This is NOT a story
" A long time ago,
in a galaxy far, far away…"
It's still going on…
On our planet.
Will You Still Say No Crime was Committed?
by 50 Complainants for Criminal Presecution
of the FUKUSHIMA Nuclear Disaster
Translated by Norma Field and Matthew Mizenko
NOW ON SALE
“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
“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
“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
“Will You Still Say No Crime Was Committed?” resounds with the anguished voices of deeply aggrieved mothers and fathers confronting a parents’ worst nightmare. Defenseless in the path of deadly airborne radiation, they mourn an uncertain future for their beloved children. These testimonies give voice to families ripped apart, their life-sustaining ties to friends and neighbors broken, and their livelihoods destroyed. Those who lack the financial means to relocate continue to live in communities possessing levels of radioactive contamination that, if within Chernobyl downwind zones, would have required evacuation. As a significantly health-damaged victim of childhood radiation exposure from the Hanford nuclear weapons facility in the US, I know firsthand the heartbreak engendered by a behemoth nuclear culture that turns a blind eye to the suffering of those it has negligently preordained to a future of radiogenic cancer and other serious disease. There is mounting evidence of negligent errors and omissions by TEPCO officials and relevant government officials. I stand with these Complainants in their continued quest for responsibility to be taken.”
_ Trisha T Pritikin
“The voices of residents of Fukushima have become difficult to hear in the years since the reactor meltdown in March 2011. The voices presented here, of Fukushima Complainants for Criminal Prosecution, recount the everyday facts of suffering and confusion, of encountering a landscape suddenly made unfamiliar, maybe even poisonous or contagious. Of wondering if the air is safe to breath and the food fit to eat; of inspecting every child's bloody nose for some invisible signs of radiation. Those who fled tell about confronting unfamiliar and often unfriendly conditions as they learn to live as refugees in their own country. The words are important testimony for the court—if a criminal trial is ever held—but also for the rest of Japan and the world: they bear witness to what many still do not know, and many others no longer want to think about. Since compensation is pursued through civil proceedings, personal gain is not the point of a criminal complaint. These words, rather, are spoken from a sense of responsibility to future generations: to pursue the perpetrators so that some justice may be found.”
_ David H. Slater
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.
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They range in age from 7 to 87, and they wrote these statements as part of the criminal complaint filed with the 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 the formal legal procedure initiated by citizens 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, filed at the office of the public prosecutor, is a demand for investigation and indictment of the responsible parties. Because this is a criminal and not a civil procedure, these citizens are “complainants” rather than “plaintiffs.”
This booklet is a translation of statements by 50 citizens who were residing in Fukushima at the time of the triple disaster of March 11, 2011.
True, some of the Complainants are also plaintiffs in the various civil cases generated by the Fukushima disaster, such as the “Give Us Back Our Livelihood, Give Us Back Our Community” Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Lawsuit; “Denounce Nuclear Power Generation: Redress for the Villagers of Iitate”; or “The Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial for the Right to Education in a Safe Place.” Although several Complainants in this booklet draw a connection between the failure of the state to pursue criminal liability and the difficulty of getting anything resembling adequate compensation from Tepco, it is important to keep in mind that as Complainants, they do not stand to gain anything individually even under the best-case scenario: if, after all the prosecutorial refusals, an indictment is brought, a trial held, and some parties found to be criminally responsible for the nuclear disaster. Rather, the Complainants are driven by grief, anger, and incredulity. So much harm had been inflicted, with demonstrated negligence not only leading up to the disaster but in its aftermath, with dire consequences not only for themselves but flung far into the future. After all this, how could it be that no one was held responsible? How could it be that the police, let alone the prosecutors, had not conducted a thorough investigation? Did the rule of law not prevail in Japan? As victims bearing witness, they seek to exercise their responsibility to future generations, that the calamity not be repeated, that the harm be contained by all means possible.
In her most recent book, the multiply awarded Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats (2012; translated into Chinese and Japanese), Iversen tells a story that is personal, national, and global, of the pervasive and penetrating impact of nuclear contamination on bodies, the environment, and the social fabric. An accomplished writer and teacher of writing, she is currently at work on a novel and a nonfiction narrative on the friendship between Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain as she heads up a new doctoral program on literary nonfiction at the University of Cincinatti. Spring 2015 finds her spending a week with the Hibakusha Stories project in New York.
For more about Iversen,
Jacobs has been a historian with the Hiroshima Peace Institute at Hiroshima City University since 2005. His early work on the cultural representations of the early Cold War U.S. resulted in the book, The Dragon’s Tail: Americans Face the Atomic Age (2010; Japanese translation, 2013). In recent years he has pursued the social as well as cultural consequences of radiation exposure for communities and families at nuclear test sites, nuclear production sites, and nuclear power plant disaster sites. He is the project leader of the Global Hibakusha Project, which works to link radiation-affected communities around the globe. Deep concern for the consequences of the Fukushima disaster follows naturally from these engagements.
For more about Jacobs and his work,
Coming from a distinguished family of potters, and herself a former potter, Marian Naranjo is now a tribal elder of the Santa Clara Pueblo, one of the Native nations whose lands are occupied by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, home of the first atomic bombs. She has long been engaged in addressing the consequences of living with LANL for tribal, Anglo, and Hispanic communities. Most recently, working through Las Mujeres Hablan, a group she helped found, she has assisted the National Cancer Institute to transform the extent and nature of its long overdue study of the impact of the Trinity test of 1945 on local residents. She is the founder and director of Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE).She also is a founding member of the core group, Communities for Clean Water, and is the supervisor for the Youth Council. To see how Naranjo draws together her environmental and cultural work,
Pritikin was born and raised in Richland, Washington, downwind from the Hanford site. As the child of parents who worked at the “nuclear reservation,” she came to know firsthand the insidious health and social effects of living in the shadow of a nuclear facility: she lost her entire family to cancers and other serious illness believed caused by Hanford radiation releases. During the war, Hanford produced the plutonium for the Nagasaki bomb. During the Cold War, Hanford continued plutonium production for the US nuclear weapons arsenal. The facility was the staging ground for both experimental and routine radiation releases targeting downwind populations and livestock, all of which entailed systematic secrecy and deception. Now, it is one of three sites designated as a Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Hanford Downwinder Pritikin is an attorney and writer, advocating on behalf of radiation-exposed citizens. See her blog at trishapritikin.com for information about Hanford, its links with Fukushima, and collaborative activities pertaining to radiation health effects around the world. She is also a member of the founding committee working to develop a unique global museum, CORE (Consequences of Radiation Exposure), dedicated to sharing the stories of radiation-exposed populations worldwide. website can be found at www.corehanford.org
Slater is a cultural anthropologist with the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Director of the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University, Tokyo. Social Class in Contemporary Japan: Structures, Sorting and Strategies (2010), a volume co-edited with Ishida Hiroshi, reflects his longstanding interest in youth, labor, the city, and capitalism. More recently, he co-edited with Tom Gill and Brigitte Steger Japan Copes with Calamity: Ethnographies of the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disasters of March 2011 (2013). Short-term relief work with students has led to a long-term research project, taking form as an online oral archive, Tohoku kara no koe/Voices from Tohoku. It is currently in Japanese, with English translations in the works.