DAVID McNEILL in Soma City
Millions of Japanese are struggling to interpret wildly diverging assessments of the radiation threat after the Fukushima disaster
YOSHIO ICHIDA is recalling the worst day of his 53 years: March 11th, when the sea swallowed up his home and killed his friends. The Fukushima fisherman was in the bath when the huge quake hit, and barely made it to the open sea in his boat in the 40 minutes before the 15-metre tsunami that followed. When he got back to port, his neighbourhood and nearly everything else was gone. “Nobody can remember anything like this,” he says.
Now living in a refugee centre in the ruined coastal city of Soma, Ichida mourned the 100 local fishermen killed in the disaster, and is trying to rebuild his life with his colleagues. Every morning they arrive at the ruined fisheries co-operative building in Soma port and prepare for work. Then they stare out at the irradiated sea, and wait. “Some day we know we’ll be allowed to fish again. We all want to believe that.”