Tag Archives: Tasting JAPAN WEEK

3.11 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami : One Year On

東北で起こった巨大地震から1年たった。しかし、テレビやメディアを通してみる被災地は、復興にはほど遠い。がれき撤去は遅々として進まず、多くの人が狭い仮設住宅に住み、仕事も中々みつからず、毎日を不安の中で過ごしている。特に、福島の方々は、福島原発が未だ放射能を垂れ流す中、日々放射能汚染にも怯えて暮らさなければならない。情報隠匿・事故に対する処理対応のまずさで海外においても悪名高い、東電からの補償は、出し惜しみする割に雀の涙のようなもので再建の足しにもならない。この状況はイギリスでも控えめにであるが伝えられているのに(原子力推進派が力を持ってるので他国ほど報道されないが)、驚くことにイギリス人の多くは原発に賛成なのだそうだ(参考:Huffington Post)。確かに地震や津波の危険性は低いし、安価で公害も少ないが、効果的な放射能対策がない現在、何か起こった後では後悔してももう遅いのだ。

たくさんのものを失っても、不屈の精神で一生懸命立ち上がろうと日々頑張っておられる東北の方々の姿には頭が下がる。でも個人でやれることには限界がある。政府には国民が信頼してついていけるような強いリーダーシップを発揮してほしいのだが、何だか頼りなくて一本筋が通っていない。労働組合からの猛反対にあっても、国の財政を立て直すため痛みの伴う政策を断固として進めている、イギリスのキャメロン首相を少しは見習ってはどうかと思う。

明るい話題の少ない今の日本の現状にあって、1年経った今も被災地、被災者を応援するために頑張っている人々の心が、唯一の救い。近い将来、東北地方に、そして日本に、明るい希望の光が差し込みますように。

→震災直後・現在の様子を撮影した写真:テレグラフ紙BBC。がれきが撤去されて綺麗になったけれど、何もない更地に寂寥を感じる。

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3月14〜18日まで、Westfield Stratford Cityにおいて、海外からの支援への感謝を表明し、日本の食や文化、ファッションなどを紹介する「Tasting JAPAN WEEK」が催される。お時間のある方は是非。

Japan earthquake and Tsunami marks one year anniversary today. However, recovery of the affect area of Tohoku is far from completed. Only 6% of 2.25 million tons of debris has removed (because other areas of Japan are reluctant to accept them), and tens of thousands of people still live in tiny temporary housing with uncertainty. Unemployment is high, as many industry were destroyed and haven’t been reconstructed or some may never be. The worst must be the areas near Fukushima nuclear plant, which is still releasing radiation, and people have to live with fear everyday, especially families with small children. People have very little hope to come back to their houses in evacuated area in their life time. Farmland is contaminated, and farming, which is an important industry in rural Fukushima, has been devastated. Still it is said that amazingly many British are pro-nuclear even after Fukushima (see Huffington Post)! There is little risk of earthquake or Tsunami in UK and nuclear maybe cheap and clean, but accident can happen, and once it occurs, there is nothing you can do about it. The area will be ruined and will remain inhabitable and non-cultivatable for long time. I’ve never thought that something terrible would happen to any nuclear power plants in Japan, but it happened for real!

People in Tohoku try their best to get their life back and to rebuid their town with determination, but there is a limitation that each individual can do. But the government can’t show us strong leadership in the past year, and Japanese people don’t have much faith in what the authority say & do any more. Prime minister Noda has to learn a lesson from David Cameron – his determination to fix the country’s finance, even making people (=unions) outraged.

I don’t see much hope in current situation in Japan, due to impotent government and bad economic circumstances, but it is encouraging to see continuous financial and psychological support to Tohoku in Japan and from abroad. Though it will take very long, hope Japan will regain its strength in near future.

→Photo gallery of aftermath & now: Telegraph / BBC. All the debris cleared, but the land with so much empty space looks dreary…

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London’s Westfield Stratford City hosts “Tasting JAPAN WEEK” from March 14 – 18. The objective of the event is to express a gratitude for the support to Japan from abroad after the earthquake & Tsunami, but also to introduce Japanese food, culture, and fashion etc.