6,500 sign up to save pro-nuclear signs as negative legacy of Fukushima disaster

Futaba, Fukushima Prefectur – A group has submitted a petition with more than 6,500 signatures to preserve two signboards extolling the future of nuclear power here as a testament to the “myth of nuclear safety” before the 2011 disaster.
Led by Yuji Onuma, 39, the group submitted the petition to the government and the assembly of Futaba, a town that co-hosts the Fukushima nuclear power plant, on June 8. All town residents have been evacuated.
After receiving the petition, Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa said, “We will take your request into account, give it serious consideration, and make a decision from a broad perspective.”

Onuma is the author of one of the four slogans on the signboards, which were chosen out of numerous submissions made by the public in 1988 as part of a government initiative to promote nuclear energy.
The slogan penned by Onuma says “Genshiryoku–Akarui Mirai no Energy” (Nuclear power is the energy of a bright future).
“Some people may feel uncomfortable every time they see the signboards. Others have asked whether preserving them has a meaning,” said Onuma. “But it is not necessary to remove them in a hurry. We should keep them and discuss the issue.”
Onuma is evacuating in Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture. He has installed solar panels on plots of land he has purchased in the municipalities of Sakura and Nasu-Karasuyama, both in Tochigi Prefecture, to create a life free of reliance on nuclear power.
Another slogan was written by Yoshio Takeuchi, 89, who also signed the petition. It says, “Genshiryoku–Kyodo no Hatten Yutakana Mirai” (Nuclear power will bring hometown development and an affluent future).
The authors of the other two slogans have passed away.
Other signatories to the petition include former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, former Fukushima Governor Eisaku Sato and actress Midori Kiuchi.
One of the signs is installed in front of the municipal gymnasium, which includes Onuma’s slogan. The one that contains Takeuchi’s slogan stands at the entrance of the town government building.
The group began its signature-collecting campaign on March 18 immediately after the Futaba town government announced plans to remove the signboards out of fears they could collapse.
It had collected 6,502 signatures by the end of May, including 2,682 from the Internet. The signatories come from a wide range of locations, from Hokkaido to Okinawa Prefecture. There are also signatures from people living in 12 other countries, including the United States.
“Things may have been different when our town was heavily dependent on the nuclear power plant, but are there still people who say that nuclear power is necessary under the current circumstances?” said Takeuchi, who is evacuating in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. “We should preserve the signboards and use them to reflect on (our past).”**(he really said “The stupidity of human beings.” Link in the comments)**
When the town government was collecting the slogans in 1988, Takeuchi had already taken early retirement from the post office and was enjoying his hobbies. He came up with the slogan in cooperation with his wife, Toshiko, now 85.
Both Takeuchi and his wife experienced the horrors of World War II, including air raids. However, they said their lives as evacuees following the March 2011 nuclear accident have been more difficult. They said that nuclear power plants should be abolished not only in Futaba but also throughout Japan, and that the two signboards are vital for that purpose. 

FUTABA, Fukushima Prefecture–A group has submitted a petition with more than 6,500 signatures to preserve two signboards extolling the future of nuclear…


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