Hattori Anna: "It is unfortunate that we continue to rely on nuclear energy."

Hello everyone. My name is Anna Hattori. I come from Nihonmatsu city in Fukushima prefecture. I am fifteen years old and a freshman in high school. My hobby is eating sweets. I like chocolates very much. If you have any sweets to recommend, please tell me. I have three boyfriends, so I am happy. Just joking! I am very nervous. Now, I begin my speech.

The title of my speech is: Living through the experience of the Great East Japan earthquake.

When I was a second year elementary school student, the earthquake happened.

At that time, the whole class was in music room on third floor. We had just done the end-of-day meeting. The atmosphere of the class was happy because spring vacation was approaching. However, it quickly became gloomy. At firsteverything swayed a little from side to side. After thatit became bigger and bigger. At the same timeinstruments that had been on display fell from the shelf. It made very unpleasant sounds. We followed the school announcement and ran away to the school yard in panic. There were severe aftershocks again and againwhich continued for a long time. I heard crying and I saw a lot of uneasy looks. I think I also had the same look. I wished this was a nightmare. If it had been just a dream, it would have been much better.

A few days laterI saw a mushroom cloud on TV. Yesit was an explosion generated by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. At that time, I was too young to make sense of it, and I would try to take walks outside. The adults, on the other hand, had more information, and they prevented me from walking outside. In Japanthere were various ways of thinking about the accident. Of coursemy parents also had their own thoughts. As a resultmy family moved away in April 2011. It was a voluntary evacuation.

The people in the town that we had evacuated to were very kind to us. My family was able to live happily for the last seven years. HoweverI felt sad whenever I saw news on TV or the Internet that voluntary evacuee children were bullied. It made me wonder whether it was okay for me to be so happy. I appreciate all the people who helped me. I could have a go at new things and enjoy many things. I was able to move on and return to Fukushima last year because I learned the importance of taking on new challenges.

Seven years have passed since that accident. NowI am interested in thyroid inspection. I have not thought about Japan and Fukushima before in this way. HoweverI do now. As for nuclear power plants, six out of 59 plants in the country are currently in operation. It is unfortunate that we continue to rely on nuclear energy. At the same time, I took interest in Germany that has high percentage of renewable energy. I would like to understand more about the differences between Japan and Germany. This is how the Great East Japan earthquake changed me.

(Written in 2018 and presented in August 2018 on several occasions by Hattori Anna)

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