To commemorate the fourth anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that had such a profound effect on so many lives, both within and outside Japan, we would like to share the first chapter of Hasegawa-san's memoir with you (click here). His words are just as important today as they were when he wrote the book in 2012, perhaps even more so now, as the events of that day enter into the realm of history.
As we remember the events of this day, I am reminded by Hasegawa that it is not enough to simply remember. As Hasegawa describes how he and other Iitate residents struggled to find the way forward after March 11, 2011, he notes something important about regret.
Very little about what was really happening had been made clear to us, whether about contamination, the scale or the accident, or what had actually occurred at the time of the accident. At first everything was downplayed, and then, little by little, more was revealed.
In this situation, what were we—the ordinary citizens—to do? Whose words should we have trusted? What could we have done then, to not regret those choices in the future? After the accident had occurred, the choices that were made based on what the government or patronizing experts wanted us to believe, could not be unmade.
So let us, on this day, remember and consider. Remember March 11, 2011, and consider our world today. What kind of world do we want? What kind of world do we want to give to our children? What actions will we take today, in order to not regret tomorrow?
As we continue with the work of translating the entire book (which we hope to have done by the end of the year), we thank you again for your unwavering support of this project. We hope that Hasegawa's words will move you, that you will share his story with others, and encourage them to also support this project.