In Support of Young Mothers

Original Text from Zukunashi no Hiyamizu's Blog : http://inventsolitude.sblo.jp/article/99503681.html

--- Contribution by a reader in her 50s ---

In Support of Young Mothers

I feel it's hard to talk about what I do to avoid [internal] exposure because some people may be in the situation where they can't actually perform all that I suggest--because of the time, physical and economic constraints, among others. 

For example, a young full-time working mother who puts her baby in a daycare is one of the first people who must detoxify from radionuclides she already took in and avoid internal exposure, but is it easy to do?

I feel I'm lucky, and somewhat guilty, that I can select what I eat to avoid produce from certain areas. I'm also afraid that I may confuse people or make people feel uneasy by suggesting something that doesn't guarantee safety or that is difficult to do. 

Most Japanese people, I think, never doubted what's reported in the paper and on TV [before Fukushima]. Most politicians, we believed, spent their lifetime to serve for the country and its people. We believed that intelligent bureaucrats worked to improve our country. I believed so.

After 311 I had to rely on the internet to gather information on the Fukushima accident and internal exposure. While I was looking up what was happening around Fukushima Daiichi, I started to think, 'I never ever want to get killed by wrong information [distributed by the government].' 

Luckily reading a lot didn't bother me, so I read hundreds of blogs and articles until I was satisfied. I also went to various lectures. 

The first online form I sent from my PC was the application form to attend a lecture by Prof. Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University. I had to do it on my own since I was afraid that it would have been filled up right away. I was desperate. I didn't want to wait for my family to come home to help me send the form. 

I attended lectures by about ten people, only because I wanted to know what was happening. I wanted to know the truth, and I wanted to hear it in person. I wanted to protect my children. 

Here are some of the unforgettable words I heard in those lectures.

Mako Oshidori: Don't trust what others say without questioning--including what I say. After you hear someone talk, please judge on your own. You need to look with your own eyes, listen to with your own ears, and judge according to your feeling and opinions.

Prof. Kunihiko Takeda: Some say that mothers who are worried about radiation are just nervous, but because the mothers are nervous, Japanese infant death rate is low. 

What was the most shocking after 311 was that the Japanese government and mass media lied. That the government didn't protect its people and it doesn't have any intention to do so even now. Then I realized that I have the right to live according to my belief. 

During the war, who would have thought of staying in a dangerous city only because his next door neighbor stayed. We are here because the earlier generations did everything they could do to protect themselves. 

Investigate, think, question, and judge on your own. Be responsible for your own life. Think what you can do to help others. I want to keep telling this to myself and to my children. This is the most valuable thing I learned in these three years.

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