Unbelievable: 12,600 High School Students From All Over Japan Gather In Fukushima For Annual Cultural Festival

See also:

WAKE-UP CALL: Prof. Tatsuhiko Kodama of Tokyo University To Japan Government ‘Shaking With Anger’: ‘What Are You Doing?’ (Part 1, 2, 3)


#Radiation in Japan: 12,600 High School Students from All Over Japan Gather in Fukushima for Annual Cultural Festival (EX-SKF, August 3, 2011):

As ultra-hot spots exceeding 5 sieverts/hour are being discovered Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and as the situation of serious radiation contamination is finally starting to sink in, what do they do in Fukushima Prefecture?

Hold the annual high school cultural festival, gathering high school students from all over Japan to Fukushima, in cities where high-radiation hot spots have been discovered throughout, or highly radioactive rice hay/meat cow has been found, or both. In one of the cities, Fukushima City, cobalt-60 has been detected in the soil in a park.

Business as usual, extend and pretend that everything is back to normal. Radiation? What radiation?

The 35th All Japan High School Cultural Festival in Fukushima 2011 started, as scheduled, on August 3. A variety of events organized by the high school students (yes, students in Fukushima Prefecture had been so hard at work), with the help of teachers and administrators, will be held in cities like:

Fukushima City
Koriyama City
Sukagawa City
Shirakawa City
Aizu Wakamatsu City
Kitakata City
Minami Soma City
Iwaki City

The event is organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Boards of Education in each city in Fukushima, both under the Ministry of Education and Science.

Asahi Shinbun, which is one of the special sponsors of the event, reports, with hardly a mention of the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident or radiation contamination in Fukushima. All it says about radiation is that “some venues have been changed because of a concern for radiation level…” It’s just a “concern”, not the real thing:

From Asahi Shinbun (8/3/2011):

第 35回全国高校総合文化祭福島大会(ふくしま総文、文化庁など主催、朝日新聞社など特別後援)が3日、福島県で開幕した。原発事故の影響で一時は開催が危 ぶまれたが、合唱、美術・工芸、囲碁、将棋、小倉百人一首かるたなど15部門に全国から約1万2600人の高校生が参加。7日まで、13の会場で練習の成 果を競い合う。

The 35th Annual All Japan High School Cultural Festival in Fukushima 2011 started as scheduled on August 3. The event is organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and others and sponsored by companies including Asahi Shinbun. There was a doubt as to whether the event would be held because of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, but now 12,600 high school students from all over the country come to Fukushima, and will compete in 15 events that include chorus, art and craft, game of “go”, Japanese chess.

「文化部のインターハイ」とも呼ばれる大会は、生徒や教師 らでつくる実行委員会が1年以上前から準備を進めてきた。当初は23部門に2万人が参加予定だったが、東日本大震災で会場施設の一部が避難所になったこと や、予定地周辺の放射能への不安などを考慮して、一部の部門は中止されたり、他地域に会場が変更されたりした。

The Festival is dubbed as “intercollegiate for high-school cultural clubs”. The organizing committee of students and teachers have been preparing for the Festival for over a year. Initially, 23 events were planned that 20,000 students would participate in. But after the March 11 earthquake/tsunami some of the event venues became the evacuation shelters, and there was a concern for the radiation level in the areas where the events would be held. As the result, some events have been canceled, or the venues have been changed to other locations.

総合開会式は4日に会津若松市で開かれる。地元の生徒ら550人が出演する大がかりな劇で、福島の復興にかける思いを表現する。

The grand opening ceremony will be held in Aizu Wakamatsu City on August 4. 550 local high school students will participate in a play that will express their hope for the recovery of Fukushima.

ふくしま総文は、約3200人の福島の高校生が運営要員として支える。空港や主要駅での案内のほか、会場設営の手伝いやお茶のサービス、駅や会場周辺の花飾りなども担う。

The Festival is supported by 3,200 high school students in Fukushima Prefecture who serve as the operating personnel for the organizing committee. They act as guides at the airport and at the major train stations, as well as helping set up the event venues, provide tea service, flower arrangements at the train stations and at the event venues.

福島空港では、大阪から来た飛行機を県立須賀川高校の4人が笑顔で出迎えた。事前に想定問答を繰り返し、空港内の案内はもちろん、各会場への交通アクセスも説明している。兵庫から来た高校生に「頑張って下さいね」と声をかけて送り出した。

At the Fukushima Airport, 4 students from Sukagawa High School greeted the plane flown in from Osaka. They had prepared themselves well with hypothetical questions and answers. They guided the participants from Hyogo Prefecture through the airport, explained how to get to the event venues. They sent off the Hyogo students with “We hope you’ll do your best.”

JR郡山駅では、県立あさか開成高校の鼡田(ねずみだ)紗輝さん(17)と武田ひかるさん(17)が参加者を待ち受けた。鼡田さんは「大きな被害が出た福島に、遠くから多くの人が来てくれる。緊張しますが、笑顔で迎えます」と話した。

At JR Koriyama Station, two girls from Asaka Kaisei High School were waiting for the participants. One girl said, “So many people are coming from far away places to Fukushima, where much damage has been sustained. I’m nervous, but I will greet them with a smile.”

Visiting for a few days in a high-radiation area is different from living in such an area, you would say. So?

There was a piece of news back in May which was very quickly buried. The news said that thousands of people received elevated radiation just by being in Fukushima Prefecture for a few days.

The organization “Safe Children of Fukushima” put up a Facebook page telling the high school students of the risk of radiation, and specific steps what they should do which include not going to Fukushima. The organization tells the students, “If you do go, take protective measures against radiation, and talk about the radiation risks with the students in Fukushima.” It has a map showing the radiation measurement along the railway line – approaching Koriyama City and Fukushima City, the level goes up to that of radiation control areas in nuclear facilities.

No matter. The governor of Fukushima, Yuhei Sato, as the honorary chairman of the organizing committee, would never think of depriving Fukushima high school students of their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of hosting this prestigious cultural event.

And why should he? He clearly doesn’t even care for kindergarteners in Fukushima, as it turns out he was probably the one who wanted 20 millisieverts/year radiation limit for school children.

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