Masako Takaoka, 60
Cafe owner (Japanese)
We seem to have a shō ga nai [what can you do?] attitude about it in Japan, which I doubt Westerners would accept. Most of us go about our lives without realizing this disaster will drag on for 30-40 years until No. 1 is decommissioned. The media should report more on the real situation, and everyone, from the public to the Abe government to Tepco, needs a more urgent sense of crisis. We should attack this problem as if Godzilla was a Fukushima creation!
Lee Chang Tye, 48
Tai-chi instructor (Australian)
I worry about food safety and feel sorry for the Fukushima evacuees, farmers and fishermen who should be supported until the disaster ends, however long it takes. The Japanese should be made aware of what they can do to protect themselves against radiation, with [supplements such as] spirulina, chlorella, modiflan, etc. How can Tokyo dream of hosting the best athletes of the world at the 2020 Olympics just 200 km from a nuclear meltdown?
Danyk Amyot, 32
English teacher (Canadian)
The Tohoku quake and tsunami was a short-term natural disaster which Japan has dealt with admirably, but the Fukushima situation is a long-term man-made disaster caused entirely by Tepco. Its incompetence in dealing with its nuclear meltdown has become a global concern, so I think Japan must follow the advice of the international nuclear watchdogs and also allow media to cover rather than cover up what is going on. Our children deserve better!
Ayako Nakaoka, 35
Flower shop staff (Japanese)
Tepco has been incompetent in handling this disaster from the start, because it is a business thinking about its costs and investment in the No. 1 plant more than public safety. It should have been removed from the decision-making process from the start. It’s two years too late, but the Japanese government needs to take over completely and call in neutral international experts. Money should not be an issue while this emergency continues.
Lorenzo Takahashi, 29
Factory worker (Filipino-Japanese)
I don’t think we in Japan are being told the whole truth about Fukushima No. 1. When abroad, I noticed that NHK World in English reports more on Fukushima and gives much more information than can be seen on any channel here in Japan. Since they haven’t been able to fix it themselves in more than two years, the Japanese government should ask the world for help in solving this crisis, which will probably last the rest of my life.
Tsuru Nakano, 94
Retired widow/mother (Japanese)
One thing Japan shouldn’t do is restart any of its reactors. The past two years have proven that we can do without them. From Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Tokaimura — plutonium mixed in a bucket! — and now Fukushima, Japan has had bad luck with anything nuclear, so we should just abandon it and become a leader in clean energy instead. Japan began using nuclear power 50 years ago and we still have no idea what to do with all the spent nuclear fuel.
Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org