May 13(Friday)

No. 19 [Visit] Evacuating the Town Near the Nuclear Power Station to Saitama Prefecture: Dialogue with Futaba Town Residents


Watch the video of the Mayor of Futaba Town, the Mayor of Kazo City, the Governor of Saitama Prefecture, and Prime Minister Kan together making rounds to all rooms of an evacuation center. The Mayor of Futaba Town works directly with the evacuees. The Mayor of Kazo City and the Governor of Saitama Prefecture oversee the city which houses the evacuation center and serve the needs of the evacuees. Prime Minister Kan explains the policy of the Government and listens to the appeals of each and every evacuee.



<Four hours behind schedule, Prime Minister Kan exited the evacuation center>

Prime Minister: I was able to hear the stories of everyone in all the rooms.


Former Kisai High School in Kazo City, Saitama Prefecture

<Before the dialogue with the Prime Minister, the mayor shows consideration for the townspeople>

Mayor of Futaba Town: Everyone, stretch out your legs. Please allow us to do the same.


<At the evacuation center housing about 1,200 people, the mayor led the Prime Minister around from start to finish>


<People sat down on the tatami, face-to-face with the Prime Minister>

Man 1: Is there any prospect that we will be able to return to Futaba Town, Fukushima Prefecture?


Prime Minister: That is the number one question I've received from everyone. Eventually I should be able to clearly tell you which places you can return to and which places you cannot.


Man 2: About the temporary visits, I'm hoping to bring back my parents' memorial tablet.


Man 3: At least you get to bring back the memorial tablet. I have no house or anything, everything was washed away.


Woman 1: My house was on the shore and was washed away. Still, I would like to go back at least once.


Mayor of Futaba Town: I'm sure you feel the same as others. You will not be barred (from temporary entries) because your house is gone. I hope you do go (to where your house was).


Man 4: I don't need temporary housing. I don't have anywhere to go back to anyway. I hope Futaba Town is created anew.


<Without sitting down, a woman holds back her anger to make a plea>

Woman 2: Are the Diet members thinking about us? About all of these many people who have been evacuated? It's hard to tell.


Prime Minister: I myself truly feel a sense of responsibility.


<A woman says her husband works for the Tokyo Electric Power Company>

Woman 3: Although we worry that our husbands may one day fall gravely ill (due to the effects of radiation exposure), all that the families can do is see them off with a smile and tell them "Take care." Everyone is putting their lives on the line.


Prime Minister: I am grateful that he is truly putting his life on the line and working hard to cope with the nuclear reactor incident. Although I imagine things are tough for you now, please support your husband and stay strong.


<Once again, sitting down on the tatami, face-to-face with the Prime Minister>

Woman 4: For example, just because my friend had an Iwaki license plate, an ice cream was thrown at the car.


Prime Minister: On as many occasions as possible, I will urge people not to say things which may hurt the feelings of others.


Mayor of Futaba Town: If it becomes intolerable, please do not hesitate to come to me and tell me. I will do something about it.


Woman 5: Even if shower rooms are set up, I think there are too many of us.


Governor of Saitama Prefecture: By May 20, sewer pipes will be fully installed. At the same time, bath tubs will be made available. May I ask for your patience a little while longer?


Man 5: Please do not leave office until the situation is settled. If the Prime Minister changes, there will again be chaos.


Prime Minister: I will not abandon my responsibilities no matter what.


Man 6: I really feel sorry for the children. Honestly what can we do?


Woman 6: I have a child in high school, and everything she had envisioned from university enrollment to job-hunting is beginning to crumble. Because of this incident, we are going to have to give up so much. No matter how much I lament, I cannot lament it enough.


Prime Minister: The Government will stand with you, and here Saitama will stand with you. We promise to do everything possible to help.


<The Prime Minister answers questions from reporters>

Reporter: You just concluded a five-hour visit. What is your reaction?
Prime Minister: I came away again feeling that we must work hard so that everyone will be able to resume his or her normal life as much as possible. In particular, people asked me, "What should we do for the future of the children?" These stories broke my heart most of all.


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