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To those who have been affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, I express my deepest sympathy. The 3.11 calamity has caused tremendous damages to East Japan: disasters not only from the earthquake, but also those arising from the tsunami, nuclear power plant, and misleading information.
3 months has passed since the incident, yet in many of the disaster stricken areas, restoration is hardly progressing. People have not been able to move from the emergency shelters to the temporary housing facilities because self funding their costs of living (fees for food and utilities) present a challenge. Isolated elderly people have no choice but to live in their half destroyed homes, been unable to live in emergency shelters or temporary housing facilities. Those who lived close to the nuclear power plants continue to be displaced.
What is required of us now is “rationale judgment” (based on the current situation and risks) and each individual immediately “taking action” based on what they can act upon. I believe that these will generate a “chain of actions” that would drive the revival of Fukushima Prefecture, the Tohoku region, and all of Japan.
On June 10, 2011, members with aspiration of “What can I do? Act rather than contemplate!” have joined efforts to position Iwaki-city, an area struck by the four devastating consequences of earthquake / tsunami / nuclear power plant / misleading information, as the “center of information distribution” and established the “Fukushima International Media Village” within the city-run Nagamachi Park (4-64 Uchigo-mimaya-machi, Iwaki-shi, Fukushima Prefecture).
The size of Iwaki-city is twice that of the total floor area of all 23 wards of Tokyo. The center of Iwaki- city is located approximately 50 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. However, since the Northern tip of the city falls within the 30km radius of Fukushima Daiichi, people consider the entire city as a “danger zone.” The rumor that “Iwaki-city is dangerous” spread quickly, and has caused serious damage not only to the flow of material to and from the city, but also to the product marketability of agriculture, fishery, and other industries.
Accurate information about the disaster and its impacts are rarely available. This has triggered the spread of rumors, and has led to immense damages. This problem is not only about cities surrounding the nuclear power plant. This relates to all of Japan, as we witness many instances where the world now views all of Japan as a dangerous area. Such misleading information continues to cause harm.
For international journalists to send accurate and live information to the world, the Fukushima International Media Village has been established to support their activities and provide information. We will plan and host events, forums and seminars as an initiative driven by the disaster stricken areas to send information out to the world. We seek understanding and support from everyone, and will strive together to restore Fukushima Prefecture, the Tohoku region Japan, and all of Japan.
Fukushima International Media Village
Leader Masao Ogino