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Voices of Fukushia 2014
March 11, 2014 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pmDonations Welcome
An anniversary marks a one-day event – the birth of our nation on July 4th, for instance. March 11th is the one day two natural disasters struck Japan. In 2011, an earthquake followed by a tsunami devastated the coast, displacing 154,000 people and killing 18,000.
On March 11 we also commemorate the beginning of a man-made permanent crisis for the entire planet: the meltdown of multiple nuclear reactors in Japan. This March 11th, Tuesday, from 6:30 – 8:30PM the Safe and Green Campaign will host “Voices of Fukushima 2014,” an evening of short documentaries on Fukushima followed by a discussion with Chiho Kaneko about her recent visit to the Fukushima region. We will meet in the Brattleboro Food Coop Community Room; the Coop is on the corner of Main St & Canal St., and the entrance to the Community Room is on the side of the Coop on Canal Street.
Last year the Safe and Green Campaign organized the first “Voices of Fukushima.” People in seven towns around Vermont Yankee “adopted” their counterpart towns in Japan. In Brattleboro, we studied what life is like for the 21,000 residents evacuated from the town of Namie, five miles from the nuclear reactors.
Since that time, the number of former Namie residents who have died from suicide, stress, or poor living conditions surpassed the number who died from the tsunami and earthquake in 2011. Thousands are living in densely packed, small prefabricated living units and will never go home again. Evacuees fear attention and resources will be taken away from decontaminating Fukushima to fund new construction for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Japan’s new Prime Minister is determined to restart Japan’s 50 idle nuclear reactors, which will drain trained workers and money from Fukushima.
Four videos will be shown, totaling 35 minutes:
- a update on the cleanup in Namie, the town that Brattleboro adopted in 2013
- a explanation of the current status of the reactors from Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education
- a perspective from a farmer and a displaced family, with information on radiation testing of children
- a walk through temporary shelters which evacuees fear are now their permanent homes.
Chiho Kaenko has gone back to Japan four times since 2011, and has shared her experiences with us each year since the disasters began. On this most recent visit, she joined Chikako Nishiyama in Kawauchi. Chikako came to Vermont and Greenfield in 2013. Inspired by Greenfield’s adoption of Kawauchi, Chikako came to meet and speak to nuclear communities in the Northeast, including Greenfield, Brattleboro and Montpelier. She was on the Kawauchi town council during the disaster and is now an anti-nuclear activist. Chikako returned to Japan with posters we made for the Brattleboro “Voices of Fukushima” vigil last year, and is displaying them at anti-nuclear rallies in Japan.