A Letter from Naoto Amaki, Former ambassador of Lebanon, to the Firstlady
Naoto Amaki, a former Japanese ambassador to Lebanon and currently an author on political issues, sent a petition letter to First Lady Akie Abe and posted on his blog. The letter urged her to take measures to evacuate children from Fukushima. Mr. Amaki once protested against the war in Iraq in 2003 while he was still working as ambassador. The action eventually led him to be discharged from his position. Since then, he has been active in journalism. In this letter to Mrs. Abe, he mentions the significance of the Collective Evacuation Trial.
Dear Mrs. Akie Abe,
I apologize for my impoliteness to send an open petition letter to you. I appreciate if you could read my letter with attention, since it is a very important message.
I happened to be invited one day for a talk in Fukushima. There I came to know that young mothers have been living their daily lives in constant terror that their beloved children would be victimized by radiation. They are terribly anxious about their babies, God’s gift to them.
I fully recognize that there are scientists and medical doctors who say that the radiation level in Fukushima is nothing to be afraid of and that there are different theories of the effect of radiation on human bodies. However, while they are at length discussing radiation issues, children might be irradiated and fetuses might be in danger. The important fact is that mothers and their children, who have to live with tremendous fear, are calling for help. Moreover, the fear is not of their making!
“I do not believe in the existence of God if he cannot prevent even a single drop of tears from an innocent child.”
This is the word of a character in one of Dostoyevsky’s novels. And the quote reminds me that politics which cannot save the suffering of mothers and children in Fukushima are not worth to be called politics.
In Fukushima, I met a group of people who are actively taking action to let children evacuate as soon as possible in order to protect their health. I bought a booklet from them. The book is, “Danger for children! ‘The Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial Team’ fights to protect children from the Fukushima nuclear accident” (published by the Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial Team, Honnoizumi-sya).
I could not read it without tears. Notable scholars from Japan and abroad, such as Noam Chomsky, have been claiming that we cannot be forgiven for abandoning the children who are in danger of irradiation. It is a matter of ethics.
I sincerely urge you to read this booklet. And please do look at the reality of Fukushima as I read this booklet. It is a cowardly and lazy attitude if we allow ourselves not to acknowledge the truth. Once we know the truth, we should work on solving the problems as much as possible. I consider it a sin not to take action against the problems.
Needless to say, First Lady Abe, you are the wife of the prime minister of Japan. To save the lives of mothers and children from irradiation is our responsibility as mature adults, no matter what political stance or ideology we would embrace.
Prime Minister Abe, your honorable husband, who is backed by the citizens of Japan, has spent days and nights in the effort to serve the nation. I surmise with respect that First Lady Abe has also been making tremendous effort, day and night, to support the prime minister with great love and respect. I offer my hearty congratulations on your effort.
For this reason, I strongly urge you, First Lady, to pay attention to the situation in Fukushima in order to save the lives of mothers and children. Please read the booklet, meet mothers and children, and open your heart to share their sadness and sufferings.
I hope from my heart that politics with justice will be realized as soon as possible in order to help the collective evacuation of the children. I believe it is not hard to do. In order to make collective evacuation possible for mothers and children who wish to evacuate, we simply need to provide financial support and places to stay for them. It would be sufficient to distribute a part of the post-disaster reconstruction budget to form an evacuation plan.
The reconstruction budget has been criticized for misuse and waste. Who would not support the use of the budget for helping suffering mothers and children in Fukushima? It does not contradict the nuclear policy of Prime Minister Abe. On the contrary, such policy of Prime Minister Abe will certainly be thanked and praised by the Japanese citizens.
Please forgive me for writing this long letter. This is the petition letter, written by a citizen who sympathizes with the mothers and children who live with great anxieties for irradiation. I am writing this on behalf of those who suffer.
First Lady Akiko Abe, I sincerely hope that you will pay attention to my petition and you will take an action upon it.
April 8, 2013