SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English

  • John Chuan-Tiong Lim “Isolated Taiwan” got “Complete Victory” over Tedros”

    On April 8, Tedros Adhanam, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has made unprecedented criticism against Taiwan at a press briefing, in a public place. He criticized that Taiwan criticized him personally and made racial discrimination. In December last year, Taiwan has warned possibility of “human-to-human” infection of coronavirus, but the WHO ignored it. World opinion doubted the WHO’s ignorance and became complicated that led to “Unexpected War” between “Tedros vs. Taiwan”.   At this “Unequal War”, which Tedros made positively, he lacked in strategic thought and effective measures. On the other hand, Taiwan maneuvered cleverly utilizing Tedros’s mistake (turning a disadvantage into an advantage) and has turned to worldwide appealing offensively saying “Taiwan_Can_Help (the world)” utilizing their successful experience in prevention of epidemics. They revealed themselves on the worldwide stage most for the last several decades. At the pandemic time, their excellence in prevention of epidemics were watched with keen interest by the rest of the world. They have been trying to open the door of the WHO and succeeded in making up favorable circumstances of the world opinion.  ” Four Strategic Mistakes” by Tedros in his criticism against TaiwanNeedless to say, WHO is the most important international organization amid pandemic of COVID-19. Director Tedros expressed his “pro-China” opinion many times at the early stage of the epidemics. We can say that his “wrong judgement” on epidemics were very remarkable and he has made denial statements about human-to-human infection on January 14. It goes without saying that he has been feeling a lot of pressure from such criticism of international opinions.  It is easy to understand that Tedros has tried his counter attack at the WHO press briefing because he could not endure any more. Critical international opinions toward him were piling up gradually and he made a lot of mistakes, at his problem settings, in contents, object, timing and judgement of situations which successful strategists might not make. He also lost his supports which take criticism from international opinions. On the contrary, he could not get possible effect but has given a chance of “a come-from-behind victory” to Taiwan.  How did Tedros make mistakes concretely?1) There is no evidence in his criticism. In any kind of “counterattack”, the most basic counter measure is an argument based on ample evidence. Tedros just censured “everything came from Taiwan” saying “insult myself”, “call me “colored” using discriminative saying”. Tedros also said “the Foreign Department of Taiwan know some people made personal attack on myself and do not deny it”. But, he did not show any evidence. 2) His saying was unsuitable for such occasion. He mixed up public and private matters and utilized public organization for his private use. Actually, he began to talk suddenly at the usual WHO press briefing about personal attack against him. It gave the world an impression that he lost an air of dignity as a leader of international organization. 3) He mistook the timing also. In March, COVID-19 pandemic has spread in America and Europe day by day. Under such circumstances, dissatisfaction in the world against mistakes by Tedros is getting worse and worse. When Tedros criticized Taiwan by name, signature-collection campaign on inter-net for his resignation marked 750,000. Such movement cannot be said always the one because of the fact Taiwan took initiative. It is because Tedros has started his “counterattack” under disadvantageous situation for him. We can say it was possible to predict from the beginning. 4) Tedros made a mistake also in selection of target. Target of his counter attack was neither an individual nor an organization. Not a concrete case. His target was Taiwan itself as a political substance. Moreover, the reason of criticism was just “human discrimination” and it was very ambiguous. He has just wanted to recover the support of international opinions and the strategy was planned by himself and small group around him. But the target was the whole society. It was not impossible to predict such strong “counterattack”, if they insist such opinions under the poor grounds and evidences.  As expected, “counterattack” toward Tedros was a roar of anger “anti-Tedros” from the whole Taiwan and such roar became a beginning of the union of ruling parties, “Democratic Progressive Party” and opposition party “National Party “in Taiwan, toward the other countries in the world. And all the people, not only Taiwanese but foreign students in Taiwan also, protested under united efforts against criticism by Tedros which is “not truth”.  How did Taiwan get “complete victory” turning a disadvantage into an advantage?”At that time, Taiwan has been achieving good results in prevention of epidemics and their medical technologies and innovation has been evaluated highly internationally. Democratic Progressive Party, taking this good chance, launched the “Taiwan_Can_Help” campaign and strengthened their international presence.  Foreign Department of Taiwan protested to Tedros immediately saying that “his criticism is buck-passing scape goating too much and he is irresponsible”. Taiwan President Ts’ai Ing_wen issued her statement on her Facebook that “Taiwan oppose any style of discriminations. We, Taiwanese, has been excluded in any style of international organization for a long time. So, we can understand people’s feelings which are discriminated and isolated better than anybody else. “It is just “turning a disadvantage into an advantage”. She also said that Taiwan want to shorten a distance between the WHO and Taiwan and expressed to Tedros to visit Taiwan by all means. In her statement, she also told, how Taiwan in the midst of being discriminated and isolated, has made efforts to keep their progress and contributed to international societies. National Party issued also their statement that the WHO leader should not blame, under groundless reasoning for it, the cause of criticism toward the WHO on Taiwan.  Amid a roar of “Anti-Tedros” by Taiwanese, fund-raising campaign “Letters to the World by Taiwanese”, by a You Tuber and a designer, has being attracted attention of the world. This campaign was carried on the New York Times first after “Criticism on Taiwan” by Tedros. The target amount by this campaign was NT$400,000. But it has reached to NT$1,900,000 immediately within fifteen hours after starting. This protest advertising was carried on the New York Times on April 14 and its message was “Who_can_help? Taiwan!” Taiwan emphasized that “when we were isolated, we chose unity”.  On April 17, when Taiwan donated face masks and other prevention goods to many countries, U.S. President Donald Trump criticized China again that China concealed the data of spread of the COVID-19 infection. He also pointed out that the WHO ignored the warning “human-to human infection” by Taiwan, which was made at the end of December, last year. In China, which should be the biggest supporter of Tedros, at that time, African people were receiving racial discrimination in Wuhan, China. Colored people in this area, regardless of being infected or not, were forced to be isolated. And, their passports were confiscated, and they were turned out of their homes or hotels sometimes. Under such circumstances, a lot of countries in Africa recalled their ambassadors to China and sent officials letters to Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China. In those letters, they were watching closely on such circumstances and asked his explanation.   On the other hand, the world recognized that Taiwan is very friendly to foreigners. Even if the relations between China and Taiwan seems to be unfriendly, all the students or tourists from main land evaluated friendly attitudes and politeness of Taiwan society. Under such circumstances, Tedros directed his criticism toward Taiwan thoughtlessly by reason of “racial discrimination”. He did not anticipate repulsion would spread widely because Taiwan is not the member of the WHO, which shall be approved by the United Nations and lack in international positions. Tedros got the contrary effect.  Mistakes in the judgement by Tedros “Taiwan-criticism” resulted in big interests in Taiwan by the worldwide opinion. At present, European countries and Japan are expressing their supports that Taiwan can attend, as an observer, on the WHO general meeting in this May. Under such adversities, WHO had to evaluate officially on a press briefing on April 18, that Taiwan has made successful results in prevention of epidemics.  It all depends on an attitude of Beijing whether Taiwan can participate in the WHO.Confused fight between Tedros and Taiwan this time gave Taiwan, which has been isolated from international societies for a long time because of sovereignty of China, a good timing of getting international interests and supports. From this reasoning, we can say Taiwan has got “Complete Victory”.  SGRA Kawaraban 630 in Japanese (Original)  John_Chuan-Tiong_Lim / Researcher of Japan Research Center (Taiwan), Head of Japan Research Center (Wuhan)   Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Sim Choon KIat “And, I transformed myself into Sterilization Geek!”

    When I come back to my house from university, supermarket or walk, I straightly go to the bathroom, gargle earnestly and wash my hands completely with hand soap. After sterilizing my hands, I put an antibacterial sanitary disposable plastic bag in my hand and return outside again to clean all the places and stuffs that I have touched. I sterilize all the germs, including good and bad bacteria without expression by using an absorbent cotton with antiseptic solution starting from digital number pad and its cover, handle of entrance door, electric switches, faucet of bathroom etc.  Then I sterilize my wallet, coin purse, keys and smartphone from my pocket. Now, even if I commit a crime, I'm confident that all the fingerprints and evidence left on the scene will be erased cleanly and never caught. I became an indiscriminate sterilizer now. I transformed into a sterilization geek now.  Till last month, I was laughing and chilling at people who were anti-bacterial and sterilizing anything. I have looked down on such people saying: “Are you tired of your fastidiousness?” “If you are aseptic, your immunity will be weakened and weakened, and you will become a Neuroses soon!” I was a little silly in my mind. However, life is interesting, and I became such “small fool” in myself now. Since Coronavirus is more cunning, worse and poor-quality opponent than a bacterium. So, it must be destroyed completely with zero-tolerance.  In order to prevent myself from being infected, and especially not to infect other people, we have to declare the war against all the germs. Even though we know that almost all the bacteria are not bad, but we must eradicate them on the pretext of extermination of germs. It’s like a war by between human beings. Especially in Japan, where the number of inspections is very few and cases of unknown transmission routes are very large, it will not be strange for anyone to be infected in anytime at any place. In a sense, it is not different from the war on terrorism. Since I have to forestall against germs and sterilize them, I had no choice to transform myself into “sterilization geek”.  As I often talk about the withdrawal problems in my university lectures, I have transformed myself into “withdrawal in my home”. I can understand feelings of others, who withdraw into their homes, through my experience of their withdrawal. They cannot go out despite they like to go out. They cannot go anywhere despite there are places where they want to visit. They cannot meet anybody despite there are people whom they like to meet. I could realize the state of impatient or uneasy mind. Even though the sunlight is pouring outside, we have to refrain ourselves from going out. This made me remember the lyrics of an old song “sigh again despite we are in spring…”.    A Japanese word “jishuku” (self-restraint) in dictionary means “to refrain from what you say and do willingly”, It is very ambiguous and awkward. It is up to us whether we are willing to refrain or not as there is no legal enforcement. It is not incomprehensible if there would be any person who says, “As we are in beautiful spring, let us go out!” I personally think that there is a lack of some sense of tension or crisis in Japan. This is big difference from other countries.  We are told that the number of people in the street in downtown, like Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ginza, decreased markedly. They restrained themselves from going out on their own discipline regardless of penalties like foreign countries. However, on the contrary, local shopping streets became busy. And, “shops for necessities of life” in super markets or home centers become amusement parks for children. I fully understand the feeling of parents who like to take their children out as they are not going to school. However, as an indiscriminate sterilizer, it is my honest feeling “Is Japan all right?” The decrease in the number of people who commute to work in the morning has not reached the target and looking at the line in front of the cash register in the supermarket, social distancing is not properly maintained as in overseas. I sigh again deeply saying “Is it really all right in Japan?”    I think their easygoing and non-cautious attitude arose from the attitude of leaders at questions and answers in the Diet where they read manuscripts by their monotonous voices. Such style of leaders’ speeches doesn’t reach people’s minds and hearts, such as other people's affairs, has been featured in the media of my country, Singapore, and is conspicuously noticeable in the current world situation. It's no wonder that you get lots of worried e-mails from your friends in Singapore every time the diet release or issue (“hasshutu” in Japanese) a monotonous declaration that are read hanging their heads. Are there anything that can be done about such “red-tape” word like “hasshutu” when everybody wants easy Japanese now?  I'm also curious about the polite words from the leaders which are too polite or courteous. I think "Thank you for your understanding" is still good, but "I would like to ask for your cooperation" may be too humble, and the sense of urgency may be diminished. If I speak to germs on my hands before sterilization that “Please understand and cooperate with me to kill you (germs)”, my feeling of indiscriminate sterilizer would be eased.  At any rate, I just pray for Japan, which keep following their old-fashioned or half-hearted style of countermeasures, to hold out against the coronavirus.   Anyway, my sterilization and withdrawal life would come to an end someday but I don’t know when. The intellectuals in the world, including SGRA, are telling that the change of power balance in the world, end of globalization, withdrawal of free market, the rise of autocracy, collapse of democracy, reorganization of economic activities, enlargement of racial and class gaps etc. There is no doubt that it will be a great test for humanity, and we will be faced with grand political, economic, cultural and social experiments, challenges and choices in the future. While working hard from my home, I am always thinking that by such changes or regardless of the changes, whether Corona will inevitably create a new type of human being due to those fluctuations or regardless of their transformation, whether history will reach a major turning point and whether I would transform myself after COVID-19.  SGRA Kawaraban 629 in Japanese (Original)  Sim_ChoonKiat / Associated Professor, Showa Women’s University, SGRA Researcher  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Xie Zhihai ”Classes in Universities amid COVID-19 Pandemic”

    Nobody in the world has ever imagined that the year 2020 would become the year like this. COVID-19, which have started in China, spread the world in an instant. Everybody cannot take their eyes off from the number of people, their countries and the world, who are infected and their daily life are also restricted. New word “korona-tukare “CORONA fatigue” is already born. Everybody, who is doing any prevention or measure against COVID-19, waits for its ending as soon as possible.As I have a feeling that measures against COVID-19 are different in countries, I would like to write here about the measures in universities.  We are now in March, but we cannot see any ending so the universities in the countries, which have a lot of infected person, are deciding to close schools. In America and England, universities front–loaded their spring holidays from mid- or end of March and students will take online classes after spring holidays up to the end of the grade. Some universities celebrate their graduation ceremonies in June by online. In China, classes are being taken online after this Chinese New Year. Korea is also the same. Reasons why those countries could change to online classes so easily are: infrastructures have been prepared already and they have been utilizing commonly.   Then, how about Japan?  Universities in Japan are still discussing about timing when they start new school term in April, not starting online classes. Amid such circumstances, the University of Tokyo decided that they will start their new term by online classes. At the other universities (private), they will make orientation for freshmen by online and are groping for new style of schooling on online systems. At the APU (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University) or AIU (Akita International University), both of them have a lot of foreign students and the students who come from other areas in Japan, have already declared that they will start new terms by online. It is important to keep students healthy and their campus sanitary. And, there are other important issues to be taken care appropriately like acceptance and sending of foreign students.   One thing to be considered is that universities must be the place where they give students chances to study whatever happens. For example, if starting of new term would delay, universities have to have supplemental lessons even if they have to extend summer vacation backward. Anyway, it is important to have no blank period. I do not say they will change to online classes immediately. They give assignments to students and receive the report from the students by mail. If there are circumstances for smartphone and internet, they can keep communications between universities and students. Amid COVID-19, if students cannot go out from their homes and they are not informed when universities will be opened, they may have spiritual isolation or loneliness.  For this paper, I checked in the websites of universities in America and Europe.  On their guidance for online classes, I could see a guideline by a hot line for students who have to stay home and feel lonely.  I found community information among students who help each other to get over such situation on online. I was impressed by their measures which are prepared not only for online classes but also for the aftercare of students.   On the Emergency Declaration by the Japanese Government, Kyoai Gakuen University,which I am belonging, began to examine online classes. Under spread of COVID-19, I have a feeling now that we must be prepared for the situation that universities open classes and give students assignment or issues at any time. SGRA Kawaraban 627 in Japanese (Original)  Xie_Zhihai / Associate Professor, KyoueiGakuen University,   Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Hirakawa Hitoshi The 5th Asia Future Conference Roundtable Discussion “South-East Asian Culture and Religious Dialogues”

    We had two days roundtable discussions under the title “The South-East Asian Culture and Religious Dialogues” at the 5th Asia Future Conference at Bellevue Hotel Alabang, Metro Manila on January 10 and at University of the Philippines Los Banos on January 11, 2020.    As I have been interested in Asian economy and recent development of economies in newly developing area, I made a speech under the title “Social ethics and global economy”. So, I would like to comment on what I thought and felt at the roundtable discussions.    My understanding was very limited because of my English language skills and lack of knowledge about religion and societies in the South-East Asia. Therefore, the contents of the meeting are not introduced here. So you are requested to confirm the contents with the report by the chairman of the discussion session, Professor OGAWA Tadashi from Atomi University. I myself would like to know more deeply about economics, religions and social ethics once the reports will be issued officially.  I myself have found that economics today has a great impact on developing societies, yet their attention to them is extremely inadequate. The 2001 Nobel Prize winner in economics, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, describes the experience of his colleague, Professor Richard H. Thaler from the University of Chicago, that the perception of justice about economic behavior among students studying economics is far from the ordinary people.  According to his survey on pricing of shovels for shoveling after a storm, 82% of the general population answered that price increases were unfair, compared to just 24% of MBA students attending the University. The understanding of fairs in economics students is very different from that of social understanding. In fact, such cases are happening around us as a high-priced mask sale due to ongoing COVID 19. Professor Stiglitz sharply criticized that the economic affairs played a role in the collusion between wealthy people and politicians due to the widening income gap in American society.  The keynote speaker at the Roundtable, Professor Bernard M. Villegas, Vice President of Asia-Pacific University, addressed the issue that economics is less interested in social issues or selfishness. Professor Villegas, as an educator with a Ph.D. in economics along with his experience of around half a century summed up the discussion, saying that economics has expedited subdivision and quantization too much. He emphasized the elegance of mathematical formulas in the analysis of economic phenomena. He was objectively criticized for competing, emphasizing market independence, and eliminating justice, social responsibility of human beings, and consideration of national regulations. At the same time, he persuasively stated that he, himself, practiced his teaching of economics, being based on the results of various sciences, for solution of poverty in the Philippines saying economics is “social science”.    The report by Ms. Sister Mary John Mananzan of St. Scholastica University in the Philippines dealing with the feminization of poverty in the Philippines, the report by Mr. Somboon Chun Prampuri of the social participation Buddhist network reporting on the social ethics and globalization of Buddhism in Thailand, and the report by Jamhari Siswant, Dean of the Sharif Hidayatura State Islamic University, reported on the latest Islamic movements in Indonesia. These all reports addressed the current challenges of religious people in Southeast Asia.  Listening to those opinions, I wondered if economics which I know now can respond to such opinions or reports. Religious social activities are aimed at living human beings. They are directly involved in fighting various types of discrimination, including absolute poverty and gender discrimination, in various environments and conditions. Many social activities in Southeast Asia are aimed at liberation from poverty and sex discrimination.  Come to think of it, Economics sees society from a distinctly different perspective. Economics describes complex social relationships as a model of a simple abstract market, and considers that society can maximize "efficiency" through that market. The market here equates society with an unclear distinction between idea and reality. Moreover, in the current mainstream economics, the real world is captured through mathematical models, and other social sciences are excluded. Of course, economics has grown greatly now, and various models have been created to approach reality. The principle model has been modified.  But what if these economics apply to the developing world? Economists who write development prescriptions have little knowledge of developing societies, and the prescriptions thus made are policies through developed countries and international development organizations. In conclusion, such models can be said to have been founded on simple and philosophical market models. When a policy fails, its cause has been sought in the developing society itself. The response to the Asian currency crisis of 1997 is a good example.  I dare to say that there is no distinction in economics between economy and society.  In economic globalization, economics has been involved in the development of developing regions and forced developing countries to liberalize and privatize. The various contradictions which come from such enforcement have been imposed to the weak.  The story jumps a little, but the global financial crisis that hit the US subprime loan crisis in 2008, and the birth of US President Trump in 2017, are the consequences of the failure of policy promoted by liberal economics. Also, it is ironic that China, under the Communist Party's government, which seemed to be unsuccessful, achieved amazing development and growth. Is it a counterattack by actual societies against mainstream economics? Every society need rules. However, the economics of the past half century have broken down the rules of society, expanded the income gap, deepened social division, and deteriorated the economy and society by treating it as regulation. Isn't that attachment a democratic crisis both inside and outside the United States?  When I expressed my opinion, at round-table conference, saying that economics now think about welfare on the assumption of abstract “model.” Sister Mary Mananzan showed a nasty look which pierced my heart sharply.  The word "economics is science" also comes to mind. However, economics as a social science must be self-restraint regarding the application of abstract models to the real world, and policies need not be created in cooperation with various sciences. There are words “Economics is Science”. However, economics, as a social science, should be self-controlled when its abstracted models will be applied to actual societies and its policies must be decided in cooperation with various sciences. No matter how much economics claims academic superiority, it is only dogmatic and arrogant. In international development and poverty development, a restraint attitude may be required more urgently than ever before.  It is not wrong at all that economics is certainly valid for partial, local analysis and policy. However, when trying to apply it to a developing society, special caution and restraint are required. However, if we apply to developing societies, we have to be careful and self-controlled. I think it was around the Asian currency crisis, but I remember the anecdote that economists once learned of the history and societies of developing countries obscure decision-making by a former prominent American economist. I realized from this round table discussion about my relationship with society. I would like to continue my study hereafter “social ethics and global economy” and its relation with sustainable and joint development.  Lastly, I express my thanks to all the people who organized the round table discussions, Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas who made a keynote speech, Prof. T. Ogawa and Dr. Ranjana Mukopadhyaya, who chaired the discussions, Project Coordinator, Dr. Brenda Tenegra, Dr. Ferdinando C. Maquito and Dr. Sonya Dale who interpreted for me.  SGRA Kawaraban 624 in Japanese (Original)  Hitoshi Hirakawa / Professor emeritus, Nagoya University, Director of Atsumi International Foundation  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala  
  • Wu Xiaoxiao “Nagasaki , take action ! ”

     It was in the afternoon, when I arrived at Nagasaki. It has been raining on and off all day.  And, it was already after 19:30 when I arrived at hotel after finishing supper following visit to Dejima and the Oh-ura Cathedral. I had a plan to visit Inasa-yama (Mt. Inasa) first. However, my fatigue and rain made me being bewildered and tried to persuade myself to give up.  According to my checking on internet how to enjoy night view of Inasa-yama, people say “it is difficult to visit there without car”, or “recommend to use tour bus”.  Actually, I persuaded myself to give up saying “the number of public bus is limited”, “I have to worry about the way back to hotel at night”, “it will be possible tomorrow” and “it will be OK without enjoying night view” etc..  When did look I persuade myself to give up what I like to do or what I want to have before starting?  It becomes my fetters if I would examine and think beforehand too much. Or, I put off because there are too many things to do knowing that I have to do. I have to use bigger energy if I like to shift my idea to action. Or, if I cannot keep my promise due to my putting off, I would become “kana-shibari” (old hag syndrome) by sense of guilt and fear like an ostrich (burying it’s head in the sand while leaving other parts exposed). It is a vicious circle that lack of ability of taking action becomes bigger due to stress by my putting off and self-hatred.  It becomes clear that if I plan to go tomorrow, it would mean I do not go by 100%.  In conclusion, I left hotel having mobile map only (not following a route on network).  There is a Japanese word “houkou-onchi” (no sense of direction). There seems no relations between direction and the sense of hearing or space and sound. If we think of a metaphor “architecture is a frozen music”, I think it very exquisite expression.  I was turning around repeatedly on the same route, like from walking to streetcars, walking to bus, walking to ropeway, and I was heading to opposite directions.  Strange to say, my stress, fear or uneasiness, has been disappearing after leaving hotel.  When I got off ropeway, I heard a cheer from a distance and saw a lot of people moving at the foot of a mountain. It was a finishing of any concert. When lift doorsof the observation platform open, I could see a glorious view of the Nagasaki Port,which is long horizontally and folded with mountains. Shadow of the port on the sea-surface is very conspicuous. That’s the port Nagasaki ! It is the one of the best 3 night views in Japan. When I enjoyed such view and went to the elevator hall, I heard explosive sound and I could look back gigantic fireworks which was lighted from a vessel below. It was very exciting to see fireworks on the sea which continued for about twenty minutes. It was the first time for me to “look down” fireworks from above.    Once I take the first step, mind and body become lightened. And, once I keep walking, there would be nothing useless even if it may not be shortcut. If I take any action, everything would go better. Why do I take such action from the beginning ? There would be many reasons depending on people who are lacking of action. On the way back to hotel, I realized that if I think of too much what I would do, it is a reason of lacking of action. The more you think, the more you afraid of your failure. And you will have a negative image in your future. You will have a pressure on what you think it important or difficult and it takes time to take action. It is said that reason for such thinking too much comes from “perfectionism” or “PCN (Procrastination Syndrome)”  Everybody may have such “syndrome” more or less, and if someone feel seriously for such syndrome, he would make cause trouble to surroundings.  It is natural to make trouble in his daily works and living. Especially, his confidence will be damaged and it is not good for his mental health.  Then, how to solve or improve it?  When I left hotel, I did not imagine to look down fireworks from the top of “Inasa-yama”. But, I thought I would damage myself if I do not take action to leave hotel by momentum. After leaving hotel, I have been losing way all the way and could not care about myself to be able to reach “Inasa-yama” or not. It was good to give no time to myself beforehand. Once I take one step forward, only action will follow. I think it most difficult to open “Word file” when I try to write an essay or a thesis after deadline. I feel it torturous to read my unfinished essay. But, once I can clear such psychological barriers, task itself would not distress me. Rather, it may make me pleasure like night view from the top of Inasa-yama and fire-works and make me feel “I am glad I could come here”. By the way, it rained very heavily ever recorded next day in Kyushu and all the trains in Nagasaki stopped. If I have postponed my schedule saying “I would go tomorrow”, I missed the chance to see such wonderful views.    SGRA Kawaraban 622 in Japanese (Original)  Wu Xiaoxiao /2018 Raccoon, Associate Fellow, Curator of Tokyo National Museum,  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Kim Boram “Environment and Scientific Technology”

     “Science saves and destroys the earth.”  Since I have studied about solar power generation, a type of renewable energies for five years during my master’s and doctoral degree courses, I have always been thinking about this phrase. Through this phrase, I would like to write my feelings about the relationship between “environment and science”.  In recent years, environmental issues like exhaustion of resources such as oil and coal, air pollution, and global warming are becoming more acute. As a result, countries around the world have adopted every possible policy like the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the Paris Agreement of 2015. Among those policies, if we focus on the energy issues, the main goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the purpose of countries that are promoting the use of renewable energy is not only the issue of the global environment but also the protection of energy security, but we will not talk about that here.     In the field of science and technology, the most important thing to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) exhaustion is to develop clean energy sources. Beside solar power generation that I have worked on, there are other power generation systems, like wind power generation, geothermal and biomass power generation etc. There are other approaches of technologies related to the electrification of products such as the development of automobiles which mount electric motor engines instead of gasoline engines. Also, the research has been conducted on capturing CO2, exhausted at thermal power station, and restore it into carbon fuels. Looking at these things, science is thought to be a discipline that can save the future earth. However, what I have always been questioning is that the development of science and technology has caused the current environmental problems.  Scientific technology has invented various things to enrich human life. At present, the indispensable of our daily life such as the electrical products like mobile phones and computers including vehicles such as automobiles and airplanes and functional materials for clothes are all products made by the development of science and technology. Even mass production, which have been developed to meet our increasing population, was made by development of scientific technology. Even just from what is stated here, it is clear that human life has been abundant due to the development of science. At the same time, consumption of energy and natural resources buried in the ground (metal etc.) are being critical. It is estimated that the world economy that has continued to develop since the industrial revolution that took place in the latter half of the 18th century will continue to grow by the development of the developing countries. However, it is speculated that the depletion of resources and environmental issues will continue to grow and become more serious.   The unknown world is explicated down to nanometer unit by the development of science and even taking pictures of black holes has been successful. I think scientific technique could make clear about any phenomenon on earth and in planet and enrich human life. However, I hope such scientific technique will be utilized not only for human beings but also for the global environment. Science destroys the earth for human life, but science also has the key to overcome it. In fact, efforts are now started to develop renewable energies, electric motors for cars, and plastics that melts quickly. I, as a researcher of engineering science, would like to challenge my research and knowledge for the future of the earth.     SGRA Kawaraban 621 in Japanese (Original)  Kim_Boran / Special researcher of Power Device at Samsung Electronics (Korea)   Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Yang Chun-ting The 8th Fukushima Study Tour “Resurrection of Fukushima”

    I participated in the Fukushima Study Tour for three days from September 21 to 23, 2019 and I had a really productive time. People just say “earthquake disaster” and “reconstruction” simply. But, I would like to report what actually happened and are being happening in Fukushima. Habitants fled from radiation contamination after the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant Accident in 2011. And, I report what I heard and saw, like decontamination works, utilization of land and return of habitants etc.  At First, we visited the "TEPCO Decommissioning Museum", which reviews the progress of the nuclear accident and introduces the current status and schedule of decommissioning work. It was a few days after three former TEPCO executives were acquitted by the judicial decision. The commentators of the museum explained and apologized repeatedly saying “TEPCO did not continue to strengthen safety measures by neglecting the risk of severe accidents caused by external events such as natural phenomena “.  I was surprised rather at their explanation that TEPCO have not taken any measures by 2011 despite TEPCO have received an information in 2008 that water level would rise to 15.7m by tsunami by the earthquake at Fukushima offshore.   We left the museum and went to Iitate where people have been interrupted from their usual day-to day life because they had to take refuges. On March 31, 2017, six years after the accident, the evacuation order for Iitate, except one district, was released finally.  According to statistics on September, this year, only less than 1,200 villagers out of about 6,500 returned. I saw a lot of flexible container bags for contaminated soil in Iitate, surrounded by beautiful mountains. I could see solar-panels also at the corner of farm-land.  We stayed at “House of Wind and Soil”, built by reused wooden materials for temporary houses for exchange between the people inside and outside of Iitate. We took lectures from Mr. Yoichi Tao, Director of “Resurrection of Fukushima” and Assistant Director, Professor Masaru Mizoguchi, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science/ Faculty of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo. We learned the present Iitate, where agriculture, forestry and livestock industries have been their livelihood before.  But, farmers cultivate Turkish (Chinese) bellflowers (トルコキキョウ) in cultivation houses now, and we could see barns for cows which are controlled by remote monitoring equipment.  We visited “Museum for Matsuzuka Soil” where we learned how to decontaminate radiation “Cesium”, and also visited farms for Japanese lacquer tree (ウルシ) which are being cultivated experimentally as economical products. We experienced planting flowers under the guidance of Mr. Kin-ichi Ookubo who is trying to make flower garden like a paradise of earth by growing various flowers like cherry blossoms and roses.  We have enjoyed dinner party also together with the villagers at the Sasu Public Hall (ex-Sasu Junior High School) where we offered our hand-made fusion cuisine and villagers returned their dance and songs.  In fact, among the people who can be counted as villagers in Iidate, more than 100 migrants who have moved in during the past two years, such as the Tao family, are included. Therefore, some villagers said that, as to their resurrection plan, they feel antipathy against the opinion of new comers from outside of Iitate.  “Resurrection of Fukushima” is now setting their new program. But it may affect Iitate, because we cannot say all the villagers are keeping up pace with the program. Actually, “Resurrection of Fukushima” called an art director, Mr. Fram Kitagawa to draw up a plan “Art Project” discovering local culture and attracting visitors to the area.  *Fram Kitagawa : famous for his works like “International Art Festival in Setonai”, “Art Festival of Daichi (Niigata Pref.)etc., Awarded ‘文化功労賞‘(bunka koro sho - cultural distinguished service) in 2016  Some people may have a doubt why “art” is adopted for the purpose of resurrection ofagricultural villages. However, I, as a student of art, understand think it quite reasonable. Art tends to add unique value to every event, by "visualizing" things that are not normally visible to the public and re-examining established concepts. The viewer is stimulated by the art work and encourages various discoveries and recognition. Due to these characteristics, art projects are already being practiced in many parts of Japan as a means of regional resurrection, with the hope that artists will bring new perspectives to discover and communicate the appeal of the region.  According to Mr. Tao, resurrection of Iitate does not mean returning the village to the original condition. He insisted that the nuclear accident destroyed the relationship between the nature and human beings and spirits of human beings who cut off their relationship were destroyed by the accident. In these meanings, art project may lead to new relations or attractions between human beings and human beings, or between human beings and lands.  Efforts for resurrection of Iitate spread from agriculture and forestry, and stock raising to artistic activities. Regardless of whether it is an “inside person” or not, the many activities being carried out by multi-disciplinary collaborators who have enormous imagination based on the research and research capabilities that have settled on the ground, showcase the rich creativity of citizens.  SGRA NEWS ( Report of The 8th Fukushima Study Tour) in Japanese (original) Photos of the Day  Yang Chun-ting / 2018 Raccoon      Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • CHINAG_Yung_Po I returned “Fukushima” after One Year and Four Months

    I have visited Fukushima in May 2018, for the first time, as a participant of “the Fukushima Study Tour”, and I returned Fukushima on September 21, 2019 after one year and four months. Why did I, a Taiwanese, visited Fukushima again? First, I liked rich nature and beautiful scenery of Fukushima and liked to meet people who are trying hard for restoration of Fukushima. I sympathize with the people having common problems of how to confront with the issues of nuclear power plant and renewable energies. I returned Fukushima this time because Taiwan has the same problems, and I cannot think it is someone else’s problem. Yang Chun-Ting reported on the details of this year's tour, so I would like to mention the changes that I felt on this tour over a year and four months.  At first, I visited TEPCO decommissioning museum for the first time. While at graduate school, I was a curator and had experience in exhibiting at museums and other places. Compared to the exhibits we have seen so far, the decommissioning museum introduced the latest technology and its digital exhibition was very impressive. For example, it is a very easy-to-understand exhibit that includes images of the theater hall at the time of the occurrence of the earthquake and images of the current robot working inside the reactor building.  In the commentary, the apology was repeated, stating that "remembering the memories and records of the accident and passing on reflections and lessons learned inside and outside the company to prevent such an accident from happening again" are claimed to be "one of the responsibilities to be fulfilled.".  In their explanation, they mentioned that there was overconfidence in safety measure. But they never touch on location of their responsibility. They never referred to how they should evade tragedy, or how to deal with similar situations. By such reasons, I thought their saying about their apology and explanation were very superficial by their official positions. I found a meaning which I could learn about nuclear power accident. It was the basis of everything. After leaving the Museum, I had different feelings about Iitate from the last Tour during three days staying at Iitate.  The first thing that need to be addressed is “the house of wind and soil”(“the House” hereafter). In the last tour, we have stayed at “Ryouzen Center” (ex-Ryouzen Training Center) which “Resurrection of Fukushima” (“Resurrection Center” hereafter) have borrowed where they had orientations and social gatherings. But, the House, which was completed in this March, is now giving opportunities of staying and orientations to the people who visit Iitate.  The House is also the place of communications between visitors and villagers and place for relaxation and refreshment among villagers.  I, born in Showa era, liked Ryouzen Center which had Showa atmosphere. But, completion of the House is epoch making and took an important step like moving from “temporary house” to “my home”.  We went to the disaster site after receiving orientations from Mr. Tao, Chairman of the House and the Society of Revitalization, Professor Mizoguchi, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science/ faculty of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo, Assistant Director of Resurrection of Fukushima and Mr. Yano of the Tokyo University of the Arts. visiting the site after getting orientations was very effective. We were able to visualize the completion of the "hardware" facilities, it is thought that the "software" so-called various projects can be further deepened. Please refer to Yang's “Report” for details of  each project.  Next, I would like to briefly mention the scenery of the city. Mega solar houses featured in last year's Report are still orderly and neatly lined up, we were able to get the spectacular views of the sea above a rice field. However, is it good for Iitate, which has been selected as one of the most beautiful village?  I think it necessary to be considered again because the government have decided to reconsider the system of buying electricity (by solar) at fixed price.  As to “black pyramid”, a mountain of flexible container bags, has been removed to the place of intermediate treatment or Chodei (長泥)district and scenery is being recovered. It should be very delightful, but the dilemma behind it lies. The fact, the FIBC bags had been removed, meant that the subsidies, which had been paid for storage, were no longer provided.  It is natural to think about economy to live and there would be no objection to that.But there will be things worth keeping even if we make a sacrifice of economy. Natural scenery, mentioned above, is one of them. But, I, as a researcher of history, like to keep a gymnasium in Sasu(佐須)-Primary school.  Historic spots which are preserved importantly are not always preserved as valuable from the beginning. Any activities for preservation are always battles like “it will not be worth keeping” or “there is no budget for it”. It will be necessary to preserve, or we have to preserve any cultural properties, whichever countries’ or local, as far as such properties can represent histories and cultures of the area.  Lastly, I would like to introduce two pictures which Mr. Tao, Director of “Resurrection of Fukushima” put on his face-book on November 4. The first picture is a scenery of the Sasu Pass. And the second one is a composite photograph of transmission line which will be built under the cooperation of an energy company. It is said that Iitate Village and it’s land owners have already agreed. However, as Miss. Yang explained, villagers are not always agreeable and new comers, like Mr. Tao who came from “the outside”, are treated as “outsiders”. I, seeing those two pictures, like to ask “insiders” what is the most important thing to be kept for Iitate and their posterity?  I sincerely hope I could enjoy their rich nature and wonderful scenery when I would ‘return’ Fukushima again.  SGRA Kawaraban 614 in Japanese (Original)  CHINAG_Yung _Po / 2018 Raccoon, Research Student of Japanese History Course, Research Institute for Literature, Waseda University  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Cho_Suil “Korea-Japan relations are increasing chaos?!” (Part 2)

     “Korea-Japan relations are increasing chaos !? ” (Part 1)  [It is a key to have private exchanges of our voices from both countries.]  I summarize chief events of the last year (2018).  ・April 27, 2018 : Moon Jae-in, the President of the South Korea and Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of the North Korea had summit talks. They crossed the military demarcation line between the two countries at Panmunjeom (板門店).  ・June 12:Kim Jong-un and the U.S. President, Donald J. Trump had summit talks at Singapore.・October 30:Supreme Court of the South Korea passed the judgement on Nippon Steel Corporation to pay one hundred million Won per person to four conscripted workers who were said to have been forced to work during the Pacific War.・November 21:The Korean government declared to dissolve “Reconciliation and Healing Foundation”.  This foundation was established in July, 2016 based on the “Comfort Women Agreement” (December 28, 2015).(The year 2019)・March 25, 2019:Daejeon City District court approved “Application for distraining of two trademark rights and three patent rights properties of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries” which was submitted by “Citizens’ Association with The Workers Corps Harmoni (grandmothers)”.・June 28-29, 2019:The G20 Summit was held in Osaka. But there was no summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Moon Jae-in were not materialized.  ・June 30:The U.S. President D. Trump visited South Korea after the G20 Summit in Osaka. He walked across the military demarcation alone and came back to the South together with Kim Jong-un. And, Moon Jae-in joined. News of pleasant talks among those three tops amazed the world.・July 4:Japanese government invoked a measure which strengthen controlling export of semiconductor materials to South Korea and decided to exclude South Korea from “White Country”.・August 22:The South Korean government announced the termination (destroy) of GSOMIA (Korea-Japan Military Information Protection Agreement) which has been  signed on November 23, 2016).  Is it necessary for our considerations about the events mentioned above and recent situations between Korea and Japan, which are said to be “Crisis of 1965 System”?  The agreement was signed on June 22, 1965 and entered into efficacy on December 18, 1965, "The Treaty on Basic Relations between the Republic of Korea and Japan (Basic Treaty of Korea and Japan)", "Properties of Property and Claims" Between the Republic of Korea and Japan on the Resolution and Economic Cooperation (Korean-Japanese Claims Agreement), "Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea on the legal status and treatment of Korean citizens residing in Japan (Japan Korean Legal Status Agreement).  It is also necessary to consider the reasons why the interpretation is controversial over claims between states and between individuals. On August 27, 1991, Mr. Yanai Shunji, the then Chief of the International Legal Affairs Bureau, the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs, has explained that “both countries have confirmed that rights to claim were solved perfectly and finally” and “both countries abandoned, each other’s, our national rights to claim which based on peoples’ right of claim.”  At the same time, Mr. Yanai explained “it does not mean individual right to claim are lapsed in the meanings of civic laws”. On February 26, 1992, he answered, at the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, “it does not deny people, as a Korean citizen to raise such claim to Japan”. I think personally that Mr. Yanai’s answer is correct. But it does not seem to be correct in the Japanese Government. It is because the Korean Supreme Court declared that individual rights to claim are still alive and right to claim by the government is not included in the Agreement.  The point may be there is not official conversation through diplomatic channels. Of course, it goes without saying that both governments, which have to consider a lot of things like the relations and interests, now and future, have to be very cautious to behave carelessly at first. However, on individual basis, we have to keep interchanging without reading the facial expressions of each other. I think it is important to bring up such persons who can understand each other and can express their own opinions regarding the Korean-Japanese relations exactly. It would be my assignment to accomplish, as a bridge between the two counties hereafter.  [The Preamble to the Constitution of Korea and Japan]The Preamble to the Constitution of Korea(omission)The Preamble to the Constitution of Japan (I feel there is full of spirits of pursuing for peace)  We, the Japanese people act through legitimately elected delegates in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited this horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution, Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people, This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions、laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.  We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all people of the world have the right to live in the peace, free from fear and want.  We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of potential morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.  We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.  I think it the same in the point that both countries want everlasting peace. And we must cooperate together “not to have the horror of war again” and “to keep peace, to eliminate forever ‘autocracy and slavery’ and ‘oppression and intolerance’. There are a lot of problems pending between Korea and Japan to be solved through diplomatic channels and I do hope they establish the systems which they can talk openly and freely  And, we must endeavor to establish solid system and understanding, on the private level, in the exchange of culture, sports and educational fields so that such systems would not be discontinued by political dispute.  SGRA Kawaraban 612 in Japanese (Original)   Cho_Sull / Fellowship from Japan Society for Promotion of Science  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala  
  • Stefan Wuerrer Returning to the Questions of “Who are the Victims?” “Where are the Disaster-Stricken Areas? ”

    I first visited Fukushima in May 2018. I joined the Fukushima tour organized by the Atsumi International Foundation and stayed there for two nights.  This time, I visited Iitate as a voluntary interpreter for the IPPS (International People’s Project) organized by CISV Japan Kanto Chapter.  (*CISV:Children’s International Summer Village)  What motivated me to visit Iitate again was a desire to learn more about the issues of unequal distribution of responsibility and burden and the arbitrary or self-willed demarcation between “us” and “others,” or, more simply put, the question of  “who is the restoration of Fukushima for?”     There were also other things that left an impression on me in Iitate. I was reminded of my father’s beautiful homeland in North-East Austria where the deep green blends in with the beautiful surrounding woods and fields. There was also the non-negligible existence of piles of polluted soil covered by black sheets which stand out prominently yet ominously.  I dare say that these piles of polluted soil are being left as is in the agricultural fields because the government can use the excuse of saying that their hands are full with the Olympics. There are also solar-panels that have been left in the fields because they were rendered impossible to use due to radioactive contamination. I heard that dozens of these solar panels are owned by big companies and that Iitate can receive only the rent from them, not electricity.    In the midst of these circumstances, a fissure grew in this local community.  The accident at Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant led the younger generation, for better or worse, to leave their hometown to work in other places.  On the other hand, the elderly exerted themselves to restore their homeland where they were born and lived for most of their life.  As I live in Tokyo, I have little chance to learn about this situation. According to the newspapers or TV, it seems the accident at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant and radioactive contamination is already over. Staying at a disaster area or “the site” and listening to what the people who live there had to say gave me a very valuable experience and made me more conscious of the situation.       Last year when I tried to summarize my impressions, I was left with one question.  Is it correct to use the expression “the site”?  Where is “the site” or disaster area?  Where is the evacuation order zone which is contaminated by radioactivity?  Where is the zone that is difficult to return to?  Which are the villages or towns where restoration or decontamination work is being conducted?  Is it the Fukushima nuclear power plant?  What about Tokyo or Japan, or the Pacific Ocean? How can we understand “the site”?  When I was packing a few days before my visit to Iitate, I recalled my last visit there and these questions.  Mr. Hoshino, with whom I stayed as part of a homestay to interpret for two foreign participants of IPPS Fukushima, sent me a speech written for a speech contest by a student of Iitate Junior High School which also spurred my thoughts.  CISV is a private non-profit organization. It organizes international educational programs and area projects for people over 11 years old in 69 nations to foster global citizens who can contribute to creating a peaceful and fair world. IPPS, as one of the educational programs, held a workshop in Iitate from August 11 to August 24.  In this program, participants over the age of 19 joined with people and organizations in Iitate to tackle difficult problems in the area over a period of two weeks. In the first half, they learned about Iitate, and in the latter half contributed to the area as a form of output. Over a weekend between the first and latter half of the program, we went on a homestay in the homes of volunteers in the Iitoi and Sasu areas.  On the last day of our visit, we visited a museum for the decommissioning of the nuclear reactor and the site of Fukushima nuclear reactor number 1. I joined these visits as an interpreter together with other four Raccoons and we had a variety of activities in these two days. In visiting a cowshed in the Komiya district where several hundred cows are raised, we came to know about the agricultural situation in Fukushima after the earthquake. We also learned about the historical background of the Mano-Dam when we drove to Lake Mano, which had splendid scenery. We also enjoyed pizza which was baked in the stone oven in the garden of our host.  He had constructed this oven for people to get together. During the garden party he organized for us, we were also treated to a jam session with a variety of musical instruments. We even helped mowing grass together with the community in Iitate. There are still many problems remaining in Iitate, but we can also gain many valuable experiences through being in this area that is rich in nature and broad-minded people.  We cannot thank Mr. Hoshino, our host, enough.    Mr. Hoshino works at Iitate area support center as a public health nurse and cares for the elderly. As mentioned above, he had sent me a speech from an English speech contest by Miss. Yasumi Sato, a student of Iitate Junior High School. The title of her speech was “Don’t Call Us Victims”.  In her speech, she says, “There is a word which I do not like to use. It is “victims.”  The word “victims” means people who suffered from disasters. We are not victims now. We are disgusted by being called victims. (・・・) Many people get information through the mass-media and trust such information. I have seen many TV programs regarding the earthquake disaster and was interviewed many times. And, I tried to let many people know the true situation that we are struggling with. But,(・・・)pictures or interviews were exaggerated. They purposely portrayed us as “victims”. Do we keep being victims as long as the media wants? Victims are considered miserable. But, I do not agree.  Victims are not necessarily miserable.” (Publicity paper “Iitate”, December, 2017)  When I read her speech, I thought about my question from last year – where is “the site”, the disaster area? Who are the victims?  Why do people like to create “victims” or to be “pitiful” ?  Any line dividing “this side” and “the other side” would be an arbitrary one,  or a result of neglect of “the other side”. However, we are unable to stop drawing the line somewhere.  As far as we are humans, in order to be “oneself” one has to draw the line somewhere, on one side or the other. Considering why we desire to draw this line and the function it serves is a worthy question of thought.  It would also provide a response to Miss, Sato’s speech and her feeling of being “disgusted” as well as my questions of place and victimhood, as well as the general questions of for whom the resurrection of Fukushima is for? Who is responsible for this resurrection?       The word “site” or “disaster area” exists on the assumption that there is a place which is not “the site” or “disaster area”. In talking about the Great East Japan Earthquake or the accident of the Fukushima nuclear power reactor, using the words “disaster area” to signify a specified area or site and the word “victims” as a specified group of people  means that there is an imaginary line demarcating “non-victims” or “non-disaster area.”  We can imagine “here” as “non-disaster area” and “myself” as “non-victim”.  Expressions such as “I will do something for somebody” or “supporting” have the same meaning as the words “pitiful” or just “Fukushima”.  In the world of renting and borrowing the words “I will do something for somebody” mean that “this side” will help “the other side” beyond a border line, entering into “the site” with “goodwill”.  However, what will happen after “doing something for somebody”?  We return to the problem of “this side” and “the other side”. In other words, the side “to support” and “to be supported” are different or distinct. Where is “the site” in such cases? Is it “this side” which supports “the other side”?  Does “the site” belong to “the other side”? Is it “this side” which supports “the other side”? When we say “let us support”, is it correct to understand resources or “time to spare” for supporting as belonging to “this side”?  If so, we are producing ourselves unconsciously to be “kindhearted”, stretching or enlarging our consciousness.  Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying “stop supporting”.  It is “we” (this side) that used the words “pitiful” or “the other side”. Do not escape from the responsibilities of empathy, sympathy and cooperation by being intoxicated by the words “I will do it for you” or “kindhearted me”. We have to recognize “the other side” who stand on different footings. Radioactive contamination and its aftereffects by the Fukushima nuclear power reactor, which was caused by the large scale earthquake and tsunami of 3.11, produced this area with its specific needs. But, it is “our” problem and responsibility. No matter where we live, “we” use the energy generated by the nuclear power reactor before 3.11 and after 3.11 as well.  It is “we”, whoever voted for or against the parties which agreed on the construction of or resuming of the nuclear power reactor.  It is also “we” and the government who regard the Olympics as more important than the restoration of Fukushima.  The restoration of Fukushima is “my” or “our” problem and responsibility regardless of whether I move to another country or stay in Japan. We should not irresponsibly adhere to “the other side” by using the term “pitiful” and by showing fake compassion on the basis of being on “this side”. This issue is not a temporary performance of goodwill. It is “we”, plural and the first person, who can make possible the access to resources that the disaster area has lost. It is not because environmental pollution and natural disasters cross the borders of prefectures. When nuclear power stations were built, their burdens and risks were enforced one-sidedly on the area where plants were built.      I saw the words “sympathy” and “cooperation” many times on the leaflets of Resurrection of Fukushima which accepted and guided us last year. I could hear the voices which called for the necessity of “sympathy”, “cooperation” and “sharing” in Iitate last year and this year. How can we make possible “sympathy”, “cooperation” and “sharing” by “myself” beyond our differences in needs and contexts?  This is a question that I brought back from Iitate last year, and which I continue to ponder.   SGRA Kawaraban 610 in Japanese (Original)  Stefan Wuerrer / 2018 Raccoon, Graduate School of Arts and Science, The University of Tokyo  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sonja Dale
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