The Fukushima Declaration
March 11, 2011. 2:46 p.m.
Until that very day and until that very moment, who could have imagined that Fukushima would be in the condition it is today?
The massive earthquake and tsunami mercilessly took many, many precious lives and stole our peaceful lifestyles.
And, the nuclear power disaster has completely changed our beautiful Fukushima.
Moreover, the resulting damage to our prefecture’s reputation has deprived Fukushima of its economic dynamism and has deeply scarred its people emotionally.
With a deep sadness and sense of vexation, some Fukushima residents were forced to leave their beloved hometowns this past year, while others have worked hard to try to restore their former lifestyles as much as possible, and yet others have chosen to live separately from their families.
All have struggled to survive from day to day as they deal with the fear of the invisible threat of radiation as well.
I am proud of our prefectural citizens for remaining calm even amid such harsh circumstances and for working very hard and valuing bonds with the community.
I offer my sincere gratitude to each of Fukushima’s two million residents for their great effort and community spirit.
We have received immeasurable support from people around the nation and the world.
This heartfelt support has greatly helped, inspired, and encouraged the people of Fukushima.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation once again to all our friends.
Thanks to this support and the efforts of the people of Fukushima, we are finally starting to see the first signs of revitalization in our prefecture too.
I want to see all of us work together and raise these small sprouts into strong plants with our own hands.
Once these sprouts have grown into a large tree, I would like to see children gather under it with smiles of delight on their faces.
That is the kind of vibrant Fukushima I would like to create.
Humankind has never before experienced this type of disaster, a disaster where the natural catastrophes of an earthquake and tsunami were followed by a nuclear power accident which in turn caused damage to an area’s reputation.
We must reflect earnestly on why such a multifaceted disaster like this happened.
1. Were we sufficiently prepared for the threats posed by nature?
2. Had we overestimated science and technology?
3. Had we squarely faced the difficulty of controlling nuclear power?
In these questions lie important lessons for the future.
We will engrave once again on our hearts respect for the awesome power of nature and not place excessive trust in science and technology.
We will promote the creation of a society where all people can enjoy peace of mind.
Moreover, we will call for all nuclear power stations in the prefecture to be shut down so that an accident like this never happens again.
Fukushima aims to create a society that enjoys sustainable development by promoting renewable energy and not depending on nuclear power.
Today the eyes of the entire world are on Fukushima.
Through our journey of revitalization, we will show the world a new kind of society—one that balances community development and global environmental conservation.
We will demonstrate the importance of mutual support among local residents and the promotion of regional culture and pride.
The road that Fukushima has chosen is not an easy one by any means, but the people of the prefecture have already risen to their feet and started walking the path with their eyes set on the future.
Joining our hearts together as one, we will face the challenges ahead.
Today on this first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, I make this Fukushima Declaration to the people of the world:
1. We will create once again a beautiful Fukushima.
2. We will build a dynamic and vibrant Fukushima.
3. We will show the world and pass down to future generations Fukushima’s revitalization process.
March 11, 2012