retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

There was a fascinating story in the New York Times yesterday about Masami Yoshizawa, a Japanese dairy farmer with property not far from the location of the Fukushima nuclear disaster who is staging what in essence is a one-man protest against the Japanese government and its response to the events of March 2011.

"Angered by what he considers the Japanese government’s attempts to sweep away the inconvenient truths of the Fukushima nuclear disaster," the Times writes, "Masami Yoshizawa has moved back to his ranch in the radioactive no-man’s land surrounding the devastated plant. He has no neighbors, but plenty of company: hundreds of abandoned cows he has vowed to protect from the government’s kill order … Mr. Yoshizawa is no sentimentalist — before the disaster, he raised cows for slaughter. But he says there is a difference between killing cows for food and killing them because, in their contaminated state, they are no longer useful. He believes the cows on his ranch, abandoned by him and other fleeing farmers after the accident, are as much victims as the 83,000 humans forced to abandon their homes and live outside the evacuation zone for two and a half years."

Yoshizawa, the story says, "is worried about his health. A dosage meter near the ranch house reads the equivalent of about 1.5 times the government-set level for evacuation. But he is more fearful that the country will forget about the triple meltdowns at the plant as Japan’s economy shows signs of long-awaited recovery and Tokyo excitedly prepares for the 2020 Olympics — suggesting his protest is as least as much a political statement, as a humanitarian one."

It is an intriguing piece about a man who refuses to be ignored, and who has a cause to which attention should be paid. You can read it here.
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