Alles muss neu geschaffen werden: Fukushima
Fukushima: Everything has to be done again for us to stay in the contaminatedApr. 15, 2012
An interview with IWATA Wataru by Nadine and Thierry Ribault
Translation by Francis Guerin
IntroductionWe have known Iwata Wataru for more than two years, and when he decided to depart to Fukushima from Kyoto, he asked us to locate Geiger counters in France because at that time there were none available for his use in Japan. Despite active searching we found none. However, we contacted the independent radioactivity measuring laboratory CRIIRAD, which was created in France following the Chernobyl accident. The CRIIRAD people decided to send counters and other measurement accessories free to Wataru's recently created "Project 47". In May 2011, we joined the CRIIRAD measurement mission to Fukushima and witnessed the first steps in "Project 47" and their collaboration with CRIIRAD. The link was made and the idea to create a Japanese version of CRIIRAD came to mind and Iwata took the lead: in July 2011 CRMS was born. Iwata became the founder and technical director, with the technical support of CRIIRAD and of the Umweltinstitut in Munich, with the financial support of Days Japan and other donors. Iwata's experience engagement and commitment is the topic of the new book by Nadine and Thierry Ribault :
Les Sanctuaires de l'abîme - Chronique du désastre de Fukushima - aux Editions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances, Paris, 2012. (provisional English title: Snatched Away to Darkness - The Story of the Fukushima Disaster)
Composer IWATA Wataru poses many difficult questions regarding the long-term health risks faced by the victims of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. He presents a compelling call to action framed in terms of what he calls an "auto-evacuation". In contrast to the state's directive to evacuate specific areas, the nature of auto-evacuation is that "people themselves decide to evacuate the affected zone."
On March 13 2011, two days after the Tohoku Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster at Fukushima, the composer Iwata Wataru left his studio in the suburbs of Tokyo to take refuge in Kyoto. He was acutely aware, as the entire population now is, that an unprecedented catastrophe – even larger than Chernobyl – had occurred. After sleepless nights, Iwata, who never engaged in activism before, either humanitarian or political, decided to go to Fukushima prefecture on March 20, propelled by a zeal even he cannot fully explain.
During the following three months, Iwata created "Project 47″, named after the 47 prefectures of Japan. Funds were raised both to organize the evacuation of victims and to buy radiation measurement equipment to gather data that would subsequently be published. He explains:
"The situation in Japan looks more and more like that in wartime: television, print and Internet outlets are being called upon to impose a voluntary gag order on themselves."
"Project 47″ observers go to farms, schools and homes with radiometers and Geiger counters to measure radiation levels and publish them on their association website. They want to create the basis for what they call "auto-evacuation": a system whereby people can autonomously decide to evacuate those affected zones in which the state does not oblige them to evacuate.