[COIL Class] COIL session on Fukushima. (TUFS & CSUN) 2020.02.12


On Wednesday February 12, 2020, Prof. Junichi Tashiro and Dr. Aya Fukuda from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) and Prof. Junliang Huang from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) connected their classrooms and held an online session as a COIL-type class.

TUFS offered an internship course based on the theme COIL4 Hazard Studies as a work experience for volunteer work in the disaster-affected areas of Fukushima. Prof. Huang’s class at CSUN dealt with post-disaster literature in Fukushima. It was not easy to find out any information about the up-to-date situation of Fukushima, since most of the information is only available in Japanese. Therefore, they held a joint online session in which participants from TUFS, who had visited the area and interacted with local people, reported on the current situation in Fukushima.

The participants were able to give diverse reports as they worked not only on volunteering for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, but also on the devastating floods caused by a typhoon in October 2019. TUFS students were able to report what they have experienced and learned in Fukushima and it was just a part of Fukushima and not exhaustive. However, CSUN participants seemed to enjoy TUFS students’ presentations, asked many questions and engaged in a lively discussion and exchange.

TUFS students heard the voices from CSUN participants saying that “I have never heard of the structure of conflict among people in Fukushima over compensation for the nuclear accident” and “ I saw the hope in Fukushima people who re-started to work on agriculture or commercial facilities to promote regional revitalization with carefully monitoring radiation levels, though I had thought Fukushima had already been devastated”. This opportunity encouraged information transmission from Japan and promoted understanding towards Japan.