Singer UA establishes organization to consider food-safety issues around radiation contamination

Singer UA establishes organization to consider food-safety issues around radiation contamination

Members of Tida no wa, singer-songwriter UA (second from right), Kiko Nemoto (center) and Yuko Sawano (far left) at the Futenmanzan Jinguji Temple in Ginowan on January 8.


January 10, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 11, ten months had passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Japanese singer-songwriter UA, who moved from Kanagawa Prefecture to Okinawa because of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and her friends who also evacuated to Okinawa, established Tida no wa, an organization to consider safety issues related to internal radiation exposure through food consumption. They plan to hold the Tida no wa Festival, which includes live performances and lectures delivered by experts, at the 21st Century Forest Park in Nago on the weekend of March 10 and 11. A representative of the organization stated, “It is possible that radiation-contaminated food products could appear in markets as far away as Okinawa. What we need is information and knowledge, rather than just fuelling people’s fears of radiation contamination.”

Concerned about the potential impact of radioactive fallout on her children, last April UA moved to the northern part of Okinawa’s main island. Her mother is from the Amami Islands so she has an affinity with Okinawa and its distinctive energy. She came up with the idea of holding a festival when thinking about what she might be able to do to help protect Okinawa.

Tida no wa was established on November 11, 2011 as an organization to host festivals and to create a network of parents who would look into food-safety issues. On January 8, the organization promoted the Tida no wa Festival in Tsunagu Omoi, or Connected Memories, an event held at Futenmanzan Jinguji Temple to support earthquake refugees. Profits from the event were donated to Tida no wa.

The objective of the organization is to expand exchange to encompass not only to the people who have taken refuge from other prefectures, but also local people. UA said, “I would like to tell our beloved neighbors about the things I’ve learned.” She is always striving to get as many people as possible on the same wavelength.

Kiko Nemoto, a member of the organization who has been active as a food coordinator, said, “The Radiation Protection Standard specified by the government is unclear. Some of the food products from Fukushima Prefecture are definitely safe. We all want to look into this carefully, and not merely fuel fears of radiation contamination.”

The Tida no wa Festival includes live performances by UA and husband and wife duo Aimoko, and a lecture by Katsuma Yazaki, professor emeritus at University of the Ryukyus on internal exposure to radiation.
For further details, access the blog of Tida no wa at http://tidanowa.ti-da.net/ or call Ueda of Tida no wa Festival Executive Office at 050 (1576) 1117.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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