FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

Special InterviewTragedy to TriumphFUKUSHIMA: Lives on the Line157accidents.Our Mission to Leave a Record——So they see Japan as the most valuable lesson to heed?Kikuchi: Yes. Sadly, we are undergoing major hardship because of the nuclear power plant accident. Scientifically speaking, there is no part of Japan that has not been contaminated by radiation at the moment. Thus, the need of the hour is rational discussion and a mindset focused on the needs of future generations. We have to accept the fact of the accident and honestly, steadfastly convey the truth to posterity. This is the historic duty we are faced with.——Why are you so keen on leaving a record?Kikuchi: Administrations and health care institutions are frequently asked to answer questions and stick to that role. That is, we cannot offer any counter arguments and this is the accepted culture. However, this implies that we cannot fully address or communicate various issues. “Record the facts, as is, plain and simple.” “Criticism alone will not bring progress.” “The record we leave must be comprehensible to third parties.” These are the words I reiterate. Also, I believe the university must shore up its PR department.Only Prefectural Residents can Save Each Other——As we speak, you’ve made me realize something. The impression that “we are disaster victims” is very strong. Do you think the focus has been overly inward?Kikuchi: Well, every medical professional has had his or her view of life and death put to the test. Although life has been taken from Fukushima, for many it also remains. I decided to stay behind, but if the health care system crumbles, no one will stay. I would like to reiterate that we have a historic duty. We have to communicate “Fukushima” to those outside Japan and to future generations.Yumi TakadaFreelance newscasterPart-time lecturer for Career Model Studies at Fukushima University, Department of Public Policy Native of Fukushima city, Fukushima Prefecture. Graduate of Notre Dame Seishin University’s Japanese Literature Department. Active in various fields: an event emcee for FM Tokyo; an actress, after starting off as an assistant on NHK’s international broadcasts of Fureai Ongakukan; and an emcee for Hello from Japan live broadcasts. She currently is a newscaster, reporter, and announcer for television and radio, with occasional TV commercial appearances.