Recently, CWAJ member Keiko Yoshimura exchanged emails with Hiroko Haneda, Fukushima Relief Scholar 2012-13, who wrote:
“I am sorry I haven’t been in touch with you for so long, but I hope you are doing well. I got married seven years ago and have two children and continue to work as a public health nurse in Fukushima City. Fukushima prefecture is also making progress in reconstruction, and the area where people can return to their homes is expanding.
Some people have reopened stores in their hometowns, and the area seems to be regaining its liveliness little by little. However, the areas people have evacuated from are mostly rural, agricultural areas with limited medical facilities and large stores. So the younger generation who found refuge in more urban areas and lived there for more than ten years are finding it difficult to decide to return to their home towns.
They have found new jobs, their children have now adjusted to new schools, and daily life is more convenient with better medical care. I have had a chance to provide support for disaster victims in my work, and sometimes visit families with children.
However, since administrative services are provided only through the municipalities of their residence registration, they are unable to receive timely support. If they could change their residence registration to the place where they are actually living, things would go smoother. But some people are unable to do so for various reasons.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank CWAJ for the scholarship support of Fukushima Prefecture over the years. I still vividly remember how thrilled I was to get on the train for Tokyo that day to attend the CWAJ luncheon. Members welcomed me in such a warm way and everyone was very nice to me. I was deeply impressed that such a wonderful organization existed in Japan. Without the CWAJ scholarship at that time, I would not have been able to work as a public health nurse today. Thank you very much.”