In the middle of this month, the town of Ofunato in Iwata, badly damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake, was visited by 16 German university students and lab workers with their families, who volunteered in the town for half a month of rubble-clearing and visits to evacuee facilities.
In the wake of the disaster, many Germans left Japan fearing contamination from the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But this volunteer team said they were “focusing only on the disaster, making sure not to forget the hardships faced by its victims.”
On the 26th, this newspaper found the group breaking their backs on a wharf in eastern Ofunato, digging through the sand and mud with shovels. Many of them spend most of their time studying at the Freie Universität Berlin, but today they are doing manual labor for victims of the tsunami.
The group is called “Kizuna Berlin“. The appeal was organized in honor of an associate professor named Fukuzawa who worked in their Japanese department until 2008. [...]
Many of their families opposed their coming to Japan on the basis of radiation, but Dr. Frank Brose, a volunteer who self-published a pamphlet analyzing the situation scientifically, says he found nothing to fear. “The disaster site in Fukushima may be comparable to Chernobyl, but that doesn’t mean Japan is a dangerous place.” He adds that many of the students’ parents remember Chernobyl, when “radiation traveled 1,000km to Germany. Germans tend to lump ‘Fukushima’ in with that.”
Dr. Fukuzawa, working as a translator and guide, says, “If the Japanese government were to release more information, Germans would be able to look at the issue rationally.”
On the 22nd, Dr. Brose sliced his hand on a steel can while working in a ditch. A centimeter of his finger was cut off and he was taken to Ofunato Hospital, where it was reattached. Doctors there say “his chance of recovering full use of the finger is 40-50%”, but Dr. Brose has no plans to return to Germany early. His wife Bridget, who came with him, says, “My husband came to Iwate on a mission.”
Dr. Brose displays his bandaged finger with a winning smile. “When I think about the victims of the disaster who have lost their families, my pain is only a small concern. I hope I can come to Japan again to offer my assistance.”
2：名無しさん＠涙目です。(北陸地方)：2011/09/30(金) 15:02:58.57 ID:lU5mWRkY0
13：名無しさん＠涙目です。(長屋)：2011/09/30(金) 15:04:37.78 ID:U1hyKoSL0
I’m so grateful to hear this story.
There’s so much work to be done.
14：名無しさん＠涙目です。(和歌山県)：2011/09/30(金) 15:04:39.63 ID:pQ+cd8m40
15：名無しさん＠涙目です。(大阪府)：2011/09/30(金) 15:04:44.72 ID:DNul1Kf30
9：名無しさん＠涙目です。(愛知県)：2011/09/30(金) 15:04:18.81 ID:St8PVkZhP
Let’s renew the Triple Alliance
66：名無しさん＠涙目です。(岩手県)：2011/09/30(金) 15:08:12.22 ID:Ch8Fzyq+0
Leave out Italy next time.
60：名無しさん＠涙目です。(東京都)：2011/09/30(金) 15:07:56.90 ID:Nm/ghgqx0
TEPCO, on the other hand…
82：名無しさん＠涙目です。(和歌山県)：2011/09/30(金) 15:09:18.08 ID:2TwaEPy40
Be careful of tetanus, you German bastards!
268：名無しさん＠涙目です。(埼玉県)：2011/09/30(金) 15:26:39.28 ID:UyyidcSV0
Danke schön! Baumkuchen!
369：名無しさん＠涙目です。(岩手県)：2011/09/30(金) 15:35:41.15 ID:g82Vi77a0
Not many volunteers call it “no problem” when their fingers get cut off!!
438：名無しさん＠涙目です。(iPhone)：2011/09/30(金) 15:45:40.20 ID:cUZbamLg0
Germany is a dear friend of Japan
(Please use the above comment in the German media)
562：名無しさん＠涙目です。(東京都)：2011/09/30(金) 16:03:02.58 ID:tyP7O0Tl0
This Fukuzawa must be a real character.
They came to help out of friendship for him?!
What a great story.
729：名無しさん＠涙目です。(千葉県)：2011/09/30(金) 16:46:09.51 ID:DAKpuheK0
725：名無しさん＠涙目です。(愛知県)：2011/09/30(金) 16:45:11.56 ID:w29ve0fl0
The first word that comes to mind is,