It is hard to believe that the six-year anniversary of the March 11 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster is approaching.
Yesterday, I was honoured to serve as the MC for the press conference "Yoshiko Aoki, Fukushima storyteller" at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ press release HERE). Although Ms. Aoki is a former principal of the Tomioka High School, located in one of the towns badly affected by the nuclear disaster, she began her speech by saying "I am not a politician, philosopher or professor. I am speaking today as an ordinary citizen".
During the Q&A, when asked if she felt "abandoned" by the government, she replied "no". Rather, Ms. Aoki said, since the accident, which she emphasized had been a man-made disaster, she had become more independent in her way of thinking and no longer depended on the government. Now when a government official says something "stupid", she said she no longer even becomes angry as that is what she has come to expect. Ms. Aoki's full comments and the Q&A that followed can be found on the FCCJ Channel here:
Then this morning (Thursday evening in the US) was the event "The Politics of Uncertainty: Reassessing Japan After the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster" arranged by the Japanese Cultural Association at Brown University (event info HERE).
Following a screening of my documentary "A2-B-C" (WEBSITE), I was honoured to join via Skype the panel discussion, which included:
* Taro Kono - Member of Japan’s House of Representatives and Former Chariman of the National Public Safety Commission (via Skype)
* Kerry Smith - Associate Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Brown University
* Daniel Aldrich - Director of the Security and Resilience Program at Northeastern University
* Ian Thomas Ash - Documentary Filmmaker and Director of "A2-B-C" (via Skype)
This was the first of several events I will be taking part in at universities holding events to mark the 6th anniversary of 3.11.
******** UPDATE March 6, 2017 ******
An article about the screening has been published by the Brown Daily Herald. READ