SCF(Student Christian Fellowshipm) Members Visit Tokyo’s Anti-nuclear Tent Village

by Ueno Yosuke, member

Hanamaki Church, Iwate Prefecture

 

On Sept. 11, 2011, following the East Japan Earthquake (in March), two tents opposing nuclear energy were put up in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry in Tokyo. People from all over Japan, as well as people from around the world, have visited this site, where information about nuclear energy and radioactivity is displayed and discussed. While the national government has charged the group with unlawful occupation of the space, there is another group of people who fervently support them. This group consists of mothers, grandmothers, and other women from Fukushima. As a group, they are quietly continuing their appeal, “We do not need atomic energy.”

 

As one who knew nothing about atomic energy and radioactivity at the time, my anxiety grew stronger daily following the disaster. For the first time I realized that ignorance could prevent me from protecting myself. From that point on, I spent every day checking the Internet, reading books, even going as far as Fukushima to attend lectures to gain a basic knowledge of nuclear energy and radioactivity. While being told that there was no danger, the more I learned about the effects of radioactivity, the more concern I felt. Wondering if others simply did not understand, or whether I myself was confused, I felt a strong need to share what I was learning and feeling. The SCF answered that need. SCF members listened to the information that I had obtained and provided opportunities for me to see other material and discuss my concerns. However, in the midst of the varied understanding and opinions, I began to feel frustration, trying to develop my own view regarding nuclear energy and radioactivity. One day a friend told me about the tent village, so in January 2012 I made my first visit, together with some SCF members.

 

Among the participants, there was one from Fukushima who had a friend working at the nuclear power station as well as ones who were abroad at the time of the disaster. Thus, since we had such different experiences with nuclear power, most of us had not really come to a firm position on the subject.

 

Regarding the tent village itself, it took considerable courage for me to visit the first time because I had imagined a tense atmosphere and confrontation. However, after visiting a second and third time, we became attracted to the people we met there. We were greeted by different women on each visit, but each of them had a gentle spirit and would engage us in discussion without pressure. When asked direct questions, such as “Is Tokyo safe?” or “What’s wrong with nuclear energy?” they would simply say, “Please investigate and study the issue. Then things will become clear for you.” Their calm response made a deep impression on me.

 

In April 2014, about ten of us visited the tent village. It was my fourth visit. This time I met a woman who had moved to Tokyo from Fukushima so that she could participate in the sit-in. When speaking of the conditions of the sit-in and her state of mind, there was no doubt of her strong opposition to atomic energy. On the other hand, she herself wonders how long the sit-in will continue and said that she would like to quit if she could. After all, she is ready to return to the normal lifestyle she knew before the earthquake. Seeing this woman, who has given up her comfort to engage in this sit-in, caused me to feel embarrassment and shame.

 

Reflectively, she also said, “Because I am here, I have been able to meet many people. When I realize that the nuclear plants would probably be back in operation if it were not for this anti-nuclear movement, I feel that though slight, there has been some change.” Although the end is not in sight and the heartbreaking sit-in continues, I feel that I am hearing hope. I sincerely believe that the tent village will continue to encourage us to confront the nuclear disaster, and as long as there is nuclear energy, it will remain an essential site.

 

This spring I returned to my home in Iwate Prefecture. While remaining open to the thoughts of others, from now on I want to follow the example of those women who have so strongly influenced me and find ways to express my thoughts and concerns in concrete ways. Even if those concerns are not expressed through direct action, I believe they will be connected with the thoughts of those women.

 

Further comments by SCF Director Noda Taku

 

Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, day and night brought many anxious young people to SCF, which adjoins the parsonage in which I live. One of those young people was Ueno Yosuke. With him as a leader, we began a seminar that was held twice a month at SCF. The decision to visit the tent village was the result of the prayers of this group. The richness of SCF is not simply in the smiles shared together but also in sharing anxiety and pain in rich church fellowship. Recently, the tent that these women and elderly people had occupied was destroyed by a right-wing group, but their protest against nuclear power continues. (Tr. JS)

 

— From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), July 2014 issue

 

Summarized by KNL Editor Kawakami Yoshiko

脱原発テン トひろば訪問。SCFの活動より 上野洋介

東日本大震 災後、2011年9月11日から、反原発を訴える2つのテントが東京の経済産業省前に張られました。「経産省前テ ントひろば」には、原発・放射能について情報共有と議論ができる場として、日本中・世界中から人々が訪れます。国からは不法占拠だと 訴えられているこのテントを必死に守る人々がいます。お母さんやおばあさんなど、福島の女性たちです。「原発はいらない」という願い を、座り込みによって静かに訴え続けているのです。

震災後、原 発や放射能について何も知らなかった私の中では不安が日に日に大きくなっていました。知らないことがとても不安で、無知では自分を守 れないと初めて身をもって感じました。そこで私は毎日インターネットや本で勉強し、時には放射能の基礎知識の講演会を聞きに福島まで 足を運びました。ですが放射能の影響を知れば知るほど、現状が安全だと言われているのは本当なのか不安になりました。周囲の人々が知 らないのか、自分がおかしいのかわからなくなった私は、調べたことや感じたことを共有したいと強く思いました。そんな私の不安を受け 止めてくれたのがSCFだったのです。SCFでは自分の調べたことを聞いてもらい、資料を見たり議論をする機会も設けました。ですが原発や放射能への意識や考えは人に よってバラバラで、強い意思表示はなかなかできず、葛藤を抱えてもいました。ある日、仲間に「ひろば」を教えられて連絡をとり、2012年1月、テントひろばを初訪問したのです。

 

私達の仲間は、福島出身・原発で働いている友人がいる・震災当時日本にいな かった……など原発と の複雑な関係から、自分の立場を定められない人がほとんどでした。テント広場についても、緊迫した激しい場を想像していたため、初回 の訪問には勇気が必要でした。それでも2回目、3回目と通っているのは、そこで出会う人々に私たちメンバーが惹かれたからです。毎回 違う女性が迎えてくださるのですが、皆さんとても穏やかな雰囲気で、特定の意見を強要することなく対話してくださいます。「東京は安 全ですか?」「原発ってどうしていけないのですか?」など、失礼にあたりかねない質問に「調べてみてください。するといろんなことが 見えてきますから」と言ってくださったのが今でも強く心に残っています。

2014年4月に、10人ほどでテ ントひろばを訪問しました。4度目の訪問 です。今回お会いしたのは、座り込みのため福島から東京に移住している女性でした。座り込みの近況や心境についての語りには「原発を なくしたい」という、変わらぬ強い意志が感じられました。一方、「いつまでこのような生活が続くのだろう」「やめられるならばやめて しまいたい」という本音も聞きました。というのも、彼女たちは以前は福島で日常を過ごしていた普通の女性だったのです。日常を投げ 打って座り込む姿に、何もできていない自分が恥ずかしくなりました。

 

 

一方で「ここにいるから出会えた人もたくさんいる」「反原発運動がなかったら 原発はきっとすでに再稼働していただろうと考えると、少しずつだけど変わってきている」との言葉には、終わりが見えず心が折れそうな 座り込みにも希望がある、と聞いた思いでした。テントひろばは時間が経っても原発事故を思い出す勇気をもらえる場であり、原発がなく ならない限りは必要な場所なのだと、私は純粋に思います。この春私は岩手県の実家に戻ります。今後は、他者の考えを受け止めながらも 自らの強い意志をにじませるテントひろばの女性たちに倣い、自分なりの方法で思いを形にし続けていきたいと思います。直接的な行動で はなくとも、それがきっと彼女たちの思いにつながると信じています。

 

SCF主事より  原発事故の後、私が住む牧師館が併設されたSCFには昼夜問わず多くの不安を抱えた若者が訪れました。その中の一人が上野くん。SCFでは月に二回、彼を中心に学びの時を持つようになりました。テントひろば訪問も、そんな彼の想いを共有した仲間たちの祈りの結果です。笑顔だけではなく痛みや不安をも分かち合う教会的な交わりが、SCFの豊かさなのです。最近、この女性と高齢者ばかりのテントが右翼の襲撃により破壊されましたが、現在もこの反原発の訴えの闘いは続けられています。野田  沢

(信徒の友2014年1月号より)

Berlin Mission Celebrates its 190th Anniversary

by Ito Mizuo, former Kyodan Vice-moderator

 

The Berlin Mission was founded in 1824 as a united church of the states of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian and Upper Lusatia. It is the organization for overseas missions of the Evangelical Church of Anhalt and is called the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian and Upper Lusatia (EKBO). Thus, this year is the 190th anniversary of its founding, and the event was celebrated at a conference with its partner churches, which was held Aug. 30-Sept. 2. I attended on behalf of the Kyodan as its vice-moderator.

 

EKBO has maintained fellowship with the National Federation of Kyodan Women’s Societies since before the unification of East and West Germany and has held exchanges with Japanese youth since 2002. It has also reached out to add the Japanese-speaking Church in Berlin (Akiba Mutsuko, pastor) into its circle.

Last year, representatives from the EKBO visited the Kyodan office as well as the disaster area in Fukushima; later Moderator Ishibashi paid a visit to EKBO. This deepening of relationship between our two churches has been continued through my attendance at the celebration conference.

 

The celebration was held in a courtyard at the headquarters on the afternoon of Aug. 31, and there were participants from 16 overseas churches with greetings from more than 40 representatives. The interesting thing was that all the church representatives were requested to bring a rock from their respective countries and talk about that rock in their greetings. Often, a long series of greetings gets rather boring, and I think this was an effort to prevent that. I decided to take a small piece of lava rock from the base of Mt. Fuji and shared with the participants how Mt. Fuji symbolizes Japan in so many ways.

 

On Sept. 1, the plenary session of the conference was held under the theme of “Reconciling the World.” It was on that day 75 years ago that Germany invaded Poland, bringing about the start of World War II, so this was an especially appropriate way to commemorate that event. EKBO Bishop Markus Droege and representatives from England, South Africa, and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea gave presentations on this theme. In the evening of the same day, there was a memorial worship service held at St. Mary’s Church that was jointly conducted by Bishop Droege and a bishop of the Evangelical Church of Poland, with a Bishop of the Catholic Church giving the sermon. As representatives from overseas churches, we participated in the precession up to the stage in front, as well as in the recessional at the end. It was symbolic of our joint prayer for “Reconciling the World.” (Tr. KY)

ベルリン宣教会協議会に参加して

伊藤瑞男

8月30日~9月2日にかけてベルリン宣教会が、その創立190年記念祝賀会とパートナー教会との協議会をベルリンの本部で行い、私は教団を代表して、出席した。

ベルリン宣教会は、ベルリン-ブランデンブルグ-シレジア-オーバーラ

ウジッツ(Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian and Upper Lusatia)の統合州教会Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz(EKBOと略す)及びアンハルト福音主義教会の海外宣教団体であるが、1824年に創立された。その190年目に当たり、祝賀と協議会をパートナー教会と共に行ったのである。

EKBOは、東西ドイツ統一以前から教団の全国教会婦人会連合との交わりがあった。青年の交流も2002年から行われてきた。また、ベルリン日本語教会(秋葉睦子)Akiba Mutsuko牧師)を交わりに入れてくださっている。

昨年EKBOの代表団が教団と福島県の被災地を訪れてくださり、石橋議長がEKBOを訪れて、両者の関係が深まった。そして、今回の私のこの協議会への参加となったのである。

 祝賀会は、31日(日)の午後に本部の中庭で行われ、その中で海外からの16教会、40名をこえる代表者たちからの挨拶があった。興味深かったことは、各教会の挨拶は通常のものではなく、その国の石を持参してその石について語ることを求められたことであった。挨拶の連続は聞き手を退屈させる。それを

防ぐためであることがわかる。私は、富士山の山麓から溶岩石の一かけらを持って行き、これは、日本をいろんな意味で象徴する富士山を表していると話した。

9月1日は「世界の和解」をテーマに協議会が行われた。この日が、75年前にドイツがポーランドに侵攻して、第二次世界大戦開始となった記憶すべき日だからである。EKBOのドレーゲ司教(Bishop Markus Droege)、イギリス、南アフリカ、韓国基督教長老会の代表が発題をした。そして、夕刻聖マリエン教会で記念礼拝が行われたが、司式にはドレーゲ司教とポーランドの福音主義教会の司教が当たり、説教はカトリックの司教であった。我々海外教会からの代表たちも壇上に登り、入退場の行進に参加した。世界的和解のための共同の祈りの姿勢を示すものであった。


Message from the General Secretary: Welcomed by PCK & PROK Churches and Assemblies

This year I have participated as an official observer in several general assemblies, including of course, the Kyodan General Assembly as well as several district assemblies where I gave greetings and participated in the discussion. Most memorable for me personally, however, was participating in two such assemblies in sister churches in Korea, where I went for the first time in my life. Those were the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK), Sep. 22-25, and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), Sep. 23-26. Even though I have many friends in Korea and have had opportunities when I could have gone for visits, I had not been able until now to actualize them. Part of the reason for that was simply my inability to travel to the places where Japan had done such terrible things as though nothing like that had transpired.

 

Come to think of it, however, when I mentioned this in my prayer at the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan in April, as well as when representatives from churches in the Philippines and Southeast Asia paid visits to the General Secretary’s Office, they seemed quite surprised by my references to this issue, as it was to them ancient history from the generation of their grandparents. So I mention it as something that is an integral part of my remembrance as one who lived through that generation.

 

With respect to the two denominations that I visited in Korea, there were numerous roles that I played. One was to give greetings to the Saemoonan Presbyterian Church, which had so quickly responded with aid after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and also to preach a sermon at the Japanese-language service they have there. Dr. Nag Woon-hae of the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary of the PCK had set things up for me. At the regular service, I was introduced and welcomed so kindly by the head pastor, Rev. Dr. Lee Soo-Young. Then at the much smaller Japanese-language service that afternoon, the church elders came and listened via simultaneous translation into the Korean language.

 

The other thing I did there was to accompany General Secretary Kim Byung-Ho of the Korean Christian Church in Japan to a presentation ceremony at the Yonsei University Medical Division’s Severance Hospital to receive the generous offering they had collected for the relief of foreign women victims of the East Japan Disaster. We really had a deep and warm time of fellowship there, and in my greetings to them, in addition to expressing our gratitude for their generosity, I described the situation of the many foreign women in the Fukushima area who are not fluent in Japanese and whose families have become separated.

 

The general assemblies of both these Korean churches involved gatherings of more than 2,000 delegates each, with the PCK Assembly taking place in Seoul at Somang Church. A main topic of discussion there was the issue of pensions for pastors. The PROK Assembly took place at the Bien Xanh Resort along the coast, where more than 300 lives were lost in the Sewol Ferry disaster, and the issue of retroactive laws concerning that was one topic of discussion. However, what is important to note about these two assemblies is the atmosphere that was established in the opening and closing worship services, which were well beyond my expectations.

 

The way the general assemblies were conducted was in both cases superb, and I sensed how both were in continuous prayer for the reunification of their country. As guest observers, we able to fit several presentations into breaks in the proceedings, including one at the PCK Assembly on “Healing and Reconciliation,” along with commemorating the 30th anniversary of their joint mission agreement with the KCCJ and touching on such issues as hate speech in Japan and the “comfort women” issue. We were also able to visit the work the PCK is doing with immigrant evangelism among many ethnic groups.

 

While at the PROK Assembly, we visited a ministry site where the evangelism of foreigners, mostly Chinese, is taking place, and we also went to the memorial site that has been set up by the government for the victims of the Sewol Ferry disaster to share in the grief of the Korean people over their great loss. Of the more than 300 victims, about one-third of them were Christian high school students. Thus, even though our two countries have difficult political relations at the present time, as fellow Christians, we were able to complete our mission in daily gratitude for being so warmly received. (Tr. TB)

 

—Nagasaki Tetsuo, general secretary

今年は総幹事として内外の幾つかの教団総会や教区総会の問安師として招きを受け、そこでの挨拶や論議にも加わった。忘れられないのは、生涯初めて隣国韓国に渡り、第99回大韓イエス教長老会Presbyterian Church of Korea(PCK)及び同回韓国基督長老教会(PROK)総会に出席した日々である。自分にも隣国には多くの友人がいて渡航の機会はあったのにそれがなかなか実現出来なかったのは、やはり戦前から今日まで日本の彼の国々に及ぼした大罪を差し置いて、普通の顔では行けぬという長い間の拘りがあったからである。   

そう言えば、春四月の台湾基督長老教会(PCT)総会の折りや、時として訪問されるフィリピンをはじめ東南アジア諸教会から総幹事室を訪問される方々には最早彼らの祖父祖母の時代のことと思われるのか、それらのことを挨拶の中に入れてもポカンとされてしまうが、一つの世代を生きた自分には欠かせぬ思いがあり、それ(過去への気持ち)を言葉にする。

さて冒頭の二教団訪問に際しては、多くの役目があった。一つは、あの3.11東日本大震災にはいち早く救援の手を延ばして戴いたソウルのセムナン教会(Saemoonan Bresbyterian Church)への挨拶と其処での日本語礼拝説教であった。これには,PCK 神学大学Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary of PCKの洛雲海教授のNag Woon-haeの仲立ちがあり、大きな主日礼拝の中での李秀永(Rev. Dr. Lee, Soo-Young)主任牧師の懇切な紹介と歓迎の辞が語られ、その後の礼拝説教(ハングル同時通訳付)には教会の長老方が集まって戴いた。          

二つ目は、在日大韓基督教会金柄鎬(Kim Byung-Ho)総幹事と共に参加した延世大学医学部セバランス病院Severance Hospital – part of the Yonsei University Health Systemが集めてくださった東日本大震災被災外国人女性のための多額の献金の贈呈式への席であった。ここでは、友情にあふれた真に暖かな時となり、私は感謝の挨拶と共に、特に福島県を中心とした日本語の不自由な外国人女性方、その離散の家族の状況を説明した。

両教団総会は、それぞれ二千名を超える代議員による大規模のものであり、PCKはソウルのソマン教会Somang Churchで、特に牧師の年金問題等を、PROKはビエンサンBien Xanh Resortの海辺リゾ-トホテルで三百人余の命を失ったセオ-ル号沈没事件Sewol ferry調査遡及律法問題などを主要議題として開催された。しかし、注目すべきはこれらの議事を両教団共に開・閉会礼拝の予想以上の充実が基調となって、総会全体の運営がなされていたのは見事であり、両教団とも朝鮮半島統一のための連祷があることが分かった。わたしたちゲスト集団は、総会の合間を縫い、PCKの「癒しと和解」をめぐるプレゼンテテ-ションの時を持ち、教団としてKCCJとの宣教協約30周年や国内にあるヘイトスピ-チ、慰安婦等への取り組みの課題などにも触れた。またPCK多民族移住者伝道の現場を訪れて学んだ。

PROKでも外国人特に中国人伝道の現場研修及びフェリ-沈没事故犠牲になった高校生の安山に置かれたセオウル号犠牲者政府公式合同焚香所を訪ね、韓国の人々の悲しみを共にした。此処には三百人を上回る犠牲者 の内ほぼ三分の一のキリスト者高校生がいたことが明らかにされていた。

かくして現在両国間政治情勢に厳しいものがある中、わたしどもは 教会人として暖かに受け入れられた日々を感謝しつつその任務を終わった。長崎哲夫総幹事