二〇一三年七月二日，我應邀再訪福島。災後的南相馬市被列為一級災區，平均背景輻射在 0.7 到 5 mSv/hr（約為平常背景輻射值的十四倍到百倍）之間。除了核電廠及巿區維修人員之外，路上了無人跡。被海嘯侵襲過的建築物、車輛、橋樑、工廠就像千軍鐵騎踐踏過似的被殺個片甲不留；只有那些小丘、茂盛密林後面的建築物，因有小丘或樹林的阻擋，海嘯餘威削減，免遭屍骨無存之害。
Postscript 1 of the second edition of A spectrum of energies - Reflections on Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident
My trip to Fukushima on 2 July
The river grass thrives amidst gentle rain,
With a bird singing o'er the decline of Six Dynasties like a dream.
Around the Forbidden City, the indifferent weeping willow
Looms still for three miles along the misty moat.
(Adapted from the translation by Witter Bynner)
The sentiment behind the poetic lines from "A Nanjing Landscape" or "Spring", by the poet Wei Zhuang of the Chinese Tang Dynasty best describes my feelings as I stood in front of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
It was 2 July 2013 and I had been invited for another visit to Fukushima. The Minami-Soma city was still rated the most stricken area with background radiation readings of 0.7-5 mSv/hr, approximately 14 to 100 times the average for that area.
There were practically no people on the street, except maintenance workers from the nuclear plant and the municipal government. The buildings, vehicles, bridges and factories in the region were all devastated, as if a fierce army has stormed through, leaving nothing in its wake but loss and destruction. Only the buildings shielded by the nearby hills and dense forests had escaped the might of Mother Nature.
For three miles around us, in the remaining splendour of the setting sun, there was nothing in sight but a bleak landscape.
But there were some signs of life. Because the train service had been suspended for two years, the tracks were covered with rampant weeds and wild flowers; lush green trees were flourishing, too. The contrast was sharp: I found myself in Fukushima, again in the never-ending drizzle, with birds chirping and chatting happily, while the nuclear plant stood devoid of human souls.
And when I looked at the rows of tall pine trees and cypresses standing proudly around the nuclear plant, I couldn't help but wonder could they be the only living things indifferent to this human disaster?
July 20, 2013