Report of Fukushima Dialogue, 10 February 2018 (1st day) - to share current situations and the future of Odaka area of Minami-soma City

  On 10-11 February 2018, we held the 'Fukushima Dialogue to share current situations and the future of Odaka area of Minami-soma City -- Continuing the dialogue in cooperation with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) -- ' in Minami-soma city.

  We held a field tour in Odaka area where the evacuation order was lifted in July 2016 on the first day, and held the Dialogue at Minami-soma City Information Exchange Centre on the second day.

Day 1

  Gathering and originating at Odaka Station on Joban line, we rode on a bus with guidance from local people. At first, we passed through the shopping street run straight from the station, comparing with some pre-disaster photos. There was no damage from the tsunami around Odaka station, but many buildings were collapsed or damaged by the earthquake. The area had been prohibited to enter just after the NPP accident, never had a chance to repair. So buildings were gradually damaged during the no-entry period, and as a sequel, were demolished and left vacant lots. Comparing with photos from when the street was bustling realised the difference so clearly.

  Then we visited Mr Takashi Mizugai who have resumed farming in Hanzaki district and listened to him in front of the fields. Mr Mizugai and his fellows undertook to weed fields as a rehabilitation association from November 2012, just a year after the disaster, and they started test cultivation of soybeans since 2014. He told that nearly all results were ND from the crops continuously cultivating since the first year. Including rice fields that are currently under maintenance, they are going to jointly manage approx. 12 ha by 4-5 personnel. The reason why they first started from soybeans is that irrigation channels for rice fields have not yet been reconstructed. Around this area agricultural water is drawn from Ogaki dam in Namie town. Before the disaster, there were local groups called 'yui' and they each had maintained channels in their area. Since the disaster forced them to evacuate, channels in some area toward Odaka are completely out of maintenance, so it had been not able to water the rice field. Furthermore, population decrease in the area also affects the field management. He told that it is impossible to keep the same level of management to that of before the disaster, and the issue from now on is how to continuously maintain with the decreased manpower, having help from outside. In his thought,
it would become a major turning point that whether they can find young successors within the coming five years. 
He told that:
 'Even after the lift of the evacuation order, few people return. Almost all community has vanished which had been before the disaster. People who took up residence in refuge places would never return in the future. I think it would be unachievable to restore everything as it had been. Still, at least I want to restore the scenery itself. This is my motivation to resume farming. By restoring the beautiful rural landscape from before the disaster, I want to prepare the environment that people want to live in, no matter they return from refugee places or they newly come. So I'm going to continue to farm.' 
This was very impressive. Furthermore, there was a question about reputational damage for the crops. His answer was that the market valuation can't be estimated at this time, because all of both soybeans and rice which they have raised so far have been delivered as for livestock feed, and subsidies account for a large portion for this use.

  After that, we had a bus ride through a hilly area in the east of Odaka, and visited a 54-ha large-scale temporary storage area and some places that solar panels are installed. Solar panels are rapidly spreading at a pace that even locals surprise if they come after some interval, so the landscape had significantly changed from what it had been. Most of the land where panels are extensively installed are places where originally had been fields and meadows, so the local guide told us that he is sorry since the landscape there had been his favourite one.

  In the afternoon, we visited the coastal area hit by the tsunami with a guidance by Mr Hiroshi Murata at Odaka Re-design Center. The population of Odaka area before the disaster was 12 800, but the number of registered inhabitants is 8 600 as of February 2018, so it is decreased more than 4 000. This number comes from people moved out from Odaka area, in addition to people who had died from the tsunami and earthquake. He told that in his estimation, people who are actually living in Odaka area are around 2 500, and probably around 4 600 people would return ultimately. He also added that it would be a great challenge how to maintain the area itself within the largely decreased population compared to that before the disaster.

  We were told that the temporary storage that we visited in the morning is the largest one in Odaka, and one we visited in the afternoon and in the tsunami-hit coast is the second largest, about 40 ha in extent. In the tsunami-hit coastal area, villages have vanished which originally had been there, and the area will be non-habitable in the future. It is not yet decided how to utilise the land where had been rice fields, and he said
this is a worrisome problem since there is no inhabitant who maintains the land.
Then we could get the whole view of the coast from a height in Urajiri district. The embankment construction is almost completed, and at the moment it seemed that some subordinate constructions were proceeding. He said that in past, there was a long beach around here that was even able to host an athletic meeting of the district. Even from before the disaster the beach was becoming eroded, and now there is no trace of what it used to be, by the ground subsidence from the earthquake and by the embankment itself. Along the coast, we could see two temporary incineration facilities. We were told that one is for disaster wastes from the area within the 20 km radius, and the other is for combustible decontamination wastes from outside of the 20 km radius.

  He told that while Fukushima Daiichi NPP was under construction around 1970 there were many people engaged in the construction work from this district. At that time, economically there was no other business than paddy rice cultivation and not a few went to work in cities, so such a near construction site work became a precious income source.

  Then we'd also see the sights from a height in Tsukahara district. The height seems more than 10 m above sea level, however, the tsunami also swept here and we were told that Mr Murata's mother was one of the victims. Currently, there are 70 people, 27 households in the district, which once had been 460 people, 120 households.

  He concluded the explanation by saying that:
'How to maintain the district community will be a major issue with the population decreased to 20-30% from once had been, and with a decreasing number of visiting volunteers as time passes from the disaster. The fading memories of the disaster is also an issue that I feel strongly about.'

  As time passes from the lift of the evacuation order, the distinction between who returns and who will not is becoming clear. I think that issues are coming to light that in what way the local communities and daily lives can be maintained, in the situation which no such population recovery can be expected as of before the disaster. Especially, at this time, I was impressed by that many words were spoken about the 'landscape'. In the tsunami-hit area, the original landscape has been completely lost by the tsunami. But this time I'd well realise that not only in the tsunami-hit area but also in the affected area from the NPP accident, the landscape is becoming quite different from it had been before. In such a situation, there is an impressive attempt to regain the original landscape through farming. After the disaster, many people have been rushed within the big movement of 'reconstruction'. However, I think a phase is coming, to take a glance backwards reflecting whether what we have done has been best or not. In such a phase, the first thing coming across one's mind might be the 'landscape'. Why do people want to live in that place? Of course, convenience, hospitals and places to work are important factors. However, the 'landscape' might be also one important factor, and we might have been totally forgotten this factor. This is what I personally but keenly felt.

Responsible for the article: Ryoko Ando

2018年2月10日 福島ダイアログ「南相馬、小高のいま、未来を共有するための対話集会」1日目ご報告

  2月10日、11日「福島ダイアログ:南相馬、小高のいま、未来を共有するための対話集会~国際放射線防護委員会(ICRP)の協力による対話の継続~ 」を南相馬市で開催いたしました。





  午後は、小高復興デザインセンターの村田博さんのご案内で、沿岸の津波被災地域を見学しました。 小高区の震災前人口は、12,800人ですが、2018年2月現在で、住民登録数は、8,600人で、4,000人以上減っています。津波など震災によってお亡くなりになった方に加えて、小高から転出した方もいて、この数字になっているということです。実際に、小高区内で暮らしているのは、2,500人で、おそらく、最終的に4,600人程度は戻って来るのではないかと推測しているとのことです。ただ、震災前人口から比べると、大きく減ってしまう中で、どのように地域を維持していくかが大きな課題であるとのことでした。

と言われていました。浦尻地区の高台から、沿岸を一望しました。堤防工事はほとんど終わっており、現在は、付随する工事が行われているようでした。昔は、このあたりは広い砂浜があり、地域の運動会は砂浜で開かれていたくらいだった、と言われていました。震災前から砂浜はなくなってきていましたが、震災による地盤沈下と堤防で、いまはまったくその面影はありません。 向こう側には、仮設の焼却施設が二基見えます。ひとつは、20km圏内の災害廃棄物、ひとつは20km圏外の除染廃棄物の可燃物を燃やしているとのことです。


震災から時間が経過し、訪れるボランティアの方も減り、 かつての2割から3割になってしまった人口の中で、この先、どう地域を維持していくのか、風化も強く感じる、




2018年2月10日11日 小高ダイアログセミナー資料/10-11 February, 2018 the materials of Odaka Dialogue Seminar

Fukushima Dialogue to share current situations and the future of Odaka area of Minami-soma city - Continuing the dialogue in cooperation with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) -
(2018年2月10日、11日、福島県南相馬市小高区/February 10-11, 2018, Odaka, Minami-soma City, Fukushima)

2月11日/February 11

はじまりの挨拶 Opening remarks:ジャック・ロシャール Jacque Lochard (ICRP)
前日の見学の振り返り Reflections of yesterday's dialogue:安東量子 Ryoko Ando (Ethos in Fukushima)

プレゼンテーション Presentation on current situations

藤原央行 Nakayuki Fujiwara(南相馬市企画課復興推進係長、Minami-soma City Offiece)
高橋荘平 Shohei Takahashi(南相馬除染研究所、Minami-soma City Decontamination Laboratory)
石川 俊 Shun Ishikawa(石川建設工業 Ishikawa Kensetsu Kogyo)
鎌田たつ子 Tatsuko Kamata(大町きらきらサロン)
米田 寛 Hiroshi Yoneta(小高区住民)
水谷 隆 Takashi Mizugai(小高区住民)

対話 Dialogue

水谷 隆 Takashi Mizugai(小高区住民)、石川 俊 Shun Ishikawa(南相馬)、高橋荘平 Shohei Takahashi(南相馬除染研究所) 、鎌田たつ子 Tatsuko Kamata(南相馬)、杉重 博 Hiroshi Sugishige(南相馬)、米田 寛 Hiroshi Yoneta(南相馬)、 鈴木敦子 Atsuko Suzuki(南相馬市社会福祉協議会)、後藤素子 Motoko Goto(新潟)、斉藤幸子 Sachiko Saito(南相馬)、 星 憲 Hiroshi Hoshi(南相馬)、但野謙介 Kensuke Tadano(南相馬市義)、坪倉正治 Masaharu Tsubokura(相馬中央病院)、 大橋庸一 Yoichi Ohashi(双葉町)、菅野源勝 Genkatsu Kanno(川俣町山木屋)

アストリッド・リーラント Astrid Liland (NRPA)
テッド・ラゾ Ted Lazo(OECD/NEA)
まとめの議論 General Discussion
終わりの挨拶 Closing remarks by 田林信哉 Shinya Tabayashi(南相馬市副市長 Deputy Mayoer of Minami-soma City)
挨拶 remarks by 世古将人 Masato Seko(日本財団 Nippon Foundation)
最後に Conclusion by ジャック・ロシャール Jacques Lochard(ICRP)




  県外の書店では店頭に並びませんので、Amazon でお買い上げいただけましたら、幸いです。


2016年10月1日、2日 川内ダイアログセミナー資料/1-2 October, 2016 the materials of Kawauchi Dialogue Seminar

双葉地方におけるダイアログセミナー The rehabilitation of living conditions in the Futaba region
(2016年10月1日、2日、福島県双葉郡川内村/October 1-2, 2016, Kawauchi Village, Fukushima)

10月1日/October 1
Session1: The situation in the Futaba region

遠藤 雄幸(川内村・村長)


井出 茂(川内村商工会・会長)
  • 川内村商工会の復興に向けての役割
  • The role of trade and industry in Kawauchi

Session2: The socio-economic conditions for returning home

永沢 幸一(川内村住民)
  • 自らの震災からこれまでの経験
  • 自らの震災からこれまでの経験

林 薫平(福島大学・特任准教授)
  • 広野町の地域活動について

ワーキンググループ Working groups on the challenges of the rehabilitation of living conditions in the Futaba area

10月2日/October 2
Session3: Returning home: decontamination, waste management and environmental surveillance

  • 川内村の除染対策・廃棄物管理の現状

ワーキンググループ Working groups on the implications of the decontamination and the challenges of waste management

Session4: Supporting local activities and disseminating experience for the future of the Futaba region and beyond

  • 環境省の役割
宮崎 真(福島医大)
  • 双葉地域における福島医大の活動と楢葉でのD-shuttleを用いた測定の経験について


Report of Fukushima Dialogue, 25 November 2017 - Dialogue with residents of Yamakiya to share current situations

 On 25-26 November 2017, we held "Dialogue with residents of Yamakiya to share current situations" in Yamakiya district, Kawamata Town.

 On the first day, we had a tour around Yamakiya district. Gathered at Kawamata Town Office in the morning, and after having had a greeting from Mr Kanemasa Sato, the mayor of Kawamata Town, we set off in two separate buses. The following description is based on the schedule of the group which Ando had attended.

 Yamakiya district is in the Abukuma highlands. Nevertheless located in the mountain area, the terrain is very gentry-sloping around there, letting you forget the fact that you are on the mountaintop. Agriculture had flourished since long ago, and also the land had been used for grazing since before the war, utilizing the gentle terrain. Cattle grazing had been active before the disaster, and it is told that military horses had been also raised before the war. This tells the long history as a rangeland.

 Climbing long stairs, we first visited Yasaka Shrine, which has a roof covered with copper sheeting. At the shrine, a performance called "Sanbiki-shishimai (dance of three lions)", which is told it has a history more than 300 years, is offered on every October. This custom had been paused by the evacuation order from the accident. But following the lift of the order, the performance is resumed on October 2017, the first time in seven years. Originally, performers should be boys around ten or eleven years old, but this time adults performed instead since there are few children in the district.

 We heard some stories of troubles, e.g. they started to patrol around the shrine while the period of the evacuation order, especially to secure the copper sheeting of the roof from robbery.
 Unfortunately it got cold on the day, and it snowed and hailed while we visited the Yasaka shrine, so we turned up the collar of our coat while the visit.

 Then, we visited Ms Kuniko Hirono, who cultivates lisianthus. Yamakiya has been known as one of the best lisianthus-producing districts from way back, for its rich flower colour brought from the temperature difference and its high quality.
 The sudden NPP accident and the following evacuation order had forced to discontinue the production. Not a few people had nothing to do at the refuge as they lost their farmworks, but within them, she told that she worked hard instead as a board member of the temporary houses and so on. Even from before of the lift of the evacuation order it had been allowed to resume the production of lisianthus in Yamakiya, but she told that at the early stage she had been dispirited seeing ruined greenhouse by heavy snowfall after the evacuation and so on. Even so, she was encouraged by some factors, such as that marketers told there is hardly any reputational damage for lisianthus. Consulting with her family, she finally has managed to resume the production, with rebuilt facilities such as greenhouses by utilizing subsidies and so on. It was impressive that she told smiling that she loves lisianthus.

 However, while the production pause, some new variations of lisianthus have been introduced, and market preferences have been changed for flower training (arrangement of branches and number of flowers). So some trial and error were needed to update the situation awareness, but with this effort, she becomes able to keep the satisfactory quality, and the market also values it highly. I realized that producer-side efforts are also needed to update the situation when restarting production for flowers and ornamental plants, which are influenced by the technical advance and the fashion of the times.
 She told that now her biggest trouble is short of hands, since from decreased population by the evacuation, there are few neighbours who come and help farmwork in a busy season. She concluded her talk by saying that one will enjoy agriculture, especially the culture of lisianthus, so if there are young people who want to try it, she welcomes them to join.

 Next, we visited the forest verification site in Yamakiya district. Chiba University and other institutes continuously observe the dynamism of cesium in the forest. This time we had an on-site explanation from Dr Tatsuaki Kobayashi from Chiba University.

 He explained that the continuous investigation here shows that the most part of cesium-137 stays in the forest floor. Cesium is hardly flown out to the outside water, and mostly stored in the forest. Especially in the forest floor, cesium stays in black and soft soil within about five-centimeter depth, and no tendency is observed to sink into the deeper soil. And he told the absorption of cesium-137 into timber varies by the tree species. In case of red pine there is virtually no absorption, but in case of Quercus serrata it slightly absorbs and transfers cesium. That said, even in case of Quercus serrata, the overwhelming majority of cesium-137 is deposited on the bark in the current situation. Still it seems we need to keep the situation monitored.

 In the afternoon we resumed the tour by visiting a temporary storage site of decontamination wastes located in Yamakiya district. A part of the decontamination wastes, stored in the place which had once been ricefield, is currently being transferred to intermediate storage facilities. There are totally 22 temporary storage sites in Yamakiya district, and the total amount of the stored decontamination wastes is about 220,000 bags. Within them, as of 30 November, 100,000 bags are already transferred and about 100,000 bags still remain.

 We would like to thank people from Fukushima Regional Environmental Administration Office of Ministry of Environment, and on-site management people, despite it being a holiday.
ReferenceKawamata Town webpage for temporary storage sites (Japanese)

 Finally, we visited Mr Kinichi Ouchi in Yagi area. The entire Yamakiya district is a place of scenic beauty surrounded by gentle hills, and furthermore, Yagi area is prominent within the district. So the scenery from his house was excellent. It was impressive that he often told he wish to protect and care the beautiful scenery.

 He told that the disaster came just when things were going smoothly for his farm of the greenhouse cultivation of mini tomato after many troubles. The NPP accident and evacuation ruined the farm, just after he'd thought he can take some repose. Because he had to care his old mother at that time, he evacuated after the completion of temporary housing construction to avoid multiple movements during the evacuation. He also worked as a board member of the temporary houses, rather harder than he and his wife had before the disaster. Still, every day he visited his house twice a day, taking two hours once, to feed his dog left at the house. The only time he couldn't go was when heavy snow had blocked the road, and even at that time, he walked to the house pushing the snow aside, after driving a car up to halfway, as soon as the snow had been cleared from the nearby main road. He said he is currently preparing to start greenhouse cultivation of anthurium, not an edible product which has a concern for reputational damage. Questioned that how official supports from the government, municipality and experts helped his business, he answered that he expects nothing from such official supports. He told he had done everything by himself from before the disaster, and still he is doing.