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Towards a Nuclear-Free World
Thoughts from a Country Hit by Nuclear Bombs - 2013(No.2-6)
To Be the Link between People with Different Mindsets
By Michihiko Yanai, Creative director
(June 7, 2013, The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper)
I have been travelling around Japan since the end of last year with a road show called the Wind & Rock 'n Roll Live Fukushima Caravan Japan. The purpose of this show is to have like-minded and supportive musicians get together to perform live music and give talk shows. In addition, we want to send a message to the people in Fukushima that they are not alone.
The Wind & Rock 'n Roll Live Fukushima Caravan Japan has travelled and held shows in areas that have experienced war and other major disasters such as Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Okinawa, and Kobe. There are people living in Fukushima who do not want to have the nuclear power station associated with the atom bomb. There is something the two have in common, however - which is that in each case, communities and families have been torn apart by the radiation damage that forced residents to relocate.
Although I was aware that there were a number of nuclear power plants in Fukushima, I had never thought of the danger, safety, or the benefits they produced because my hometown, Koriyama City, is located inland. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were only city names in textbooks that were of no concern to me.
The reality is that there are now areas in Japan where people cannot live. Now that my homeland is known as Fukushima, as if it had a foreign origin, I have begun asking myself if I had ever seriously thought about people who were suffering elsewhere.
I can understand what people mean when they argue that "nuclear weapons keep the peace" or "nuclear power plants bring about prosperity." On the other hand, I also respect and honor those who are against nuclear power. I am finding out, however, that people from each side tend to stick to their own stance without producing any results.
We must be able to find a solution that will transcend differences in policy while still representing a range of opinions. This is why I want to become a link between people. If one person says "red" and another says "blue," I want to suggest that there is a "yellow." I believe this is my calling because I work in advertising and am skilled in connecting my clients with society.
Michihiko Yanai,a creative director, was born in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture in 1964. He started up his own business in 2003 after working for Hakuhodo, a major Japanese advertising firm. In addition to working in the advertising industry, he has also formed a band with others from Fukushima called Inawashirokozu. They perform songs about their feelings for Fukushima.
(This was complied through an interview by Taro Nakazaki.)