It’s been my observation that most people who have never been to Japan seem to think of Fukushima as an uninhabitable nuclear wasteland. My Facebook friends are surprised when on some of my posts I wrote that I traveled through Fukushima on my way back home to Niigata. “Why did you go there?” they ask.
Mass media reporters have abbreviated the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant to a single word, “Fukushima.” Therefore when non-Japanese people hear this word, they automatically think of the nuclear catastrophe in Japan. This is not how Japanese think when they hear the name of Fukushima.
Japan is divided into 47 administrative areas which are called prefectures.
Fukushima Prefecture is the area of #7. I live right next to it in area #15, Niigata Prefecture. Because I often travel to Aomori Prefecture, (#2 on the map), if I take the Tohoku Expressway, the route back home to Niigata runs through Fukushima Prefecture. Nobody hesitates for fear of radiation to drive through Fukushima Prefecture.
Here we can see an enlarged map of area #7 that shows Fukushima Prefecture. The damaged nuclear reactor is in a town called Futaba, the area with the red circle drawn around it. The nuclear reactor is right on the Pacific coast. It is mainly the area of Futaba and parts of the areas immediately next to it which are in the no-go zone! People are living everywhere else in Fukushima Prefecture. Rice is again being planted and harvested in areas not close to the damaged nuclear power plant. You can see that Fukushima Prefecture is a large area and the area infected with radiation is relatively small in comparison.
There is also Fukushima City, the largest city in Fukushima Prefecture. So when I tell a Japanese person I passed through Fukushima, he or she understands that I passed through Fukushima Prefecture unless I specified it was Fukushima City. Nobody, I mean nobody would think I meant the Futaba area, the town of the nuclear power plant!
The word prefecture is defined on http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prefecture as
the office, jurisdiction, territory, or official residence of a prefect.
The only other countries that use the word prefecture to divide their country into administrative areas are Roman Catholic nations such as France and Italy!
Japan was divided into 47 prefectures by the Meiji government in July 1871. The Japanese period of Meiji (September 8, 1868 through July 30, 1912) was when Japan was forced to open itself to the West. Interestingly, the Japanese word “Meiji” is composed of two Chinese ideographs meaning “enlightened rule”. Was it because of the influence of the Illuminati (AKA Jesuit order)?
Why did Japan close itself off in the first place? To protect itself from Jesuit influence! The Tokugawa government (the period between 1603 and 1868) in the 17th century with the advice of English Protestant William Adams kicked out all the Roman Catholic JESUIT missionaries from Japan. William Adams warned the leader of the government, Tokugawa Ieyasu, that the real purpose of the Jesuit missionaries was not to spread the true faith of Christ to the Japanese, but to colonize Japan for Rome! During the period Japan isolated itself from the West, it’s interesting to note there was still some trade with England and the Netherlands — both Protestant countries. You see it was really only Roman Catholic countries, and specifically Portugal, Spain, France and Italy that the Tokugawa government feared. It was the USA which forced Japan to open itself up again to the West. America has been under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church from its very beginning! See Washington in the Lap of Rome.
The Jesuits and Roman Catholic missionaries were expelled from Japan in the 17th century, but they returned in the 19th century during the time of Meiji (Illuminati / Jesuit rule). It’s my conclusion, therefore, dividing Japan into administrative areas called “prefecture” may denote Japan returning back under the control of Rome! And by “Rome” I am referring to the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. The word prefecture comes from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire!
By the way, here is Fukushima in Chinese ideographs.
It literally means “fortune island”