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Monday, March 12, 2012

One year has passed

One year has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th.
The government-sponsored memorial ceremony for its victims was held on March 11th and its participants observed a silent prayer at 2:46 p.m., the exact time the earthquake occurred.
As of March 10, 15,854 people died, 3,155 are missing and more than 340,000 are living in temporary housing, rented accommodation and other prefectures.

Images of tsunami and the nuclear accident in Fukushima have been seen on TV since March this year. We can get the real voice of the afflicted people and see the truth of the tsunami-hit areas on TV. TV programs tell the people the real nature of the nuclear accident and radiation contamination. People who have reached higher ground scream at fleeing people, "Hurry up! Hurry, hurry, hurry!" or "Go up!" It wrings my heart to hear their ear-splitting screams.

Although some people say in a reminiscent tone, I realize that it has been only one year since the quake and tsunami. Everything is not yet finished.

The nuclear accident in Fukushima is not over yet. Our long struggle with radiation contamination has only just begun.  Some people say low dose exposure has an affect on the human body, but some say it has no affect.  As a result, health effects of low dose exposure is uncertain. We have to make our own judgments.

Incredible amount of rubbles in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefecturescan't be disposed by the three prefectures, so the rubble were supposed to be disposed in other prefectures. (However, most of rubbles in Fukushima are forbidden to take out the prefecture.)
Piles of rubble still remain in the devastated areas. Disposition of rubble has made little progress. Because some people living near disposal sites in other prefectures are protesting the disposition for fear of radiation contamination although raidoactive materials were not detected in the rubble. I think we should take on the rubble's disposition.

Recovery efforts have not progressed.
Many of the afflicted people have no job. Their workplaces were swept up by the tsunami or were forced to close up operation. Many people still have payments left on their housing loans or bank loans. People have to get another loan to restart their businesses ot to rebuild their houses in addition to their exsisting loans. The Japanese government failed to take sufficient measures against this problem, but it will take over any loans small businesspeople have.

City plannings of the afflicted areas have run into difficulties.
Some areas are suffering from a serious land sinkage problem due to the tsunami.
Most tsunami-hit areas make a choice between collective relocation to higher grounds and land raising, but it's very difficult to gain the consent of local people. There aren't many possible sites for collective relocation.

In Japan, not a single day passes by without hearing about the afflicted peopleand areas. Japanese media have been reporting daily on them since the day, and the names of recently-identified victims appear in a newspaper every day. more than 3100 people are still missing. The search for missing persons are continuing, but it's more difficult than before. Some mothers searched their missing children even on New Year's Day.

It's nearly impossible to collect DNA samples such as a toothbrush, a hair from missing persons because the samples with their houses were swept up by the tsunami. Families of the missing people have no choice but to compare the DNA of them to the DNA of the remains, but it takes a little time to analyze a DNA test.


Many tsunami victims say, "I want to see my …" Some children who lost their family members sealed everything about the tsunami and their deceased family members deep in the recess of their minds. In mind of some victims, time seems to have stopped on the day. On the night of the day, tsunami-hit areas were entirely dark and silent. A high-school girl and a 20-year-old woman wrote their wills. Many victims are feeling guilty for surviving the tsunami even now.

We cannot thank you too much for your help.

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