English version here




2020年の東京五輪を考え直した方がいい10の理由を解説します: Continue reading Tokyo2020、やばくないですか?

Excerpts from Asahi Journalist AOKI Miki’s “Streets Erased from the Map: Post-3.11, the Prohibited Truth”

AOKI Miki (青木美希) is a journalist at the Asahi newspaper, one of Japan’s major news companies. Kodansha published her book, Streets Erased from the Map: Post-3.11, the Prohibited Truth(『地図から消される街ー3.11後の「言ってはいけない真実」』), in March 2018. It is the culmination of 7 years of continuous reporting on the 2011 TEPCO nuclear disaster. I have roughly translated and/or summarized some of the stories she documented in this book. (Where she refers to herself in the text, I have translated it as “I”; clarifying annotations/notes are mine).

CHAPTER 1: Local TEPCO Employees Who Can’t Raise Their Voices

Pages 28-39 (summarized):

Before the nuclear disaster, becoming a TEPCO employee was something many people aspired to. People used to say, “For a man to work at TEPCO means lifelong security; women should try to marry a TEPCO employee.” But after the disaster, they were resented. In the evacuation shelters, parents watched as their sons went back to work at Ichi-efu (1F = Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant). Before they left, they would write letters conveying their final farewells. I talked to a father who could not tell anyone at the shelter that his child worked at TEPCO.

I spoke to a young TEPCO worker. He was a local hire with a high school degree. He often went to TEPCO’s public relations museum as a kid, hoping he could one day become part of the future it displayed. When the earthquake happened, he wasn’t worried. The Meteorological Agency estimated that the tsunami height would be 3 meters, so he figured it would be about 1 meter, if it came at all. But as he was working in the reactor building, the power went out. Sea water started gushing in in the darkness. He ran up to the central control room, filled with monitors that would normally display live footage from various sectors of the power plant. But since there was no electricity, there was no information. He couldn’t get any of the pumps to move, since there was nothing to power them. So there was nothing to do but wait. That is where he was when the first hydrogen explosion happened. There were no windows in the control room, so he only heard it—an awful noise. The phones were still working, and he learned from a coworker that reactor 1 had exploded, and was thick with smoke.

About 2-3 hours after the explosion, an older employee said at least all the guys in their 20s and 30s should go to the quake-proof building, which is built with thick steel-enforced concrete [i.e., younger workers should evacuate there because the radiation levels are lower]. By then, more people had come in to work, and there were quite a few present who were in their 40s and 50s. So it was decided that all the younger men would evacuate—about 20 to 30 people total. They put on full face masks, light protective gear, and gloves to protect themselves from radioactive contamination, then ran together to the building, 350 meters away. The area was covered in debris, so they couldn’t use any of the cars onsite. They ended up running about 1 km to avoid getting too close to reactors 1 and 2.

Once they got there, he heard that two coworkers who had been sent to reactor 4 were missing. The building they had evacuated to still had power, so they could use the computers. But they still couldn’t do anything. All they could do was wait. They were still there during the explosion at reactor 3 on March 14th. Then the fuel rods in reactor 2 were damaged. The young TEPCO workers evacuated to a gym at the Daini nuclear power plant. They stayed there until the evening of March 16th, and then were told to go home.

After a week, the young worker was told to come back. His father didn’t say anything, but his mother told him not to go. But he told himself, “Who is there but us? This is happening in the town I grew up in. I need to keep the damage to a minimum.”

He did work like helping other workers out of their protective gear and handling the power switches for various machines at the entrance of a reactor building.

When he had been waiting in the quake-proof building, he had learned that two of his coworkers were missing. Someone started a rumor online that they were just enjoying themselves in Koriyama, drinking and joking about having pretended to be victims of the tsunami. Their bodies were found on March 30th, in one of the lower levels. The cause of death was shock from external bleeding from various injuries. Like him, they had been working in reactor 4 as ordered by their superior when the tsunami hit.

Things started to calm down in fall 2011, and he started to worry about the impact of the working conditions from that earlier period. His radiation exposure levels had not been recorded. He had been working without an APD (active personal dosimeter).

Note: It is industry standard for all workers to carry a personal dosimeter with them to record their external radiation exposure levels. According to a study summarized by the Radiation Work Network (Hibaku Rodo Network), the amount recorded can vary significantly even depending on where the dosimeter is kept on the body. It should also be noted that there are frequent reports of various workarounds to manipulate radiation exposure measurements. Though journalistic reports of the Japanese nuclear industry have suggested that conditions improved when records started being digitally displayed instead of being transcribed by hand, personal dosimeter measurements remain one of the things that are made flexible in a work-related pinch. Some workers who go to areas with high radiation levels are not issued APDs; sometimes a veteran worker might take both his and a subordinate’s APD with him to make that worker’s exposure levels seem lower or higher; etc. (In some cases, workers want their exposure levels to seem lower than they actually are to stay under the exposure limit so they can keep working).

At first, this was because nearly all the APDs were lost in the tsunami. Of the 5000 or so APDs that were onsite, only the 320 or so stored in the earthquake-proof building remained. At first, TEPCO said there would be enough to go around if only one representative from each work team used an APD. But even after huge amount of APDs were sent to 1F from other nuclear power plants, TEPCO kept up with this policy. So about 3000 people continued working without APDs.

Radiation levels varied significantly by location (0.03-0.04 millisieverts/hr in the central control room, versus 1 millisievert/hr+ close to the exhaust stacks where the hydrogen explosions had occurred). But the radiation levels for all members of a team were recorded as the same as that of the team leader.

Note: This account actually understates the extreme degree to which radiation levels can vary onsite. There are small hotspots with extremely high radiation levels, whose locations might change with conditions in the plant. One worker remembered being told to stay away from a particular corner. The radiation levels there were 600-some millisieverts/hour. He was shocked, and said, “600 millisieverts, not microsieverts?” To which he received the dry reply, “That’s right, millisieverts. In microsieverts, it would be 600,000 per hour.” The area was not cordoned or marked off in any way. This was a few years after the meltdown. (For reference, average radiation levels in Fukushima prior to the meltdown were 0.05~0.07 microsieverts/hr; the international standard for the general population’s annual exposure limit is 1 millisievert/year).

On March 31st, TEPCO was issued a warning by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, and subsequently recommenced issuing one APD per person. After that, workers were told that the company would correct its records of their radiation exposure levels. They were asked for details about where they had worked during the first week. But they probably couldn’t do much to correct the numbers, since no one had measurements of the radiation levels in different areas of the site at that time.

The first time they were able to measure their internal radiation levels was in early summer. A bus drove a simplified whole body counter (WBC) to Iwaki city, and measurements were taken. But the data was not shared with the workers. They were told it could not be share with them because it was “personal information.”

After repeatedly asking for it, the young worker finally got his data. He found his internal exposure level had been recorded at 50 millisieverts (mSv). Combined with his external exposure of 30 mSv, he had been exposed to a total of 80 mSv. When he thought about the standards for occupational illness recognition, he became afraid. It’s 5 mSv for leukemia; 25 mSv for a malignant lymph tumor; 50 mSv for multiple myeloma; 100 mSv for stomach cancer or esophageal cancer… He wanted to get married down the road and have kids… What if he got cancer 20 years later?

Note: Radioactive particles cycle through the body at different speeds according to their chemical properties. For example, Cesium-137 and Cesium-134 generally remain in the body for about one month. Additionally, much of the radiation emitted during the early stages of a nuclear meltdown comes from radioactive isotopes with short half-lives. A WBC is unable to measure the amount of radiation that was emitted by particles that already cycled out of someone’s body, nor can it measure the amount of radiation that had been emitted by particles that have already ceased to emit radiation. Consequently, even the figure of 50 mSv is an underestimation of his total internal dose from the nuclear meltdown.

<<Rough translations start here>>

He asked to be transferred, but his superior refused, telling him, “You haven’t gotten to 100 mSv yet. I’ll let out people with high exposure levels first.”

He thought about quitting. His mother encouraged him as well. But, he thought to himself, the reality is that about half of the hires at TEPCO are local people. If we don’t go, who will? Not to mention, all of my neighbors, relatives, and classmates know that I work at TEPCO. If I quit, maybe they will reproach me, asking “Why did you quit?”

It wasn’t just this young worker who thought that way. Many people kept their mouths shut, tortured with worry. Running away was scary; continuing to work was scary.

Every time he left for work, he felt like there was no place for him to run. Some people became depressed a few weeks after the disaster. At first, people were working thinking, “What can you do,” but now that it was fall, he felt like he was becoming depressed…

The young TEPCO worker wondered to himself, as one member of a worksite that tasked itself with providing “the safe energy of the future,” why had things turned out like this for him?

The company created something this dangerous in their pursuit of profit. They ignored the opinions of experts. Why didn’t they implement measures so that even if a tsunami came, they could continue to cool the reactors using the emergency power generators?

There had been times when the president of TEPCO and senior directors came to the site.

“Thank you.”—That’s what they would say. Even though he heard them, he could not feel that he was being thanked for his labor. They were not saying, “I’m sorry that we caused you this hardship,” or “Hang in there.” They said it as though it was entirely someone else’s affair, and he felt the insurmountable distance between conditions on the ground and company headquarters in Tokyo.

Residents of Fukushima often said, “Move your headquarters to Naraha town (where the nuclear power plant is), don’t leave it in the top-class district of Shimbashi [in Tokyo].” Even as a TEPCO local hire, he could understand their feelings.

He feels that people view the circumstances of those like him who are at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant like, “This is where we are; what else is there to do?” But he wants others to know that it’s not that everyone is resting on their laurels. At the very least, he did all he could in the midst of that terror.

His dad said, “It’s the people on the ground that lose.” That’s exactly how it is.

The young TEPCO worker’s request to be transferred was granted after more than a year had passed. But, he was told it was for a “limited time,” and after a few years he was issued another appointment, and returned to Fukushima.

Pages 40-43:

The Reality That 26% of Men in Their 50s Are Without Work

People chose many paths in the life they lived with TEPCO. There were people who stayed at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and there were people who left, seeking a different path. But there are also people who can’t go forward, who can’t help being fixed to one spot. Men in their 50s, who have trouble finding new employment.

A man in in his 50s who had done electricity-related work at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was speaking at an evacuation center in Iwaki city, his face red: “I’m never going back to 1F (Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant).” There was an open one-cup sake can next to him. A man I spoke to in Saitama was also saying, “I didn’t know it was so dangerous.” He was also about 50 years old. But, if they left their jobs, there was no way they were going to find work.

Though not limited to TEPCO-related workers, Fukushima University conducted a survey of the residents of the municipalities of Futaba County, which surround the nuclear power plant, in February to March 2017. There were 10,081 respondents. 31%, the largest percentage, responded that they had “little hope” for their future work or lives. 19% responded that they had “absolutely no hope.” 26% of those in their 50s reported being without work.

Note: She says “TEPCO-related” because the nuclear industry is composed of multiple layers of subcontractors. Power companies contract work out to monolith “zenekon,” or general contractors, like Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Toshiba, and so on. These companies then parcel out jobs to a vast array of subcontractors, who then further distribute the work through their own networks. There have been reports of at most 7 or even 12 layers of subcontractors, though a local expert noted that it would probably be impossible for the lowest-level subcontracting company to break even if the reports of 7+ layers were true.

Many people who worked at the nuclear power plant lived in Naraha town, on the southern side of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

A man who was 48 years old at the time of the disaster, who ran a subcontracting company in Naraha town and worked as a site foreman, went to work in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant right after the accident in March 2011.

The site was wrecked. It completely overturned his sense that nuclear power plants are safe.

He was called to Fukushima Daiichi again in April of that year, but after that he thought, “I don’t want to see that wrecked nuclear power plant anymore,” and went to Saitama prefecture, where his wife and children had evacuated.

In September 2015, Naraha town’s evacuation orders were lifted. Shortly thereafter, he returned to his hometown. He renovated his house, and, wanting his family to return, he left a cumulative dosimeter in the house to measure its radiation levels. After one year, it read 0.1 mSv. He explained to his wife, “The radiation levels aren’t that high. I know because I’ve worked at the nuclear power plant.”

“I don’t want to be close to the nuclear power plant.”

That was his wife’s reply.

While displaced, the man developed diabetes, and in May 2016, he was diagnosed with depression. Since, he has been seeing a psychotherapist.

When I heard his story in April 2017, he was 54 years old. With white hair and a tired face, he looked far older than his fifty years.

His eldest son and eldest daughter are both in their 20s and working. His wife and children already bought a house in Saitama. Before, he would drive two hours and forty minutes one way to be with his family in Saitama. But before he realized it, his visits became rare, and he said he could not remember the last time he went.

Their life over there must be better now…

He wanted to be with his family. He is lonely and sad. He started to drink. Whenever he has time, he drinks. When he drinks, he feels a little better. When he gets sober, he starts to feel sad again. So he drinks again. If he drinks, he gets sleepy. It’s more of a “win” to fall asleep drinking.

But even so, he has fitful sleep, and at the very least he wakes up twice during the night. It’s a cruel cycle.

About 2 months after the national government lifted Naraha town’s evacuation orders, the returnee rate was at the 4% mark. Even later, it did not rise much, and the town stopped publishing statistics with the 11.1% it recorded in March 2017. Instead, it now publishes “town resident percentages,” which include new residents such as new nuclear power plant workers and recovery construction workers.

In the last available statistics on returnees, published in March 2017, 65% were in their 60s or older, and 5% were minors.

In the former site foreman’s neighborhood, only elderly people in their 60s to 80s have returned. He is the youngest in his block. He said to me, “I don’t know what is going to happen at the nuclear power plant so I think I’m going to quit. I want to work a normal job and die normally. It’s not like I can find new work now – what should I do? Right now, we get 160,000 yen per month as compensation, but TEPCO is saying it will stop paying. Are they telling us to die?”

His son was a nuclear worker, too. Their pride in their work, their life with their families, and their health was broken… They don’t have the energy to get back on their feet anymore.



英訳はこちら:No Legitimacy, No Principle in Japan’s Nuclear Victim Support Policy (in English)


そして、同じ2017年3月までに、原発事故で避難地域に指定した区域の中で、「50mSv/y以上の外部被ばく線量になる」とされている「帰還困難区域」と名付けられた地域を除き、全ての避難地域指定を解除する。避難指定解除される地域の住民に対しては、1年分の賠償(1人120万円)を追加で支払うだけで、他の特別な防護措置や財政優遇を基本的に打ち切ると決めている。 Continue reading 原発事故被害者支援策の、論理的根拠と正当性の欠如

東京電力福島原子力発電所事故発生前後から現在までの、 福島県庁と開沼博氏達による被災者への対応

宍戸 俊則

0 自己紹介


原発事故発生時は、事故原発から直線距離で53kmの自宅に妻と子ども二人で住み、同じく直線距離で60kmの県立高校の教員でした。 Continue reading 東京電力福島原子力発電所事故発生前後から現在までの、 福島県庁と開沼博氏達による被災者への対応



この記事の原文『In Defense of Looting』は2014年8月21日付 The New Inquiry に掲載されました。


ヴィッキー・オスターワイル (Vicky Osterweil)


ミズーリ州ファーガソンで抗議を続ける人々の勢いが衰えを見せない中で、マイケル・ブラウンJr.が警官に殺されてからちょうど1週間を迎えようとしていた。その頃、ツイッターの一部やプロテスターに同調していた左派のメディアの大方は、略奪行為をする人々をきびしく批判し始めた。 Continue reading 略奪行為の擁護論

We Just Want to Have a Family – An Interview with former U.S. Sailors Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis


Jaime Plym (right) and Maurice Enis (left) speak at FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT in Stony Point, NY. Photo courtesy of Sachiko Akama  | ニューヨークでのイベントFUKUSHIMA FALLOUTで話すジェイミー・プリムさん(右)とモーリス・エニスさん(左)写真:赤間幸子
(English transcript is below Japanese – scroll down to read: We Just Want to Have a Family – An Interview with former US Sailors Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis)

Continue reading We Just Want to Have a Family – An Interview with former U.S. Sailors Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis

Radiation Exposure is Unequal


(photo: Global2000 on flickr)
(Originally published in Japanese for Gendai Shiso 現代思想, July 2012 Issue)


Doesn’t Radiation Discriminate?

The Japanese Reggae musician, Rankin Taxi, has a song he has been singing for over twenty years: “You can’t see it, and you can’t smell it either.”

Radiation is strong

Radiation is powerful

It doesn’t discriminate

And you can’t beat it

Yes. Nobody can beat radiation. Nobody can escape its harms — so Rankin Taxi sings, and he is right. Continue reading Radiation Exposure is Unequal

Voluntary Evacuation: A New Form of Struggle – A Conversation with Takako Shishido (1)


(Photo: Takumi Sakamoto – Goldenrods grow tall in the abandoned rice fields in Fukushima.)

Voluntary Evacuation: A New Form of Struggle
A Conversation with Takako Shishido by Todos Somos Japon (1)

June 23, 2012, NYC

Takako Shishido (TS)
Ayumi Hirai (AH)
Sabu Kohso (SK)
Yuko Tonohira (YT)

Yuko Tonohira: Today in New York we are joined by Takako Shishido from Fukushima on her trip back from Rio de Janeiro. When the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was struck by the earthquake and tsunami, followed by the series of explosions and meltdowns, Shishido-san was living in the city of Date, Fukushima Prefecture, 50km away from the plant. Last year she relocated to Sapporo City in Hokkaido with her two children and husband. As an evacuee herself, she volunteers as an organizer of the local evacuees network.

Sabu Kohso: Looking at the situation from outside of Japan, it seems that voluntary evacuation is such a crucial process and I am convinced that whoever can must evacuate the area affected by evident radioactivity. Here somebody’s evacuation itself will have a strong impact even on those who don’t need to evacuate yet, let alone those who do now. One definite thing to consider is the unstoppable spread of contamination, which will surely affect all human lives across the world, one way or another. I have a sense that there will be many many more people who follow the path of evacuation from now on. In this respect, a large network of support systems is crucial. Evacuation involves not only the efforts and determination of evacuees, but also necessitates help from those who accept the evacuees at new homes, and many other solidarity projects such as legal, mental and financial support. With this in mind, we may have an option to expand the network even overseas, to create a wider support structure, even though the immediate support must happen within Japan in the first place.

Takako Shishido: Yes, certainly. Right now, very few or no visible effects have been detected in the bodies of those of us who live or have lived in radioactive area since last March. It is quite likely that we have already been affected, but it is hard to confirm. Under such circumstances, much fewer people are voluntarily evacuating than we feel necessary at the moment. We can’t determine what will be sufficient, since nobody knows what is and will be happening to our bodies. When it becomes necessary, however, it will be very difficult for people to make an immediate decision to evacuate – especially if there is nowhere to go or no one to accept them. So it is surely important to have a system of support to accept those who want to evacuate at any instant in the future. If the state of the Fukushima Daiichi and radioactive contamination worsens, the entire Eastern Japan may face total devastation. Therefore one of the vital measures to be taken is for the State to acknowledge the right to evacuate for those who feel it necessary. It is important to create a consensus for this right so that we can say evacuation is not wrong. If many people offer their support for this, it would be so much easier for those who are living with unbearable anxiety to make their decision to get out. This is such a relief for many, and it will be much needed from now on.

YT: Sabu, what you just said was to set up some kind of system to accept evacuees even outside of Japan?

SK: Yes, first of all, a network within Japan is most crucial, but at this point the disaster is proving to be unprecedentedly huge, and the nuclear accident itself hasn’t been resolved. Some point out grave risks involved even in living in the Tokyo area. It is a matter of historical magnitude that Tokyo, a world metropolis, might need to be evacuated. And to have people move out of Tokyo cannot be imagined within the scope of Japan alone; this could develop into a global refugee situation. So there is a possibility that we will need to create a support movement based on borderless networking.

TS: Yes, it would be too late to form a support system when people are already trying to evacuate and move out of their homes. People would feel more comfortable migrating if there were good support system and organizations already in place. We panicked when the reactors exploded because there was no such evacuation system. In this on-going situation we can expect anything could happen. So any preparation will not hurt. Even if the efforts and practices may not see immediate results, they won’t be wasted for they will be needed when similar things happen elsewhere in the future. Today the core of such a support system consists of the so-called “support organizations” which are basically run by the common people. The support group in Hokkaido however tends to have many useful connections to the administration and municipal offices; community organizations and the administration are able to work together. Since the voices of evacuees are heard in exchanges with various sectors, things can work very well. We feel we are receiving significant support from the administration when we see officials help us, walking the fine line between the legal and extra-legal. The administration and the community groups have different capacities and each has separate agendas. When the two capabilities are combined, it makes a strong system for supporting the evacuees. It is extremely crucial to share capabilities in different places–not just in Hokkaido. In addition, I’ve been trying to involve many different types of people like those who can address mental needs, legal needs and so on. I think it is necessary to stay connected with as many people as possible.

SK: When we initially got together to begin Todos Somos Japon as a global solidarity project, with Yuko, Marina (Sitrin) and myself, we talked about the potentiality of these needs emerging. Our conversation didn’t go into much detail at first, but we did think about such possibilities. Since Marina has been involved in many social movements in Latin America, she envisioned several ideas; for example, connecting with the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) in Brazil to start working with certain groups and municipalities, even on a small scale. In another instance, the government of Bolivia might actually listen to us if we try connecting with them. Any of these things we can’t predict, but we need to slowly examine who is willing and able to work with us, as we go on. It may take several years, though.

YT: In fact, if we think within the frame of the US, we may limit possibilities.

SK: Yes, what I imagine is to approach strongly-organized and well-mobilized social movements or even certain governments in Latin America.

TS: I am actually sensing something like the second wave of emigration to Latin America. For that matter, their invitation to Brazil may well have included a tacit message that Japanese evacuees could move there. Mr. Sato*¹ told us that he wanted us to see what kind of place Brazil was. I felt that he wanted us to see in our own eye that Brazil was a great place and we could migrate if we wanted to. In fact, immediately after the disaster, there were several offers from different governments for people to relocate there. Next time anything similar is offered to us, the situation will have become much worse than it is now- that kind of networking is very necessary.

*¹ Johsei Sato: A second generation Japanese born in Brazil, who runs a Buddhist temple in Brasilia. He has invited Ms. Shishido to Rio+20 People’s Forum in the summer of 2012 to discuss the current situation and spread the voice of Fukushima.

YT: Yes, there are already big Japanese immigrant communities in Latin America especially in Brazil, so in reality it would be easier for people evacuating from Japan to adjust to a new life, with familiar language and even the food culture already in place.

TS: Even within Japan, I have learned about some communities inviting those who have given up farming in contaminated areas, so that they can start farming again. But farmers cannot easily give up on their own land. They cannot simply move out of the land they have kept for generations, no matter how toxic it may be. One of Mr. Sakamoto’s photographs*² from Fukushima shows a former rice field, kept for the last three hundred years, now taken over by those tall weeds called goldenrod. Once goldenrod grows in a field, it can no longer function as a rice paddy. Even in this desperation, some long to go back to their land inside exclusion zones, and those who have not been restricted by the government’s safety regulations are trying their best to continue producing and harvesting. But I wonder that eventually many rice farmers will have to abandon their fields. Especially rice paddies closer to mountains get more damage. Since Japanese soil has a clay-like consistency, it is harder for contamination to spread. But still, some products have been banned for high-level radiation. Thus, the farmers today are forced to determine how to deal with the situation when their products are contaminated. For them it is not easy to simply evacuate.

*² Takumi Sakamoto: a photo journalist and writer reporting the devastation of the nuclear disaster in 2011. His photographs from the exclusion zones around Fukushima Daiichi include abandoned cattle, slaughter ground and former rice field that has since been abandoned.

SK: I see. If I put myself in their shoes, it wouldn’t be an easy thing to do. Just by imagining abandoning your house. In this respect, Shiro Yabu*³ may be an extreme example.

*³Shiro Yabu: a prominent activist and writer who evacuated from Tokyo to Nagoya immediately after the nuclear disaster.

TS: He can write his texts wherever he goes. If your job doesn’t restrict where you live, you can be mobile and move more easily, especially if you have an established profession. My husband, for example, is a high school teacher, but he had to give up his job since we relocated. Then the question is whether he can raise his children without a stable job. If not, your life would be equally devastated; you can no longer maintain your livelihood. So what you do is to weigh the benefits of giving up financial stability against the need of protecting your children from radiation. As a result, many cases of evacuation are limited to mothers and children, leaving the father behind to keep his job.

SK: Under such circumstance, people would definitely choose to remain in Fukushima while trying their best to avoid exposure to radiation. However, if the authorities give more strict figures to clarify possible health risks in areas wider than those currently under restriction, there will be more people who want to evacuate, I suppose.

YT: I agree. I think the biggest crime is that the authorities never properly announced that this was no longer a place humans could live. Then on the other hand, there is the people’s monitoring movement that prompted some municipal offices to start working towards protection of the community against radiation. Do you think there still are chances for the government to shift their position on that?

TS: Well, the Japanese government’s consensus has been that humans can live outside a 20 kilometer radius.

YT: So that’s probably not going to change?

TS: The state has finally acknowledged that some parts of the exclusion zone will forever be inhabitable. But that zone is way too small in our opinion. In fact the red zone around Fukushima Daiichi is much smaller than the zone around Chernobyl set by the Ukrainian and Belarusian governments. People all over Japan, let alone those in Fukushima, still don’t know how to accept this fact.

SK: Everyone seems to be stepping carefully in trial and error in this new situation. Shishido-san, at your public speech yesterday, you talked about the decision to leave or stay: that you would respect each one’s idea and decision. I was really moved by your consideration. Can you say a few more words?

TS: The matter of fact is that nobody knows what’s right. Many people are confronting the problem, only to realize that they have never dealt with such an unprecedented situation. Nobody had ever had to choose a way to survive on a daily basis. But now people are continuing to ask themselves what is best for them, and when they make their own decisions, each decision has its own value for the life of each. Right now in most places, people are still arguing against and rejecting each other’s ideas: “you are poisoned by pro-evacuation scholars,” or “you are influenced by pro-radiation safety scholars.” Meanwhile, there’s no way to foresee who is going to be proven right; it may take decades to know the truth. Then it’s up to each of us to determine our own course of action. First of all, we all need to recognize and understand the each other. Our ultimate goals are not far from each other – ultimately they are all for abolishing nuclear energy while protecting our children in safer places. We finally agree that we want to lead ourselves to a better future. Everybody I talk to comes to the same idea. So we should all be able to work on needs, while supporting each other, saying: “good luck on your decision, though I’m going other way, but we can still raise our voice together toward the areas we agree on.” In reality, however, people are telling each other that you are not right, everything you’re doing is wrong. Some people think what they do is the only way out. But the matter is not simple. So I say: let’s try to acknowledge the people who want to evacuate but cannot. Not all of them think radiation is okay. Some people decided to stay even fully recognizing the danger of radiation. There are others who stand by the ‘radiation is safe’ position and work on reconstruction of their towns. But none of us can decide what’s right for everybody, so all we can do is to do what we can do and say what we can say. If we find a definite resolution at some point, we can then start over by making necessary changes of orientation.
Right as I say this though, I must admit that I am betraying my true belief: I want everybody to evacuate. But would it bring any solution by pushing my idea onto those people who cannot evacuate? I doubt it would. So as I said, each of us should do what we can do and say what we can say. Yet again, if some health effects become apparent, I am sure that I will regret my tolerance. But that is the only solution I can come up with at the moment.

SK: It seems to me, however, that mental or political pressure and regionalist imposition are more intense on those who leave the community than on those who stay.

TS: I think so. For example, the levels of pressure are very different between those imposed upon compulsory evacuees and voluntary (self) evacuees. For us self-evacuees, there are accusations such as “why can’t you listen to what the state says?” The state tells us that everything is all right. Especially pressures from the older generation are tough on us: a grandmother speaking of her daughter-in-law complains, “what a wife who opposes the government.” This is because older generations are more attached to their land and find it difficult to leave. Also, often times husbands have grown up and lived long in the same town and have many friends who share strong connections to the town. But wives in many cases have come to the household from out-of-town and have an easier time being mobile. Therefore, we (mothers) often get harsher social pressures. It’s only natural that those who wish to evacuate but are unable to do so feel jealous of those who actually can evacuate. But we can’t really blame them. Feelings of jealousy are spreading rapidly and intensely in Fukushima today, especially towards the people from the exclusion zone who have received compensation from the government for their relocation. Some people claim: “lucky you, getting the money,” but there is nothing “lucky” about the lives of people who have been deprived of their land and subsistence, not knowing what to do. Sadly, such feelings are persistent among Fukushima residents. Lately it has been determined that certain compensation is to be offered both to some voluntary evacuees and some of those who remain in Fukushima. I hear that some are becoming extremely jealous and even panicked by the order of distribution of compensation. It is very disheartening to see the people driven into a corner to this degree. At the same time, those who remain in Fukushima are also accused of “prioritizing the economy and neglecting the health of the children.” This isn’t true, either. Many people are doing their best to protect the lives of their children within the condition of having to remain in Fukushima. If that’s not the case, why would people bother to buy bottled water and choose safe vegetables every single day? People are trying their best to minimize children’s exposure to radiation. Even some indoor playgrounds have been built. How could anyone say that people in Fukushima are sacrificing their children for financial profit, or that they aren’t brave enough to evacuate? This is very cruel, I think.

YT: For example, I heard about a daughter of a person from Fukushima who’s very active in the work of evacuation and compensation: after they evacuated their home in Fukushima, the daughter stopped going to school, protesting that she never wanted to part with her friends back home. After a while, the mother finally gave up and determined to move back to Fukushima. I realized that warning people to make their life decisions is not easy, when it is based solely on health hazard.

TS: It is true that the stress from evacuation has negative effects on our bodies. I mean: although I’m totally against the idea held by the group in support of radiation ‘safety’ that ‘stress is worse than radiation’, some aspect of it is true. There certainly are effects of radiation, but we won’t see them immediately. It may take years until we see them in the concrete. And during these coming years, there will be innumerable people who are mentally drained. Here we see a tendency among us of having to choose one of two options: psychological damage or radiological effects. It is fundamentally wrong that people have to face such decisions. Therefore, the root of this forced decision and forced care has to be terminated; we must never let the condition that imposes the choice — nuclear power– persist. How can you not go crazy having to make such intense life-and-death decisions every single day? How can you be living and doubting if you can breath the air around you? So many people, including myself, have had to adjust to breathing less, and haven’t breathed deeply until we moved to Hokkaido.

YT: Also, thinking about why these people are forced to internalize such sufferings as if they were their own problems, I believe its root goes back to what TEPCO caused and the state’s irresponsibility that scattered all these problems onto the people. We recently learned that Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs had gathered to bring criminal charges against government officials and TEPCO executives. I have been shaken up by their effort and determination. Shishido-san, how do you see the effort for the lawsuit?

TS: That is the group headed by the prominent antinuclear activist, Ruiko Muto*. While I was helping them hand out fliers in Sapporo City, I learned that there had been so little judicial intervention and nothing would happen unless the people actively work on the lawsuit themselves. For example, there have been so many criminal investigations into various cases of business corruption, but nothing has been done against TEPCO. This is an abnormal state. We must motivate and move the judicial system, and in order to do so, bringing suit against the criminals ourselves is most effective. We need to pursue responsibilities of the government and TEPCO. And after all, we also need to hold ourselves accountable for our own indifference on nuclear energy that has lasted till now.
* Ruiko Muto has been involved in anti-nuclear activism since Chernobyl. The Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe forced her to close her café in Miharu-cho, Fukushima.

SK: This is an extremely multi-faceted struggle!

TS: That’s why what each can do in her capacity comes to be very important. If you think, for instance, project (A) needs to be done now, you must gather the like-minded people. While at the same time, project (B) is better handled by a different group of people, with whom you can act on that.
What we need are such loosely connected networks. If you determine one way, you won’t be able to rise up again when that single path is cut off. Meanwhile, improvising and working as we have been with flexibility, our ideas have been gradually transforming since day 1 of the nuclear disaster. This is how fifty thousand people have come to gather in front of the prime minister’s residence in Tokyo. For instance, while calling for “no nukes” may put many people off, “elimination of nuclear energy for protection of our children” may gain wider support. It’s important to stretch the base wider. We have lawsuits and we have individual compensation — we need to work in parallel on these issues.

YT: It seems like multiple issues are simultaneously falling onto each individual as their tasks. Many people are in such stressful circumstances.

TS: I think so too, and that’s why some people are unable to catch up and stop thinking. Many people had never been so political nor so intensely forced to take their lives into their own their hands. Ordinary life suddenly disappeared one day. This plain fact alone hurts people, and it’s natural that many are giving up thinking. But we should never torment nor ridicule them that they aren’t thinking anything.
This is just the beginning. I hope many more people will take into consideration how to connect different individuals and to connect with each other effectively. One person has two hands – each one of us could connect to two more people, and so on. I think this is how we can make our project bigger, gradually. I don’t believe there will be a Revolution – at least in the social climate in Japan today. But a slow transition, if not a rapid one, is definitely necessary, though I’m not sure if we can continue to catch up with the situation we are facing.

YT: We can argue how we define Revolution, though.

Ayumi Hirai: A slow transition can be a part of Revolution.

TS: We probably won’t be overthrowing the government. Then who would take care of all the political affairs related to the disaster?

SK: Perhaps there is a stance that the administration has to be overthrown first. But a revolution can involve various processes and can happen slowly as well. First of all, one needs to protect her own life. And her family’s lives. Think about communities. Work on legal action too. And to top it off, work on the anti-nuclear campaign. Facing so many objectives, my brain would probably burst out and stop thinking.

TS: One of the things I heard many times is: “are you going to save only yourself? What’s the point? We are all irradiated anyway.” I would say: what is wrong with saving myself? Only thereafter, we can say: “let US save ourselves!”

YT: I agree, I think that the basis is protecting ‘myself and my loved ones’ in the first place.

TS: But the social trend tends to oppose the idea quite strongly. So we need to change the trend to make people understand that they CAN protect themselves on their own.

AH: Hearing this reminds me of the crucial fact that the people are in the state wherein they are given their lives rather than living them by and for themselves, wherein their bodies and spirits are bound up and tied onto a big power.

TS: After all, we have lived according to a set of rules which someone else had decided for us. For instance, my mother-in-law is someone who would insist that evacuation isn’t something you should decide on your own. I opposed her strongly and questioned who on earth should decide; aren’t you entitled to have your own opinion? Who else, if not I, will make decisions for my life? In the end, we are all faced with the question: what each of us wants to do. This nuclear disaster has made many of us face ourselves with this severity, for the first time ever.

SK: In this respect, if I may say, there is a wonderful element to it, too. It implies: ‘people have been given their lives by some external power,’ but now a new subjectivity is rising. And this subjectivity is completely different from one of the Japanese in the traditional sense. In this process, there is a clear sense of new subjectivation by way of making one’s own choices. Of course, taking the reality of the disaster into consideration, I cannot really say it’s ‘great’, but if there is anything positive coming out of this apocalyptic situation, it is that people are beginning to make decisions on their own.

TS: In the state where many of us were suddenly thrown to the other side of our thinkable reality zone, we found ourselves in shock, incapable of acting. So how to stand up again from the state of shock is becoming very crucial. Thus we would like to see all of us making our life decisions by ourselves. What has happened to us can happen to everybody else – this isn’t just a problem in Fukushima.
But in Japan now, I do see this issue treated as something of the past and something particular to Fukushima. So unless we change this mental climate, we can’t make a movement big enough to change this situation. Last and foremost, considering the on-going damage caused by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, I can never take this situation positively. I have seen people be ‘thankful’ for what has happened – they are happy that it has brought awareness, that they can connect with many others. When I heard someone saying ‘thanks to the nuclear accident,’ I was taken aback and couldn’t possibly agree with it. I want people to keep in mind that the magnitude of the event is unprecedented — such is what is happening around us now.

To be continued.

 PDF (English)



対談:宍戸隆子 & トドス・ソモス・ハポン (1)



殿平: 今日は、リオデジャネイロからの帰りにニューヨークに立ち寄ってくださった福島出身の宍戸隆子さんを迎えての対談です。宍戸さんは、福島第一原発の爆発とメルトダウンが起きたとき、福島県伊達市にお住まいでした。事故後北海道へ避難されて以来、札幌で二人の子どもさん、旦那さんと暮らしています。そして現在札幌で、自主避難者のひとりとして地域の避難者の人々と自治会を結成され活動なさっています。

高祖: 大枠の話になりますが、外から大きい視点で見るとやはり自主退避というのはすごく切実なことで、必要な人には自主退避してもらわなければいけない。その行為自身が、退避する必要があるひとだけじゃなくて、その他の人たちにとってもすごく重要な事ではないかと。一つには放射能の汚染がどんどん広がるという事実があって、そこにやはり人命というのがすごく大きい問題としてある。その時に僕の予想としては、これからもっと傾向として避難が増えていくだろうといえる。その時に、もう既にあるんでしょうけど、それを大きくサポートするネットワークの存在が、すごく重要だと思うんです。避難というのは、退避する人だけではなくて、それを受け入れる人、そして法的、精神的、経済的なサポートなど色んな側面があるんですよね。そういう事を考えると、このことは日本国内がまず重要だと思うんですけど、ある種の世界的サポート・ネットワークみたいな事もオプションとして考えられるのかなと思うのですが?

宍戸: そうですね、まず、まだ私たちの体に異常らしい異常はまだ出ていない。もしかしたら出ているのかもしれないけど、それが表面化してない中で、いま自主避難っていうのは少し下火なんです。ですが、これから何が起こるのかわからない。その段階で、いま確かに自主避難を選択する人は少ないけれど、いざ避難したいって思った時に誰も手を差し伸べてなかったらその人はやっぱり避難できないんですよ。いつでも避難したくなった時に「私の手をとって」と差し伸べてくれてる人たちが全国にいることがひとつ。例えばこれからもっと放射能、原発の状況が悪くなってきたら、それこそ東日本全部が壊滅してしまうかもしれない。その時に世界からも私の手を取ってと差し伸べてもらっていたら、本当に心が傷ついてどうしたらわからない人も手を取りやすいと思うんです。だから先ずは、自主避難の権利というものを国がちゃんと認めてくれること。避難することは悪い事じゃないっていうコンセンサスをとることが大事だし、それをサポートするかたちで沢山の人が手を差し伸べてくれていたら、本当にもう不安で不安ではち切れそうな人が手を取りやすい。その時に手をとれる、その安心感。いざとなったら誰かが手を差し伸べてくれてるって思えていたらそれはそれでぜんぜん心の安定にもなるし、これから絶対に必要になってくる事だと私はおもいます。

殿平: 高祖さんが今言ってたのは、日本国外への避難にまで及ぶときの、それに対する受け入れという意味ですか?

高祖: うん。まずはやっぱり日本だろうと思うんだけど、僕の予想だとこの事故はかなり大きい規模で、まだ収束してない。例えば東京すらやばいという意見もかなり大きい。東京ですらある地域によっては避難の可能性を考えといていたほうがいいというのは、ものすごい事ですよね。世界のメトロポリスですから。だからここから人が退避しなきゃいけないというのは一体何をもたらすのか、といったら、もう日本だけでは背負いきれない、ある種の世界難民という状況がくるのではないか。その時にある種の国境を越えたサポート運動みたいな事が必要なんじゃないかという予想がじゅうぶんできると思うんです。

宍戸: やっぱりいざその時がきてからサポート体制を組もうとしたら遅いんですよね。そういう予測に基づいてある程度組織をつくっておいてくれたらいざという時に動きやすい。結局、予防原則が無かったから原発が爆発した時にパニックになってしまった。起こりえない事はこの世に存在しないので、だからいま準備してもらっておいた方が絶対いい。もしその準備が無駄になったとしても、例えばこれから同じ様な事が他の国で起こったりだとか他の地域で起こった時に、そのノウハウってものすごく活かせるんですよね。今その支援の主体は各地にある「支援団体」であり、市民です。北海道の支援団体は、たまたま行政の関わりもものすごく大きい。行政と市民団体が関わって一緒に動ける。あとそこに避難者も加わって意見を交換できるっていうのが、ものすごい力になってるんですね。いざという時に行政の力を借りられるということは素晴らしくて、行政も法律のぎりぎりのところを歩いてわたしたちを助けようとしてくれている。その気持ちや心が伝わるという事はものすごく大きい。やはり行政ができることと、市民団体ができることって別なんですよね。そこを組み合わせたら、ものすごく強力な支援体制ができる。そういうことを北海道だけではなく他の地域でもできるようにしておくことはもの凄く大事です。あと私は本当にできるだけ色んな人を巻き込もうとしているんですけど、やっぱり心のケアやなにかも必要だし、法律的なケアっていうのも必要だし、そういう点でもあらゆる沢山の人と繋がりをもっていくこと。それが必要だと私は思います。

高祖: そもそも有子さんとマリーナ・シトリンと3人で、Todos Somos Japon結成の話した時ってそういうこともちらっとでてたよね。

殿平: そうですね。

高祖: そんなに僕らが大きい範囲でできる話にはいかなかったけど、そういう可能性もあるんじゃないか。そもそもマリーナは南米の色々な社会運動をよく知ってる方なんですよね。彼女が提言していたのは、最初から大きい範囲では無理かもしれないけれど、例えばブラジルの『土地なき農民運動』というグループとコンタクトを取って、そういう形で少しずつその特定の運動なり特定の自治体なりと交流するとか。または、例えばボリビア政府なんかは話がきくかもしれない。これはちょっと全然予想できないけれども、どういう所が受け入れる力をもっているかとか、いろんな側面で試行錯誤しながらいかないと。いきなりはじめる、というよりも2、3年はかかるだろうから。

殿平: ここアメリカという枠で考えると実は結構可能性が薄れるのかもしれないですね。

高祖: そう。想像できるとしたらラテンアメリカのわりと力の強い社会運動、或いは政府なんかもありうるかもしれない。

宍戸: 本当に第二の移民時代が来ちゃうかもしれないっていうのも勿論あって、私がブラジルに呼ばれたのも実はそういう側面もあったのかもしれない。ブラジルがどういう所か知ってほしいっていうのは、佐藤先生(*1) に言われたんですよ。ブラジルはこれだけいい所なんだからこっちに来てもらってもいいよって言う風なことを、あなたの目を通して知ってもらいたいんだ、っていうのはあったと思うんです。いざという時に。それこそ、今回事故が起きてからすぐに来てくださいっていう政府が、実は何カ所かはあったんですよ。もしそういうふうなことがこれから起きた場合は、今以上に酷いことになっている訳だから、そういうのは絶対に必要だなと思います。

*1 佐藤清浄氏:ブラジル生まれの日系2世で、現在ブラジリアで本願寺派の住職をつとめる。今夏リオデジャネイロで開かれたRio+20の市民フォーラムにて宍戸隆子さんを招聘し、ともに福島の現状を伝え、提言している。

殿平: そうですよね。ラテンアメリカの国々、特にブラジルはすでに日系人コミュニティーというのがあることを踏まえると、現実的に言葉の問題だとか、食べ物の習慣っていうところで、避難する人達が生きやすいところではあるのかもしれないですね。

宍戸: 一応、日本国内でも本当に農民の方達、農地を持っていた方達に移住してもらって、こっちで農業やりませんかっていうような運動もあるんです。ただやっぱり農民の人たちっていうのはじぶんの土地を離れがたいんですよね。どんなに汚染されててもずっとずっと自分たちで造ってきた土地なんですよね。昨日坂本さん(*2)の写真でも、300年つくってきた水田がセイタカアワダチソウだらけになってた、あれは本当にショックな事なんです。セイタカアワダチソウが生えたら水田はもう普及できません。その絶望の中でもやっぱり警戒区域に戻りたい人はいるし、作付けを制限されてない人たちは何とかそこで食物をつくっていけないかってすごい努力をしています。でもどうなんだろう、実際問題として何割かの水田は放棄しなきゃなくなってくる。山の側の水田なんかはやっぱり駄目なんですよ。日本は粘土質だからそれほど想像以上に放射能が米には移行してないんだけど、それでも出荷停止になるところがどうしても出てきてしまう。その時にどうしていいかはみんなこれから考えていかなきゃいけなくなってくる。簡単に避難というのは、本当にできないんですよ。

*2 坂本工(たくみ)氏:。2011年の原発事故による破壊を警戒区域内で撮影するフォトジャーナリスト。

高祖: そうですよね。自分の身に当てはめて考えてみるとなかなかできることじゃないですよ。住んでる場所を捨ててって考えてたら。矢部史郎さん(*3)なんかはかなり極端だと思うけども。

*3 矢部史郎: 震災後すぐに東京から名古屋へ避難した活動家。

宍戸: 結局彼は本を書けるじゃないですか。

高祖: うん、そうなんですよね。

宍戸: 仕事がどこに行ってもできる、そういう人はやっぱり避難しやすいんですよ。手に職のある人とか。でも、うちの旦那は教師なんですが、やっぱり避難したってことで仕事できなくなってしまって。じゃあ仕事の保証が無い中で子ども達を育てられるか?それは放射能の危険にさらすこととほとんど同じですよね。生活ができなくなるかもしれないっていう。そこを天秤にかけたときに、じゃあ母子だけ避難しましょうというところに留まってしまう。

高祖: そうすると、やっぱり福島に留まって、なんとか放射能を避けながら生きていこう、そういう選択をする人たちも絶対出てくる。でもこれはもっときっちりと厳しい基準の範囲に基づいてここからここまでの人は避難してくださいと言われたら、避難したい人はやっぱりいると思うんです。

殿平: そうですよね。とても残念だけど、この土地はもう住めるような場所じゃないからっていふうにきっちり政府や行政が宣言しなかったことが、そしてまだ言っていないってことが罪だといえる。でも一方で、行政なりにちゃんと宣言させるに至った放射能計測などの運動もあった。どうなんでしょう。今からでも行政が新たにきり出すっていうのもあるんでしょうか。

宍戸: ただそれこそ20キロ圏外に関しては人が住める土地だっていうのが日本のコンセンサスなので。

殿平: そこはやはり変わらないんでしょうか。

宍戸: 警戒区域のなかで一部のところは人が住めない土地になります、とようやく国も認めてる。でもその範囲は私たちにしてみればあまりにも狭い。ウクライナとかベラルーシ、チェルノブイリの周りで避難指示が出ている所よりもかなり狭い範囲なんですよね。それをどう受け止めるかは福島の人たちだけではなく、日本の人たち全員がまだどうしたらいいかわからない状態にある。

高祖: 本当にある種の新事態なので、それぞれがどうしたらいいか試行錯誤してるという状況だと。昨日のトークの中ででもう一つおっしゃってたのは、福島に残る判断と出る判断。そのなかですごく印象深かったのは、例えば残るっていう判断を非難したりするんじゃなくてそれぞれの決定をすごく尊重するって仰ってましたよね。それにすごく動かされたんですけど、そのあたりもう一度言っていただけますか。

宍戸: 本当に何が正しいのかわからないんですよ。そのなかでじゃあ自分はどうしていくかという問題にしても、みんな今までの人生で、そこまで突き詰めて考えたことなんてきっとなかったんですよね。毎日毎日命の選択を迫られることなんてありえなかった。だけどそのなかで自分はどうしていくのかってみんな自問自答してる。そこで結果として残る決断をする、避難する決断をする、その決断の重さに差はないはずなんです。今の状況としては、お互いがお互いをあなたの考えは違うとか、その考えは避難を呼びかける学者に毒されているからとか、安全派の学者に毒されてるからとかやり合ってる状況なんだけど、一方で学者の論理といってもその答えが出るのは何十年先かもしれない。であれば結局は自分たちの判断次第ですよね。お互いがお互いのしたことを認めるのがまず先だと思う。目指す所って実はそう遠くないんですよ。やっぱり、安全なところで子供達を守りながら原発はなくしていこう。それでより良い未来に繫げていこうっていうところに何となく話は収束する。誰と話していてもそう。だからその為にみんながそれぞれできる事をそれぞれの立場から発言したり活動したりしてたほうがいいだけの話で、そっちはそっちで頑張ってね、私はこっちの道を頑張る。でも手を繫げるところは繋いで一緒に声をあげていこう、と。なのに、いやここ違うから、あんたらの言ってる事は全部だめだ、とかいうふうになりかけているのが現在。自分たちのやってることだけが本当の正しい道だ、とまで思ってしまう人達もいる。でもそうじゃない。本当に避難したくてもできない人達もいる、という事は認めよう。その人達は決して放射能が危なくないって思ってる人達ばかりじゃない。放射能の危険を十分に感じていながらも、それでも私はここに残るって決断をした人達もいる。もちろん放射能が危なくないっていう論拠にそって復興を頑張っていこうって言う人達もいる。でもどれが正しいかは今本当にわからないから、みんながそれぞれできる立場からできる事をし、言える事を言っていく。どれか最後に一つ正しい道があるとしたら、そこに誰かが辿り着いたその時にまたみんなで変えていけばいい。
ただしこう言ってはいますが、自分の心情としては裏切ってるところはあって、本当はみんなに避難してほしいんですよ。それでも、じゃあ私の思いをみんなに押し付けて何とかなるか 、といったら絶対そうはならないんです。だから本当みんなができることをし、できる場所で声をあげていく、そういうふうにいうしかない。そういうことしかできない実感がありながらも、もしこれで健康被害がでてきたら、わたしはきっと後悔すると思う。それでも私は今できるのはそれしかないと。

高祖: やっぱりそういった精神的、政治的プレッシャーと、地域主義的な軋轢というのは、どちらかというと出ていく人に対してのほうが強いんじゃないかという気がするんですが。

宍戸: うん、そうですね。例えば国から避難しろと言われた人と自主的に避難した人のあいだではプレッシャーの質が違うんですよね。私たち自主避難者には、「なんで国のいうこと聞けないの?国は安全だっていってるじゃない」と言われる。特におじいちゃんおばあちゃん世代は、「まあ国に逆らうようなことしてうちの嫁はまったく」ってことにどうしてもなりかねない。やはり土地を離れがたく思うのはその土地に根ざした人達だから、祖父母世代のほうがより土地に対する愛着が強い。更にお父さんは結局その家のある土地の流れにそって生きてきたわけだから、おなじ土地でつながっている友人なども多い。その分お母さんは割と他から嫁に来てたりする。なので身が軽いんだと思うんですよね。そういう風な事もあって、確かに私たち(母親)に対するプレッシャーは強いです。やっぱり避難したくてもできない人達が避難した人達を羨む感情っていうのはもちろんあるし、しかしそれは悪い事だとわたしは言えないと思う。

高祖: 羨む感情というのがあるんですね。

宍戸: 福島のなかでは今、嫉妬の感情がものすごいんです。それこそ警戒区域で避難を強制されてる人達は国から保証が出てるわけじゃないですか。「あんたたち金もらっていいな」という人が出てきてしまうのですが、そんなの「いい」わけがない。土地も奪われ仕事も奪われてこれからどうしていいのかわからないのにお金をもらってるだけで、羨ましいなんて言えるんでしょうか?そういう思いはかなり強く存在するんです。その後自主避難者にはある程度賠償がでることになり、福島にいる人達ににも賠償が出ることに決まったんですけど、たとえばその賠償の出る順番が違っただけでパニックになるほどの嫉妬もある。それだけ気持ちが追いつめられてるということでもあるし、辛いです。でも、福島に残る人は残る人で、「あんたら経済優先して子供達の命を蔑ろにしてるんだろ」と言われてしまう。でもそうではない。福島に残る人達はそこで生活していく中で子供達の命を守ろうとしている。そうでなかったら毎日毎日ペットボトルの水を買い、安全な野菜を選ぶなんてしないでしょう。そうやってどうにかして子供達の被ばく量を減らそうと頑張っている。さらに屋内遊具施設なんかもできています。どうにかしてそこで生きていこう、でもそれに対して簡単に、「お前達は経済の為に子供達を犠牲にしてるんだろう」とか、「避難できないのは勇気がないからだ」っていうのはものすごく酷だと思う。

殿平: 例えば、避難や補償のために活動しているあるお母さんの娘さんの話を聞いたのですが、家族で福島から出た後にどうしても友達と離れるのがしんどくてしんどくて登校拒否してたそうです。どうしても嫌だ、と。そこにお母さんはとうとう折れて福島に戻ったと聞きました。だからこう健康被害だけを考えて警告するっていうのは、一筋縄ではいかないのですね。

宍戸: 確かにストレスが体に良くないっていうのは本当で、安全派の人達がストレスの方が害があるという説、すごく嫌なんだけど、実は一理あるんです。放射能による健康被害があるとしたらすぐには出ない、それこそ数年後かもしれない。それまでに精神がやられちゃう人は必ず出るんですよね。「どっちを取るか」になる傾向がある。でも本来であれば、精神被害をとりますか?放射能の被害をとりますか?なんて選択が迫られる事自体おかしいですよ。だからそういうケアが確実に必要になってしまうようなことをもともと起こしてはいけない。原発事故というものを絶対に起こしてはいけない。こんなに命に関わる事を毎日毎日考えて生きていたら気が狂います。だって空気を吸うこと自体いいのかって思う。ありえなくないですか?ほんとうにみんな呼吸が浅くなっちゃってて、例えば私もそうですが、北海道に来たときに久しぶりに深呼吸しましたという方の話を聞きましたし。

殿平: それから、なんでこんなにもの苦痛をあたかも自分の問題として内在化させないといけないのかって考えたときに、やっぱりこれは東電が起こした事と国の無責任さが直接人々に降りかかっているのだ、というところへどうしても回帰するとおもうんです。福島原発告訴団の人々が政府と東電などに対し刑事告訴を始められましたよね。みなさんの努力と信念を見たり読んだりして胸が震える思いです。宍戸さんは刑事裁判についてどうお考えですか?

宍戸: それは、武藤類子さん方のグループですね。私も北海道で刑事告訴のビラとかの手配をさせていただいたんですが、まったくもって市民の側から告訴しないと、本当に司法の手がなんにも入っていないということに気づかされます。例えば去年の事故後から今までのあいだも色んな会社の汚職とかに関してはすぐに警察が入っているのに、東京電力に関してはまだ一度も入っていない。その状況自体がまず異常である。どうにかして司法を動かしたい、それは刑事告訴っていう手段はもっともだと思います。勿論きっちり国と東京電力の責任を追及していかなければいけない。それから、自分たちが原発に対してあまりにも無関心だったことは刑事告訴とは別に自分たちが考えていかなければいけないことだと私は思いますね。

高祖: ものすごい多面的な戦術を駆使する闘いですね。

宍戸: だからそれぞれの立場でそれぞれができる事というのは非常に重要になってくる。今はこれをやるべき、思ったらその人のもとに集まってそっちを伸ばしていけばいいし、これはあっち人の方が得意だからあっちの人に力を貸してもらってそっちもやっていこう。という緩やかなネットワークが本当に必要なんじゃないかと思います。これはこの道しかない、とがっちりと決めてしまうと、その道が断たれたらもう立ち上がれなくなってしまう。現に、こっちが駄目ならこっちもいこうよ、あっちもいこうよ、そう言ってるうちに少しずつみんなの意識も原発事故の当初とは違ってきている。だから5万人も官邸前に集まってくる。例えば、「反原発なんです!」というと引いてしまう人もいますよね。でも「子供達の命を守るために原発無くしていきたい」と言えば、それはすごくよくわかる、という人がいる。とにかく裾をひろげていくことが大事なんじゃないかな。だから刑事告訴があり、個人個人が賠償を求めていくこともあり、それらを平行してやっていくのはもちろん大事ですよね。

殿平: いくつもの問題が同時多発しており、それをひとりいくつも抱えこまなきゃいけない、というのが多くの人達の置かれてる状況ではないでしょうか。

宍戸: そう。だからついていけなくて思考停止しちゃうのもものすごくわかるんですよね。だってたくさんの人々が今まで政治なんて全然興味なかったし、命の事だってそんなに突き詰めて考えてこなかった。普通に生活できてたことが突然普通にできない。それだけで人間ってものすごい苦痛になる。だから思考停止しちゃうのは当たり前で、その人達を決して責めてはいけない。その人達なんにも考えてないんでしょ、と笑っても絶対にいけない。

殿平: 革命をどう定義するか、ということも考えらると思います。

平井: 緩やかな変革というのも革命の一部かもしれないし。

宍戸: 政権打倒してっていうのは無理だから。じゃあこれからの政治誰がやるの?となる。

高祖: おそらく、例えば野田政権をまず倒すべきだ、という見方はある。でも革命っていった場合にはいろんなプロセスが考えられるし、緩やかなこともあり得る。ただ、まず自分の命を守る、家族の命を守る、共同体を考える、法的な事もやる、それから原発反対する。あまりの多面的な課題に、僕だったらパンクして思考停止しそうなかんじしますけどね。

宍戸: そう。よくいわれた事が、自分だけ助かるつもりなの?みんな被ばくしてるからいいじゃないって。何で自分が助かっちゃいけないの?だからこうやってみんなで助かろうよ、と言いたいのに。

殿平: そうですよ。まずは自分自身や自分の親しい者が助からなければ、というのが基本にあるものなのではないか、と思うのですが。

宍戸: でもそれをいいことだと思わないっていう風潮はものすごく強い。自分の命は自分で守っていいんだっていうところをみんなが実感するように変えていかないと本当はまずいんだろうな。


宍戸: 結局今まで誰かが決定してくれていた事に沿っていたっていうのがあると思う。私の義母さんなんですけど、避難する/しないは自分が決める事じゃないっていうのをものすごくはっきり言ってて、じゃあ誰が決めることですか?自分の意見はないんですか?、とすごく強く思ったことがあった。自分の命すら自分で決められなかったらどうするの?結局私たちが突きつけられたものって自分はどうしたいか、だと思う。原発の事故で、多くの人が初めて自分と向き合う様になったんじゃないでしょうか。

高祖: そういう意味では、こう言うのもなんですけど、すばらしいことでもあるわけですよね。今おっしゃったように今まで何らかの力に生きさせられてきた、というニュアンスがあるとしたら、ある種の新しい主体が生まれて、それはもしかしたらもはや旧来の日本人というものじゃないのかもしれない。主体化のプロセス、自分で決定して判断するプロセスが明確化しているような感じ。もちろん状況があまりにも酷いので全然「良く」はないんですが、そのなかで良い事があるとしたら自分で決める、ということではないでしょうか。

宍戸: 今まで踏み込んでこなかった思考の向こう側にどうしてもバンって放り投げられた状況だから、先ずはショックで動けなくなっちゃうと思うんですよ。そこからどうやって立ち直っていくかっていうのがものすごく重要になってきて、じゃあどういう選択をしていくかってみんなが考えてくれるようになったらいいなって。私らに起こったことはみなさんにも起こり得る。福島だけの問題じゃないから。


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Challenging the Issues Around the Radiation-exposed Labor That Connects San’ya and Fukushima — Toward a Revival of the Underclass Workers’ Movement


(Photo: Kenji Higuchi)

1. Day-workers in Yoseba2 and Radiation-exposed Laborers –-the Fukushima Nuclear Accident and Our Responsibility

It was in 1986, the year of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, that I intervened in the day-workers’ support movement in San’ya Tokyo, after having seen and been influenced by the film: “Yama—Attack to Attack.3” From books and lectures by Kenji Higuchi4, I had learned the reality of day-workers being mobilized for radiation-exposed labor, and I had had somewhere in my mind that the issue existed in the context of San’ya day-workers. Continue reading Challenging the Issues Around the Radiation-exposed Labor That Connects San’ya and Fukushima — Toward a Revival of the Underclass Workers’ Movement

July 2012


(Photo: TomoyukiTsuchiya)

We saw the advent of the ‘season of the movement’ in July 2012 – a rare experience in Japanese political history. Well over a million people participated in anti-nuke rallies and demonstrations throughout the country. Yet these waves do not stop and we are living in the unprecedented political process day by day, minute by minute. One of the pillars of the movement is the ongoing weekly demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s residence on Fridays. Continue reading July 2012

Exchanging Thoughts Since 3.11 Great Eastern Earthquake & Tokyo Electric Power's Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

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