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One filmmaker’s mission to show the world the real Fukushima, and how you can help

23 Comments
By Philip Kendall

“Forget the reactor. Forget all the bull$#!^ Facebook posts about how radiation is melting the starfish and mutating our sushi. Forget about what it means to be a disaster, and discover what it means to be Fukushima.”

Filmmaker Cameron Anderson is on a mission to show the world the real Fukushima. Having spend months exploring the region, he – an outsider arriving long after Fukushima became known the world over as the centre of a tragic nuclear accident – has come to learn what Japan’s third-largest prefecture is really all about. Cameron has also seen how the news, careless comments shared via social networks, and a general fear of the unknown have caused people around the globe to label this land as a giant, black spot on the map of Japan, with stories popping up online every few weeks about tides of non-existent radioactive seawater and the prefecture’s potentially hazardous exports.

Hoping to obtain a special filmmaking grant, it is Cameron’s plan to put together a 10-minute documentary that explores this vast, rich part of Japan and introduce some of its genuinely remarkable residents–both Japanese and foreign. But he needs your help.

Having lived in Fukushima Prefecture for five years – both before and after the events of March 11, 2011 – it has and always will have a very special place in this writer’s heart. A drive across the prefecture can feel like visiting a handful of different countries in a single day as you follow the bright coastline with its sandy beaches, emerge from a mile-long tunnel to discover yourself surrounded by vast, lush forest, and moments later gasp as a giant, snow-capped mountain is reflected perfectly in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Inawashiro, albeit until someone zips across it in a motorboat or kids in bathing suits start splashing around.

But whenever I speak fondly of Fukushima, my friends and family both back home and here in Tokyo usually fall quiet or respond with things like, “Yeah, it’s such a shame what happened…” And many of my Japanese colleagues seem genuinely shocked when I share my desire to go back for a visit.

“Aren’t you worried about the radiation? Surely it’d be on your mind the whole time you’re there?” they ask, forgetting that, if my face were to melt and my hair to fall out the moment I stepped over the border into Fukushima, those in neighbouring Tochigi and Ibaraki Prefectures wouldn’t be much better off either. While we can blame sensationalist news reports and uninformed bloggers for painting an overly frightening picture of Fukushima, there is also a surprising amount of fear and ignorance within Japan itself, and it is slowly eating away at the prefecture and its people.

Thankfully, filmmakers like Cameron Anderson are trying to change the way people think about Fukushima by giving them a glimpse of its rich and diverse culture and people in a new documentary he is hoping to make with backing from Storyhive, a community-powered funding site powered by communications giant Telus, that grants a lucky few the cash they need to make their creative projects a reality.

Cameron spent 10 weeks in Fukushima last year, staying with his friend Max, an English teacher who is based in Aizu-Wakamatsu. After taking in some of the sights and sounds the prefecture has to offer and meeting with a number of genuinely inspiring people – doctors, locals who took in cats abandoned after the earthquake, even fellow foreigners who have found themselves in the prefecture for work and have fallen completely in love with the place – he decided that people on the outside really needed to see the real Fukushima.

With the $10,000 grant he’s hoping to receive from Storyhive, he wants to return to Fukushima and put together a 10-minute documentary about all of the incredible things it has to offer. But of course, he can’t win that grant without the support of the net-using public. While the cash itself would all come from the group, he needs one thing to get at it: votes.

“One hundred percent of the winners will be determined by votes,” Cameron told RocketNews24, “You do have to sign up with your email, but there is no newsletter, junk mail, or anything like that. They just want to ensure that each voter is a real person.“

But what exactly does the young filmmaker intend to do with that cash? Here’s a little look at what Cameron is proposing to do with his film and how the idea came into being.

“I’ve been involved in the arts my whole life, first as an actor and now as a filmmaker,” Cameron told us via email. “I graduated from film school with a diploma in Documentary Production, and have since been working on small projects and taking my camera everywhere. When I heard that Telus, the phone/Internet/TV giant out here in western Canada was offering grants to local filmmakers, I jumped on the opportunity to try to get this story out there.”

Although funding is Cameron’s main goal at the present moment, it’s clear that this project means a lot to him on a personal level, and that he has a real story to tell.

“With a bit of funding, I feel that I could make something that would really show off Fukushima and challenge some of the conceptions around the safety and liveability of the area. I also think that the Western perception of Fukushima is of an irradiated wasteland, not the amazing, diverse, historically important and culturally vibrant place that I came to know and love. I don’t want to downplay the importance and scale of the disaster, but I do want to highlight everything else that makes Fukushima so grand, and a worthwhile place to visit.”

If you’d like to help Cameron make his film a reality, and just maybe help a prefecture that is struggling not just with rebuilding and moving on emotionally but shaking off an image that is arguably far more toxic than anything you’ll ever encounter during a visit to this stunning and diverse region, then head over to Cameron’s page on Storyhive and give him your vote. Voting closes on April 27, so be sure to head over soon.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with just a sample of the many locations within Fukushima that Cameron had a chance to visit and hopes to return to bigger, stronger, and with full funding should his film win the grant it deserves.

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japanese Blogger’s Troubling Insight into the Psyche of Post-Disaster Fukushima Residents -- Alone in the Red Zone: Fukushima Town’s Sole Resident Speaks Out in Harrowing Documentary -- In wake of nuclear disaster, world’s largest floating wind farm being built in Fukushima

© RocketNews24

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23 Comments
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Good luck I/We hope you get all of the funding you require to make the film, It will be great PR for the region lets face it, it needs all of the help it can get!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, don't worry -after the world's worst and still uncontainable nuclear disaster that is responsible for massive contamination of the Pacific Ocean, lets make a film to promote tourism......in Fukushima.

And who is funding this Orwellian propaganda ?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hello kurisupisu. I wanted to respond to your comment, seeing as I'm the filmmaker in question.

First of all, no one is funding this 'propaganda'. That's the whole point of the article, and the Storyhive competition. All of the footage used in the 2 minute promo was shot myself, during my visit to Fukushima. My hope is that this story will be compelling enough that people like yourself will take the time to sign up and vote. Seeing as I'm just one guy, and a fairly young filmmaker, $10,000 would enable me to buy the gear necessary to make a really great looking film, and really show off Fukushima.

I understand the concern surrounding the nuclear disaster, and I think that a lot of it is warranted. The issue I have is that Fukushima is a massive geographical area, and yet the word Fukushima is now synonymous with disaster. As a result, the entire prefecture has been given a bad name due to an accident which is, while still not entirely contained, at least contained within a reasonable 'exclusion zone'. Life outside this zone continues as normal, and, based on every shred of scientific evidence, continues to be perfectly safe. While there is a slight increase in background radiation, this increase is comparable only to the normal increase one would find from living in a big city. In other words, no reasonable person could conclude that living in the majority of Fukushima is unsafe.

I should note that this conclusion is based solely on my own personal experience, and the weighing of all the evidence that I have read, discussed, and witnessed first hand. My goal is to make a film based on that experience, and the experience of others like myself who have come to Fukushima with some fear and reticence, and discovered a vast, beautiful land, full of friendly, welcoming people.

There are still thousands of people who were evacuated from their homes and land, and have yet to find a permanent place to live. Tens of thousands more are in danger of losing their jobs and businesses due to the lack of tourism, and the willingness to shun those directly affected by the disaster, and those most in need of help. Feels a bit like piling on, don't you think?

Look, I'm just one guy, not an Orwellian conspiracy to convince you or anyone to sweep the whole nuclear disaster under the rug. I just want to bring a bit of perspective to the discussion. In this case, my perspective. I'm not asking you to abandon your concern, I just want you to try and focus your attention where it belongs. It is important to hold those responsible for the meltdown accountable, and make sure nothing like this ever happens again. We mustn't, however, continue to punish those who have already lost so much, for having committed the crime of living in a specific geographical region where an accident occurred.

In short: Dude, Fukushima is awesome. I'm going to prove it. I'd love your support.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am a film maker and photographer that still plans to move to japan for what I hope to be the rest of my life, i have to say, his goals are noble but 10 min movie, the average documentary i have is 1hr-2hr footage, i know NHK and other networks cut down pieces, but really............you want to get a grant to cover your trip and film a few 1 min bits.........

I am actually working on doc myself with funding funging mostly by crowd sourcing and friends, i find it kinda insultive that he does such a short piece, when my interviews with people via email from the area clearly show it will take more then 2hrs to cover then all.

I do like he is showing the real truth, i find it frustrating when people fear monger about facts that are not true just because it's japan, but when its the west or America then its somehow not a big deal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good luck with the project.

You might like to check out this documentary - "Ordinary Lives", made by Japanese director Taizo Yoshida and available to rent/buy in subtitle form (I worked with the volunteer team of translators).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI6ZDiocf5Y

http://ordinarylife.bgettings.com/?lang=en

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fukushima WAS awesome before radiation ruined it. Everything looks fine, till you put a radiospectrometer on it then, not so much http://www.autoradiograph.org/

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We visited the whole of Fukushima for one week once, it was awesome - great nature, great onsens, excellent people (very warm, modest and friendly). I feel so sorry for this happening to them, as we planned on returning, and some spots are a no go now. Bandai-san, with its hiking course for the five lakes must be one of the most beautiful spots in Japan (I think it's OK to go there). Highly recommendable for whoever has the chance to visit.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mr Anderson, Thank you for your response. You seem to have set yourself a difficult task! That task is to show that a nuclear disaster, in Fukushima, still polluting the world is a safe place to visit. The article in JapanToday starts “Forget the reactor. Forget all the bull$#!^ Facebook posts about how radiation is melting the starfish and mutating our sushi. Forget about what it means to be a disaster, and discover what it means to be Fukushima.”

Mr Kendall sounds like a snake oil salesman, selling a mind numbing amnesia inducing potion!

Although, in this reply I question your motives somewhat I will just accuse you of being naive.

Maybe you are unaware of the following....?

The mass movement of radioactive debris in Japan to be incinerated and released back into the air, recontaminating us? The inability of the Japanese to store radioactive debris. The children of Fukushima with the highest showing of thyroid cancer in Japan? The unhoused evacuated people still living in shelters? The donations meant to help the people in Fukushima but directed to Hokkaido and Okinawa? The high levels of radiation found on apartment roofs in Yokohama (unexplained) The high readings of radiation in Kashiwa near Tokyo The myriad countries that have banned Japanese products because of high levels of radiation found in tea, cars, tires etc The radioactive wood chips dumped hundreds of kilometers away in Kyoto or the radioactive animal feed transported to Shimane? How about the radioactive meat eaten in Shikoku? What about the cancer inducing hot particles found in a vacuum dust bag in Nagoya? The sudden appearance of unchecked Fukushima produce sold all over Japan as the people in Fukushima wouldn't consume it. The mislabeled rice and fish that has no place of origin except Japan The misreporting and misreading of radiation levels in Tohoku? The genetically damaged insects and birds studied by several universities in Japan? There are examples ad nauseum!

The Japanese government has advised us cheerfully that we should smile to all of the above as smiling people don't get sick from radiation poisoning.

Mr Cameron why should I support you in your naiveity?Not living in Japan with your one sided view telling us that Fukushima is 'safe' and everything is rosy with your 10 minute documentary and then seeking donations so that you can tell us even more of the same?

Koide,Busby,Gunderson,Caldicott are all names you should familiarize yourself with that explain that radiation is not 'safe'Especially when the radioactive contamination release on 3/11 has never been adequately explained to the people of Japan.

Mr Cameron have you donated your money to the homeless in Fukushima or people working there?Have you housed volunteers to Fukushima in your house and fed them ? I have, and I have sought no funding or grants for my own self promotion while doing so.

What is your motive in making this film? Who benefits? Are you not seeking fame and self promotion using the infamy of Fukushima and the disaster there as your platform?

Would you seek to sell your film for a profit if you receive your funding or would you donate the rights of the film to a Japanese charity?

You mention perspective in your reply, but if you show so little disregard for the events post 3/11 to the present day then I have to question your intellect or integrity- or both?

There are film makers out there both Japanese and foreign that concentrate their talents on the victims-these are the people that will die lonely and perhaps painful deaths.

We need to be reminded ........

Moderator: Sorry, please do not be ill-mannered toward Mr Cameron.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mar044: The rules of the contest stipulate that the finished product be between 4 and 10 minutes. While I do want to make the best 10 minute project I can, my ultimate goal is to use the remaining footage to create a feature length doc, ideally in the 48 minute range so that it could air in an hourly format time slot on tv, thereby generating the most exposure possible on such a small budget. I'd love to do a full length feature, but I simply have no method for distributing it at this point in my career. I'm sorry if you feel insulted by my perceived lack of ambition, I promise you that's not the case. I'd be very interested in seeing the project you're working on if you feel like sending me a link.

Amanda: Thanks, I'll be sure to check it out, and thank you for volunteering the time to help with the subtitles! There's another Fukushima doc that you might be interested in by a local Vancouver filmmaker called 'Reactor'. It's available for rent or buy on Vimeo.

Ebisen: I lived in Bandai, and have hiked those trails many times. They are quite beautiful, and perfectly safe. Just remember to bring a bear bell, just in case!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dave Well said ,, sometimes it feels like people are on an another planet , its good to see at least some are aware of their environment and whats going on :)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Mr Anderson, your attempt at promoting Fukushima runs in the face of reality and having viewed your short trailer I can assure you that it is going to be impossible for you to present your work in any balanced way. Your work will seek to show Fukushima as 'awesome' How can an area that has been and is still being exposed to radioactive contamination be awesome ?

I do not wish to be accused of being opinionated or one sided so..... I suggest that Mr Anderson refer to the ex-mayor of Futaba, Mr Katsutaka Idogawa before making blithe comments about how safe and idyllic Fukushima is.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Kurisupisu: Have you ever been to Fukushima?

As an informed public, we rely on the experience of scientists and journalists to form our own opinions. After living in Fukushima for three months, it is my personal opinion based on my own experience, that the majority of Fukushima is, and continues to be, AWESOME.

I'm not attempting to present a sweeping critical analysis of the nuclear contamination. I'm quite under qualified for that kind of work. However, based on my experience living in Fukushima, the many conversations I've had with the residents, and all of the research that I've done into the disaster, it is my humble opinion that the extent of the nuclear contamination has been vastly exaggerated.

All I want is to do is to present my experience, so that it can be added to the public discourse. Kurisupisu, we need people like you to remain vigilant in the face of these tragedies. Your opinion is important, and hopefully you are exercising your concern by getting active in this very important issue. One way you can help is by donating to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. We may disagree on the nature of the disaster, but certainly you will agree with me that there are still many people living in Fukushima who continue to be directly affected by this tragedy. You can follow this link to donate: http://www.japansociety.org/earthquake

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You know who's more concerned than anyone else about the nuclear status of Fukushima? People who live in Fukushima. You know who spend more time researching, interviewing, and making first-hand accounts of the reality of the situation in Fukushima? People who live in Fukushima. However, the second the people of Fukushima make any claim to how things actually are over here from both scientific and personal levels, the automatic reply is that we're hopeless and brainwashed TEPCO robots in denial.

Look, we all pull what we can from internet resources, and it's natural to jump on board with sensationalism (because it's satisfying to rally around a cause, especially when it uses words like 'apocalypse' and 'electric ocean mutant starfish monster cancer'), but to come down on a guy who wants to share his story? And our story? The story of people who ACTUALLY live here, breathe the air and drink the water, and measure them on a daily basis? To me, that says that you don't really want some real perspective.

Now that's denial. That's Orwellian.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maxwell It s true , there are a lot of nutcases out there , so called antinuclear activists who would claim the craziest conspiracies and theories about fukushima ,, and they have turned the whole anitnuke movemenet into a conspiracy freak show ,, but the facts are undeniable ,, fukushima is the worst nuclear disaster ever witnessed and media is doing its best to down play the whole issue . I like beutiful nature in fukushima too ,, in fact i even like chernobyl and there are even touristic tours for people to visit chernobyl ,,i find it interesting too ,, but it doesnt change the fact that the whole place is polluted like hell with radioactvivity ,, it doesnt change the fact that underneath all that beuty there is an invisible dragon ( as one japanese professor put it ) that would kill without any notice,,and that is also a part of fukushima truth ,, i hope mr cameron puts that into his movie as well ,, but somehow i seriously doubt that .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No one is denying that there are areas of Fukushima that are very polluted with nuclear activity. The areas closest to the reactor have visible measured radioactivity at below acceptable and healthy levels, and those parts are uninhabitable. However, and this is the part we like to stress, and part of the reason that this film needs to be made: That is a very small area of Fukushima. It's basically a sliver of land mass in the grand scheme of things. And pardon, but I fail to see how media is 'downplaying' the issue when I read sensationalist nonsense on a daily basis. If anything, there's a lack of transparency in what the government and TEPCO are doing, and the media is crying wolf in incredibly harmful ways in address to that.

I was in Tokyo a few weeks ago having drinks with some friends. One of my friends, a well-educated bilingual lawyer, was talking about riding his bike north, to the tip of the Tohoku region. He said he wasn't going to do it, because "he didn't want to risk cancer from Fukushima." He didn't want to ride through an area like Aizu, or Inawashiro, or anywhere else in the region that has less radioactivity than the city he comes from (Tokyo) because of what the media has done in its reporting. It's irresponsible journalism, and it's hardly being swept under. I google Fukushima every day. I read the reports every day. I see what scientists report, and I see what the media does with those figures. I see it every day, and every day it breaks my heart, because it's hopelessly irresponsible journalism. Every day.

I am an environmentalist, anti-nuclear activist and one of the harshest skeptics you'll ever meet, so please believe me when I say the following: I have known Cameron for most of my life. He is honest, talented, and wanting to give a thorough idea of what the prefecture is like. Exclusion and dangerous evacuated zones, and the other 99 percent of land that we call home. If you ask me, the wrong stories are getting swept under the rug.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have seen all kinds of activists , antinuke and pronuke ,, and all kinds of claims and i can say i am not impressed : If i would make a documentary called REAL CHERNOBYL , in which i would be discussing the different types of dandelions , or some other trivial issue , it would be a bit detached from the reality as well , wouldnt it ?

These games of pretention , and claims of false whistle blowers are old tricks which we are not buying that easily anymopre .

Sensationalism is not quite what the media is doing ,, its just the opposite ,, most sensational news are from alternative media and everybody knows that ,, specially the real antinuke activists know that , the best way to damage antinuke activism is to pretend being one .

Exclusion zones and safe levels of radiation all depend on what do you consider ACCEPTABLE levels doesn it ? So while most experts agree on 60 - 70 mile excluision zones around fukushima others claim it would be safe to live up to 20 kms ,, who is sensationalist and who is actually seeking the truth . Who has the right to make these claims ?

Lots of sources on internet to find the truth ,, and lots of so called antinuke activists nowadays so i agree its hard to see the trees through the forest but the REAL FUKUSHIMA is not about fire festival and jumping into lake ,, it is much more sinister than that and people should have the right to know that .

These kinds of cheap propaganda is all over internet to down play the disaster that is happening at fukushima and give people a false feeling of safety . It is just wrong , misinforming and i am trying to be polite here so that i dont get banned or my comments get deleted ,, its against basic human rights ,, i hope readers realize these tricks and can see the truth which is getting more and more difficult to find on any media lately . I guess enough discussion about the documentary ,, we can all wait an see how it will go and how much of the truth we will find in it . In any case good luck in search of the truth everyone .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Cameron,

Good luck with this project. You are going to hit a wall of ignorance as you have seen here. I'm part of a group called "This Is Fukushima" and for the past two years we've created a calendar and sent it around to the world to show that Fukushima is more than a reactor. We don't deny the disaster or the radiation or the tragedy or the lies and cover up or the amount of radiation dumped into the sea, and we are not trying to "down play the disaster that is happening at fukushima and give people a false feeling of safety" we are trying to say that's only a small part of the whole prefecture.

But statements like "the fact that the whole place is polluted like hell with radioactvivity" just show pure ignorance and there is no point in arguing with people that think like that. It's simply a false statement which he could prove if he cared to visit, but as he put it ",, i seriously doubt that ."

I think one problem with people is that this is called the Fukushima reactor. People, Japanese and foreigners, hear Fukushima and assume that anything related to it is tainted and radiated and destroyed and as Dave Parrish put it "ruined". If you try to sell vegetables grown at the exact opposite end of the prefecture people will say no they are full of radiation. If you try to sell vegetables that are grown one foot farther in Niigata or Yamagata people will happily eat them.

Another example is Three Mile Island. If someone were to say they were from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania many people would have no opinion because it's not called the Pennsylvania disaster or the Harrisburg Plant. Someone could live very close and just say they are from Pennsylvania and it would be fine, but if you live at the farthest point away from the Dai Ichi reactor, which is 100 miles away, that's the end of the world. He's right though, his ideas are "just wrong , misinforming".

The negative comments seem to come from people who thrive on end of the world scaremongering. If you click their usernames and read all their other posts you might think the world will end soon. It's pretty clear they have never (and most certainly will never) come to Fukushima. That would require a personality trait they do not possess.

I've had people show their ignorance by meeting me and shaking my hand and then asking where I live in Japan and stepping back when I said Fukushima. It's a mentality thing that we can only try to change, but probably never will.

Good luck with it. It's an uphill battle. The "This Is Fukushima" calendar still gets comments from the people that love to hear their voice regardless of what nonsense they are saying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hi Cameron This is an interesting thread.. It has been a while since i posted here.. I respect your attempt Cameron to normalise aspects of this situation on behalf of a beleaguered population in need of financial support and who are not receiving the losses they have had as a result of the nuclear disaster. The fact that you highlight the plight of the refugees, the beauty of such a wonderful bit of Japan, these are justifiable reasons for promoting tourism. However on the eve of the Chernobyl disaster and with ACRO`s statement that this is comparable to the contamination of Chernobyl (but with a lesser effected population thanks heavens), it might be worth noting that if we use Chernobyl Childrens International own statistics on heart defects and compare the lesser population we still get an estimated 1,500 children a year likely to be born with heart defects sometime in the future.. My evidence for this posit is gathered here;

http://nuclear-news.net/2014/04/15/1500-children-likely-to-develop-heart-problems-on-a-yearly-basis-effects-of-the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/ And there are other problems apart from thyroid cancer caused by lack of investment... http://nuclear-news.net/2014/04/20/column-how-my-trip-to-a-childrens-mental-asylum-in-belarus-made-me-proud-to-be-irish/

Forgetting the high suicide rates caused by the psychological impacts of the nuclear disaster, it might be worth mentioning that TEPCO have been bailed out to the tune of 26 billion Euro, not including the cost of the Diesel generators supplied by UK companies to overcome the national drop in electricity output etc

I would like to see equipment such as the new measuring equipment that the UK`s NPL laboratories have just announced used in fukushima and the North eastern edge of Myagi to find the hot spots http://nuclear-news.net/2014/04/14/the-radlab-on-wheels-a-mobile-radiochemistry-laboratory/ and investment in solar to replace the destroyed nuclear plant. This sort of investment would be good for the long term and encourage tourism as people would see where exactly the contamination is and what isotopes etc.. And also allow young families to see where it might be best to conceive and raise their children.. A win win situation i hope you would agree?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hey Sean, thanks for the feedback!

I completely, wholeheartedly agree with you and your reasonable, well researched and well articulated points on the nuclear disaster. I'm glad that there are people like you out there who will take the time to explore the different arguments and evidence being presented.

My frustration surrounding the situation in Fukushima stems from two main points. The first, given the large size of Fukushima, it is obvious that not all areas of the prefecture are going to be affected equally. However, since the accident occurred in Fukushima, it is easy to confuse 'the known and measurable area around the Daiichi reactor that has been contaminated and therefore will require extensive clean-up, monitoring, and time, before we even consider re-inhabiting', and... 'Fukushima'. Unfortunately, it seems those two things have now become synonymous. The second is the hyperbolic misinformation surrounding the extent of the accident. It feels like everyday, a new 'shocking' or 'terrifying' article appears with claims that the radiation from the Daiichi reactor is coming to melt our children and poison our tap water. These empty attempts to generate clicks and views don't hold up to healthy skepticism, and are creating static between the real, valuable journalism surrounding the accident, and a worried public. I understand why people are afraid. Nuclear disaster is a scary idea, one that has now been firmly rooted in our collective culture. I just want to see more level headed arguments brought forward by people like you, than nitwits standing on their chairs and shouting the latest 'nuclear holocaust death to all' article from the likes of www.trueshocksciencethuthconspiricy.com.

The earthquake and the meltdown were certainly major tragedies. I have no intention of downplaying the severity of the accident at all. I just want to bring a little perspective, in this case, mine. I'm hoping that if people can see how beautiful, how welcoming, and how normal Fukushima is, they might be a little more willing to relax their attitude of fear and hostility towards the whole prefecture.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment. It was heartening to read your post after some of the more, shall I say... rant-y responses I've gotten to this project.

Oh, and Nanokore! I'd love to learn more about your calendar project. Is there a link or a webpage I can check out? If there's a way I can provide some support, I'd love to help.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

John.

No one disagrees with you. No one is denying that the meltdown has, and will continue to have severe consequences. There are many highly trained scientists and journalists that are doing exceptional work bringing this information to public eyes.

My project is different. I am trying to elucidate the point that Fukushima the prefecture is not the Daiichi nuclear plant. Fukushima is a very large place with many wonderful people, many of whom are suffering as a result of the misconception that all of Fukushima has become contaminated. This is, simply put, geographically impossible. When we think of the area of contamination, we need to think about it in terms of the measurable fallout which spread in all directions from the plant, as opposed to the arbitrary confinement of a prefectural border.

As informed adults, we are attempting to have a rational, balanced conversation about a very important issue. Of course, you are welcome to participate, but to be completely honest John, I don't understand a lot of what you are saying. You seem very angry. I understand, it's a volatile issue, and heightened emotions are to be expected. However, if you want to be heard clearly, you need to make sure that your emotion isn't getting in the way of your better judgement and common sense.

I'd be very interested to hear how this issue affects you directly. Do you live in Fukushima, or Japan? Do you have friends or family living there? Business interests? Why are you so passionate about this issue? What are you doing to get involved in helping?

My concern is that too many people are taking an alarmist position, and this is resulting in the widespread shunning of Fukushima and the people that live there. Seeing as they've already been through a serious tragedy, I believe that now, more than ever, it is critical for us to be sympathetic, and turn our attention towards making every effort to help the people who have been left without homes or land. Also very important, we need to emphasize that the majority of Fukushima is completely safe for visitors, and quite a beautiful place to visit. This is the specific aim of my film. Not to downplay the severity of the disaster, but to present my personal experience, as well as my firm belief that the widespread effects of the meltdown are being widely exaggerated, to the point that many westerners believe that it is no longer safe to travel to Japan, let alone Fukushima.

I appreciate your participation in this conversation, and I am very interested to hear how it relates to you personally.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hello Cameron! I like what you are trying to do... Give it everything you have.... My only real advice is stop reading and replying to comments on this article! I know you need the votes and this stream gives you a chance at drumming up support. But, they WILL NOT be convinced!

Just make an amazing piece and let those who want to see it, see it! I look forward to it. I live in Ibaraki, so it has had a small impact on me and my young family as well. I would love to see something that paints a brighter picture!

Good luck mate

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I am not even allowed to answer these comments ,,not a fair discussion ,, says enough i think ,, i hope japanese people realize whats really going on ,, i wish strength for those suffering . All i can type here before getting censored,,or my comments getting deleted ,, this is my eigth attempt to reply to this post ,, freedom of speech is gone , and that s a sad thing for japan (and for the whole humanity actually ,, ) When there is no freedom of speech there is no truth ,, everyone reading these posts should keep that in mind ,, Peace,,

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Dear S. Anderson,

there is well known Fukushima related (Ene) website where they coordinate to ruin your idea, but please don't give up to show "your" Reality because only with information we get a conclusion!

Fukushima is a very nice Place which kept a lot of the old Japan i love so much.

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