English edition ”Letter to Vatican”
Letter to the Vatican:
A story from Iitate Village, Fukushim
Kindle Edition| ¥6.00- https://a.co/d/5aBMzK
(if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get free.)
(Paperback is not no cover, no hard book)
On March 11th , 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake caused TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant to go out of control. In this picture book, two cats named Bunta and Kaoru from Fukushima send a letter to Pope Francis in the Vatican. Why did they decide to write a letter to such an important figure in Italy, a country so far away? This story was inspired by actual events that took place after the nuclear power plant accident. The target audience of this book is elementary/primary school-aged children and up.
The book deals with serious themes, but is structured in a way that is easy to read and understand. It also comes with a postscript, where you can find more information about the accident. It is recommended for adults to read it with children.
More than ten years have passed since the power plant accident, yet many problems remain unresolved. The Japanese media does not adequately address these issues, and pretends as if the accident never happened. TEPCO and the Japanese government have not fully compensated the victims, and refuse to acknowledge their responsibility for the approximately 300 or so children that have developed thyroid cancer.
On top of this, they are making arrangements to reactivate other nuclear power plants that are as old as Fukushima Daiichi, and extend the maximum lifespan for those plants. In the spring of 2023, they are planning to release ALPS treated water (contaminated water) into the ocean without obtaining consent from the local residents or seeking other possible solutions.
As forests cannot be properly decontaminated, it will take about 200 to 300 years for radiation levels to fully clear.
In this book, activities of various NGOs, non-profit organizations, and other groups investigating solutions to these issues are summarized. QR codes can be found throughout to link you with these organizations.
This book was created with the hope that it will provide an opportunity to think about the future of energy as well as democracy in Japan. The story and illustrations were inspired by interviews conducted since 2020, with people living in Fukushima Prefecture, particularly Iitate Village. The postscript, as well as depictions of the nuclear power plant, were made under the supervision of Mr. Takeshi Yamakawa of Tokyo Shimbun, Power Plant Coverage Team.