Asia Future Conference in SGRA
Virag Viktor “How will the Young Generation study and make the most ― The 2nd Asia Future Conference：from the Fukushima Session―”
On the second day of the 2nd Asia Future Conference, we hold displays and talk-session about the Fukushima Nuclear Accident. At the session, we set up a theme “Fukushima and its Aftermath：Lessons from a Man-made Disaster” and considered discussion which everybody can participate important rather than one-sided reporting.
As we have visited Iitate-Village, Fukushima twice, where was affected by radioactive contamination and designated as evacuation zone, it was a start of our holding the session. We liked to share our various thinking “knew, felt and thought” at ‘Study-Tours’ which SGRA sponsored in 2012 and 2013,with everybody in the world starting from Indonesia. And we planned our session.
We set up the place like exhibition hall which is opened all day long. For example, projection of short documentary films and pictures of ‘study tour’ which participants took and exhibit them. In the afternoon, we set up ‘talk session’ involving participants who visited our displays.
After our reports about every difficulties which Iitate Village, especially villagers there, are being faced and activities of our (SGRA) visit to Village, we introduced our (SGRA members) personal experience at the earthquake and counter measures against radiation in our daily life. From such reports and introduction, we have pick up such key words like “man-made disaster”, “damage by radioactivity”, “forced evacuation”, and “decontamination” and free discussion on such key-words forwarded.
Answering to the questions from floors, we asked their opinions like：
-How did the image of Japan change in the countries where participants came from after the nuclear accident?
-How do they think about issue of radioactivity and countermeasure of Japanese government?
Some Japanese participants explained about experience and troubles of their relatives
and friends. We have planned to develop our talking toward the issues like power
shortage or possibilities and risks of nuclear energy, but, due to restricted time, we could not discuss them regretfully.
To our delight as the sponsor, students of Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia where
the conference was held, participated positively. Some students, who are interested in
our conference, brought their friends in order to show our exhibits. I had a chance to
talk with two of them and made sense what they replied to question why nuclear issue
is important. Those two students study electronics and urban planning at the graduate school.
They are in the position that they have to study seriously about risk of radioactivity
and disaster prevention/recovery. Moreover, Indonesia is young country in terms of demographic structure and economic vitality. So, the young have strong intention “We have the honor of future of our country. We build Indonesia hereafter.” It is remarkable comparing with Japan. They think strongly that they build “good country” by themselves .
According to those students of the graduate school, Indonesia, as a developing country, is expected to develop rapidly in the global economy. But, it is facing gradually with power shortage due to enlargement of industries, expanding of production and improvement of living standard and they are actually investigating building of nuclear power plant. Young intellectual class have possibilities of being involved directly in policy making for nuclear electricity generation.
Then, how do they think and study the nuclear accident in Japan?
I do not think it easy to answer because this question is very important globally.
But, I think we could go a long way toward continuing such discussion by offering chances to consider this question seriously introducing the case in Japan from a viewpoint “lesson from man-made disaster” as shown in the title of the session. Media by “picture” is stronger than “word” and gave the young participants stronger impact and impression. It goes without saying that the young keep thinking seriously of nuclear issue which is topical and urgent in Indonesia and keep going along with process for establishing their opinion. I hope domestic argument about this issue in Indonesia become active.
In Japan, the issue of the restart of nuclear power plant remains pending. And, on the other hand, an assertion of abandoning nuclear power station is keep continuing.
I have an impression, however, that dialogue between both sides is hard to be materialized in the process of constructive arguments. Sometimes they become emotional as it is very important issue. Recently, for example, some people are labeled “anti-Japan” by stakeholders when they declare abandoning nuclear power station. Similarly, many people who oppose nuclear power station were unsuccessful to present alternative idea which is stated in figure. I cannot help feeling sense of danger about such labelling or emotional argument. I hope such confrontation would develop to cool-headed arguments which are based on facts and objective data.
I like to add the state of progress of establishing more nuclear power stations in Hungary, my home country. I reported this in the report of 2nd SGRA Fukushima Study Tour which was delivered by SGRA Kawaraban one year ago. We have decided two more nuclear power stations besides present four stations which supply 40% of national demand for electricity at present. When Mr. Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, visited Hungary, he provided sales activities for nuclear power plants although he was said to be imprudent because it was just few months after the Fukushima Disaster. After all, they contracted with Russia after evaluation of conformity between estimation and present technology. I personally have a doubt why only “Japan of Fukushima” and “Russia of Chernobyl” are the counterpart of the negotiation.
Session “Fukushima” in 2nd Asia Future Conference was planned and run by SGRA members, Park Hyun-jung (pictures and exhibition), Dale Sonja (moderator), Erik Schicketanz (speaker) and myself. We appreciated Director, Eiichi Tsunoda, very much including his persuasive opinion at the session.
SGRA will have a study tour at Iitate-Village this year. Please join us if you are interested in this kind of issue.
You can see the pictures of the day in:
You can read our report on our Fukushima Tour in :
(Part-time instructor at Showa Women’s University / Jochi Welfare College Japanese Association of School and Social Works (International Office ))
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Mac Maquito
SGRA Kawaraban in Japanese (original)