Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"New documentary questions Japan's use of nuclear energy"

Image borrowed from http://atomtopeace.com/

Text from Japan Today, 7/18/16.

Documentary filmmaker Yoshitaka Nitta has made a movie based on a question he has asked himself since the nuclear meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011.

The question is “Why does Japan insist on reactivating nuclear power plants despite the worst nuclear accident in its history?”

In the movie titled “Atom and Peace—Ruiko, Nagasaki Prayer,” Ruiko Matsunaga, a 24-year-old elementary school teacher in the city of Nagasaki in southwestern Japan, travels from Aomori to Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan and then back to Nagasaki, visiting places where there is “peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

She hopes to find answers to how the Fukushima Daiichi accident occurred and why Japan, as the world’s only atomic-bombed country, is still eager to continue nuclear power generation.

Matsunaga, whose grandmother is a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, “was the only person” who could play the leading role in the movie, said Nitta.

Through her trip, Matsunaga learns that Japan has plenty of plutonium, a radioactive chemical element used to produce the “Fat Man” atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki.

Nitta, 46, joined public broadcaster NHK in 1992 after graduating from Keio University and was involved in the production of documentary films covering the Middle East and Asia.

He became an independent documentary film director in 2009 and released his first production “Utae Machiguwa” in 2012, showing the struggles of people in the Sakaemachi Market area in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, to revive local economic activities through music.

Okinawa is the foundation of his activities as a freelance film director because people there have “accepted me like a family member,” Nitta said.

“Things unacceptable in Tokyo, such as U.S. military bases and nuclear power plants in Fukushima, are put to the poorest and weakest places,” Nitta said.

Nitta continues to visit Okinawa and plans to produce a film about Mabuni Hill, now the site of a peace park, where the fiercely fought Battle Okinawa in World War II finally came to an end when the Japanese commander committed suicide.

Source: http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/new-documentary-questions-japans-use-of-nuclear-energy

Atom and Peace—Ruiko, Nagasaki Prayer Web page (with a trailer) in Japanese: http://atomtopeace.com/

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