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Nuclear Disaster: First-hand Lessons from a Fukushima Evacuee
June 4, 2013 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pmFree
Chikako Nishiyama, from Kawauchi, Japan, will be speaking at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, June 4 at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Main Street in Montpelier, VT. Ms. Nishiyama was on the village council of Kawauchi, a town of 2,300 located 15 miles from the Fukushima reactors, and the sister city of Greenfield, Massachusetts. In 2011, as she was getting ready to run for a second term, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. Kawauchi was at first a shelter town for evacuees from the evacuation zone. Then a plume of radiation engulfed Kawauchi, and it was evacuated for one year. Residents were allowed to return beginning in April 2012. She is concerned for the health of her son, a firefighter who entered Kawauchi before the evacuation order was lifted.
Ms. Nishiyama will give a presentation with photographs on her experiences during the evacuation and post-evacuation of her town, and on what is happening in Japan today.
Throughout this year, Ms. Nishiyama has been active as an anti-nuclear voice from the affected area. Currently she is working on a project to relocate people to the western regions of Japan. She is also involved in the “do not pay your electric bill” movement, and in the class-action lawsuit on radiation pollution in Japan.
Chiho Kaneko is translating and accompanying Ms. Nishiyama. She was born in Japan and graduated from Hokkaido University with a degree in agronomy. In 1993, she moved to the U.S. and became a visual artist, musician, interpreter/translator, and columnist for a Japanese daily newspaper. She has returned to Japan four times since the March 11, 2011, nuclear meltdowns. Ms. Kaneko is married and lives in Hartland, VT. Ms. Kaneko and Ms. Nishiyama are on a speaking tour of New England coordinated by the Safe and Green Campaign.