Cod shipments banned in Aomori due to excessive levels of cesium

"The central government has ordered Aomori Prefecture to suspend shipment of Pacific cod caught near the port of Hachinohe after excessive levels of radioactive cesium have been detected, initiating the first such ban for the prefecture because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster..."


(source:  Japan Times/Kyodo)


Back to School in Fukushima

"Children raise their hands on the first day of classes Monday at Hirono Elementary School in Hirono, Fukushima Prefecture." 

"Some of the children attended school in the city of Iwaki for nearly a year and half after the March 11 quake and tsunami in 2011. 

Only 10 percent of the town's 5,100 residents have so far returned to the town."

(Source: Japan Times/KYODO)


"Thyroid tests extended to kids outside Fukushima"

"Japan will conduct thyroid tests on children outside Fukushima Prefecture, to determine whether last year's nuclear accident in the prefecture has anything to do with the discovery of lumps in the thyroid glands of one in three children in Fukushima Prefecture."


(Source:  NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) World)






三陸海岸の多くの市町村と同様、南三陸町でも津波防災対策は万全のものと思われました。 しかし、袋小路のような地形の故に一部の地域では最大遡上高(津波が到達した最も標高が高い地点)が40メートルに達するという全く想定外の事態となりました。


職員の遠藤未希さんが最期まで住民に避難を呼びかけた南三陸町志津川防災センター跡。 津波はこの建物の屋上にまで達し、生存者はわずか3名でした。

(NCC-JEDROスタッフ ディビッド・マッキントシュ  翻訳:外崎孝)

Café de Monk - "From Fukushima to the Miyagi Coast" - ACT Alliance General Secretary Visits Disaster Region of Japan (Part 6)

  A variety of initiatives by municipalities, NGOs and local citizens are aimed at lifting the battered spirits of temporary housing residents.

  Among these is a unique, travelling program offered jointly by Christian clergy and Buddhist priests, named “Café de Monk.” 

  As the name suggests, Café de Monk is “staffed” by Buddhist and Christian clergy who volunteer their time to offer a listening ear to the concerns of people displaced by the tsunami. 

  Mr. Nduna’s guides Rev. Chihiro SAIGUSA and Rev. Shōei ABE, who are directors of Tōhoku HELP, explain: “The word Monk in this name is a play on words: The Japanese word monku means complaints, so it signals a light-hearted invitation to temporary housing residents to come and share their complaints about daily life in their temporary communities.”

  On the day of Mr. Nduna’s visit (June 13) Café de Monk had set up shop at one of Ishinomaki’s largest temporary housing complexes, with over 200 units. 

  The “Café,” a large multi-purpose room with tables and chairs, was filled with a lively mix of temporary residents (about 30 of them, young and old), perhaps 10 Zen monks, plus a handful of young language students from the United States, all engaged in conversation. 

  At one table a young monk offered origami lessons to a group of women. At the next table a monk and one of the American students sat with a mother and her boy, helping them to make a prayer bracelet with colored glass beads. The sight of so many smiling people came almost as a shock. 

  One monk, who has attended the Café more than 20 times, observed: 

  “The Café’s lighthearted name can raise eyebrows, to be sure.  But, as you can see here, it answers needs that fall outside the scope of tasks fulfilled by municipal workers, young volunteers, or even trained counselors. For some people—not everyone—the simple fact that we are monks or ministers is a source of confidence and comfort. We are simply glad to be able to stand with them through their long mourning.”

John Nduna at the entrance to Café de Monk, with three monks du Café, Reverends Abe (at right) and Saigusa (beside) of Tohoku HELP, and Noriko Lao (UMCOR). Behind the group is a row of temporary housing units.

(David McIntosh, NCC-JEDRO staff)


Ishinomaki - "From Fukushima to the Miyagi Coast" - ACT Alliance General Secretary Visits Disaster Region of Japan (Part 5)

  Leaving Rev. Nakazawa and Shizugawa behind, John Nduna was taken South toward Ishinomaki city. 

  Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture’s second-largest city, suffered the greatest loss of lives (3182 confirmed, 553 still missing) from the tsunami. Here, too, with some 7,300 temporary housing units built in 130 locations, there is much concern for the spiritual wellbeing of evacuated residents.

                   (Ishinomaki after the Tsunami.  source; City of Ishinomaki website)

(David McIntosh, NCC-JEDRO staff)


東松島ネクスト : 奥松島体験観光復活企画『夏の元気フェア

誠に微力ながらNCC-JEDROもご協力を申し上げている「奥松島体験観光復活企画『夏の元気フェア』のチラシをご紹介いたします。 是非ご参加下さい。

Visitor from Germany - Rev. Paul Schneiss    ポール・シュナイス牧師(DOAM)来室

On July 6, Rev. Paul Schneiss of DOAM(Deutsche Ostasienmission) visited the JEDRO office.

去る7月6日、DOAM(Deutsche Ostasienmission;  ドイツ東アジア・ミッション)のポール・シュナイス牧師)が私的に来室をされ、暫く歓談と情報交換の時を持ちました。

(Left; David McIntosh, NCC-JEDRO staff   Right:  Rev. Paul Schneiss)
(左;NCCJEDROスタッフ ディビッド・マッキントシュ、右;ポール・シュナイス牧師




南相馬での体験 - ACTアライアンス総幹事ジョン・ドゥナ氏の東日本大震災被災地訪問記(その2)



そしてすぐに両方のガイガーカウンター共に警報音が鳴り止まなくなりましたが、それは毎時0.3マイクロ・シーベルト以上の数値となっていることを表しています。 更に数値は毎時0.65マイクロ・シーベルトまで上昇し続け、23キロ進んで丘が終わったあたりで漸く元の数値に戻ったのでした(因みに、東京での平均的な数値は通常、毎時0.05マイクロ・シーベルト以下となっています。)



      昨年の津波で流された車が今なお放置されている南相馬市の野原。 原発から


  チェリノブイルでの悲痛な経験から2〜3週間、放射能に汚染されていない環境で過ごせば新陳代謝によって子どもの体内被曝リスクを著しく抑えることが可能であることが立証されています。 仮により短い期間だとしても、身体的効果としては不十分なものの絶えざるストレスにさらされている子どもや親にとってそのようなプログラムは元気回復の源として大きな働きをすることになるでしょう。 


(NCC-JEDROスタッフ ディビッド・マッキントシュ   翻訳;外崎 孝)


"From Fukushima to the Miyagi Coast" - ACT Alliance General Secretary Visits Disaster Region of Japan (Part 4)

  Here Rev. Nakazawa split his time between temporary housing communities, where he sits with residents to hear their concerns, and a temporary structure that has been named Shizugawa Christian Center. 

  The trust that he has earned with survivors has enabled him to mediate quarrels, which are common in the stress and tight quarters of temporary housing, and to advocate on their behalves for needs that can and should be met by government authorities. 

  The Center, for its part, has become a veritable hub of local community life. This simple one-room facility, which has tables and chairs for 20-30 people, stands on a residential plot whose owner, though not a Christian himself, so appreciated Rev. Nakazawa’s work that he offered to lease the land to him for 10 yen (US¢12) per month. 

  The Center offers a place of worship for part of each Sunday, but serves primarily as a meeting place for volunteers, as an event space for the broader community, as an after-school drop-in center for youth, and as a tea-and-conversation house for people seeking respite from the stresses and confines of their temporary housing units.

Rev. Nakazawa leads John Nduna and Noriko Lao (UMCOR) on a walk through Shizugawa’s remains, near the Shizugawa Christian Center. (June 13)  The blue post seen at frame left marks a tsunami evacuation spot at 30 meters above sea level, but last year’s tidal wave crested several meters above the top of this post.

   Public authorities plan to carve terraces out of the hills overlooking the devastated town site, where homes will be safe from another tsunami, but this is expected to take another 5 years.

   Rev. Nakazawa is concerned that the stress and despair that accompanies displacement will lead to much more suffering in those 5 years. In addition to such problems as domestic violence and suicide, there has also been a spike in “karō-shi” among able-bodied persons who have literally worked themselves to death for family and community. 

  The community’s painful awareness of this seldom-reported after-effect of the tsunami was evident from the words chosen by several people who waved to Rev. Nakazawa as he guided visitors through Shizugawa: “Please take good care of yourself, Sensei (Reverend)!”

 (David McIntosh, NCC-JEDRO staff)