Last Tuesday, 3.11, was the 3rd anniversary of the disaster at the Fukuhsima-Daiichi disaster. Our comrades at Todos Somos Japon led two amazing actions in Manhattan, not just to draw attention to Fukishima but to connect what is happening in Japan to what is happening all over the world, including just north of New York at Indian Point. Nuclear power is a result of capitalist accumulation and is antithetical to the needs of a society trying to reproduce itself. Todos Somos Japon consistently draws the relationship between women’s labor, the conditions of workers, health, and radiation. Check out an amazing speech given at the actions, and remember two events upcoming that will discuss the relationship between people’s health and the medical system: FJC’s event on the ACA this Saturday 3/22, and Todos Somos Japon’s film screening on 3/30.
It has been three years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster happened in 2011. Since then, tons of radioactive materials keep leaking from the Fukushima-daiichi nuclear power plant every single day. While we barely hear the condition of Fukushima power plants from mass media, they hardly tell us how people struggle with their every day lives. Even though there are many people who want to evacuate, they are not able to move out from their places because of cultural, political and economic reasons. Many people are still dislocated and forced to live in limbo. In the past three years, what can we learn from the Fukushima nuclear disaster? In fact, we New Yorkers are living 35 miles from away from Indian Point. Today, I would like to share a voice of an evacuee. Her name is Hiroko Tsuzuki who evacuated with her two children right after the disaster. Currently, she and her children are living in Hokkaido.
“People who evacuated have been living with anxiety over their unseen every day lives in the future. While evacuation itself is unusual, evacuees are forced to live in the condition of ‘normal every day life.’ Today, many of the people are still separated from their families. Even though people who decided to stay in Fukushima, they also face anxieties every day that come from confusions over much different information, some of which promise their safety and some tell them the risk of remaining in the area. People in Fukushima often talk about how they have to suppress their feelings of anxieties, confusions, and anger. In that painful reality, they still try to do their best to protect their children and themselves by acting as if things were all normal in their lives.”
And Mrs. Tsuzuki also questioned that, “This is something so basic that we as a human beings must be guaranteed, but it is being ignored and minimized. Why is that? We just want to protect our children, who are the most vulnerable populations, and again, that thought and action are being discounted. Why is that?
They say it was a man-made disaster. However, there is no one who is being prosecuted for their responsibilities. Why is that?
Is it each one of us who is responsible for the catastrophe? Is it because we were indifferent and ignorant? Was it our fault?”
While the disaster in Fukushima is considered largely a Japanese problem, nuclear energy production is a global program operated by state-capital relations. This man-made disaster is due to the irresponsibility of the state, nuclear industry and their supporters who prioritize profit over people. Before we talk about alternative and renewable energy, we first must question a social structure which easily allows the existence of nuclear industry. Fukushima to Indian Point- We’re all connected.