28 March 5:30AM
A Vegetable Grower in Fukushima Commits Suicide after Restriction on Vegetables — “I Can’t Take It Anymore”
A 64 year-old cabbage grower hung himself on Mar. 24 morning in his own premises, Sukagawa, Fukushima prefecture.
Due to the accident in Fukushima nuclear plant, the government imposed restrictions on intake of vegetables grown in Fukushima the day before.
The grower was disheartened by the harm caused by the quake, but was full of drive to start delivery of his cabbages. His family speak in a mortified tone, “The plant killed him.”
Although the grower’s house and barn were damaged, 7,500 stocks of cabbages are intact. They were through with checking the quality of the product and ready for the harvest. On Mar. 21 the restriction was imposed on spiniach (but not yet on cabbage). The family quoted him as saying “I should start the delivery even one step at a time.”
Upon the restriction on cabbages, however, he started to choke in a repeated manner. The words, “Our vegetable in Fukushima is over” still lingers in his son’s mind. The son says, “He probably felt like he lost everything he has been making effort to build up.”
This grower went organic more than 30 years ago and had been working on the improvement of the soil by using his own leaf mold and so on. He spent nearly a decade on cabbage planting to achieve a high end product for the first time in the region. The product is popular at JA,
Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives, and consumed by the students at the local elementary schools. He was proud of the safety of his vegetable and often says “I need to pay much attention as the kids eat them.”
There was no suicide note, but his journal was found and it had been kept up until Mar. 23. The daughter pleads, “How long will this continue! What will happen from now on. The growers are all worried. I don’t want any more victims like my father.”
(Permission has been granted by Asahi to reproduce this translation. Informal translation by volunteer translation team.)
Original Asahi article in Japanese: