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Soil and Peace Festival 2011 – it would never be the same again

November 24, 2011

2011’s ‘Soil and Peace Festival’ was more special than ever to any participants since it began in 2007. The venue, facility, events and even people were familiar. But it would “never be the same again after 3.11”.

‘Soil and Peace Festival’ has been initiated by singer Yae as well as her mother, Kato Tokiko. Her father, Fujimoto Toshio (died in 2002) spent whole his life to promote localized, sustainable and eco-friendly life style based on agriculture. His last book ‘Agricultural Happiness – Toshio’s will’ led them to organize this yearly nation-wide gathering of organic farmers, environmentalists and all those like-minded.

This year’s key theme was “Support Tsunami-suffering victims Help Farmers in Tohoku area and Save Children of Fukushima !”

Under the them, the following objectives were detailed.

  1. Help the casualties of 3.11 Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.
  2. Remove and restore the contaminated soil. Keep the food safety and protect life.
  3. Oppose the nuclear power plant and transition to renewable energy.
  4. Build agriculture-based and sustainable life style – a city with nature or living in rural area with hybrid working model.
  5. Utilizing new law of Organic Farming promotion, perform the nationwide campaign.

It opened with dynamic performance of a Japanese drum at the main stage.

Japanese Drum – Opening performance

Then the opening talk between Tsuji Shinichi (director of the Sloth club) and Kato Tokiko followed.

Opening Talk

There were also lots of small talks and performances conducted in sub-stages in addition to main sessions.

As clearly stated in the objectives of year, what has been most highlighted was the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and people’s incessant endeavor to cope with the problem.

Indeed, the radioactivity contamination put these passionate supporters of healthy local food into a bigger dilemma. They have long stood at the forefront against Nuclear Power Plant but, paradoxically, now they were cornered into the most vulnerable position. Say, what can be done for organic food produced in Kanto area and Fukushima? Can people still genuinely defend the safety and benefit of that food and urge other people to choose them to support their fellow farmers?  Fukushima is one of the poorest region in the country living on farming and fishing and entrapped by typical rosy story of more jobs and sweetened nuclear monster by government subsidy. As a matter of fact, the earliest victim of suicidal cases in Fukushima was the frustrated organic farmer who knew his beloved land and its product got into centennial sleep and even won’t allow him and his descendants to approach to it. TEPCO’s irresponsible behavior and incompetence of Japanese Government foster anger from organic farmers and their allies. Some of them expressed the concerns that domestic food safety problem and people’s fear will help those who have claimed the decline of Japanese agriculture as a foregone conclusion proceed to declare the end of the game and to expedite the process of more globalization and more industrialized economy – which can even be a good excuse to steer into their recent favourite agenda – joining TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) which is believed to devastate agriculture in Japan by cheaper but unsafe imported food produced in industrialized mass plantation. This is the most tragic scene of this disaster – The culprit (supporter of nuclear energy and globalization) not penalized but benefited and the casualty (opposing party of nuclear energy) not rewarded by their wise anticipation but victimized.

Although situation is very tough, participants have rather cheered up each other and strengthened their solidarity in an effort come up with possible solutions – above all, many of them have agreed that the disaster of Fukushima rang the alarm bell with its highest pitch to Japan and whole world that the current system is not sustainable at all as long as this mass production and high energy consuming practice requiring self-destructive demon like nuclear power plant prevails. They have stayed optimistic while singing & dancing and sharing nice and fresh food with their friends and colleagues.

Save the children of Fukushima

Panel Discussion - Save the children of Fukushima

Photo Archive

http://www.blog-headline.jp/agriability/2011/10/2011.html

Official Website

http://www.tanemaki.jp/saiten2011/

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