Letter from a Japanese friend:

A terrible warning from the nuclear frontline. A call to act, to we who may yet sleepwalk into nuclear madness:
Thank you very much for your concern for our well being and lives after the
disaster in Japan one month ago.
The Tokyo area, where I live, has not been so much affected so far,
but, as you read in news articles or see on TV news in your countries, people
from the easternmost areas, in particular, those areas directly affected
by the tsunami and the nuclear power plant devastation, have been forced to
lead a very hard life.  (As of the 15th of April, the death toll has risen to
more than 13,000, and the missing to more than 15,000. Also,
about 130,000 people still continue to live at shelters.)
I also would like to draw your attention to what happened (due) to the nuclear
power plant in Fukushima.  The Japanese government and the Electric
Power Companies all over the country have been promoting nuclear power
for decades. (We now have 18 plants and 55 reactors in this very vulnerable
soil — and two more reactors are under construction, and still eleven more
are planned; they currently provide about 30 percent of  the electrical power in
Japan.)  The Japanese government and the Electric Power Companies have been
saying that nuclear power is clean and safe.  However, as you can see, it has turned
out that it is neither clean nor safe. Whether this magnitude of disaster was predictable
or unpredictable is not the point; it has happened.  As you also know, a substantial
amount of radioactive materials have been emitted into the atmosphere and the sea.
Furthermore, what we have been witnessing is the destruction of many
people’s ordinary lives.  A substantial number (presumably, tens of thousands) of
people were, and will be, forced to evacuate from the affected areas, because of the
air contamination (and it is reported that the soil there may also be contaminated),
and those people do not even know when they can return to their own homes.
Not only this; some people would not be able to evacuate because they need to
take care of a family member who cannot move, or domestic animals, their important
life resources.  Also, many workers remain in the extremely dangerous condition to
prevent the worst results for the surrounding area and our country.  I would
appreciate it if you would voice your thoughts about nuclear power in your countries,
in those dependent on nuclear power in particular.
I think we have some alternatives
to such a dangerous source, including changing our lifestyles a bit — from being too
dependent on electricity.
Please forward this message to anybody who may be interested.
Thank you very much again.
Very truly,
Aug Nishizaka

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