Thank you for the thousands of emails in support of the original translations of Japanese Twitter accounts of the March 11th quake on my Facebook note, "Japan Quake as Seen from Twitter". Now, together with ten classmates and friends in the University of Cambridge, I have launched this blog to continue translating the voices of the Japanese people on their road to recovery.
- Jun Shiomitsu -

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Diary of Dai-Ni Plant Employee

This is from a Mixi (Japanese social network) diary of a 22-year old employee of Tokyo Electric Power Company. She and her colleagues were stationed at the Dai-Ni plant when the tsunami hit. This post was originally posted on March 15th. 


今日の朝方 発電所から避難させられ福島の親戚の家で家族と合流しました
This morning, I was told to evacuate the nuclear plant where I work and go home to be with my family in Fukushima. My supervisor’s parting words were “Go! Be safe!” as he put me into a company car. I could not contain my tears as the car drove me away from my colleagues.

Many people seem to be blaming TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company). But it is also my TEPCO colleagues who are risking their lives to continue working to contain the situation. They refuse to run. I beg you not to criticize them. 

大津波警報の中 夜中の3時で足元も見えないまま死ぬ覚悟で海の目の前での復旧作業...
As an employee at the Fukushima Dai-Ni plant, I have been on the ground helping with the recovery until just yesterday. The damaged cooling systems of the plant were located close to the sea, and we had been frantically trying to repair them for the past 4 days. Ignoring "critical level" tsunami warnings, we worked right on the shoreline at 3AM, hardly able to see our own feet in the darkness, silently knowing we could die anytime. Each one of us was sleepless, exhausted, hungry, and so tired we felt we could barely lift our feet to walk.

みんな自分の命を顧みず 停止する作業に全うしてます
Had my colleagues at TEPCO not risked their lives to do this, Dai-ni would have exploded just like Dai-ichi. If they had decided to run for their lives, the nuclear emergency would have been far, far worse. But they have not, and are still there, standing between us all and nuclear disaster. Every single one of them has put aside concern for his or her own life to continue fighting to cool the plant. 

噂に左右されず 避難勧告圏外へ避難して外気になるべく触れないようにして下さい
I hear many rumors going around the news, but the truth is that there is very little danger of exposure to harmful levels of radiation outside of the evacuated areas. The only people being exposed are my brave colleagues working untiringly inside the plant. They are working with hardly any sleep nor food. Please do not be swayed by false rumors if you are outside of the evacuated area.

My boyfriend is also still working inside the plant on night shift, and all I can do now is pray for his safety and that of all my colleagues. They are the ones in harm's way and they are the ones who are really, really scared; but they continue to work despite their fear. 
And despite all the criticism, it is TEPCO and its employees who are standing in harm’s way to cool the plant, refusing to run. Many of my colleagues there have not yet been able to contact their loved ones. 

Please do not forget about them. 
I am writing about them because I want the world to know about their bravery, and that they are still there even now, fighting for us. 
Please send this to your friends, but to avoid abuse please do so by sending the URL and not copy/pasting (Editor notes: I hope copy/pasting in order to translate is not a problem. Please also see URL below.)
I am very sorry for the fear that has been caused by the nuclear emergency.

Although potentially dangerous and risky, I am also including my actual name because I am proud to be an employee of TEPCO, and I am proud to have been stationed at Dai-ni Plant when these events happened. I am proud to have been among the brave workers who are fighting even now and putting their lives on the line to bring the Plant back under control. I only hope that I can return and join them again soon. 

大槻 路子

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)
Fukushima Dai-ni Power Plant
Electric Machinery Group
Michiko Otsuki

(Original URL to Michiko's diary - Mixi login required)http://mixi.jp/view_diary.pl?&id%3B=1689991019&owner%3B_id=24641205


  1. I have the deepest admiration for the workers of Tepco confronting this emergency. Everyone I know considers these people to be heroes. We have no criticism of you and the deepest respect.

    Signed, A Canadian.
    (I would like this to be translated to Japanese if possible, thanks)

  2. Dear Heather,

    Thank you for your comment. It will be translated into English and posted on Voices To Japan.

    Warmest regards,
    Jun Shiomitsu