By 50 Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Translated by Norma Field and Matthew Mizenko
I urge you to consider purchasing this powerful and important collection of statements and stories provided by 50 Fukushima residents.
These people lived in Fukushima at the time of the triple disaster of March 11, 2011. They range in age from 7 to 87, and they wrote these statements as part of the criminal complaint filed with the office of the Fukushima public prosecutor by the Fukushima Complainants for Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. What, exactly, is a criminal complaint, and who is a “complainant”? In this case, the complaint is a formal legal request initiated by citizens, the “complainants,” in response to the failure of both prosecutors and police to investigate the criminal liability of Tepco and government agencies for their roles in the nuclear disaster. The group complaint (“shūdan keiji kokuso/kokuhatsu” in Japanese) is a demand for investigation and indictment of the responsible parties.
“Heartfelt and heart-wrenching, this book is a searing account of the full story of the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima and how it affected, and continues to affect, thousands of lives. Each story in this collection—each personal detail of a husband or wife, a child or teacher, a family or worker—is not only profoundly compelling but serves as a call to arms for anyone who cares about the effects of nuclear power on human health and the global environment.”
_ Kristen Iversen, author, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats
“Exposure to nuclear radiation brings sickness and death, it empties cities and villages, it contaminates food. But far below these tangible impacts lie innumerable personal disasters in the communities, families and hearts of those who have been exposed. Community cohesion is dissolved, family bonds are severed, and inner wholeness can be shattered as people grasp the world into which the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima has thrust them. These testimonies are a window into the vastness of human suffering that remains hidden, intentionally obscured by official policy that writes off those affected by this nuclear disaster as collateral damage. Behind each of these testimonies are real human beings, and real human lives that struggle everyday to regain a sense of wholeness, and that cry out for a measure of justice.”
_ Robert (Bo) Jacobs, historian, Hiroshinma Peace Institute at Hiroshima City University; author, The Dragon’s Tail, Americans Face the Atomic Age.
“I feel connected to the pain and suffering of the People of Fukushima, as we as Indigenous Peoples from Northern New Mexico have lived under the shadow of the nuclear age for 70 years. The nuclear age was born within our sacred ancestral lands and this knowledge has traveled around the world. I pray for the healing of one another, and our Mother Earth and that one day we will be granted Peace and Happiness.”
_ Marian Naranjo, tribal elder, Santa Clara Pueblo, founder and director of Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE); founding member, Communities for Clean Water.
About the translators
Norma Field, who grew up in Tokyo with a Japanese mother and American father, and Matthew Mizenko, who grew up in New Jersey with a Japanese mother and American father, became friends in graduate school at Princeton University. There they studied Japanese literature with Earl Miner, John Nathan, and Ian Levy (Libi Hideo). Field, who recently retired from the University of Chicago, has been working on Japanese proletarian literature (Kobayashi Takiji: 21seiki ni dou yomu ka; co-editor, For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature). Her current pursuits are reflected in the website maintained with colleagues, “The Atomic Age,” which includes records of a 2012 symposium with Ruiko Muto, head of the Fukushima Complainants for Criminal Prosecution. Together with students at the Department of Modern Languages in Ursinus College, Mizenko explores Japanese literature of all periods, art, film, and anime as aesthetic expressions formed by and speaking back to history. His love for “sosaku hanga” (creative prints) is shown in Modern Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Berman and Corazza Collection 1950-1980, the catalog of an exhibit curated with Frank Chance.