LETTERS FROM MOTHERS EVACUATING WITH THEIR CHILDREN #3

I am a housewife in my thirties. I am in evacuation away from Tokyo in Sakai city with my children.

My ten-month-old daughter, three-year-old son and I happened to have come here, Sakai, my hometown four days before the quake. I decided to stay here for a while. So I am not radiated in Kanto.

 

I’m aware that Tokyo is at the same level of pollution as Ukraine after Chernobyl accident, and that Fukushima Daiichi NP-plant is still radiating toward outside, so Tokyo is in very dangerous situation, including numerical value of soil inspection.

My husband, in his middle forties, seems to have judged it’s better to stay in Tokyo and continue present job than taking the risk of job-changing. Our discussion on move has been parallel for this year.

 

Our present house is a small unit of an apartment house that my mother rents after she divorced with her husband, so I have to pay the rent fee and living cost to her. Double living makes our finance so tight that we can’t afford travel cost. So I haven’t met my husband for four months.

 

Now the daughter is able to walk and talk, but husband doesn’t know that. I am very sad that I can’t show the children in their cutest age to him.

 

Even if he is busy with job, he only has to live together to see them sleeping every night. He is not able even to do so. Considering his sorrow makes me upset and find no place to bring my emotion to, so I am changing it to anger toward the government, the power company, and NP-plant.

 

I am trying to protect children from radiation. Meanwhile, my husband is being left in the situation in which he continues to be radiated due to eating foods that might be polluted. He is working in cesium, in the polluted rain. I am sorry that it is impossible to let him have dishes I cook. I’m very very worried about his health.

 

I feel danger of internal exposure by foods even in Sakai, due to the temporary standard for food by the government lukewarm compared with other countries. I have to return to Tokyo soon if something happens to the relatives there. So I am very careful about choice of foodstuff in order to avoid addition of exposure to radiation. I chose the kindergarten where we can take home-made lunch box. Osaka’s stance to school lunch based on national standard is also worrisome.

 

Now I’m shocked very much to hear that rubbles polluted by radioactivity or asbestos might be burned at nearby incinerator plant here in Osaka.

Although I am protecting children from radiation exposure by all means like this, making children and husband feel lonely, all of them may come to nothing. I can’t stand it.

I think there is no threshold value in radiation exposure. It isn’t the fact that if it is only a little, it is OK. Therefore, I wonder if there exists affection inside the politicians’ hearts who think it is OK for citizens to be radiated, for it’s only a little! Have they grown up with their mothers’ love?

 

In my opinion, you should stop burning polluted rubbles in usual incinerators even in the afflicted areas, because it is dangerous. When I became a mother, I came to hope even others’ children to grow up healthy and fine.

 

There are many other ways to support the children in afflicted areas, starting with accepting them in Osaka as a getaway (This is already done by people I met here.), sending less polluted foods made in Kansai, and so on.

 

What is mysterious and weird most is that Tokyo Power Company doesn’t appear at all in this problem. In addition, the government is spending huge tax money toward promotion of extensive disposal by mass media. I am very scared of this country. It is an information control as if we were in the war.

 

Looking at Iwate pref’s satellite photo in Google Map makes it obvious that rubbles aren’t disturbing reconstruction. Still there are a lot of lands. Where is the truth? I wanted to give birth to another child but gave it up. I thought it is impossible to do it in this country.

 

I love the history and culture of Osaka, and worry that ancient tombs and so on might be polluted with radioactive materials. It is because forests can’t be decontaminated. To decontaminate forests means to cut off trees, to remove soil. To do such things makes ancient tombs something different. This is too bad, for there are people who are making efforts to register them as world heritages.

 

Anytime I listen to mothers’ story who evacuated at OCHABERIKAI (note from translator: this is the name of the group of which they are members. So to speak, a group in which mothers talk over tea), I am touched how much they are doing their best for measures against internal exposure, though they are already in trouble with taking care of the children. This makes me think I also have to do my best.

It encourages me. Let’s protect our children altogether.

 

Thank you very much for reading my long letter.