Evacuation begins in Iitate

In Iitate Village, Fukushima, the residents’ temporary evacuation has begun, reports Takashi Morizumi.

Please click the links below to see his photos.

Also, Kyodo News via Okinawa Times reported that the total amount of radiation measured in Iitate from March 23rd to May 29th exceeded 20 millisieverts according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). Iitate was only the second town to measure such high radiation level along with Namie Town.


“Japan Without Nuclear Power Plants” Protest in Kochi

On April 29th, a demonstration called “Japan Without Nuclear Power Plants” was held in Kochi, Japan.

Don’t forget to turn on English subtitles.

Petition: Stop IKATA Nuclear Power Plant

Sign the online petition HERE

The PDF download is HERE


The second deadline is May 31st, 2011.

!! Request for Urgent Signatures !! Stop IKATA Nuclear Power Plant

To: Tokihiro Nakamura, Governor of Ehime Prefecture


Object of Demand

“Nuclear reactors are protected by 5 layers of walls.” “Earthquakes of any scale are within our calculations. We are convinced that no earthquakes or Tsunamis would have any effects on the reactors,” are the statements repeatedly presented by Ehime prefecture and Shikoku Electric Power Company. We have, however, witnessed that all of these words were all too soon swallowed up by the recent Tsunamis, throwing us into a state of irreparable devastation. The crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power plant has forced upon us days of the great anxiety and terrors.

As if to say that the accidents were a ‘natural calamity,’ the government and the company have shamelessly tried to evade their responsibility and maintained their excuse that it was ‘beyond calculation.’ Among earthquakes that hit the coastal areas in Japan, there was the Meiji Sanriku earthquake in 1896, some 100 years ago, which caused tsunamis that registered as high as 10 or 20 meters. The sized of the earthquake this time is, therefore, not unprecedented and could naturally expected to recur. The power company which ‘deliberately didn’t calculate’, should assume a greater responsibility, as we have to admit that the current disaster at the nuclear plant is nothing but a ‘man-made’ one.

There are earthquakes in ‘Tokai (eastern sea area),’ ‘Tonankai (southeastern sea area)’ and ‘Nankai’ (Southern sea area), all of which are potential regions that are likely to connect with the latest earthquakes in the Northeastern region, and off Ikata there is a class A zone of active faulting. In Ikata, the plant’s No.3 reactor is, like the Fukushima No.3 reactor, an extremely dangerous MOX fuel power generation, which was forcibly introduced and is now being operated. Thus, we are exposed to terrifying dangers ‘beyond calculation’ to come.

We are outraged and sad to live in a country whose government hides true information from us and to see the government and its scholars who keep lying to us by saying, “The current radioactivity level will have no direct effects on our body.”

The former governor, Moriyuki Kato, and the current governor, Tokihiro Nakamura, have insisted on their opinion, saying, “We trust the government screening and we will follow the government policy.” However, we don’t want to sacrifice ourselves for the profit of the power company and the tactics of the government at the risk of a nuclear disaster. Ehime Prefecture should admit its error in its safety assessment, and immediately stop the Ikata Nuclear Power plant for the sake of our children, generations to come and all life on the earth. We urge the Ehime Prefectural Governor who is authorized to take this measure, to do so.

“We don’t need nuclear plants” in Kamakura

May 22, 2010 – Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture
video report by OurPlanet-TV

Despite rain, about 200 people marched on the street of Kamakura behind the banner saying, “Imagine the Future without Nuclear Power Plants”.

In the interview, one of the organizers of this protest said that they had fewer participants than the last one on April 10th because of rain, but the people could meet the others who shared similar opinions about nuclear power plants. He was hoping that this could be an opportunity for those who didn’t know what to do in this time of nuclear crisis to express their feelings openly. He added that they were planning to send open letters about the nuclear policy to Kamakura City Councilors and parliament members.

Report from Iitate: The cattle 2

Mr. Hasegawa has been a leader of the cattle farmers in Iitate, Fukushima, and his cattle was taken away this morning, reports a photojournalist Takashi Morizumi.

Right after the nuclear disaster, Mr. Hasegawa has bought a camcorder to document what’s been happening to his village and to keep a record of his cows. For the cattle farmer, they are like his own children.

The photojournalist asks himself why he is taking this kind of pictures all the time.

The photo and the original article is here: http://mphoto.sblo.jp/article/45468467.html
(posted on May 25th, 2011)

Report from Iitate: The cattle

The Japanese government decided to slaughter cattle in the village of Iitate, one of the most contaminated areas outside the 20 kilometer-evacuation zone in Fukushima. For the cattle farmers, their cows are not just animals but more like their families. A photojournalist Takashi Morizumi documents their farewell.

“The ropes used to tied cows were still warm,” writes the photojournalist.
(posted on May 9th, 2011)

The farm lady says to her cows, “You worked very hard. Thank you very much.”
(posted on May 9th, 2011)

What’s happening to Iitate’s cows reminds the photojournalist of the story of the Ueno Zoo’s elephants, which were killed during World War II. He writes, “Fukushima is the battle ground of nuclear contamination now.”
(posted on May 18th, 2011)

Mr. Tanaka’s cows were taken away on this day. He was joking that his cow would be turned to ham, but his eyes were filled with tears, writes the photographer.
(photos taken on May 11th, 2011)

1 Months after Earthquake and Tsunami

This is a video made by a filmmaker who went to Rikuzentakata being “wiped off the map” by tsunami in Iwate Prefecture with a volunteer group in April.

There is no English subtitles, so here’s some description.

In a scene that the volunteers go to a school that many evacuees are living, there are a lot of shoes on the schoolyard.

After the earthquake and tsunami, there was a severe shortage of shoes among evacuees in the city. So, they asked the internet community for help through Twitters and blogs, and then those shoes were sent from across the nation.