Speech made by Ruiko Muto, an activist, at "Goodbye Nukes 100,000 Rally"
In this hot weather, thank you for coming to this "Goodbye Nukes 100,000 Rally". I'm not the organiser so it sounds a bit odd to say, but I really thank each of you for coming today. So many people began to act in so many different ways after the "3.11 accident". So many of them, of course Fukushima people as well, regretted and realized they needed to change something. Some reconsidered their ways of living, some started to say 'no' to the government's nuclear policies and some helped us gently. The only thing I would like to say today is each of you have tried so hard and the work you have done in the sorrow and confusion after the nuclear accident is just great. By seeing the truth revealed after the accident, we were astonished, disappointed and disgusted. So many criticisms and denials tried to make us fall apart.
Although we felt neglected, hurt and confused, we held each others' hands and endured the days of darkness. Those sad days surely led us to this scene of colorful flowers at Yoyogi Park, to the heat of Friday protests in front of the Prime Minister's office, to the “Rest and Recuperation” programme organised around the country for the Fukushima children, to Citizen's Radioactivity Measuring Stations established in some parts of Japan, to the volunteer network for handicapped people who came to Fukushima immediately to help the children, to the members of decontamination tests despite their exposure to radiation, to the new environment of living for the brave evacuees, to the Fukushima women's tour for protesting in front of the Oi Nuclear Power Plant, to the group lawsuit on behalf of 1300 people against TECPCO and the government, to the numbers of claimants raised by the pressure groups, to the numbers of actions taken for public information, to the news spread immediately through internet, films, music, books, to an unique traditional dance from Fukushima, and to the helicopter flying above us right now! Today, there is a guy who walked all the way from Nihonmastu Fukushima. Please welcome Mr. Seki, the leader of "Ash March".
One day in June, Mr. Hisao Seki began his walk on his own to Tokyo. One time before the 3.11 accident, two young men tried to walk down from Tokyo to Fukushima. They called it "Abolition Walk". These guys were walking reverse to the course of electricity. In other words, they were walking from Tokyo the "consumer" of electricity to Fukushima the "provider", in order to consider a new vision of the way of living in the "nuclear free world". Now, Mr. Seki and his fellows had walked along with this course of electricity with the sand collected from his back yard, which is contaminated to radiation. Tomorrow, he will hand over the contaminated sand to TEPCO and the government because the contamination was caused solely by their nuclear plants. While he walked in the heat of summer weather or in the heavy rain, one, two, three and more people started to follow him. How many people are you accompanied with today, Mr. Seki?
Now, let us thank ourselves and thank the person sitting next to you. Let us take a deep breath and comfort our bodies. These bodies are the temple of our activities. Let us not exhaust ourselves any more. Let us smile to each other and continue to live tomorrow. Nevertheless, the situation in Fukushima is still severe. We are still facing so many issues, Fukushima Daiich Unit 4, thyroid test, reactivation of nuclear power plants, spreading contaminated debris, a security treaty on Atomic Energy Basic Law, decontamination business, abolition business, recovery business and so many lost lives in Fukushima...
Joanna Macy once said 'hope is hidden in despair'. We have seen a slight light in the storm of Fukushima nuclear accident, and we are here under the blue sky at Yoyogi Park. Let us stand by the people in Fukushima whose voices are taken. Let us not be discouraged by those who try to trap and fool us. Let us walk together for the brighter future.
16, 07, 2012