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  2. 記事・資料 > UNDB市民ネットによる提言・声明 > ふくしま有機農家からリオプラス20に向けたメッセージ

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ふくしま有機農家からリオプラス20に向けたメッセージ

2012.06.17

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ふくしまからのアピール

有機農業が拓く持続可能な地域づくりへの道
福島県有機農業ネットワーク代表 菅野正寿

<田んぼ(TANBO)から飛んだのでトンボ(TONBO)>
私が有機農業に取り組んで15年目の年だった。田んぼ(TANBO)の雑草を抑えるためと山間部の日照不足を補うために、20cmの深水にして米づくりの管理をしていた、6月末の暖かい早朝。いつものように田んぼ(TANBO)を見回りに畦道を行くと、羽化したトンボ(TONBO)が飛び立った。1つや2つではない。50羽以上だ。柔らかな羽が朝日に輝き、銀色に光っている。
トンボ(TONBO)は暑い夏に里山に上り、高原で自由に空を飛ぶ。稲穂が黄金色になる9月に田んぼ(TANBO)に帰って産卵をする。田んぼ(TANBO)から飛んだのでトンボ(TONBO)というのだ。
田んぼ(TANBO)にはクモがいる。タガメがいる。カマキリがいる。カエルが足元で飛び跳ねる。田んぼ(TANBO)小さな命の世界。田んぼ(TANBO)の水はダムの役割を果たして、洪水も防いでくれる。そして、この水は里山の山林から流れる。先人が次代のために木を植えてきたからだ。美しい棚田の風景も里山の恵みも、私たちの先人以来ずっと農業が続いてきた結果だと思う。

<里山の恵みと人の輝くふるさとづくり>
私たちはこの豊かな里山の恵みを活かしたふるさとづくりを住民主体ですすめようと、2005年に「NPO法人ゆうきの里東和ふるさとづくり協議会」を設立した。有機農業のベースである堆肥センターも立ち上げた。牧場と農家と企業が出資して、牛糞に籾殻、おがくず、藁、さらに食品残渣である野菜くず、かつお節、おから、そば殻、飴玉など14種類の地域資源の原料を完熟させた堆肥をつくるためだ。この堆肥でできた米や野菜、果物を地元の学校給食や都市部の生協などに市場を介さずに直接提供し、消費者との交流をすすめてきた。
さらに、耕作放棄地の再生のため、桑の葉やえごま、いちじくなどを加工して特産品開発に取り組み、雇用も拡大してきた。田んぼ(TANBO)と桑畑にトンボ(TONBO)の舞うふるさとの原風景を子どもたちに伝えていこうとうする、地域資源循環型のふるさとづくりである。
そして、こうした有機農業をめざす福島県内の農家と地域のネットワークを広げる目的で、2009年には福島県有機農業ネットワークが発足した。こうして福島県の有機農業運動が軌道にのってきたときに、原発事故は起きた。

<有機農業による土づくりこそ復興への光り>
2011年3月11日の東日本大震災・原発事故による放射能は、このふくしまの豊かな里山を次々に汚染してしまった。それでも、私たちは土を耕し、種を播き、米も野菜も作り続けてきた。あわせて、農家、住民と日本有機農業学会・大学による共同調査を続けていく。その結果、粘土質と有機質の高い土壌ほど放射性物質(セシウム)が土壌に固定化され、農産物への移行が低減されることがわかってきた。つまり、有機農業による土づくりにこそ復興への光があるのだ。
2011年秋に収穫された福島県の玄米の調査では、98.4%が50㏃/kg以下であった。野菜は30㏃/kg以下であり、2012年のものはほとんどが検出限界以下である。
ただし、果実類やベリー類などの樹木系からの検出値は高い。きのこ類も100㏃/kg以上だ。つまり、山林の放射能汚染が深刻なのである。福島県の面積の約70%は山林である。この山林から湧き出る(染み出す)用水の汚染対策をすすめていかなければならない。
原発事故から2年目の2012年は、この実態を明らかにしていきたい。有機農業にとって大切な地域資源である樹木、落ち葉、堆肥、藁などの放射能汚染値を地域ごとに綿密に測定し、対策を見出してかなければならない。

<食糧もエネルギーも地域自給こそ>
「これなら孫に食べさせられる」
自家製野菜に含まれる放射性物質の検査結果を見て、兼業農家のお年寄りが安心して言った。
放射能は目に見えない。だから、農産物と土壌を測定して科学的に「見える化」することが大切である。そして、正しい情報を消費者に伝えることが信頼につながる。農家の自給の延長に消費者の台所があるから、農薬や化学肥料は使えないし、使ってはならない。
春の山菜、夏の野菜、秋のきのこに果物、冬の干し大根、漬物、納豆など、地域ごとの旬の日本型食生活があって、長寿国となった日本。だが、輸入農産物と化学物質によって、人間も家畜も免疫力が低下してしまった。原発事故による放射能汚染は、あらためて旬の日本型食生活の大切さを教えてくれた。日本人が伝統的に多く食べてきた根菜類や海草。味噌や漬け物などの発酵食品には、有害な物質を排出したり、腸の働きをよくする作用があるからだ。
日本には「身土不二」という言葉がある。その土地で採れたものを食べることが健康な体をつくる、人間の体を土は切っても切れない関係にあるという意味だ。アフリカにはアフリカの食生活があり、ヨーロッパにはヨーロッパの旬の食べものがある。それぞれの地域の食生活と、食べものを生産している農家を支えることが、健康をつくることにつながる。そのために、国や自治体は農業と食生活を支える義務があると思う。
食糧の地域自給と同時に重要なのは、再生可能エネルギーの地域自給である。私は昨年、畑でひまわりと菜種を栽培した。放射性物質を吸収させる効果があるとチェリノブイリ原発事故の経験から学んでいたからだ。ひまわりと菜種を搾って作った食用油を調理に使い、その廃食油を濾過して不純物を取り除いたストレート・ベジタブルオイルを農機具のトラクターの燃料に利用するのである。 今、ふくしまでは、こうしたバイオ燃料や太陽光発電、小規模水力発電などが動きだしている。石油や原発に頼らない再生産可能なエネルギーに転換するときなのだ。

<子どもたちの歓声がこだまする、ふくしまの再生のために>
私たちは、ふくしまから訴える。
放射能によりいまも避難を強いられている苦しみ。
農産物が汚染され、有機農業が続けられなくなったことを理由に自殺した農民。
自由に遊ぶことを奪われた子どもたち。
こうした苦しみを二度と繰り返してはならないと。
今転換せずに、いつ転換するのかと。
食糧とエネルギーの地域自給をすすめることが、貧困と人権を守ることであると。
中国から伝わった日本の稲作の歴史は、3500年にもなる。日本の唄も踊りも米づくりが原型である。だから稲作文化なのだ。
原発事故によって、ふくしまの稲作文化にピリオドを打つわけにはいかない。日本の豊かな田んぼ(TANBO)の水は山に木を植え、山を守り、里山を手入れしてきたからだ。その結果として、ミネラル豊富な海も守られてきた。汚染された今、田んぼの大切さをあらためて身にしみて思う。山に木を植え、農地に種を播き、豊かな漁場守ってきた農林漁業こそが再生産と持続可能な社会をつくってきたのだ。こうした生業をベースに、1次加工、2次加工することによって地場産業が育ち、雇用が生み出されていく。
原発事故前から私の農場には、高校生や障がい者がトマトの収穫、田植えや稲の稲架け(収穫した稲を干して天日乾燥させる)、落ち葉拾いなどの体験作業に訪れていた。ふくしまの農村には、子どもたちからお年寄りまで、共に汗して働く姿があった。農業には地域コミュニティをつくる力があるのだと思う。子どもたちの歓声が響くふくしまを、もう一度再生したい。いや、再生しなければならない。
そのためにも、グローバルな競争社会からローカルな人間復興への道を、各国のそれぞれの地域に光をあてる有機農業を中心とする第一次産業の復権による持続可能な地域づくりの道を、ふくしまから訴える。そして私たちは希望の種を播く。

<ふくしま発持続可能な社会への提言>
最後に、私たちが考える持続可能な社会をつくるのための10の提言を示して、結びとしたい。

〈脱原発〉

  1. 日本・アジア、そして世界すべての原子力発電所の即時停止と廃炉を強く訴えます。
    〈放射線防護〉
  2. 住民の健康調査と、宅地・農地、農林水産物、食事、農業資材の放射能検査体制の早急な確立を求めます。
    〈復興〉
  3. 地域資源循環型有機農業を核に、第一次産業と地域経済を再生して雇用を創出し、住民主導による復興につなげます。
    〈自給と自然共生〉
  4. 農家の自給、地域の自給、自然と共生した暮らしを取り戻します。そのために、お年寄りから知恵や技を学び、自然とともに生きていく術(すべ)を身につけます。
    〈市民皆農〉
  5. 大都市一極集中を解消して、誰もが耕す社会、農山村への帰農をめざします。
    〈食生活〉
  6. 肉食、化学物質、食品添加物、遺伝子組み換え食品を大幅に減らし、国産の穀物と野菜を重視した日本型食生活を中心とします。
    〈第一次産業の振興と備蓄〉
  7. 世界的食料危機と自然災害に備え、第一次産業を振興して、食料自給率の大幅な向上と備蓄をめざします。
    〈顔の見える関係〉
  8. コミュニティにおいても、都市と農村の間でも、顔の見える信頼関係に基づいた社会と暮らしを再生します。
    〈エネルギー〉
  9. エネルギー消費を減らし、分散型・再生可能エネルギーの地域自給を図ります。
    〈脱成長〉
  10. 経済成長に偏重した社会から減速し、いのちを大切にする、共に生きる社会を創りあげていきます。

2012年6月  リオ+20

Organc Farming for Sustainable Community Development

Mr. Seiji Sugeno, President

Fukushima Organic Agriculture Network (FOAN)

I would like to begin by sharing an experience with you all.

It was during my fifteenth year of organic farming. This one morning in late June, I was taking care of my rice paddies; in Japanese we call them “tambo”. These are deepwater tambos constructed in a mountainous region in Fukushima. Waters are twenty centimeters deep to prevent weeds from growing.

It was just a typical morning, and I was walking along the edge of the tambo. Then a newborn dragonfly, we call dragonflies “tombo” in Japanese, came flying out of the tambo. It wasn’t just one or two, but over fifty tombos came flying out. Their soft wings were glittering silver in the morning sun. It was a fascinating experience.

The tombos flew away from the tambo into our communal mountains nearby. And there, they fly freely in the highlands during the summer. In September, the tombos come back to the tambo to lay their eggs. They are called tombos because they come from and back to tambos.

It’s not just tombos. In tambos there are also spiders, giant water bugs, mantises… Frogs jump around the tambos, etc. etc. A tambo fosters a whole world of its own.

Tambos also work as a dam that prevents flooding. And the water that flows into a tambo comes from the forests in our communal mountains. These are trees planted by our ancestors. Planted for us, and our succeeding generations. The beautiful tambos, the blessings from our communal mountains and forests, are all with us today because our ancestors took care of the forests and continued a tradition of sustainable farming.

In two-thousand-five, we started a non-profit organization called “Towa Organic Furusato-Building Council”. Our goal is to promote resident-led development, utilizing the rich blessings of our communal mountains and forests. However, by “development” we do not necessarily mean economic development. Our goal is to revitalize our community while valuing our culture, tradition and harmonious style of living with nature.

We want to foster a community where people look back with pride and affection, where all are welcome, and where people can make him or herself at home. In Japanese we call such a hometown “furusato”; and thus our activities can be more simply defined as “furusato-building”.

Specifically, with the investments of farmers, ranchers and local businesses, we started a community compost center to support organic farming. The center makes compost from fourteen different categories of locally supplied ingredients. This includes cattle manure, rice hulls, sawdust, hay, and local food residue such as dried bonitos, and soybean residue from making tofu.

Rice, vegetables and fruits grown using this compost are then offered to local school lunches and sold to consumers either directly or through consumer cooperatives based in urban areas. Such business fosters communication between the consumers and our farming community; thus functioning as a medium of communication between rural farming communities and urban consumers.

In addition, we began growing mulberry trees, perilla, and figs on abandoned farmlands, developed methods to process those into wrought goods, and created jobs. Mulberry fields are a part of our traditional landscape. Hence growing and utilizing mulberry trees are important and sustainable means to preserve the local tradition. These activities lead to furusato-building; preserving the traditional landscape where tombos fly freely among the tambos and mulberry fields.

In the course of these activities, we found out we were not the only ones. We found there were many in Fukushima with shared visions. To connect with these folks and to spread even further our scope of activities, we organized in two-thousand nine, Fukushima Organic Farmers’ Network. And just as things were beginning to get on track, the nuclear accident happened.

Radioactive particles released by the three-eleven nuclear accident contaminated Fukushima’s mountains, forests, houses, roads, parks, just about anything, and most importantly for us, farmland. Yet, we continued to plow, and to sow the seeds, and kept producing fruits, vegetables and rice. We never gave up.

After a whole year of collaborative research with farmers, residents, researchers and academics, we found out some important facts. We found out that land that is rich in clay and organic matter has a tendency to contain radioactive particles such as radioactive cesium, therefore reducing its transition to produce. In other words, through the practice of organic farming, we are able to condition our land so that radioactive particles are not taken in by what we grow. This finding brought us great hope. It meant that the revitalization of Fukushima could be accomplished through the practice of organic farming.

Ninety-eight point four per cent of brown rice grown in Fukushima Prefecture last year had less than fifty becquerels per kilogram of radioactivity. Most of the vegetables inspected were below thirty becquerels per kilogram last year. And this year, most are below the detection limit. However, fruits and berries that grow on trees tend to show higher numbers. Mushrooms also tend to have over one hundred becquerels per kilogram.

In other words, it’s the mountains and the forests that are heavily contaminated. Seventy per cent of Fukushima Prefecture is either mountainous terrain or forests. We must now pay attention to the water that seeps through these mountains and forests and into our residential and farming areas. Entering the second year since the nuclear accident, these are things that we need to research and make clear. We need to obtain accurate measurements from trees, leaves, natural compost, hay and other local organic resources that are so vital to organic farming. And wherever we find high levels of radioactivity, we must find ways to cope with the situation.

In contrast to the scenic tambo that I shared with you earlier, the kind of scene I see today is this. An elderly farmer sighing with relief to see that his vegetables are safe to eat after inspections and saying “Our grand children can eat this!?”

It is important that we inspect our produce and our land in order to make visible what we cannot see, feel, nor smell, radioactivity. And sharing accurate information is the only way we can foster trust with our consumers.

What we offer to our consumers should be no different than what we eat ourselves. Therefore, we cannot, and should not, be offering produce that we cannot let our grandchildren eat. This also includes produce sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. These are chemicals that we would not want in our kitchen.

In the spring, we gather shoots and wild plants in our communal mountains and forests. By summer our vegetables will be ready to eat. In autumn, the trees bear fruit and mushrooms grow in the wild. During the winter, we eat dried radish, pickled vegetables and fermented soybeans.

Japan’s relative longevity is found not only on medicine but also on this tradition of eating what is available at the time and place. However, a reliance on imported foods and chemical additives has lowered the immune strengths and resilience of both humans and livestock. In this sense, the nuclear accident taught us another lesson; that we should be eating what is available locally at the right time. We have found out that for the Japanese, eating traditional foods such as Japanese root crops, seaweeds, miso, pickles and other fermented products, strengthens our digestive organs and excretes toxic substances from our bodies.

There is an idiom in Japan that says “shin-do-fu-ji”. This means a healthy body can be built by eating what is grown locally, and is literally written in kanji characters meaning the body and the earth is indivisible. In Africa, there must be African eating traditions. Europe must also have their seasonal foods. Supporting local farmers and local food cultures leads to a healthy way of living. This is what our national and local governments should be doing; supporting local agriculture and food culture.

Another point in mind is that, equally important as growing food locally is energy self-sufficiency. Last year, I grew sunflower and rapeseeds. This is because we have learned, from research conducted in Chernobyl that these plants have a tendency to take in radioactive substances thus purifying the land. However, these weren’t planted just for land purification. They can be pressed for oil, because the radioactive substances stay in the pomace, not in the oil. The oil can then be used for cooking. After cooking, the oil can be filtered and reused for diesel engines on our tractors and farming equipment.

This is the kind of effort that is taking place in Fukushima right now. We are moving towards renewable sources of energy; biomass fuels, solar power, micro-hydro generators. It is time we all shift from relying on petroleum or nuclear power to renewable sources of energy.

So far, I’ve spoken mainly about the situation in Fukushima, but let me get to my point.

We have a message from Fukushima; an appeal.

The people of Fukushima have suffered. Many of our people were forced to evict, and are still forced to live away from their homeland; away from their furusato.

Farmland has been contaminated.

Organic farmers have committed suicide in despair.

Children have been deprived of their rights to just play freely outside.

This is not the kind of suffering that should happen again to anyone.

If we do not change course now, when will we ever change course?

We have found out through the nuclear accident, that organic farming and eating locally grown foods, which can also mean increasing our self-sufficiency, leads to job creation, eradication of poverty and prevents human rights abuses.

It’s been thirty-five hundred years since our ancestors learned how to grow rice from our friends in China. Japanese poetry, dance, songs all are culturally rooted in growing rice. We are a rice-based culture. We must not bring an end to this culture.

Our ancestors have planted trees, protected the mountains, and conserved our communal forests. These efforts have brought rich waters to our tambo. And waters also flow into the sea; fostering rich biodiversity in our coastal waters. But it has all been contaminated.

Now, after the contamination, I feel even stronger that what we have lost is so great. Foresting our rigid mountains, sowing seeds on our farmland, and wisely utilizing our coastal fishing grounds; these practices of forestry, agriculture and fishery are what constructed a reproductive and sustainable society. And based on these practices, primary and secondary processing industries grew out to create jobs.

Before the nuclear accident, teenagers and people with disabilities came to pick tomatoes, plant and harvest rice, and rake leaves. We had a community where the young and the elders worked together; where the disabled and not-so-disabled worked hand in hand. Agriculture has a strong pull that fosters a sense of community.

When I close my eyes, I can recall the days in Fukushima where I can hear the children’s voices echo in the neighborhood. But I say to myself. “No, this is what the real world should look like, not just in my memories. I must make this the reality once again.”

In order to make it happen, we must turn back from the world of global competition to a world of local cooperation; respecting the local traditions of organic farming, and reinstating the practices of farming, forestry and fishery as our society’s very foundation. That path to sustainability is the path that we should be headed. That is our message and our appeal.

And along this path, we will sow the seeds of hope.

Finally I would like to share a proposal consisted of ten points, that we feel are critical in achieving a sustainable society.

1) De-nuclearization

We strongly propose stopping at once and decommissioning all nuclear reactors in the world.

2) Radiation Protection

We demand that a system of health survey of all residents, along with a system of radiation inspection on housing, farmland, produce, food, and agricultural raw materials be established promptly.

3) Revitalization

We propose that revitalization efforts shall be resident led with locally sustainable organic farming at its core; creating jobs through the revitalization of primary industries and local economies.

4) Self-sufficiency and coexisting with nature

We will take back our traditional styles to coexist with nature, while improving our local and individual self-sufficiency. To do this we must learn from our elders, how we shall live in harmony with nature.

5) All-farming Society

We believe that over-concentration of population, capital and power in urban cores produce inequalities both within and between regions. Thus, we propose a decentralized society where every person can exercise his or her right to farm.

6) Dietary Habits

The consumption of meat, chemical compounds, food additives, and genetically modified organisms should be substantially reduced. Alternatively, the global diet should be based on locally grown grains and vegetables.

7) Revitalization of primary industries and increased food stock

To provide for a global food crisis, all communities should revitalize their primary industries (i.e. agriculture, forestry and fishery), increase their self-sufficiency, and food stock.

8) Building Humane Networks of Trust

We will restore a society and a way of living based on mutual trust; both in our communities and between cities and rural communities.

9) Energy

We will reduce the amount of energy we use and switch to an interspersed, renewable, and self-sufficient energy.

10) De-growth

We will turn away from a society where economic growth is overemphasized, and move to a more moderate one emphasizing life and solidarity.

Thank you

======================================================================

Fukushima Organic Agriculture Network (FOAN) founded in 2009 is a non-governmental organization of organic farmers in Fukushima Prefecture. Any citizen can be a member of FOAN. The president is Mr. Seiji Sugeno who is an organic farmer in Nihonmatsu city. The board members include organic farmers and a scientist. FOAN aims at

1) Networking organic farmers in Fukushima Prefecture,

2) Monitoring radioactive contaminations in the soil and produce,

3) Improving organic farming practices,

4) Promoting consumption of organic produce and

5) Helping exchanges with consumers.

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福島県有機農業ネットワーク副理事長 杉内清繁

2011年3月11日14時46分、千年に一度とも云われるマグニチュード9.0の巨大地震(東日本大震災)が発生、最大震度7〜6の激しい揺れは長時間続きました。海に囲まれた日本では、地震に伴う津波の発生も大きな被害をもたらす自然の脅威です。地震発生後15分〜1時間位にかけて何回となく押し寄せる巨大波が陸地に向かって襲ってきました。死者・行方不明者は19,000人におよび、その被害は東北3県(福島 宮城 岩手)が大半を占めました。

私の住む東北福島県浜通り地方は日本でも有数の発電基地として位置付けられております。中でも原子力発電所が集中して10基設置されているところでもあり、今回の様な巨大地震と巨大津波により1号機、2号機、3号機、4号機と連続して爆発を伴った大惨事は、広範囲の自然環境破壊、住民の健康不安、地域社会崩壊、全ての面において負の遺産を背負ってしまった。私もこれまで住み慣れた自然豊かな境地を追われ、これまでにも経験したこともない被難生活を余儀なくされ、さらには家族、地域全体までもバラバラに引き裂かれた不安、恐怖の日々が続きました。

そして、爆発が発生した東京電力福島第1原子力発電所から20キロ圏内の地震、津波で被災された家族の方々は、死者・行方不明者の身を案じながら1年余り立ち入ることの出来ない生活を送る毎日となったのです。そのおかれた身を思うと、今も胸が痛む想いです。

放射能の汚染さえなければもっと打つ手があったのに、何も出来ない悔しさ、むなしさ、怒りはこの地に住む多くの人たちが強く感じ、今もその悲惨な生活は続いたままです。

事故の起きた原子力発電所からの放射能汚染は、気象条件・地理的条件等によって極高汚染地から低汚染地まで複雑に入り乱れる汚染状況が確認されました。広範囲に及ぶこの様な状況の中で私達はこれから先どの様に生きていけばよいのか非情な重圧がのしかった状況です。

これまで日常的に云われてきた原子力の平和利用、原子力発電の安全神話は、計り知れない自然界の脅威のまえには、ことごとく打ち砕かれる結果となってしまいました。暮らしのなかで電気エネルギーの確保は私達に密接に結びつくものとして考えなくてはいけません。しかし現状から見えるものは あまりにも危険要素を多く含む経済開発主導先行社会のあり方には疑問となる点が多々あると強く思います。

私は自然環境の生きづく大地と向き合う農業者ですが、毎日の暮らしの中で、自然環境から離反した取り組みの中には必ず負の代償があるように気づかされることがあります。

今、私達が生きようとする大地は放射能汚染とどの様な向き合い方が考えられるのか難題を抱えた状況におかれていますが、チェルノブイリ原発事故に携わった経験のある科学者の方から多くの貴重な対処法のお話も頂きました。そして今グリーンオイルプロジェクト名として行動を開始しました、いつか又自然環境の中でともに共生できる、そして生きる実感の持てる社会を求めながらすこしずつ進んで行きたいと思っています。

Messages from FUKUSHIMA

Kiyoshige Sugiuchi, Vice President, Fukushima Organic Agriculture Network (FOAN)

A 9-magnitude earthquake struck just off the Northeastern coast of East Japan at 2:46 PM on March 11 2011. It is said that such gigantic earthquake happens roughly once every 1000 years. A maximum 6 to 7 on the Japanese earthquake intensity scale was measured many times for a long time. It is indeed a threat by nature where Tsunamis following big earthquake would cause massive damages in Japan which is surrounded by oceans. The giant waves swept towards the shores several times between about 15 minutes and one hour after the earthquake, which deluged cities and rural areas. The death toll including missing persons was approximately 19,000 people in mostly three prefectures, Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate in Tohoku.

Fukushima-ken Hama-dori, in which I live, has been ranked as one of a collection centers for electric power plants in Japan. Among others, 10 nuclear power plants are concentrated. Units 1 to 4 at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were exploded one after another after the earthquake. These awful accidents presented unprecedented difficulties for Fukushima. We had to live in anxiety and with fear as residents had to be evacuated from their beautiful land blessed with nature and their families and communities had been separated.

Those affected within 20 kilo meters from TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant were not allowed to go back home for more than a year while worrying so much about their families who may have been killed or have been missing.

It still wrings my heart to think about their situations.

Without contamination by radioactive materials there would have been some course of action. Most of us living in this area have felt a sense of disappointment, emptiness, and strong anger, as we could do nothing about this.

Because of various factors, including weather conditions and geographical conditions, it has been confirmed that situation of radioactive contamination has been complex from highly contaminated areas to low contaminated areas. With this wide-spread of radioactive contamination, we have to decide how to live under the merciless pressure on us.

What we had heard about in every day’s life, for example, ‘the peaceful use of nuclear power’ and ‘the myth about the safety of a nuclear power plant’ have been broken to pieces. Securing electric energy is, no doubt, important for our daily life. However, I strongly believe that there is a big question mark over the idea of putting too much stress on economic growth based on capitalist market economy which risks so many things in today’s world.

I am a farmer, living with the land blessed with nature. In my daily life, I often notice that any measure against nature has to pay too much for it.

Our land in which we will live has been and will be in a difficult condition due to severe radioactive contamination. However, we learned much about how to deal with radioactive materials from a scientist who has experiences on Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Then I have started a ‘Green Oil Project.’

I will continue to take a step forward towards the future where we will be able to live with beautiful nature again and have the joy of living.

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