This is a call to all the women of Japan and the world!
Follow in the footsteps of Fukushima’s Women! Nationwide call to action! Join us now!
“It’s about time we break the silence!”
Women across the nation will take a stand and sit in protest!
Dates and place for the sit-in in front of METI, Tokyo
Place: Kasumigaseki, in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Address: 1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
One minute walk from Kasumigaseki Station (Exit A12a), Tokyo Metro
Date: October 30 to November 5
★ Please come when you can, for lunch time, after work, for a day, for a week!
★ Or you may just visit us and chat with us. You are most welcome!
September 22, as Prime Minister Noda declared he would “raise Japan’s safety of nuclear power generation to the highest level in the world” at the U.N. meeting on nuclear safety in New York, women demonstrated outside the United Nations protesting, “How dare you talk about nuclear safety when you cannot even protect the children of Fukushima! Do not let the suffering of Fukushima’s people go to waste. Stop the world’s nuclear power plants!” On the flight home, we said to each other, “We should follow in the footsteps of the Fukushima women and gather women from across the nation to stage a sit-in!”
In spite of fact the fact the Fukushima accident is ongoing and high levels of radiation are found in Fukushima, on September 30th the Japanese government lifted evacuation orders in the Emergency Evacuation Preparation Zone. On October 3rd, a citizen’s group-initiated study of 130 Fukushima children, a follow-up of an initial study conducted this past summer, found 10 children (7.7%) with signs of change in their thyroid functions requiring additional follow-up. In response Fukushima women have rallied, saying, “We shall not abandon children in this war zone drenched in invisible radiation!” “We will no longer tolerate nuclear power!” We have heard their call and we too, have decided to take a stand.
★ Give all children the right to evacuate!
★ Stop restart of nuclear power plants across Japan and let us live in security
² We are gathering fellow supporters
² Do not forget rain/cold protection as well as something to sit on
² We also welcome those who can contribute their spirit of solidarity in the cause or those wishing to donate for participant transportation fees
Donations received at: Shut Tomari
*Japan Post Bank, postal transfer account: 02720-5-79991, donate to “Onna Suwarikomi” (“Women’ Sit-in”)
*Japan Post Bank, regular savings deposit:
From a Japan Post Bank account 19050 15998721 “Onna Suwarikomi” ( “Women’ Sit-in”)
From other banks: 908-908-1599872 “Onna Suwarikomi” ( “Women’ Sit-in”)
Tel: +81-90-2695-1937 (Izumi)
*If you wish to join the action, send a message to:
＊For information on 27-29th Sep sit in organized by Fukushima Women, please check the site http://onna100nin.seesaa.net/article/228900129.html (in Japanese only)
Women calling for the sit-in (to date: October 11th)
Kaori Izumi, Shut Tomari, Fukushima no Kodomotachi wo Mamoru Kai Hokkaido (Group to Protect Fukushima Children Hokkaido) (Hokkaido)
Taka Yamaguchi, Shimin Jichi wo Tsukuru Kai (Group for the Creation of Citizen Self-Governance), Fukushima no Kodomotachi wo Mamoru Kai Hokkaido (Group to Protect Fukushima Children Hokkaido)
Sayaka Funada-Classen, Associate Professor Tokyo University of Foreign Language, Mom & Children Rescue Fukushima (Tokyo)
Kanna Mitsuta, FoE Japan (Tokyo)
Aileen Mioko Smith, Green Action (Kyoto)
Yuko Yatabe, Nadja no Fukushima Shien (Nadja’s Support for Fukushima) (Ibaraki)
Masako Yonekawa, Associate Professor Utsunomiya University, Mom & Children Rescue Fukushima (Tochigi)
Supporters (to date: October11th)
Teruko Yoshitake Director, All Japan Women Calling for No-Nukes (Tokyo)
Kazue Suzuki, Greenpeace Japan (Tokyo)
Kiyoko Shimada, Osaka Citizens against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-nno-Kai) (Osaka)
Eri Watanabe, FoE Japan (Tokyo)
Akiko Yoshida, FoE Japan (Tokyo)
Kumiko Sakamoto, Associate Professor, Faculty of International Studies Utsunomiya University, Mom & Children Rescue Fukushima (Tochigi)
Yukiko Anzai, Organic farmer (Yoichi, Hokkaido)
Masuyo Tokita, Professor Emeritus, Hokkaido University (Hokkaido)
Yoshiko Kobayashi, “Know Pluthermal” Shiribeshi Citizen’s Network (Kyowa-cho, Hokkaido)
Risa Tokunaga, Lecturer,Keisen Women’s College, Tokyo University for Foreign Languages (Tokyo)
Hatumi Ishimaru, Gennkai Nuclear Power Station Pluthermal Lawsuit Group
Akiko Ueno, Hisen Iburi (Sobetsu,Hokkaido)
Masayo Matsura, Women Who Fear Nuclear Power (Wakayama)
Yukie Tokura, Stop! Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant (Shizuoka)
Yasuko Yamaguchi, Fuemin Women’s Democratic Journal (Tokyo)
Yui Kimura, No-Nukes・Topco Shareholders Movement (Tokyo)
Shigeko Ogiso, Good Bye Kashiwazaki Kariha Nuclear Power Station
(Below without titles)
Chieko Hotta,Tomoko Tomizuka, Makiko Okamoto, Naoko Ogura,Toshiko Kobayashi, Sae Mizukami, Akiko Oono, Yuriko Tani, Hiroko Ishigami
“This Is About How We Live…”
MUTO Ruiko’s Speech
Anti-Nuclear Demonstration by 60,000 Citizens
19 September 2011
Hello, I am from Fukushima.
I came here with busloads of my peers from Fukushima and from shelters in other places.
For many people this is the first time to join this kind of rally or demonstration. But we encouraged each other saying that WE must tell stories of the bitter experiences caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, WE must raise our voices against nuclear power. First of all, I want to say that I deeply respect each one of you who is fighting and doing things to protect lives while enduring all the hardships since March 11th.
Also, I want to thank all of you who reach out your hands to Fukushima people and support us in every way you can. And I’d like to apologize to the children and young people who I am burdening with the huge baggage brought about by this disaster. As a member of the generation who created this reality, I am very sorry.
Everyone, Fukushima is a very beautiful place. Hamadori is hugged by the deep blue Pacific Ocean to the east. Nakadori is a treasure box of fruits -- peaches, pears, apples. The Aizu plain abounds with golden rice ears hanging low. Lake Inawashiro and Mt. Bandai are surrounded by more deep mountains. The mountains are green. The water is pure. This is our home country.
Since 311, unseen radiation has been raining down on this landscape and we have all become “hibakusha” (radiation victims). In the middle this confusion all kinds of things have been happening to us. Bonds between people have been torn apart by the swift “safety” campaigns and by anxiety. So many have been suffering and lamenting in their communities, at work, in school and at home.
Like it or not, we have been pressed to make decisions. To go or stay, to eat or avoid, to hang our laundry outside or inside, to make our child wear a mask or not, to plow our fields or not, to raise our voices or keep our mouths shut.
And now, over the last 6 months, gradually things have become clearer to us……
- Truths are covered up.
- The government does not protect its citizens.
- The catastrophe has not ended.
- People of Fukushima have become the subjects of a nuclear experiment.
- Vast amounts of radioactive waste will remain.
- In spite of the huge sacrifice, the clout of the proponents of nuclear power prevails.
We have been abandoned.
We sigh deeply because of fatigue and heartbreak.
But we can’t help but to say, “ Don’t treat us like fools” and “Don’t take our lives away”. People of Fukushima, in their anger and sadness are quietly taking a stand....
To protect the children, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers are speaking out, and younger generations, too, are trying to save their futures. And laborers are trying to save nuclear workers being exposed to massive radiation as they struggle to contain the disaster…. And farmers are in despair over their contaminated land. And disabled people are trying to avoid new discrimination due to radiation exposure…
And one by one, we citizens are questioning the responsibility of the government and Tokyo Electric Company, saying we don’t want nuclear power. We are “ogres of the northeast” quietly burning flames of wrath. We, the people of Fukushima, who stay or leave, will continue to support each other sharing our bitterness, commitment and hope.
Please join us.
And please pay attention to our various actions. Negotiations with governments, lawsuits to seek evacuation, relocation, recuperation, decontamination, measurement, learning about nuclear power and radiation. We will go anywhere to talk about Fukushima. One of us is talking in New York today. We are doing everything we can think of. Help us. Do not forget us.
I’d like to say one more thing. This is about how we live. We need to imagine the world existing on the other side of the outlet that we casually insert our plug into. Think about how our convenience and prosperity are built on discrimination and sacrifice. Nuclear power plants exist on the other side. Humans are just one species. Is there any other species that robs their own kind’s future? I want to live decently in harmony with this beautiful planet earth. While carefully conserving energy, I want to pursue a rich, creative life. How can we create a world completely different from one with nuclear power?
Nobody has a clear answer. What we must not do is follow somebody else’s rules. Each of us should think for himself or herself, look around, decide what to do, and then do it. Remember we have that power. Everyone has the courage to change. Take back your confidence. Join with others. If the nuclear proponents are a vertical wall, we can go around it horizontally. That’s our strength. Gently hold the hand of the person next to you. Look at them. Listen to each other’s pain. Forgive anger and tears. Spread the warmth in your hand to others all over Japan, all over the world.
Even though our burden is heavy, no matter how hard the way is, let’s support one another and not turn away. Let’s carry on with light and cheerful hearts.
Sachiko Sato Appeals in USA
Sachiko Sato’s Appeal in USA
Over the past 30 years, I’ve brought up my five children while farming in harmony with nature. Since the Chernobyl incident, I’ve lived based on time-tested wisdom and skills from the past for the sake of our future generations. Even if there is no more petroleum and all the nuclear power plants are shut down, we can still continue living. That is the way people should live, recognizing the importance of relationships with other people and respecting nature.
Our family of 7 lived modestly by growing rice, vegetables and various grains on our “natural farm” and cooking our food over firewood. Many people from all over the country gathered to learn about our lifestyle.
But 11th March changed everything. Despite the pain caused by the 3 tragedies of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, we had to carry on living. It was especially difficult to accept the damage caused by the nuclear accident as we were unable to see it. My fellow farmers couldn’t bring themselves to abandon the land they had put so much work into.
We heard about the nuclear power plant incident on 11th March at midnight. I decided to evacuate four of my children, who were living in Fukushima, to Yamagata. After the Chernobyl incident, I had already planned that if an accident ever occurs at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, I would send my children to Yamagata.
I quickly called my friend in Yamagata, who accepted my request and told us to come immediately. I was able to fulfill my basic duty as a parent, by protecting my children’s lives.
My own children evacuated to Yamagata on 13th March, but in Fukushima, 300 000 children were left behind. I wanted to help every one of those children and hence, started measuring radiation levels in schools. The results showed that 75% of schools in Fukushima Prefecture were in radiation-controlled areas. I submitted the report to the prefecture, hoping that the children would be evacuated immediately. But on the day that I submitted the report, the country set the safety standard for children’s exposure to radiation at 20milisievert of radiation per year.
This standard was set so that Fukushima city and Koriyama city would not be compulsory evacuation zones. Has the immunity of people towards radiation been changed by the nuclear incident? By increasing the safety standard values, the compulsory evacuation zones would not expand. The country said that people who wish to voluntarily evacuate are welcome to do so, however, they would not be compensated. This was done to decrease the amount of spending on evacuations and happened as a result of prioritizing the economic costs over the children’s lives.
“Fukushima Prefecture’s residents, as well as other prefecture’s residents, have rights to not be exposed to radiation right?” but we didn’t get an answer to this question. Fukushima Prefecture’s residents have been abandoned. Our right to evacuate to avoid radiation exposure has not been recognized. The country is funding the decontamination but not the evacuations. The sequence is incorrect. Leaving children in a contaminated location while carrying out decontamination is not solving the problem.
The radioactivity that exists amidst the unchanged beautiful scenery has created a gap between those who think it is safe to remain there and those who think it is unsafe.
For the sake of the children, evacuation is the best option. However, can we find jobs after we evacuate? What about our housing loans that cost 100,000yen a month? Is it alright to leave behind our frail parents? Is it necessary to evacuate at the cost of our children losing their friends?
The Radiation Health Risk Management Advisor said that at levels of 100 milisievert/h, only 1 in 200 people will have increased chances of cancer. Some people want to believe that Fukushima is alright and do not want any more disturbances. Many just want to return to their lives before 11th March. It is sad that the victims’ family and local people are not able to share their feelings and memories together. These are direct health effects of mental stress.
Fukushima Prefecture’s Radiation Health Risk Management Advisor, Mr Yamashita Toshikazu has made speeches around Fukushima Prefecture saying that it is alright, even if pregnant women and young children are exposed to 100 milisievert/h. As a result, many Fukushima residents did not take any precautions and continued their lives as usual.
Fukushima Prefecture did not release any official data or gave any information to people living within the contamination zones. As a result, residents who lived within a 20km radius of the nuclear power plant were actually evacuated to a place with higher levels of radiation at one point in time. This was only realized more than a month later, based on officially released information. This happened even though the prefecture already had the information 3 days after it happened.
The tentative safety standard for food products was set at 500 becquerel. If food was found to be below that level, it was supplied to the market as usual. The prefecture and country did not announce the safety standards that Ukraine and Belarus had set.
Internal radiation was not taken into consideration in deciding the safe level of radiation exposure per year. Furthermore, the damage caused by low levels of radiation exposure will only emerge little by little. As the probability of effects appearing is low, nothing much can be done. On the contrary, data on exposure to radiation levels of below 100 milisievert/h is not available. To gather these data, the 2 million Fukushima residents would be the guinea pigs.
We, the residents, find such circumstances to be very strange, but the media does not provide any accurate information. At Chernobyl, there were no effects other than children’s thyroid gland cancer. Despite our demands, the prefecture and country have not explained anything.
Overall, based on what the prefecture and country have done for the Fukushima residents so far, we do not feel that we are being protected. We really cannot believe what the prefecture and country are saying.
The Fukushima contaminated by invisible radioactivity seems like a battlefield to me. Surely, it is foolish to believe that people can overcome nature, resulting in this fight between mankind and nature. Fukushima with a wealth of nature, “Beautiful Island Fukushima”, its appearance has not changed at all and hence is a “Beautiful Battlefield”. The battle with radioactivity is using the country’s power to snatch away the children’s future. The children cannot remain at the battlefield. We cannot desert the children in the midst of the battle’s flames. We have not been able to save the children with our priority on economic costs. We have to do everything we can to save the children immediately.
Still, this country refuses to stop using nuclear power. Why is that so? How many more generations of people would this nuclear accident affect? This is the Japan that has a bigger budget for repairing fighter air crafts than that for saving the children’s lives. We cannot expect anything from this country that has left its children in the lurch for 6 months. It has been clearly shown that it is not the country’s duty to protect its children’s lives. The 21st century’s adults have decided that instead of protecting the lives of our future children, the immediate economy is more important. This attitude cannot be passed on to the future generations or we’ll eventually be destroyed. The residents have to protect the children’s lives. Let’s use our hearts to see what we can do to help save lives.
The Fukushima parents have stood up for our only hope to “Save our children’s lives”. Let’s protect the Fukushima children. Let’s not let the tragedy that has happened to Fukushima children ever occur again. Let everyone continue with this action.
I want to tell everyone in the world about the terrifying effects of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident and am prepared to continue with my activities till all the nuclear power plants have been shut down. Even though it might not have concerned you directly, now is the time to make a decisive action to change our way of living. If this cannot stop the use of nuclear energy, humans are on the path towards self-destruction. Everyone one in the world, let’s put our energies together to stop the use of nuclear energy!!