KORIYAMA, Fukushima Prefecture--Two years ago, Misaki Ageishi was promoting peaches grown in Fukushima Prefecture at a department store in Yokohama as a member of the Miss Peach Campaign Crew.

A woman spoke to Ageishi, saying, “It is delicious, where was it grown?”

When Ageishi proudly replied that it was “grown in Fukushima,” the woman spit it out, indicating she feared the peaches were contaminated with radiation.

That experience helped inspire Ageishi, 20, to become a radio personality so she can “squarely face” the difficulties confronting her home prefecture, which was heavily impacted by the nuclear crisis triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

In April, Ageishi, who is a junior at Fukushima University, started working for an FM Fukushima’s radio show themed on the 2011 disaster.

When she toured regions across Japan as part of the Miss Peach promotional campaign, Ageishi felt many people’s impressions of Fukushima Prefecture had not improved since immediately after the earthquake struck the prefecture.

When she visited the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last summer, Ageishi realized what a grave impact the nuclear crisis had and how difficult it is to decommission the reactors.

After that, she came to believe that she should not criticize people simply because they misunderstand the situation of Fukushima Prefecture.

In early March this year, Ageishi attended an exhibition in Tokyo for Fukushima-produced products.

A male shopper told her, “Do not bring ‘nuclear souvenirs’ in here.” Now, Ageishi could smile and reply, “You must be joking, but you should not say such a thing even as a joke.”

Ageishi decided to become a personality for a local radio program after visiting the Fukushima plant to view the decommissioning work. An announcer who accompanied Ageishi invited her to “organize a show together.”

In her first show on April 23, Ageishi, who was in the second year in her junior high school at the time of the 2011 disaster, explained why she accepted the position.

“I saw the disaster as somebody else's affair to some extent then,” Ageishi said during the day’s program. “But I have come to think there are things I have to face squarely as a person living in the disaster-devastated region.”