M, 29


M, 29

esident of Saga Prefecture

Are you worried about radiation in Kyushu?

Yes.  I'm worried about the radioactive tsunami debris being burned in Kitakyushyu.  The government said it was safe, but I don't believe it.

How dangerous do you think it is?

There is microscopic dust in the air from the burning of this debris.  We've never had this before.  So we will only know after some people die, and then the government will lament the fact that it was actually dangerous. 

What about radiation in food?

I don't want to eat food from Fukushima or Tokyo.  I only want to eat food from Kyushu, because I worry about radiation in the food.  I always choose food from Kyushu because I'm worried about this.

In restaurants, we usually can't tell where the ingredients come from.  How do you feel about that?

I always ask where the food was made.  It's difficult, but I don't eat out often.  I'm a bit worried.  But in the supermarket I always choose food from Kyushu.

What about the people around you, are they worried about radiation?

I don't know.  I never ask them.  But, I worry about friends living in Tokyo.  I always advise them to please come back here.  Now they are not pregnant, so it's safe.  But if they become pregnant, maybe the babies will become sick, so I worry about them. 

Why is it that people don't often talk about radiation?

Kyushu is really far from Fukushima, so we're safe here.  That's why it's not a topic of conversation.  We just watch what's on TV. 

What's on TV?

They are talking about Fukushima almost every day. 

What are they talking about?

Reconstruction, and how that's going.

What about radiation?

Not at all.  But some areas are still dangerous in Fukushima, so occasionally they check around there.

Just in Fukushima?


So they never talk about radiation being a problem or dangerous in other parts of Japan?


Do you trust the news on TV and in newspapers?

Yes, about 90%.

Do you trust the government?


Who can you trust?

Experts and scientists.

So do you ever hear anything from experts or scientists?

On TV. 

But on TV they say everything is safe?

Yes.  It's only dangerous in the evacuation area in Fukushima. 

Is somebody lying about the level of safety?

TEPCO and the government have a connection.  The government needs TEPCO, which gives a lot of money to the government.  They are lying. 

Is the government using the media to lie to the people?

No, the media only tells the truth.

So you can trust the media?


What are the other reasons that you and others don't talk about radiation?

We talk about trivial things usually.   And we're not really aware of what's happening with radiation.  We have a normal life, so we don't know about it.  Actually, I want to talk about it, but maybe my friends are not interested in talking about it. 

I read in magazines about a woman who lived in Tokyo who got pregnant and had a baby, so she moved to Shikoku because Tokyo isn't safe.   I want to know about the connection between our lives and radiation.  I want to learn about what is really happening.  I don't know what's really happening. 

You said you don't know what's happening, and you want to know.  Do you think the media is doing a good job of informing you about what's happening?

No.  They're not giving us enough information.  It's been two years, but they don't talk about this so much.  So we don't can't get enough information from TV.

Do you think that's on purpose?

I don't know.  You know, everyday there are different problems like murders, so there might not be enough time to talk about this.  I haven't ever thought about why they don't have time for discussion about radiation.   I don't watch NHK, though, so maybe they talk about this. 

Do you think the government has control or influence over what NHK shows?

I don't think so.  I haven't thought about it.  I hope not.

Do you want the nuclear power plant in your prefecture [Saga] to be started back up?

Of course I don't.  We might have another earthquake and the same thing that happened in Fukushima could happen here.   On the news there were reports about massive earthquakes in the ocean near Kyushu.  I think we need renewable energy. 


But the Kyushu Electric Company has said in the news that if the nuclear power plants in Kyushu aren't restarted, electricity prices will increase 65% starting in May.

What do you think of that?

We understand that the costs will rise for electricity, but before they raise electricity rates on us we want them to lower their salaries at the Kyushu Electric Company.

Would you accept the increase in cost if that means you can keep Kyushu's nuclear plants inactive, or would you prefer to have nuclear power?

Yes, I think we should stop using nuclear power.





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