I am deeply grateful to the organizers of the Atomic Age II: Fukushima Symposium for providing me the opportunity to take part in this important symposium, especially since I am currently living in the UK, where I have completed my MA study in politics. Furthermore, I have created a U.K. based non-governmental organization with the expressed aim and objective to learn from history in Japan.
The Symposium was so inspiring to me because for the following reasons. Firstly, the entire atmosphere in the Symposium was full of empathy towards the people still suffering unprecedented consequences in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe. I feel that this empathic setting was attributed to the presence of Mr. Koide as well as Ms. Muto, who have dedicated their lives to the anti-nuclear movement and have established themselves in the forefront of on-going struggle to eradicate nuclear energy in Japan. There is no doubt that Professor Norma Field’s passion toward the nuclear issue has made it possible. Furthermore, her interpretation of their respective keynote speeches, put a human face to their individual stories which truly touched and moved the audience. Secondly, I felt that the Symposium bridged disciplinary divisions and national borders, whereby the event created a space for interactive dialogues between the guest speakers and the audience that included scholars, researchers and activists. Furthermore, I felt that the import of creating such a space facilitated the sharing of knowledge and experiences in order to discuss the real issues people are currently confronting in Japan.
Last not but least, I have been empowered by the unique networking efforts underlying the Symposium. For example, the scholarship winners have already launched a study group in order to exchange information relevant to the nuclear issues. I believe that Atomic Age II has created a momentum to reverse the people’s ordeal in Japan by helping their voices to be heard beyond national boundaries. I strongly desire to raise global awareness towards the issue by launching a similar Atomic Age symposium in the UK as well as in Europe.