Thanks to all our new supporters. As of today, we have 60 donors, and have raised approximately 150,000 yen. We still have a ways to go to make our goal, but are very happy with the worldwide interest in the book so far (we have donors from Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, the Netherlands and the US, to name a few). But we have only one month remaining in our fund raising campaign, so please help us to keep spreading the word! Remember, all donations of 1,000 yen or more get you a complimentary copy of the e-book, as well as a named thank-you in the acknowledgments (if you so choose).
We think Hasegawa's book is important for many reasons. Of the many voices that have emerged after 3/11, Hasegawa's is unique in that it is the voice of an ordinary citizen and an accidental activist whose lived experience brought him to a critical crossroads. There are very few witness accounts of the aftermath of the nuclear disaster that are as detailed and illuminating as Hasegawa's. However, while he has always been vocal and is becoming very well-known in Japan, his activism remains very grass roots. Since he does not have the resources to disseminate his story in the way that more powerful interests such as institutionally-affiliated academics, journalists, or corporations can, our team has chosen a "crowd funding" approach for this project as a way to spread awareness, gauge interest and raise funds, all at the same time.
We strongly believe that Hasegawa's narrative deserves just as much attention as the others, and we hope that enough readers will agree.
As far as translation progress, I am currently working on translating the Afterword of Fukushima's Stolen Lives, written by the lawyer Yukuo Yasuda (you can read his bio here: Meet our Team). Yasuda currently represents many Fukushima Daiichi victims in litigation against Tepco, and has a long and impressive history of speaking out for ordinary citizens seeking justice after cases of misinformation and environmental injustice. As a hemophiliac, Yasuda experienced first-hand the devastating consequences of institutional misinformation in the 1980s after nearly 2,000 people, many of them his friends, contracted HIV/AIDS from tainted blood products after the government and other health experts assured hemophiliacs and their families that blood transfusions with unheated blood products were safe (this case is known in Japan as the Yakugai Eizu Jiken). Yasuda believes that the Yakugai AIDS case and the events/actions following the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi are structurally identical, and he finds Hasegawa's book especially important because it sheds light on this persistent problem of institutional deception.
Although these two cases are specific to Japan, they are also certainly relevant to us all as fellow citizens of the world who look to our own governments and leaders to provide truthful information about issues that impact our communities and often, the globe. But I will let Yasuda speak for himself, and hope to post the translation of his essay within the next week or two.
In other news, we have a Facebook page: "Like" us if you're on Facebook. It's a good way to stay connected to the project: Fukushima's Stolen Lives - Kenichi Hasegawa Book Translation Project
Thank you again for your support.