Voices from FUKUSHIMA Vol.4 Mr. Yuichiro SATO

I heard that there are 54 nuclear reactors in Japan, and that the remaining reactors will be shut down in April for inspection.  It’s the first time when all of Japan’s nuclear power plants will become idle, and I think this is a rare opportunity to do something. If we do not stop nuclear power plants now, we won’t have a second chance.  If we don’t think what to do now, I don’t think we will be able to think at all.  Once you have a nuclear power plant in your town or village, subsidies will be flowing in, finance will improve, jobs are made and you think the future is guaranteed. You feel proud without the need to work hard, just relying on a myth of safety and security, until an accident occurs. When an accident happens, the power companies will not shoulder the responsibility. Instead, they will say it’s outside of their expectations. Before paying compensation, the Utilities may initially admit they have caused injury and apologize. They bow their heads as if they have prearranged it, but when it comes to paying compensation, they’ll do everything to spare even a yen from the sum. With guidance from Tokyo Electric Power Company, they deal with us, as if they are the victims and we are the perpetrator. The Company’s monetary loss is recouped by raising the electricity rates, and they are getting back on their feet.  This is what a nuclear power plant is…a power company. If by any chance nuclear power plants get restarted in Japan, there could be another nuclear accident elsewhere. To have no more victims like us, people of every village, town, prefecture and Japan need to seriously consider what to do now.  If we can do away with nuclear power plants by paying a little more, a bit of a utility hike is a necessity.  I want to see the brutality of nuclear power gone from this country to protect our nature and our future generation.

Lastly, I would like to thank the staff of Catholic Tokyo Volunteer Center for giving us courage, vigor and daily necessities.  I’m really grateful to the people from various NPOs, volunteer organizations and local communities.  We still do not know at all when we’ll be able to return, but we believe that one day, our daybreak will come, and we are going to keep our spirits up.

Thank you for your kind attention.