Important Words To Help You Understand Amy’s Blog

Tohoku–Part of Northern Japan. The Big Quake of 3/11/11 occurred off its east coast. The vast majority of the damage caused by the quake affected the region of Tohoku–especially its east coast. (Although it did affect other parts of Japan, too.) My home (Fukushima Prefecture) is one of the prefectures of Tohoku. By the way, Tokyo is NOT in Tohoku. It is quite far south of Tohoku.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant–This is the nuclear power plant on the east coast of Fukushima Prefecture, and it suffered three meltdowns due to the tsunami that resulted from the 3/11/11 quake. (It is now shut down, but the very dangerous radioactive melted fuel is still inside.) It supplied electricity to Tokyo, NOT to Fukushima. (DAIICHI means NUMBER ONE)

Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant–This is the other nuclear power plant on the east coast of Fukushiam Prefecture. It was safely turned off after the quake, and suffered no damage. It has not been turned back on. It also supplied electricity to Tokyo, NOT to Fukushima.  (DAINI means NUMBER TWO)

Fukushima–This generally refers to the name of the prefecture, but also the city. Think of the word Fukushima like the word “New York.” There is New York State, New York City. Please note that “Fukushima” is used as an adjective for MANY locations here in the prefecture: Fukushima Bank, Fukushima University, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Thus, it is incorrect (and insensitive) to refer to the meltdowns as “Fukushima.”

TEPCO–This stands for Tokyo Electric Power Company. It owned/owns and operated/operates the two nuclear power plants (Daiichi and Daini) in Fukushima Prefecture so that Tokyo could be supplied with electricity. It is a Tokyo Company.

Exclusion Zone–This is the part of Fukushima Prefecture where the radiation level was measured, and deemed too high for habitation of humans. While it was mostly a farming rural area, it neverthless was populated by thousands of people before the quake. Very soon after the tsunami hit and the government realized that meltdowns could not be avoided at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (a span of just a few days,) the residents of the Exclusion Zone were forced to immediately evacuate their homes. Many moved to temporary (and very uncomforable) shelters set up by the government. The landowners and homeowners STILL own their property, so please be sensitive to Fukushimers and remember that if you visit the Exclusion Zone. (Regular people are allowed to visit the Exclusion Zone, but they need to get permission to do so beforehand. You do NOT need to sneak into the zone.)

If I think of new words that are important for understanding the blog, I’ll add them as I go. I know it’s difficult to understand the terminology.