Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tokyo Shinbun: "Nuclear - Energy for Destroyed Future", Says Futaba-machi Resident After 25 Years

Tokyo Shinbun has an article (7/18/2012) about a 36-year-old man from Futaba-machi, Fukushima who evacuated the town after the nuclear accident and now lives in Aichi Prefecture with his wife and a small son. Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is located in Futaba-machi and neighboring Okuma-machi.

When Yuji Onuma was a 6th grader in Futaba-machi in 1987, he came up with the winning slogan selected and proudly displayed at the town's entrance across the road:

"Nuclear - Energy for Bright Future"
原子力 明るい未来の エネルギー

Onuma and his wife returned home temporarily on July 15. The reporter from Tokyo Shinbun accompanied them. At the sign, Onuma made a correction to the slogan that he created 25 years ago by holding up his handmade sign that says "Destruction" (破滅), hiding the word "Bright" (明るい) and turning the sign into:

"Nuclear - Energy for Destroyed Future"
原子力 破滅未来の エネルギー

From Tokyo Shinbun (7/18/2012):


"Nuclear, Energy for Bright Future". It is a slogan displayed on the entrance to the main street in Futaba-machi, Fukushima Prefecture. 25 years ago, Yuji Onuma (age 36) came up with the slogan when he was a 6th grader. It was selected in the town-wide contest. After spending a year and 4 months as an evacuee and having convinced that "going beyond nuclear" is the way to go, he "corrected" his slogan on July 15 when he returned home temporarily.


After the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, he left town with his pregnant wife Serina (age 37). They now live in Anjo City in Aichi Prefecture. Futaba-machi called for a nuclear slogan in a public contest in 1987. Onuma's slogan expressing belief in the nuclear power plant building the future for the town, won. A sign made of steel was built with the grant money for municipalities with power generation facilities near Onuma's home, which was about 4 kilometers from Fukushima I Nuke Plant. He was proud.


After graduating from college and worked elsewhere, he returned home at the age of 29. While working for a real estate company he built an all-electric apartment near the sign, and rented to TEPCO employees. He never doubted the "safety myth" that the town would prosper with the nuclear power plant.


After the accident, the town was designated as no-entry zone, and all residents evacuated. Onuma was tormented by the fact that a normal life was taken away from the town, and was distressed every time the slogan was shown on TV. He blamed himself and regretted. But he thought he had the right to speak about the reality of [having] the nuclear power plant. He wanted to show to his one-year-old son that he was now anti-[or "beyond-"] nuclear.


When he and his wife temporarily returned home on July 15, I accompanied them. Onuma, in the protective clothes, first waved a red card at the slogan, and shouted "Out!". Then, he held aloft a piece of drawing paper that he had brought in front of the sign. On the paper were two characters "破滅" (Destruction), which covered "明るい" (Bright) [on the sign], creating a new slogan: "Nuclear - Energy for Destroyed Future". Correction on the 26th year.

 大沼さんは「原発事故で故郷を奪われることが二度とあってはならない。日本に原発はいらない」と話した。 (野呂法夫、写真も)

Onuma said, "A nuclear plant accident forcing people to leave their hometown, that should never happen again. There is no need for nuclear power plants in Japan." (Report and photograph by Norio Noro)


m a x l i said...

Suddenly I feel like I can read Japanese. Those two red-coloured kanji, he is holding up, have a striking similarity with reactors 3 and 4.

It would have been interesting to know, if thinking about slogans that worship nuclear power was part of compulsory school "education" for 6th graders. The article doesn't tell clearly.

Anonymous said...

People like Onuma, with personal stories like this, will END nuclear power in Japan. It is a tragedy that their lives should be disrupted like this, and it is criminal that the Japanese government has not arranged for full compensation for damages.

Instead the Japanese government tries to underplay the true cost, obscuring even the economic arguments about nuclear power. And this is unforgivable.

Onuma san should keep telling his story until Japan renounces nuclear power - AND stops exporting it to the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

Arigato Onuma san

richard said...


Great to see brainwashing can be overcome. Just a pity it takes a nuclear disaster to do it.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story!

I also love your byline, ExSKF:

"Covering Fukushima 1 accident since March 11, 2011."

Whereas TEPCO's byline (or "motto") is obviously:

"Covering UP Fukushima 1 accident since March 11, 2011."

Just saying'...

Anonymous said...

Wow, how eerie that there is a sign touting nuclear power. With praise for it ingrained to that extent, it's clearer to me as to why ALL Japanese are not storming the castle to stop nuclear power.

@anonymous 10:24 pm - good one on the TEPCO byline.

fujimi-tea said...

ironically, both the English "bright" and the Japanese 明るい are translated into German with "strahlend", which also means "radioactive" (eg. in "radioaktiv strahlend", nuclear radiation is "radioaktive Strahlung")

so translating his first slogan into German can be read like "für eine strahlende Zukunft" (for a radioactive future), and that's also the reason why German language newspapers really love the Japanese 明るい and the English bright when Noda & co are talking about a "bright future for Japan" (eine strahlende Zukunft für Japan), because it can also be interpreted as "a radioactive future for Japan"

or the "bright smile" (明るい笑顔) with "strahlendes Lächeln" (radioactive smile)...

Mister Onuma is a strong man. I appreciate his behaviour and I can imagine that he absolutely feels betrayed by the Jap. government and TEPCO(which is sometimes called by its "nickname" DeppCO in German, which means stupid-co or バカCO)

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