‘Environmental Radioactivity Fukushima July 2019″

This is Japan Desk Scotland’s tenth Fukushima documentary, based on the interviews carried out in December 2012, in July 2013, in July 2018 and in July 2019.

At the time of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident of March 2011, Fukushima University had neither research group on nuclear issues nor facilities, but a group of Fukushima University scientists, who were not specialists on nuclear issues, measured environmental radioactivity and made a radiation map of Fukushima Prefecture, which is said to have played a role in changing the government evacuation policy.   

Their activities, however, didn’t stop there. Kenji Nanba of Environmental Micro-organisms started a regular measurement of radio caesium in the water of River Abukuma, inspired by Chernobyl’s long-term observation of environmental radioactivity. JDS followed him and  others every year from 2012 till 2019. He was one of the moving spirits behind the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity in 2013.

The Institute attracted researchers with rich Chernobyl experience from Russia and Ukraine, together with those from the United States, Bangladesh and Japan. In 2017 it initiated a five-year Fukushima-Chernobyl research project to compare environmental radioactivity of the two major nuclear accidents. In 2019 it started a Master programme on Environmental Radioactivity Science. A University with neither research group on nuclear issues nor facilities has been developing into the world’s centre of environmental radioactivity studies. 

The Institute works locally at various research sites in forests, rivers, irrigation ponds for agriculture, ponds for farming carp, etc. in Fukushima. Their local knowledge and observation underpin the Institute.  

The documentary features a local ‘sake’ brewery transforming made-in-Fukushima rice varieties into a good natural drink, although there is consumers’ apathy for Fukushima products. It also considers what we could do for those who have lost their loved ones with the earthquake and tsunami.     

Interviewed guests in order of appearance: Honoka Kurosawa, Kenji Nanba, Kimiaki Saito, Naoto Kanagawa, Shouta Moritaka, Takayuki Takahashi, Alexei Konoplev, Mark Zheleznyak, Vasyl Yoschenko, Toshihiro Wada,  Misaki Usuki, Yasunori Igarashi, Miyuki Sasaki, Makoto Matsueda, Ismail Md. Rahman, Md. Ferdous Alam, Bayezid Mahmud Khan, Zinnat Ara Begum, Jian (Jack) Zhang, Donovan Anderson, Mikio Baba, Fumiko Goto, Kakeru Anbai, Hiroko Nagata, Seiji Ozawa, Kencho Kawatsu, and Yoshishige Kusano.      

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Camera: Fumi Nakabachi
Music: Invacuo – ‘Mark Twain in Japan’ and ‘Clapmosphere’
Directed and edited by: Yushin Toda
Producer: Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda
90 minutes
In Japanese and English with English subtitles
©2021 Japan Desk Scotland

This is part of Japan Desk Scotland’s documentary films production.