Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tsunami to "Swell" 津波から「うねり」へ

Petals make a large flower
Although Japan is in a deep sorrow and pain, we are given a great opportunity for transformation. In order not to discard all the lives we lost and tears we shed, it is time for Japan to become one.

What I feel from reading people’s postings at Twitter and Facebook is that people are becoming one beyond their fame, social status, age, and gender. Japan is starting to move at the citizen level more and more. I can feel a fetal movement of Japan’s transformation. I think many of us did not bother to think too much about what government was doing. It was easier to live that way, but I realized that it is important to watch what government is doing after the earthquake.

Many people asked me, “Is your family okay?” after the quake. Fortunately, my family was safe since they lived southern part of Japan. However, each time I answered the question, I felt something unsettling inside. Because I consider all of us are family, my “families” in Japan was not fine.

In order to protect and help my “families,” I realized that I need to watch what government is doing, and if what they are doing is not helping my “families,” I need to voice myself on behalf of them.

My non-Japanese friends are often surprised when I tell them that there is a law in Japan in which prohibits Japan from any level of participation in armed conflicts. I often wondered, “Why are they so amazed at this law?” I thought that it was very natural to have such law after we experienced the war. I think would respect a country with such law even if I was not born and raised in it. And I happen to be from the country, so it makes me a bit proud to be from that country. And I think of Japan’s forerunners who signed this law. They witnessed what wars do to people and country, and they thought that it cannot be repeated ever again. They wanted to protect the future generations. I think that we are at the same turning point in a different way now.

I am not a scientist, and I do not have any scientific knowledge about nuclear power plant and radiation. Therefore, I won’t talk from scientific perspective, but I know that nuclear power has potential, and so Einstein was intrigued by it and was researching about it. Perhaps, there might be a way to SAFELY generate energy and not to dispose any toxic outcome that would last centuries. Perhaps, there might be a way to collect all radiation if it ever leaks and make it unthreatening. Maybe there is possibility of these, so I won’t call nuclear power devil without giving it a chance. However, that kind of science does not exist as of today. “The safety of science” has not caught up with “the possibility of science.” Using its power with such poor readiness is too dangerous is my personal opinion. I think it’s like a child playing with fire without knowing how dangerous fire can be. Fire is a wonderful tool which has been helping humans for all these years, and we know that it can be dangerous, too. I heard some people saying that nuclear power is just like that. Maybe so, but the difference is that humans have a longer relationship with fire than with nuclear power. We have learned how to be “friends” with fire. We have developed ways to calm fire down when it starts to behave violently. However, we don’t know about our new possible friends, “nuclear power” so much yet. We don’t really know how to calm it down when it gets out of control. Why are we using such dangerous resource to generate energy? There are many reasons, but I think it’s better to go with safer and cleaner energy source until our “safety of science” catches up with “possibility of science.” It is too risky to have nuclear power plants on such an earthquake prone country to begin with. It is like setting up bombs that we don’t know when they would explode.

In reality, Japan is tossed about by radiation and dealing with the nuclear power plant right now. Have you ever thought what it would be like if we did not have this nuclear power plant problem? Instead of using our energy and money on solving this problem, we could have used them on helping people who are under the direct effect of the earthquake and tsunami, and to help the villages and cities to rebuild themselves. Just for this simple reason, I think we do not need to have nuclear power plant especially when there are other alternative resources and technology available.

I think it is Japan’s time to say, “We will go with green energy!” like the forerunners made the law not to participate in any wars. After the war, Japan recovered with surprising speed. It’s time to show Japan’s power of unity, diligence, and technology. This Japan is here today because of our ancestors who fought for future generations with their sweats and with even some blood. What kind of country do we want to make… It is all depends on our generations. Each person’s power might be tiny, but if we get together, it would be mighty. We have to nurture our fetal movement, grow it, and make it into a powerful swell.

----------------------------- Japanese -------------------------