Nine years on from the Fukushima disaster, the Tokyo Olympics are giving the crippled region fresh hope

Squatting among the eustoma flowers in his 4,000-square-kilometer greenhouse at Namie, Fukushima, Hiroshi Kawamura cannot take his eyes off the budding plants. In two weeks, his flowers will be sold in Tokyo shops and brighten thousands of the city’s living rooms.

Kawamura has been in the flower business since 2014, three years after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster struck this town on March 11, 2011.

As the ninth anniversary of the tragedy approached, he learned that his flowers will be used in bouquets for medal ceremonies at the Tokyo Olympics.

“It is exciting news that our flowers will be presented to the Olympic medalists,” the 64-year-old said. “It is a positive message for the reconstruction of Namie and other disaster-stricken regions.”

The former welfare worker initially grew vegetables after becoming one of the first groups of locals to return home in 2013. But his produce could not be sold due to radiation concerns, so he began growing flowers.

With five people, including two disabled, working for him, Kawamura hopes that the Olympics will further help the area’s recovery and encourage young people to return.

“For the Olympics, I have to increase the current harvest fourfold so I need to find more people to help me,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

NFL unveils PSA about man killed in own home by police

The NFL unveiled an emotional public service announcement on Wednesday centered around the story of Botham Jean, an unarmed black man who was fatally shot in his own home by an off-duty police officer. The 26-year-old St. Lucia native was…

Bahrain and Vietnam races under major threat due to coronavirus

The Formula One season was thrown into doubt on Friday with the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix due to the coronavirus, with chief executive Chase Carey saying it was “challenging” to predict when the next race might take place.…

Champ sh*t only: UFC 249 headliner OFFICIAL as Ferguson & Gaethje make weight ahead of keenly-anticipated showdown (VIDEO)

Despite health and safety protocols which limit the amount of team members available to assist their fighters in making weight, neither Ferguson nor Gaethje appeared to have endured any last-minute problems before stepping on the scales a day before their…

‘Tainted legacy’ of legend

Pete Rose alleged to have used corked bat “for 20 years”, casting long shadow over Hall of Famer’s records The 95 games Pete Rose played for the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) barely rates as a footnote in the 24-year…