Fukushima Storyteller Yoshiko Aoki: almost 6 years after 3.11, her sheer experience & generally shared voices of Fukushima via Japanese Perspective


Yoshiko Aoki:  Hello, everybody.

My name is Yoshiko Aoki.

I live in Koriyama city.

Now, you can see the map on the screen. This is a map of Fukushima.

In the middle of the map, is where Koriyama city is located.

Today, I came from Koriyama city.

The moderator introduced me, as I am an organizer of storytelling group.

Although we have limited time, I would like to make my best to tell our story about Fukushima.

First of all, I would like everybody here to remind you that I am not a politician, or a philosopher, or a professor. I’m just an ordinary citizen.

I’m a retired teacher. I used to be a principal of a high school. Today, I would like to speak as an ordinary citizen.

On March 11th, 2011, I was in Koriyama city.

As you can see on the screen.

On the 16th of March, I rushed to evacuees’ shelter in Koriyama for Tomioka town people who had evacuated from Tomioka.

Tomioka is here. The town is here.

90 kilometers from Koriyama city.

In our storytelling activity, we put great emphasis on focusing on the story of each individual of the town people, their experiences and their feelings.

My story today here is mainly to explain about the current situation about challenges people face in Tomioka town in Futaba district in Fukushima.


While decontamination work has proceeded, the radiation level has decreased in the town. The decision was made because they thought that the evacuation order lasted longer the chances of recovering the town might disappear.

In the town, houses damaged by earthquake or the Tsunami have demolished.

Badly degraded houses are now being demolished.

The hospitals are reopened. Public run houses were newly built.

The town is stepping up its recovery work.

However, now the town people are having hard time in making decisions.

I will return or I will not return, this is one of the toughest decisions that they have to make.

Differences in thinking divide town people.

For example, some say it is not realistic to go back even though I want to so.

Some say you will not know if it is reality that.

Some say if nobody goes back that the town would actually disappear.

I think the important thing is to respect the choices of other people who have decided to return or who had decided not to return or who have not decided yet.  I think it’s also important that people who had decided to return could say that it is very good to come back here after hey come back to hometown.

As six years have passed since the disaster the challenges we face have become more complicated.

It will take some more time for Fukushima to overcome those challenges.

To overcome the challenges we would like the people outside Fukushima not only in our country, but also in overseas to understand the current situation of Fukushima and think that Fukushima issue is also everybody’s issue to think about.

The rest will be finished soon.


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