to show the world that "Fukushima is OK".
Some people have ridiculed the Bayerische Staatsoper members who refuse to come to Japan for a few weeks for the radiation contamination fear. They should be all praise for this man from Tonga, who persuaded friends and family members and came to Japan to teach English in Iwaki City in Fukushima.
Personally, I cannot join in the praise but feel free.
From Jiji Tsushin (9/17/2011):
"Fukushima" has become world-famous thanks to the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant Accident. In schools in Fukushima, 52 new teachers from 10 different countries have started teaching English as ALT (assistant language teacher). Their families and friends back in their home countries are worried, but the teachers are determined "to show to the world that Fukushima is alright, by working in Fukushima".
"In my country, we dip sashimi in coconut milk", said a 35-year-old teacher ペセティ・ベア [I haven't a slightest idea how this name is spelled] from Tonga in the south Pacific, as a way to introduce himself to the class on the morning of September 5 at Iwaki City Taira Daiichi Junior High School. Part of Iwaki City is within the 30-kilometer radius from the power plant, and more than 300 people perished in the March 11 tsunami. The students laughed. It was the first class, and at first the students were nervous. But as they listened to the stories from a distant country they relaxed, and enjoyed a "telephone game". A 13-year-old girl said, "I don't like English but it looks like fun with this teacher".
Mr. ペセティ・ベア was teaching English at a local high school in Tonga before he applied for the ALT. He says he wanted to learn the Japanese culture of "respecting others". Once his teaching assignment turned out to be in Fukushima, his friends and family worried about radiation exposure, but he steadfastly persuaded them by saying "People live in Fukushima. There is no need to fear excessively."
That's akin to saying "If the food is sold in the market, it is safe", a la the mayor of Yokohama City who fed kindergarteners with radioactive beef. And for Fukushima, it seems impossible to fear excessively when the radiation level is already excessive.
As to the Japanese culture of "respecting others", I have my doubts that "others" only refers to people with money or power or both.
But it's just me.
In the above Jiji's article, I put Fukushima in parenthesis, as the original Japanese. The original Japanese for Fukushima is written in Katakana, instead of Kanji, indicating "Fukushima" as understood outside Japan.