Thursday, June 2, 2011

Everyday Heroes: Strong Spirit, Tender Heart

Japan is the land of superheroes. They are all multi-colored fierce, kick-ass powerful, and staunch defenders of the good against evil. Intelligent and funny, they exude strength and restraint at the same time. 
As a child in the 80s and a teenager in the 90s, I followed a lot of Japanese superhero cartoons and live-action shows like Bioman, Maskman, Voltron, Voltes V, Ultraman, and Magmaman just to name a few.  
After the harrowing magnitude 9 earthquake and major tsunami that destructed Japan last March 11, many selfless heroes and heroines have dedicated their services and even their lives in rescuing people and tending to the survivors amid the deadly radiation leak and nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima. The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake of 2011 claimed more than 15,000 dead, more than 5,000 injured, and about 8,492 still missing and unaccounted for.
To this day, the troubles and dangers brought by the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown and radiation leak are still being dealt with by the selfless young workers and dedicated professionals.  
Now, a team of modern day Japanese superheroes-in-the-making are volunteering their services to work in the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant almost three months after the catastrophe. This courageous group of about 200 seniors and pensioners composed of retired highly-skilled engineers and other professionals over the age of 60 are more than willing to fix the nuclear facility complex or what's left of it. They want to spare the brave young professionals who are presently working in the radiation contaminated area so that they can live longer and help more people in the future.      

This group calls itself the Ultra Power Magmamen Giga Association but it is more commonly and appropriately known as The Skilled Veterans Corps.  

Yasuteru Yamada, the group's leader said people from all walks of life are welcome to join them.
"We are not kamikaze. They were going to die but we're going to come back." - Yasuteru Yamada, one of the 200 pensioners volunteering their services to work at the Fukushima Power Plant.
VIA BBC Japan and BBC Asia-Pacific:

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