[Letters] Radiation leaking, but still not serious?

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[Letters] Radiation leaking, but still not serious?

It is just so sad and heartbreaking to find ourselves helpless and ignorant.

I am also sick of seeing nothing but destroyed towns, lost lives and interviews of survivors that are forced to answer what they have lost and what they still hope for on television.

All the interviewed survivors answered to journalists that they hope to be united again with their loved ones, and they want rice (preferably the short-grain Japanese Koshi Hikari type), water, blankets, a heater and information.

Almost all of the news we find from public news sources that are published in Japan (newspapers and on television) regarding what actually happened and what has been ongoing at the Fukushima nuclear power plant are just Japanese government official reports and information from the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

There is no clear explanation and or open discussions on why another hydrogen explosion occurred, especially in the area that has been destroyed by the worst earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s history, and why nothing could be done other than pouring sea water into the reactors, even after we knew that the U.S. offered to airlift huge water-sealed generators (cooling water) to the site in Fukushima on Friday.

We heard nothing of why the Japanese government refused U.S. help and started pouring sea water into the reactors instead and failed to prevent hydrogen explosions and radiation leaks.

I am very sure that even kindergarten children can understand that pouring sea water into the pressurized water reactors is not the best risk management plan carefully prepared by the specialists to save lives, the environment and to ensure clean energy for us all.

Also we should have known much better that these incidents could happen as we have had a similar experience in July 2007 as well. The earthquake attacked one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, again operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company, and had caused serious damage. The entire plant was shut down for 21 months, and part of the reactor has yet to resume running.

The company has been criticized for its reluctance to use the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant’s response measures, and refused the IAEA’s investigation and assistance.

One U.S. official said that the reactors at the Fukushima Plant are 40 years old and Japan wouldn’t be having these problems with newer generation ones. Are we all just victims of natural disasters?

Yes, we are islanders and live where many earthquakes and typhoons hit and know the real power of nature that give us life and sometimes take it away only with a little shake.

We all know why we love Sakura (cherry blossoms). We know how precious it is to see another spring come again after a long and cold winter, as if God promised our nation a gift to look for and enjoy.

If we live honestly and work hard, then spring will come back and give us another special blessing of cherry blossoms. Nothing remains forever, but we can remember what to look for and what is important to us.

I really hope people on this planet feel Hiroshima, Nagasaki and our repeating nuclear incidents more close to their heart, remembering the images they see on the news now, and choose smarter, safer and blessed way of living.

Enjoy Sakura with us in Japan when spring comes.

*Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.


Mihoko Takeuchi, CEO of ProAssyst Inc. in Japan
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