‘Our friends in Fukushima’

As part of our activities on Fukushima.

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Hope was the focus of our thoughts for a while after the East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011, but we were not sure where and how we could find it.

In December 2011, we were asked by a Glasgow-based environmental radiation scientist to identify his possible collaborators in Japan to carry out his research on the Fukushima nuclear accident. We recommended him Fukushima University, only national university in Fukushima Prefecture. At the time of the accident, the university was not teaching nuclear science, but, we were aware according to its home page that there was a radiation assessment team formed immediately after the accident. The team might be interested in European expertise, and we contacted them and initiated and supported this Fukushima-Scotland academic collaboration.

In July 2012, we visited Fukushima University with David Allison to show his video, ‘St Kilda Tapes‘, to its students. The students responded to the screening, and discussed with us about their recent experience of the earthquake and the nuclear accident in relation to the video’s theme of ‘home’. We felt a role for outsiders, like us, to play as a catalyst for people in Fukushima to cope with their situation.

In December 2012, we visited Fukushima University to carry out video interviews with those Fukushima University scientists who made an environmental radiation map of Fukushima Prefecture immediately after the nuclear accident although they were not specialists on nuclear issues, with a view to screening the video in Glasgow in March 2013 as a special Japan Matters event to mark the second anniversary of the disaster.

In addition to making this documentary, we organised, in August 2012, a talk by Katsuhiko Yamaguchi, Fukushima University’s radiation assessment team, at the inaugural Japan Matters public lecture in Glasgow, Scotland, and, in September 2012, a talk by Miyuki Sasaki, a student at Fukushima University, at Cumbernauld High School, North Lanarkshire, Scotland.

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Camera: Fumi Nakabachi
Editor: Hajime Kobayashi
Producers: Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda
40 minutes
In Japanese with English subtitles
©Japan Desk Scotland 2013
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This is the first documentary created by Japan Desk Scotland as part of its documentary films production.  It has been screened:

(1) on Sunday 10 March 2013 as part of ‘Japan Matters: The second anniversary of the East Japan Earthquake‘ at St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow, Scotland;

(2) on Sunday 21 April 2013 as part of ‘Michi Biraki Festival‘ organised by Department of Japanese Language and Literature, University of Bucharest, at the Botanic Gardens, Bucharest, Romania;

(3) on Saturday 4 May 2013 as part of JDS’s Saturday Japanese Class, Glasgow, Scotland;

(4) on Wednesday 22 May 2013 as part of the ‘Japanese Workshops’ at Whitburn Academy, West Lothian, Scotland;

(5) on Wednesday 26 June 2013 as a Faculty Development project by the Faculty of Humanities and Economics, Kochi University, Kochi, Japan;

(6) on Wednesday 12 February 2014 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2013/14;

(7) on Wednesday 30 April 2014 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘Fukushima, Hiroshima, Fukushima‘.

(8) on Tuesday 10 June 2014 at Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Fukushima, Hiroshima, Fukushima;

(9) on Monday 16 June 2014 at Cumbernauld High School, North Lanarkshire, Scotland;

(10) on Saturday 21 June 2014 at GZO Peace Institute, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, The Philippines;

(11) on Friday 13 February 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2014/15;

(12) on Tuesday 10 March 2015 at the International Study Group run by Japan Desk Scotland at the Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy;

(13) on Thursday 23 April 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2014/15;

(14) on Tuesday 7 July 2015 at the Tuesday Seminar, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan; and

(15) on Wednesday 17 February 2016 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2015/16.