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To: Mr. Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister of India Dear Honorable Prime Minister,

My hometown is in Fukushima.

I would like to express my deepest concern regarding your plans to sign the Indo-Japan Nuclear Agreement and to increase the number of nuclear power plants in your country. Do you know what the present situation regarding Fukushima Dai-ichi is? Please, come to Fukushima and see for yourself what is happening. It is more than 3 years since the nuclear accident began, but it is not over yet.

fukushima tragedy

In fact, the problems are only just beginning. Radioactive water continues to flow into the sea, and research on ways to stop this has only just started. Because the radiation level is so high, the experts at the plant have gone over permissible levels of exposure and there are not enough workers to bring the disaster under control. We are told that it will take 30 years to decommission Fukushima Dai-ichi, but in the present circumstances, it is impossible to tell when the accident itself will be brought under control.

The fishers of Fukushima have lost their livelihoods. The men who risked their lives to save their boats from the tsunami can no longer catch fish because of the radioactivity in the sea. No one knows if the ocean will recover, if it can again be a sea of life.

The farmers of Fukushima are suffering because the radiation levels are not going down. Even if an area is decontaminated, even if the radiation levels go down temporarily, they again rise. Will the day come when our earth, which is now so contaminated, can once again be fertile?

Please try to imagine. How it would feel to lose your work that had meant so much to you.

How hard it would be to live with such an unclear future. There are over 100,000 people who were forced out of their houses, where they had lived for generations, because it is now in a ‘contaminated zone,’ or people who left voluntarily because they wanted to escape health problems.

Families have been torn apart and many people have been packed into tiny temporary housing units.

In this nuclear disaster we have lost our lives, our livelihoods, our homes…all the things that human beings live for.

I bet you think that nobody died in the nuclear accident. If it was only the earthquake and the tsunami, people who were trapped could have been rescued. But because of the nuclear accident, rescuers could not enter the high radiation zones. Even though they could hear the screams for help, they could not answer them.

In Japan we were told, for 40 years, that nuclear power plants were ‘completely safe. ’ But this disaster occurred. Not only that, the cause of the accident has not been entirely determined and the disaster continues. No one even knows when it will end.

We found out that “Nuclear power is clean energy” is also a lie. The nuclear power plant must be constantly cooled. Sea water is used for this and then pumped back into the sea at higher temperatures after it has served this cooling purpose. Because of the nuclear power plant, the temperature of the sea rises. It is a fact that since the nuclear power plants in Fukui Prefecture have been shut down, the natural ecosystem in the surrounding sea has revived.

Nuclear power also entails massive costs. Of course fuel and maintenance costs must be borne, but if there is just one accident, astronomical amounts of compensation must be paid.

And finally, a way to dispose of the nuclear waste has not even been found by developed countries such as France. In Japan we just keep packing it into the facility at Rokkasho-mura in Aomori Prefecture—there is nothing else that can be done. And the enormous amount of waste that is generated by a nuclear accident…all the radioactive contaminated soil and other things can be burnt, but then what to do with the highly radioactive ash that is left? At the moment it is just left on the roadside or under the eaves of large old houses in Fukushima.

Radioactive substances are something that human beings cannot control. The human species should learn this truth from Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Climbing trees, lying on the riverbank, playing at the beach. These normal things are not possible at my hometown any more. In any case, my children won’t be able to do them because they are surrounded by radioactivity. No one knows how this will affect them in the future. Mothers worry that their own breast milk contains radioactive substances.

Girls who have been exposed to radiation worry that they will never be able to have children. It sounds like a science fiction novel, but this is real life in Fukushima.

And it’s not just Fukushima that is contaminated.

There are fine particles of radioactive substances spread across the whole of eastern Japan.

Feeling secure breathing the air.
Feeling secure eating the food.
Feeling secure lying on the grass.

These everyday things that are part of normal existence, we can no longer do. Is this what you want to do to India?

I have never been to your country, but I like Indian things, especially Indian food and this interest has led me to gather some information or impression of India. I feel that India was a country with a very rich culture.

Nuclear energy will destroy this culture.

Why? Because it destroys people’s lives, which go hand in hand with culture. This is exactly what happened in Fukushima, and I bear witness to this and declare it to you with full conviction.

For India’s shining future, nuclear energy is not necessary.

If you really think it is, please come and see the reality of Fukushima, check and see with your own eyes.

Yours Sincerely,
Yukiko Takahashi

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