Fukushima students tour Abe’s office

Kyodo

Twelve junior high school students from Fukushima Prefecture took part in a special tour of the prime minister’s office and residence in Tokyo on Saturday, with Shinzo Abe making a surprise appearance.

The students, from Minamisoma, were visiting at the invitation of the prime minister’s office and a nonprofit organization supporting children in the coastal city, which was devastated by the quake and tsunami of March 2011.

While the students were not informed beforehand that the prime minister would be taking part, Abe suddenly appeared and told them he will do his utmost for the reconstruction of Tohoku.

“I hope you will work hard to realize your dreams and to rebuild your hometown,” Abe said.

Five of the students are still living in temporary housing, according to the organizers, who said the tour was aimed at encouraging survivors of the 2011 disasters.

  • Anon

    Our willful disregard for the more unsettling and difficult matters simmering at the base is troubling. Abe’s political stunt and stories such as these disseminate the implicit message that the Fukushima nuclear safety and contamination issues have all but been resolved, and the only matter confronting us now is how we should “work hard to realize… dreams… and rebuild… (the) hometown.” Before we send children and workers back to their locale, should we not be asking ourselves questions such as, “how are we to ‘clean up’ the radioactive waste and contaminated earth?”; “how much increase in the risk of cancer and other radioactive related illnesses are we potentially exposing the residents to?”; and “in a country as geographically limited as Japan, is nuclear power an acceptable form of energy production?”