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Taiwan's Audrey Tang discusses Fukushima challenges with students in Japan

Taiwan's Digital Minister Audrey Tang shares his thoughts with young people in the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima during an online event on Feb. 22, 2021. (Kyodo)

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Taiwan's Digital Minister Audrey Tang joined an online meeting Monday with young people in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima to discuss challenges facing the area affected by a nuclear disaster in 2011 before its 10th anniversary.

    Asked how Fukushima is seen by people outside Japan, Tang, a well-known computer programmer, said many are still carrying the horrific image of the nuclear accident, triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami of that year, and that information on any recovery in Japan's northeastern region since then has not been widely shared in the world.

    It was the first time Tang has joined such a virtual event with young people in the prefecture and Taiwan. About 100 people, including high school and university students, attended the event, which lasted about an hour.

    During the event, organized by a group of Fukushima University students, one Japanese participant asked how disaster-derived prejudices should be resolved, in reference to groundless beliefs such as that Fukushima people are radioactive, which haunt many residents even after nearly 10 years since the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

    Tang responded by saying such prejudices come as the result of peoples' ignorance and the best way to resolve the situation is to let them know the truth.

    Known worldwide for playing a pivotal role in bringing the spread of the novel coronavirus under control in Taiwan, Tang also stressed the importance of people loving themselves and staying strong.

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