Special Presentation

Review of the project

Seven members of the High School Student Team of The Simplest NAIIC, who made the special presentation at the Reference Group Meeting, had a review meeting to look back at the project they participated in. Three adults joined the meeting from the support team. The following are what they had to say.


Members of The Simplest NAIIC
Members of The Simplest NAIIC

Support Member A:You did a good job with the special presentation. Today, we would like to have a review meeting for the project to hear from all of you about (1) “What you recognized or learned through the project”; (2) “How the project changed you”; and (3) “What you are thinking about for the future.”
Student A (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):I enjoyed the project. Before joining the project, I had been interested in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident and read books about that. But I couldn’t understand it well. So, I joined the project because I wanted to understand the accident. In this project, I found there were many people who tried to work together to understand the disaster, and I learned a lot of things while

discussing with them. It feels like this changed my attitude. I also recognized we can go forward even if we don’t have a goal in sight yet, and goals depend on individuals. Maybe my attitude has changed from a “to know information” to “to send information.” Before taking part in the project, I used to be hesitant about sending information or messages, feeling like “my opinions may not be so valuable” or “is it OK for me to send information?” However through the discussions during the project, I realized that there is something that I can fully tell someone about the disaster even by being a “bridge” of passing information to someone else.
Support Member A:It might be just OK for you to give a presentation based only on what you heard some people involved in the response to the nuclear accident at the workshop in August of this year. But after the support team began to work with you, you had a lot of vibrant discussions and processed them into what you should convey at the Red Cross Reference Group Meeting. I think this process was very helpful for you. In order to convey something, you may need a process like this. I think that trial and error became your power and that enabled you to hammer out your own presentation.
Support Member B:All of you were able to think based on facts opposed to idealism and you were able to come up with your own ideas. I hope this experience will be your guidance in the future. I think it depends on each of you whether you can make this a good trigger for your future.
Student D (from Fukushima):I have two points that I have recognized through this opportunity. One is that the current situation of Fukushima is a mess. As I collected information consciously as a presenter, I felt strongly that this situation could not be expressed in one word. This made me feel a difficulty which is specific to this issue. Especially, I thought to myself that fewer talks about the disaster will make people less interested in the nuclear accident. But fewer talks will not create the next step. I strongly felt disadvantages from the less talk and I became determined.The second point is that how and what to convey the nuclear accident needs to depend on who and when I communicate. Particularly about the radiation issue, I realized that it is not enough to convey scientific evidence just in a unilateral way but it is important to taok about the issue while listening to him/her in a dialog style.I was inspired after we were told by our instructor for practicing the presentation: “no opportunity to talk is the most common reason for high school students’ indifference in this matter.” So, I want to be involved in activities for creating opportunities among high school students to talk about the accident safely.
Student E (from Fukushima):As I was involved in this project with other members, I began to feel how I am viewed by other people in society. Until I joined the project, maybe I didn’t care about the perspectives of other people. I came to think that I need to be more conscious about the positions of the survivors of the earthquake. Now I also want to think more about how I should support the survivors. To accompany them and have empathy with them is important. I want to continue studying and learning that.
Support Member C:It sounds like you focused on yourself.
Student E (from Fukushima):It is, of course, important to join events actively and talk to someone about the nuclear accident. But this project made me feel that I am helpless, and maybe I need to confront myself at the moment.I don’t know if I can make it happen, but I want to create opportunities where we can talk including talking to the survivors.
Support Member A:Maybe, success or failure depends on whether you give it up or not. Even if you feel miserable or helpless, you should stick to the idea that you can make it sometime, and you shouldn’t give up. That’s important.
Student G (from Fukushima):When I participated in the workshop in August, I realized there were too many things that I didn’t know. As I listened to a doctor of Fukushima Red Cross Hospital about their activities after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, I strongly felt the importance of listening to various perspectives. Our special presentation at the Reference Group Meeting was that people have no opportunity to talk about the nuclear accident in Fukushima and that should be changed. But when I looked back at my activities during this project, I found I didn’t do anything or start discussions either.I thought that it is important to change one’s viewpoint from “That’s a matter of course.” to “There’s no matter of course.” That made a difference to me.I want to organize a reading circle of the NAIIC Report, and communicate what we have learned from this experience to many people as well as the Red Cross and Red Crescent members.

Workshop in Fukushima 
Workshop in Fukushima

Student H (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):As Student A said, I think I had an optimistic idea in my mind before participating in the workshop in August. I thought I could learn something if I just went to Fukushima. But at the workshop, I received too many things to process. I realized for the first time that “to learn something” is not just about to listen to what speaker says but also to process them into my own thoughts or ideas. I have never done that until then, and it was really hard for me to work on that. I came to realize that it is important to be conscious about the difference in the two mindsets: Do I just want to take information received from others or the Internet like as trivia, or do I want to use the information as a tool to think further?

At the workshop back in August, I said that I was impressed by the fact that young people of my age are working at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant to get the nuclear power plant under control. But I thought it is difficult to convey my thoughts or ideas to others, when one of the support team members told me: “Other than Japan, there are many countries where people of your age are working.” I learned that before I try to communicate my opinions, it is important to know about the background of the person I talk to or what they feel is natural and then convey my thoughts or ideas for further discussion to them. As I had never done this before, the difficulty was new to me. I’m sure my interests will go beyond the issue of the nuclear accident. So, I think it is up to me on how much I can make use of this experience and the process of “learning something” when I am faced with a new issue. I think we were able to convey our thoughts to the members of the Japanese Red Cross Society and other Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies members through our presentation. But it might be our friends that we need to convey our thoughts more to.
Student I (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):The activities made me feel helpless and miserable about being a high school student, but at the same time the experience taught me that there is something that only high school students can do. It was a totally new experience for me that many adults listened to our opinions earnestly. As we said in the presentation, young people of our age have already took action on what we have thought adults should do. My change from the project was that I came to think that maybe I don’t need to take it so seriously but can just start with what I can do. There’s only a short time left until I am no longer a high school student, but I want to challenge another presentation if I can have the opportunity to do so. I also want to make this project a starting point and be more actively involved in other planning.
Student J (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):Reading the NAIIC report and participating in the workshop completely changed my images of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. At the same time, I realized that I had been quite influenced by the media views, even though I knew about the facts and Fukushima only superficially as a Tokyo citizen. Through this project, I came to look into various matters in society more deeply and then come up with my opinions. At the present time the nuclear accident in Fukushima is our problem and also one that we have to be involved for the next 40 years. During the project, I always checked in the newspapers about this issue and then thought about this issue by reflecting on what I learned from the project. I am continuing to do so. I now hope to always face this issue that I will see almost every day in my life through the media even after this project. I should not be the only person who faces this problem. I want to share it with other people in order to avoid making this issue ‘someone else’s problem’. What I found most impressive in the project experience was “lack of preparedness” and that inspired me to work in the area of policies so that the lack of preparedness will not happen in the future.

Support Member A:It seems to me that you realized while working on this project that a matter of course may not be a matter of course. In order to look at a fact in an objective manner, you may have to look at the fact from other people’s point of view instead of yours. But the idea of job titles or positions may be completely different from that. People who show off their job titles and want to influence people have a tendency to create many “matters of course” and push them on to those who are against them. In order for you not to make this happen, you need to say to yourself many times: “I have to change myself.” It is also important for you to always remind yourself that job titles and positions are only shields so it is important that you continue to ask yourself questions.
Student A (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):There was one thing that I noticed that was common for all of us. That is: we felt that we were shaken from where we stood and helpless during the process of the presentation. But that experience in turn made us strive to understand the things in more detail, and we did what we could do although it was small. I am sure this experience will give us confidence in the future. At first, I thought “to learn” would be the “First Step”. Instead, I came to think that maybe ‘to shake off where we stood” was actually the First Step. It was important for me to recognize “that is not a matter of course”.
Support Member C:Do you think you would be conscious about that if you discussed only among high school students?
Student G (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):I don’t think so. I agree with Student E that discussions only among high school students would not make us understand where we stood. Moreover, we could not have added values to our presentations and we might have finished our activities without understanding where we stood. Because we tried to understand the questions that the adult members asked us, I think we were able to learn where we high school students stood in society. I suppose “the Second Step” for us will be to share. But I am doubtful about whether we can effectively appeal that to young people of our age. I don’t think we can make it just by saying: “Let’s talk about this issue only among ourselves as high school students”.
Student A (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):During the activities, I didn’t feel nervous. Usually, I am one of high school students who make “a matter of course”. But we were able to talk about our own ideas together beyond the “matter of course” without fear during the activities of The Simplest NAIIC. That made me realize everyone’s ideas were different. Previously, a high school student team had interviews with adults and one of them told us: “Everyone is ultimately alone, and you have to think through what you do for yourself.” I think I could understand the meaning this time. But I couldn’t understand it without having discussions reassured with the friends of The Simplest NAIIC.
Student E (from Fukushima):By participating in the project, I was able to share what we didn’t know about Fukushima and how people in Tokyo saw or recognized this issue, and I also learned how this issue was seen from Tokyo. I think it was good that people with unique personalities got together and had discussions. Through a LEGO workshop that we had in August, I found there were different views even among Fukushima people, and it made me feel that those differences will lead to discussions about the earthquake and safety. This experience gave me an opportunity to think so. I wanted to get across what we thought to more people.
Student D (from Fukushima):I felt there were various people. People of The Simplest NAIIC have an at-home atmosphere and they are warm. And there was a place for us to talk openly about various things. I caused them some troubles in the process, but I appreciate the project members for supporting me in various ways.
Student G (from Fukushima): I strongly felt the importance of opportunity to talk with each other enough to be inspired to organize our own reading circle. The environment where we could talk and the adult’s support team helped us very much. I learned that there is almost no difference in point of view from people of Tokyo and Fukushima. That made a big difference to me.
Student A (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):Maybe what we want to share with other high school students is our hope to have “an opportunity” like what we had this time. It is an opportunity where we can respect each other and collaborate with each other by understanding each other’s differences. I want to create “an opportunity” like this.
Student G (from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area):I want to think about “What kind of opportunity we can make?” We should think more of opportunities for discussions between adults and high school students with no age boundaries.
Support Member B:So many people supported us at the workshop in August and in the process of creating the presentation. Especially, the staff of the Japanese Red Cross Society gave us big support. They fully trusted The Simplest NAIIC in terms of the presentation content, but to be honest, I think that the JRCS staff needed a lot of courage to make that decision. OK, the First Step Project is finished now. Let’s go forward to the Second Step tenaciously for the future!
All members:Thank you very much!