals and clinics to radioactive material, so that they can perform decontamination and disposal. If more measures are needed, we should introduce general principles and techniques so that individuals can confirm that they are safe. The government is currently panicking and cannot respond, but as far as how to think about this, a very conventional and simple notion of hygiene is enough. There should be mass distribution of devices for measuring radiation and there should be daily lectures from managers to listen to. And in specific areas, there should be restrictions on fishing work, agriculture, and industrial production.

The second problem with radioactive disaster is that the problems are too big to think about calmly. The area formed by part of Tohoku and the Kanto Plain is not large compared to the entire world, but if one thinks within the framework of Japan it is all too large. As with the scale of population, the area of this nuclear disaster contains about a third of Japan’s population, and if we consider the flow of food and industrial products, its influence will extend to the entire Japanese archipelago. The attitudes that are available to people in this situation are either to not think about the problem seriously or, failing that, not to think about it at all.

During the lawsuit to stop operation of the Hamaoka Nuclear Plant, Haruki Madarame, the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission, when asked to respond to the possibility of multiple failures of emergency systems, responded that “we do not anticipate a situation like that.” And when pursued on this issue in the Diet, he further responded that ‘what we have to be practical about is the fact that this can’t be planned for.’ What ‘practicality’ means in this case is treating anticipatable dangers as if they don’t exist. A situation where the entire electrical generation system was lost was treated a situation which will not happen, and an earthquake and tsunami which exceeded predictions were treated as a situation which will not happen, and the question of what would happen in those situations was deflected with the response that the person asking was perhaps thinking too much. The reason for this was that correctly estimating the possible dangers and the amount of labor power that would have to be expended on them would render it impossible to continue with the irrational enterprise of nuclear power generation. One does not think about a situation so serious that it cannot take place. One does not think about plan B. One does not think about a possible situation of catastrophe. This kind of sanctioned occlusion of recklessness and this kind of anti-scientific posture is a pillar of nuclear policy.

45.3 million people total are enveloped in the recklessness of said nuclear power policy. In most domestic reporting there has been a leap to play down the issue of radiation exposure and push forward a kind of spirit-first ideology whereby if everybody does their best everything will be all right. For the residents of the area also, it is impossible to stay rational. Even if they are told that the Kanto Plain is now a low-level radiation exposure zone, a young couple that has a contract on a condominium and is stuck with a loan on it is not in a position to take that kind of obnoxious assertion seriously. Even if they were to demand compensation from the government or TEPCO, the possibility of damages being recognized is desperately low. And this being the case, the only thing to do is to close their eyes. Radiation is invisible and everybody is saying that things are okay anyway. It happens that in order to decrease the damage to the lowest possible degree, one perseveres and puts up with things on the premise that no problem of radiation exposure exists. The standards of the nuclear industry–namely not anticipating serious situations–are gradually taking hold as the general standard of the residents of the disaster area.

‘Production’ and Reproduction

But no, it is not necessarily the case that all residents of the disaster area have fallen into a stoppage of thought. There are people who are calmly responding to this imagination-exhausting nuclear disaster. Residents who are really aware of the disaster are treating moving out of Eastern Japan as a real possibility. What they are being threatened with is the partial relinquishing of many of their rights. These lost rights can be divided into two kinds.

a.)        All rights associated with the realm of production. Land, productive apparatus, financial assets such as their homes, common rights, customer-client relations, their participation in trade and their rights to employment.

b.)        All rights associated with the realm of reproduction. Health, childbirth, child rearing, education, leisure.

These rights are to be partially and selectively relinquished.

If rights in the realm of production are relinquished (or transferred) a healthy lifestyle may still be possible, and if rights in the realm of reproduction are relinquished or transferred, it is still possible to maintain a degree of income and assets — this kind of thing.

The government has repeatedly announced that the damage in the low-level radiation areas in Tohoku and Kanto will ‘have no immediate impact upon health,’ which we can understand to mean that they are leaving the judgment about withdrawal and transfer to the ‘independence’ of residents. In other words the conventional legal notion of  ‘preservation of life and property’ has here been given up in advance, and they are telling people to choose between life and property on their own. This is the same situation as the areas near to the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The government’s evacuation order was issued long after the residents had independently evacuated themselves, with the timing indicating that they were indeed pursuing confirmation of an independent evacuation. It might be the case that a cash problem of monetary compensation is involved here, and the government is pouring its energy into avoiding responsibility for the safety of the residents–rather than responsibility to the residents. A kind of notion of primary responsibility for oneself, or self-determination, is emerging which tries to transfer the share of the burden for the policies onto the masses.

In the irradiated zones, the residents who are being forced into the independent relinquishing of their rights are being torn apart. A family is torn apart in the question of whether to move, how to find a job from now on, and what to do about child support. If the accident at Fukushima Daiichi is resolved in the next few days, a temporary ‘evacuation’ is enough. But the Fukushima Daiichi Reactors will be releasing radioactive material for the next few months or years. The people who evacuated only temporarily, now weigh moving.

We must consider what ‘reality’ is, in the space between the preexisting reality that we lived in and the reality that has newly appeared. The philosophy that exists in circumstances where one can believe that a given reality is reality itself, or, in other words ideology in the strict sense of the term, is now in question. Do we believe that childbirth, child care, education and play are realities which should be considered above all others, or do we believe that the realm of reproduction is a subordinate or supplemental reality? How is the crisis which is now unfolding a crisis and for whom? To whom, and towards whose reality, were those who only yesterday were announcing the realization of a safe and secure society making their appeal? The ideology that appears in times when reality can be recognized as itself is being brought to light and reexamined.

The government is scrambling for a system of control over this outbreak. It is labeling legitimate suggestions based on evidence as rumors and hearsay, and reputation damage, and trying to carry itself as if Tokyo were certainly not a disaster area. Its two watchwords are ‘prevent panic’ and ‘stay calm.’ But the government are the ones who are really losing their calm and panicking, as if they were reviving an anti-communist campaign from the cold war era with its accompanying absurdities.

In actuality, the main problem for the government, along with extinguishing a meltdown and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, is extinguishing a meltdown in the metropolitan area.

Since 3.11, many young mothers are leaving the metropolitan area with their children in tow. Their movement may expand and extend itself. Whatever manipulations of perspective one attempts, the fact that radioactive cesium has been dumped into the sandboxes cannot be altered. It has become clear from paying attention to television that the government’s nuclear policy has been born and nurtured based on lies, secrecy, and image manipulation. However one thinks about it, the exhortation to believe the words of the experts after having been showered from head to toe in radioactive material by the same people who were using the phrase ‘100% safe’ is not going to work. Women have begun to disperse not because they lost their calm and panicked, but for the opposite reason.

The insulated pipes of the corporate society and the family are beginning to break. One cannot predict the scale of the population that will leak out here. And this leak carries with it a rage and estrangement towards the ideology that has supported society up to this point.

Not only women are leaking out. Over the long term the universities concentrated in the metropolitan area and University towns will collapse. Students, caregivers, young instructors and researchers, foreign students and foreign researchers will flee east Japan and leak out into West Japan and abroad. A brain drain will begin, starting from Tokyo. The reality of the sphere of reproduction is silently issuing its sentence against the ideology of the sphere of ‘production.’

The rehabilitation of the private

About ten days after we evacuated, my daughter asked me a question. “Why am I the only one evacuating?”

Is it okay for her friends Akane and Shizuka and Akiyo not to evacuate? She asks her father what he thinks about the fact that her friends are in Tokyo, if he shouldn’t say that everybody should evacuate together if Tokyo is dangerous, and why she’s alone here with all of her friends left back in Tokyo.

I could not answer this. I couldn’t even say ‘I understand’ or ‘it’s not like that.’

I still cannot explain this to a child. I don’t want to come back at a child’s concerns about her friends with a bunch of verbiage. Even my feelings, at leaving the town I live in and am used to, at leaving most of my friends, are high. But I hold the conviction that in fleeing from Tokyo just by myself and with my child, without consulting anybody, I did things in the right way.

I understand the feeling that when people are faced with a difficult situation the best thing to do is put peoples’ wisdom together and face things collectively. But in the case of disaster this kind of accustomed attitude is not necessarily the right way to do things. Disasters happen once and sometimes they exceed the bounds of human knowledge. When an overwhelming violence that exceeds received knowledge is about to invade one’s own life, what can be gained from consulting with other people? Are they going to take over my responsibility for me? Am I going to tell them to take my responsibility? When I am trying to live life, should I seek to live it based on confirmation from someone else?

Before the overwhelming power of disaster people become alone. The things of state, society, and public lose their power and human life and death are governed by private concerns. In effect this is not just something that happens, but something that follows from being faithful to that violence, something that should be done. In the place where disaster occurs the rehabilitation of the personal occurs on a large scale. And this gives society a new motive force after the disaster.

My daughter goes to school in her new hat. In Tokyo the hats were fire engine red, but here they are yellow. She wasn’t on time for the opening ceremony, but she changed schools without a problem. After fleeing on the 12th of March, she is in school for the first time in a month. That boring life in evacuation is finished, and now she is in high spirits.

Having been separated from the soil where she grew up, and living on new soil, maybe my daughter will forget things. While I keep in touch with Tokyo and try various things out, my daughter will forget. She will forget that there is such a place called Tokyo, and we will live in a different future from the ones that the adults imagined. This innocent, brazen, and divine violence will prepare a new situation after Fukushima. The struggle is recomposed in a way different from what our generation has thought of.

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東京を離れて

矢部史郎

小学生の娘を連れて、雨上がりの公園に行く。鉄棒に飛びつく。飛びついてから、それがびちゃびちゃに濡れていることに気づく。娘はぶらぶらと体を揺らしてから、鉄棒についた雨水をなめはじめる。「そんなものなめちゃだめだ」と叱ると、「だっておいしいんだもん」と言う。鉄棒をなめることに飽きると今度は、小さな雑草の花を摘みとって蜜を吸う真似をする。「そんな花に蜜なんかないだろ」と言うと、「蜜あるよ」と言う。花摘みに飽きると今度は、あたりに散らばっている小枝を拾って、地面に線をひく。地面に線路を描いて電車ごっこをする。目を離したすきに、うっすらと泥のついた利き手の指を4本、口にいれている。「汚いだろ」と注意するが、娘は聞いていない。別の遊びを考えるので頭がいっぱいだ。一事が万事この調子で、彼女(たち)は地面に落ちたものをほこりがついているのもかまわず平気で食べたりする。おそらく大人が見ていないところでは、もっといろんなものを落としたり拾ったりして口にしているだろう。
私が東京都から愛知県に転居することを決めた第一の理由は、子供がこういう調子だからである。いまや低線量被曝地帯となった関東で、子供を育てることはできない。これを過剰な反応だと受け止める人もいるだろう。だが、子供が生きている現場をよくよく想像してみてほしい。自分が子供だった頃、どんな遊びをしたか。軒からしたたりおちる雨水を口で受け止めて遊んだことはなかったろうか。忘れないでほしいのは、我々はみな大人が顔をしかめるような不潔な遊びを思う存分楽しんで育ったのだ。子供には不潔な遊びをする権利がある。雨水と戯れたければ、気がすむまで戯れる権利があるのだ。

巨大な都市災害:3月17日、朝日新聞は、「〈伝えたい―阪神から〉 西日本へ「疎開」を」と題して、内田樹氏の提言を掲載した。

 阪神大震災が起きたとき、小学6年の娘と芦屋のマンションに住んでいた。タンスの引き出しが顔に飛んできて目が覚めた。歯が折れていた。周辺の木造家屋はほぼ全壊し、神戸の街から煙が上がっていた。マンションは半壊、近くの小学校の体育館で3週間の避難生活を送った。
今回の東日本の地震で対応が難しいのは、まだ災害が終わっていないことだ。福島の原発が危機的な状態にある。気になるのは政府・東電の情報が遅く、被害を過小評価する解説が続いていることだ。首都圏から避難が必要ないと言い切る専門家もいる。だが、この後、大量の放射性物質が飛んできた場合、この人はどう責任をとるのだろう。
危機的状況では、リスクを過小評価するよりは過大評価する方が生き延びる確率は高い。避難が無駄になっても責める人はいない。「何事もなくてよかったね」と喜べばいい。「安全だ」と信じ込まされて、いきなり「さあ逃げろ」と言われたらパニックになる。メディアの報道では「避難できる人は避難した方がいい」という専門家の発言が抑圧されているように感じる。
しょうがないから、僕はネットで安全な西日本などへの「疎開」を呼びかけている。とりあえず、妊婦や幼児や病人、児童生徒たちは、用がなければ被災地と救援の活動拠点となる都市部を避けた方がいい。
政府は可能な人には「疎開」を呼びかけるべきだろう。東北・関東から100万でも200万でも人口が少なくなれば、資源への負荷も軽くなり、救援の資材や人員の搬送も円滑になる。
■西日本は被災者を受け入れて
いま、西日本のわれわれに必要なのは疎開を受け入れる準備だ。安全な西日本だからできる支援策を講ずるべきだろう。大阪市長が市営住宅500戸などを提供すると言ったが、こういう「歓待」政策が必要だと思う。
私の大学では、授業再開のめどがたたない被災地の大学から被災学生を受け入れることを決めた。どの大学もそれぞれの規模で被災学生の受け入れを考えてほしいと思う。
西日本の役割は支援する人を「東」へ送り込み、支援を要する人たちを呼び込むこと。一極集中の首都機能の一部を大阪に移す必要もある。オールジャパンで、それぞれの役割にふさわしい支援を工夫することが必要だ。
被災経験から言えることは、被災者は「失ったもの」を数えないこと。命あってのものだねだと、「手元に残ったもの」を数え上げてみる。希望を持つ。希望を持っている人間はしのげる。そして最後は人情にすがる。16年前、人の情が身にしみた。(聞き手・中村正憲)

内田樹氏の指摘は正しい。ここではあまり危機感を煽らないように婉曲に書かれているが、首都圏は被災地なのである。その規模があまりにも大きいために多くの人が直視しないようにしているが、三月十一日以降、東北の太平洋側と関東平野は、まるごと被災地になった。ここで被災地と言うのは、太平洋岸の地震・津波災害ではなくて(これだけでも相当な被害なのだが)、問題は、福島第一原子力発電所が放射性物質を大量に吐きだした原子力災害による被災である。

今回の原子力災害の輪郭を理解するために、まず被災の人口規模を確認しておこう。放射性物質が降り注いだ主な地域は一都八県にわたる。その人口は、福島県一〇〇万人、宮城県二三〇万人、栃木県二〇〇万人、群馬県二〇〇万人、茨城県三〇〇万人、千葉県六〇〇万人、埼玉県七〇〇万人、東京都一三〇〇万人、神奈川県九〇〇万人である。一都八県であわせて四五三〇万人。これは日本総人口の三分の一にあたる。

なかでも被災の中心であり復興の最大の障害になるだろうと思われるのは、一都四県三八〇〇万人を抱える首都圏である。この地域だけで日本総人口の30%が集積している。この超巨大都市はライフラインの一部を喪失しただけで、他の地域を巻き込む大規模な混乱を生みだす。

現在、利根川・荒川水系の上水道には、放射性物質が混入している。そのため、首都圏住民はミネラルウォーターを買い求めている。利根川は首都圏を支える巨大な水がめだ。利根川上流にあたる群馬県・栃木県に放射性物質が降り注ぐと、数日後には首都圏の約半数が被害を受ける。その範囲は、埼玉県、東京都、茨城県、千葉県に及ぶ。単純にざっくり計算して約二千万人の飲料水が喪失し、ペットボトル等での給水が必要になる。一人一日2リットルの飲料水を消費するとして、四千万リットル=四〇キロトン。四トントラックで延べ一万台が水を運ばなくてはならない計算になる。この地域で消費される水を甲信越や西日本から運ぶためにどれだけの労力を割かなくてはならないのか、規模が大きすぎて想像することもできない。

いま政府は「水の買い占め」をしないように呼びかけているが、問題はそういうことではない。これは、個人の心がけとか精神論とかで片付く問題ではない。首都圏三八〇〇万人を支える水がめが機能不全に陥ったこと、かつてない巨大な都市機能災害が起きていることを、直視するべきなのである。

問題が大きすぎて考えられないこと

原子力災害の特徴を二つあげることができる。一つは放射性物質が目に見えないこと。一つは対処すべき問題が大きすぎて思考停止に陥ることだ。
まず第一の特徴として、放射性物質は目に見えない。においもなく、味もなく、人間の五感で感じ取ることができない。また、低線量の放射線はただちに健康に影響を及ぼすことがないため、自覚されにくい。

しかし、まったく手が出せないというわけではない。放射性物質の存在とその濃度は、測定機材を使って知ることができる。だから、これまで細菌やウイルスを調べてきたように、新たに専用の測定機材を加えて、放射性物質を調べればよいのだ。難しい話ではない。これまで保健所や病院が行ってきた検査の範囲を放射性物質にまで拡大し、除染や廃棄などの対応ができるようにすればよい。さらに望むなら、個人でも安全を確認できるような一般的な方法と機材が普及すればよい。政府はいまパニックに陥って対応できないでいるが、考え方としてはとても簡単な、従来的な衛生観念で足りる。放射線を測る測定機材を大量に発注し、管理者の講習を毎日開けばよい。そして特定の地域について、農林業と漁労と工業生産を制限すればよい。

原子力災害の第二の特徴としてあげられるのは、問題が大きすぎて冷静に考えられないということだ。東北の一部と関東平野という範囲は、世界大の視点をとれば大したものではないが、日本という枠組みで考えた場合にはあまりにも大きい。先に人口規模で見たように、今回の原子力災害の被災地は日本人口の三分の一を包み込んでいて、食品や工業製品の流通を考慮すれば、その影響は日本列島全体に及んでいる。このとき人々が選びとる態度は、問題を深刻に考えないこと、または、まったく考えないことである。

かつて浜岡原発運転差し止め訴訟で、複数の非常用発電機が起動しない可能性を問われた際、原子力安全委員会の斑目春樹委員長は、「そのような事態は想定しない」と発言している。また、国会で追及された際には、「割り切らなくては(原発の)設計はできないことは事実」とも発言している。ここで「割り切る」というのは、想定しうる危険性をないことにして考えるということだ。全電源喪失という事態はないこととして考え、設計の想定を超える地震・津波はないことにして考える。そういう事態になったらどうするのかという指摘は、考えすぎだろうと言って退けてきた。なぜなら、ありうる危険性とそのために費やされるべき労力とを正しく検討すれば、原子力発電という不合理な事業を続けることができないからである。どうにもならないような深刻な事態は考えない。プランBは考えない。ありうる破局的事態も考えない。こうした韜晦を許す冒険的・反科学的な姿勢が、原子力政策の支柱になっている。

この原子力政策の冒険に、四五三〇万人の人々が付きあわされ巻き込まれている。国内の多くの報道は被曝問題を過小評価しようと躍起になっていて、みんなでがんばればだいじょうぶ式の精神主義を蔓延させている。住民の側にしても、冷静ではいられない。関東平野は低線量被曝地帯になりましたと言われても、たとえば分譲マンションを契約してローンを組んでしまった若い夫婦にとって、そんな無茶な話はとうてい受け容れられるものではない。政府や東京電力に補償を求めようにも、損害を認定されるかどうかは絶望的だ。であればここは、目をつぶるしかない。放射線は目に見えないし、みんな大丈夫と言っているのだ。被害を最小限にとどめるために、被曝問題はないことにして耐え忍ぼう、ということになる。深刻な事態は想定しないという原子力産業の規則は、被災地住民の一般的規則となって普及しつつある。

「生産」と再生産
いや、被災地のすべての住民が思考停止に陥っているわけではない。この想像を絶する原子力災害を、冷静にうけとめている人々がいる。被災を自覚した住民は、東日本からの移住を現実的な問題として考えている。このとき彼らが迫られているのは、諸権利の部分的な放棄だ。放棄される諸権利は、おおきく二つに分類できる。

a) 生産領域の諸権利。土地、生産設備、住宅等の財産権、入会権、顧客、事業取引と雇用関係。
b) 再生産領域の諸権利。健康、出産、育児、教育、遊び。

 これらの権利は、部分的・選択的に放棄される。
生産領域の諸権利を放棄すれば(移住すれば)健康な生活がかろうじて残される、再生産領域の諸権利を放棄すれば(移住しなければ)当面の収入や財産は維持できる、というものだ。

政府は東北・関東の低線量被曝地帯の被害について、「ただちに健康に影響を及ぼすものではない」と繰り返し発表しているが、これは、退避・移住の判断を住民の「自主性」に委ねたものと解することができる。つまりここでは従来のような「生命と財産の保護」はあらかじめ断念されていて、「生命」か「財産」かの放棄を自分で選べと言っているのである。これは福島第一原発に近い地域でも事情は変わらない。政府の退避命令は、住民の自主的退避がなされたずっと後に、まるで自主的退避を追認するようなタイミングで出されている。おそらく移住に関わる金銭的な補償問題が絡んでいるのだと思われるが、政府は住民の安全に責任をもつことよりも、責任を回避することに意を注いでいるようだ。政策がもたらした災厄のつけをあらかじめ民衆に転嫁してしまう類の自己責任/自己決定論があらわれている。

被曝地帯のなかで、諸権利の自主的放棄を迫られた住民は、引き裂かれる。移住するかしないか、今後の仕事をどうするか、今後の育児をどうするかをめぐって、一つの家族が引き裂かれる。福島第一原発の事故が数日で収束するならば一時的な「疎開」で足りる。しかし、福島第一原発は今後数カ月か数年のあいだ大量の放射性物質を吐きだすのだ。一時的に退避をしていた人々も、移住を検討することになる。

私たちは、従来生きてきた現実と新たにあらわれでた現実との狭間で、なにが「現実」であるのかを議論しなくてはならなくなった。ある「現実」を現実だと信じる背景にある思想が、つまり、言葉の正確な意味でイデオロギーが問われることになった。出産・育児・教育・遊びがなによりも優先されるべき現実だと考えるのか、それとも、再生産領域は生産領域に従属する付随的な現実だと考えるのか。いま始まっている危機は、誰のどのような危機なのか。昨日まで「安全・安心社会の実現」を喧伝していた人々は、誰のどのような現実に向かって訴えていたのか。現実を現実として認めるときのイデオロギーが、炙り出され、再審に付されることになる。

政府はこうした葛藤を政治的に統制しようと躍起になっている。正当な根拠をもつ指摘に「デマ」「流言飛語」「風評」というレッテルを張り、東京がまるで被災地でないかのように振る舞おうとしている。二言目には「パニックを防ぐ」「冷静になれ」だ。しかし本当に冷静さを失いパニックを起こしているのは政府の側であって、そうした滑稽さも含めて、冷戦時代の反共キャンペーンを再現しているようだ。

実際、政府にとって重要な問題は、福島第一原発のメルトダウンを鎮火することである以上に、首都圏の「メルトダウン」を鎮火することである。

3月11日以降、多くの若い母親たちが子供を連れて首都圏を脱出している。彼女たちの動きは拡大し長期化するだろう。どのような観念的操作を試みても、公園の砂場に放射性セシウムが降り注いだ事実は動かせない。テレビを注視すれば、政府の原子力政策が嘘や秘密や印象操作に明け暮れてきたことも明白になった。100%安全だと言っていた者たちに頭上から放射性物質を浴びせられ、それでもなおこの「専門家」たちの言葉を信じろというのは、どう考えても無理がある。女性たちが挑散を始めたのは、冷静さを失ったからでもパニックを起こしたからでもなく、むしろその逆である。

これまで首都圏人口を収めていた企業社会/家族の被覆管は、いま破れ始めている。ここから漏出していく人口がどれだけの規模になるかは予測できない。しかもこの漏出は、これまでの社会の支柱となってきたイデオロギーに対する怒りと非和解性を含んだ漏出である。

漏出していくのは女性だけではない。長期的には、首都圏に集中する大学と学園都市は崩れていくだろう。学生、保護者、若い教員と研究者、外国人留学生と外国人教員たちは、東日本を避け西日本と海外に漏出していく。大学を中心に、東京からの頭脳流出が始まる。再生産領域の現実は、「生産」領域のイデオロギーを、無言のうちに断罪していくのだ。

私的なものの回復

避難から十日ほどたったころ、娘が私に問うた。「なぜ私だけが避難しているのか」と。

友だちのあかねちゃんやしずかちゃんやあきよちゃんは避難しなくてもいいのか。お父さんは、私の友だちがいま東京にいることをどう考えているのか。東京が危険だというのなら、みんなにも一緒に避難するように働きかけるべきではないのか。なぜ私は友だちを東京に残して一人だけここにいるのか。

私はこの問いに答えなかった。「そうだ」とも「そうじゃない」とも言わなかった。

このことについて、いまはまだ子供に説明することはできない。子供が友達を想う気持ちをもったことを、難しい言葉でまぜっかえしたくない。私にしても、住み慣れた街を離れ、多くの友人と離れ、気持ちがたかぶってはいるのだ。ただ、私が自分と自分の子供だけで東京から避難したことも、誰にも相談せずただ一人で移住を決めたことも、正しいやりかたをしたという確信をもっている。

厳しい事態に見舞われたとき、みんなで知恵を寄せ合って共同でことにあたりたいという気持ちはわかる。しかし災害について言えば、そうした慣習態度が必ずしも正しいわけではない。災害は一回的で、ときに人智を超えたものとしてあらわれる。人智を超える圧倒的な暴力が自らの生命を侵そうとするときに、他人と談合してなんになるのか。そいつは責任をとってくれるのか。そいつに責任をとってもらおうというのか。自分が生きようとすることを、誰かの了解を得たうえで生きたいというのか。

災害の圧倒的な力を前にしたとき、人は一人になる。国家、社会、公的なものは力を失い、人間の生死は、私的なものに支配される。それは結果としてそうなるというだけでなく、暴力に対する誠実な態度として、そうあるべきなのだ。被災の現場では私的なものの回復が広範にあらわれる。そしてこれが、災害後の社会に新しい動力を与えるのだ。

娘が新しい帽子をかぶって学校に行った。東京の学校ではエンジ色の帽子だったが、ここでは黄色い帽子だ。始業式には間に合わなかったが、無事に転校の手続きがすんだ。三月一二日に避難してから、一カ月ぶりの学校だ。退屈な避難生活が一段落して、彼女はいつになくはしゃいでいる。

生まれた土地を離れ、新しい土地で生活するうちに、娘はいろいろなことを忘れていくだろう。私が東京と連絡を取り合いさまざまな工作を試みているのをよそに、彼女は忘却していく。彼女は東京という街があったことを忘れ、私たち大人が想像した未来とは別の未来を生きる。この無邪気でふてぶてしい「神的暴力」が、フクシマ後の新たな状況を準備する。私たちの世代が考えたのとは別のやり方で、闘いが再構成されるのだ。

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One response to “Leaving Tokyo

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