In August 2011, four young children from Fukushima travelled to Tokyo to submit 40 letters written by
primary and junior high school students to officials in the Japanese Cabinet Nuclear Power Emergency Operation Centre and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In those
letters, the children expressed their feelings about the difficulties they have experienced since the
nuclear power plant incident in March 2011, and how they have suffered as a result. The children
asked the officials why they had been forced to endure such difficulties.
The meeting was organized by the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation, in order to convey the students’ message to the government at the House of Representatives, because children
in Fukushima are now the biggest victims of the nuclear power plant disaster, and there were people
present at the meeting to hear the their message from Tokyo, Kyoto and Yamaguchi prefecture.
Kana Hashimoto, a second-year junior high school student, asked the officials to reconsider their
policy regarding the evacuation area so that children could evacuate together as a school.
‘’I had to change schools in June and it made me very sad. When I left school, I had to leave my
friends behind, and they cried. It was very difficult for us to leave each other, to leave Fukushima, and be moved to different schools. I have friends who left Fukushima like me, and other friends who
remained: we all worry about each other very much. So I would like to ask you to seriously consider
evacuating us together to a safe place with our school friends. I would also like to ask you to make
plans to decontaminate the entire Fukushima area including the forests, the mountains and the fields
during the time that we are evacuated. We need you to do everything you can to ensure that we can
live together again happily in Fukushima.’’
In response to the students’ simple, direct question about the situation in Fukushima, the government
officials replied that they would do their best to decontaminate the area because they understood that
is what people expect of them.
However, in response to the question of the evacuation policy which was the cause of so much
sadness to the children who had to leave their friends behind and relocate to different schools, not
one of the ten officials at the meeting could give an answer, and they simply passed the microphone from one to the other in silence.
(This is the translation of this article: http://www.ourplanet-tv.org/?q=node/1203)
This is one of the 40 letters submitted at the meeting, written by a fifth grade school girl.
Fukushima city, 5th grade primary school girl
“Will I be able to have healthy babies? How long will I live?”
Why do I have to change schools and leave my friends behind?
Why do I need to wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers? And why do I have to wear a mask and a hat whenever I go outside, even when it’s hot in the middle of summer?
I can’t play outside anymore. I’m not even allowed to open the windows.
And these days my mother is always busy, watching the news on TV or searching for information
about the radiation problem on the computer.
From next semester I have to go to a new school. That means I have only 7 days left with my friends
at my current school. I hate it. It makes me feel so sad.
On the TV, they tell us that it’s safe here where we live in Fukushima. But I went to a conference about the radiation problem, and the people there said that it’s not safe at all: it’s dangerous.
People from other districts are working to evacuate children like us from Fukushima.
I don’t understand why ALL the people in Fukushima can’t be evacuated to a safer place.
My hopes and dreams for the future have completely changed in the past year.
＊I want you to get rid of the radiation.
＊I want you to make Fukushima an evacuation zone.
＊I want Japan to be a safe country again.
＊I want to be able to have healthy babies.
(this phrase was removed from the body of the letter too, not just from the title)
＊I want to live a long, happy life.
＊I want to know if you really believe that there is no radiation problem and that it is safe to live here.
＊I want you to close all the nuclear power plants: it’s not safe to have nuclear plants in Japan
because we have earthquakes.
＊I would like to help the people evacuating from Fukushima to be happy.
＊I would like to help people to learn to smile again.
＊My dream is that Fukushima will be re-built with help from people all over Japan.
＊And I dream that one day I will have a dog and I will be able to play with him outside and not worry
about the radiation.
＊And I would like to go on the school trip which my friends and I have been looking forward to for so
Please protect us.