Then and Now : During a trip to Ishinomaki in November 2011, and after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster ; Paul, Ivan and Jeffrey interviewed a number of the Tsunami survivors.Eight months, to the day, after the disaster of March 11, 2011, they visited the reconstruction area in Ishinomaki, interviewed many survivors rebuilding their lives and recorded the condition of the Kadonowaki tsunami area. They captured their tragic memories, sadness, anger, hope, insurmountable frustration, their seemingly unstoppable power, their humanity and their relentless desire to build their future. The Team condensed this day into a 15 minute film and posted it on Vimeo and Youtube. It has been viewed by 350,000 people. As a direct result, over 20,000 US dollars in funds and supplies have been delivered to Tohoku.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Paul Richard Johannessen has worked in both TV/Film production and music production since 1999. After a brief period in Norway, Paul moved to Tokyo in 2009, and started working freelance as a cameraman and editor.

Jeffrey Jousan, Born in Tenafly, New Jersey, is a audiophile recordist/engineer, producer, location coordinator and interviewer. Passionate about high quality sound, on location, on set or in the studio, he knows the power of sound adds emotion and life to video. In addition to great sound and stunning images, the subjects of interviews must feel comfortable and trust their interviewer. Jeffrey, quickly puts his interviewees at ease, with jokes, a story or shared experience, a soft tone of voice and focused, compassionate attention which brings a natural frankness and intimacy to the Interviews. Jeffrey has been working with Kugi Productions. The founders are Paul Johannessen, Jeffrey Jousan and Ivan Kovac – three film-makers who were all living in Japan during the disaster in 2011 (Women of Fukushima is the first production produced by « Kugi Productions »). On top of that He’s working for Studio J and other projects.

Eight months after the earthquake and tsunami, Paul began a documentary project in Ishinomaki seeking to make something inspiring out of something tragic. The result was a short documentary, Then and Now, which continues to find success in assisting the people of Ishinomaki by bringing awareness to their plight. « Then and Now » is the proud winner of Best Documentary and the Grand Prix prize at Super Shorts Film Festival, 2012. The video is also available in the following languages:Portuguese: Italian: This success left, Paul and his team, – Jeffrey and Ivan – with a hunger to do more which led to them collaborating again for the Women of Fukushima.

福島の女たち : 6人の日本人女性が、福島原発事故以降の汚染除去の現状、隠ぺいと嘘について包み隠さぬ本音を打ち明け、そして事故が彼女たちの人生、故郷、家族にどのような影響を及ぼしたかについて語ります。

概要: 福島第一原子力発電所で3基の原子炉がメルトダウンを起こしてから1年以上。さまざまな人々による大がかりな反原発運動が日本国内で拡大しつつあります。 この運動がもっとも顕著なのは、おそらく福島県でしょう。そこでは地元の女性グループが勇敢にも立ち上がり、今世紀最悪の原発事故に対する日本政府の沈黙 に抗議しているのです。国内メディアにほとんど無視されてきたこの勇敢な女性たちは、内気な県民性を脇へ押しやり、現在の日本における汚染除去の現状や隠 ぺい、嘘、そして停滞した政治情勢について包み隠さぬ率直な意見を公表しています。立ち入り禁止区域内や周辺の荒れ果てた無人の村々の貴重な映像と共に、 「福島の女たち」は3・11によって彼女たちの人生、故郷、家族がどのような影響を受けたのかについての驚くほど率直な見解を、彼女たち自身の声で伝えま す。

福島の女たち from Paul Johannessen on Vimeo (Women of Fukushima) : Six Japanese women offer brutally honest views on the state of the clean-up, the cover-ups and untruths since the nuclear accident in Fukushima, and how it has affected their lives, homes and families.





Over a year since three reactors went into meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, a broad, disparate anti-nuclear movement is growing in Japan. Nowhere is that more apparent, perhaps, than in Fukushima prefecture, where a group of local women boldly protest the deafening silence of the Japanese government over the worst nuclear accident of this century. Largely ignored by their own media, these brave women brush aside their cultural shyness and share their brutally honest views on the state of the cleanup, the cover-ups, the untruths and the stagnant political climate in today’s Japan. Supported with rare footage from inside the exclusion zone, as well as from abandoned neighboring towns, the Women of Fukushima (“Fukushima no Onnatachi”) offers startlingly candid insights, in the women’s own voices, about what has become of their lives, homes, and families in the aftermath of 3/11.

Presentation : DEVAST

After the evacuation of a 20 km radius zone around the Daiichi Nuclear plant, the towns, fields and road have been abandonned to nature. The entry was limited for a few hours at a time. Due to radiations, the zone has been left with little or no human activity. Despite police patrols, looting and burglaries have occured.

Executive Summary

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Tohoku region, in north-eastern Honshu, the main island of Japan. The tremor triggered a tsunami that measured more than 40 meters in height in places. More than 15,000 people have been confirmed dead, with another 3,000 people missing (feared dead) and 6,000 people injured. On the same day, the installation of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, situated 230km north of Tokyo, was severely damaged by the earthquake and the following tsunami, losing the power supply and subsequently the control of the cooling systems. As a consequence, nuclear meltdown occurred in three of the reactors. Tens of thousands had to flee their homes as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, sea and food chains. One year on from the disaster, more than 330,000 people are still displaced from home after having lost their houses by the earthquake and tsunami, and as radiation fears increase from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The Disaster Evacuation and Risk Perception in Democracies (DEVAST) project was designed to analyse the chain of impacts, from the immediate response to the long-lasting impacts induced by the above Great East Japan Earthquake and the following Fukushima nuclear accident, focusing particularly on the displacement of population.

Following an analysis of the disaster response, the project looks closely at the evolution of the perception of risks in the Japanese society as a whole, and ultimately on other liberal democracies such as France. A comparative analysis with France on the issue of disaster management and perception of risks will be conducted in order to understand how democracies deal disasters.

The project is one of the few looking at the social impacts of the disaster: it brings together Japanese and French researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech), Waseda University and IDDRI – Sciences Po. It is jointly funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) through its International Collaborative Research/Survey Programme (J-RAPID) and the French National Research Agency (ANR) through its ‘Flash-Japon’ programme.

The project is designed around the following three themes:

Disaster Evacuation and its Chain of Impacts

The project first analyses disaster responses in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, and the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, focusing on the process of evacuation. DEVAST will seek to understand how the evacuation was organised, when and which information was disseminated among the population, what affected the decisions of evacuees to accept such displacements, examine the current situation of evacuees and assess the likelihood of their return, hence measuring the impact of such massive displacement in terms of social construction. Then it explores to identify the chain of impacts induced by these events through a domino effect that comprises of medium to long-term social, economic and political impacts on the Japanese society. A special attention will be paid to the social and cultural context of the Japanese society and how that has affected the chain of impacts.

Perception of Risks

The disaster has ramifications well beyond Tohoku region: indeed, it not only set off a crisis in Japanese society at large but also incited a heated debate on the issues such as disaster preparedness, energy strategy and nuclear safety beyond its borders. Despite Japan’s extensive experience in dealing with earthquakes and tsunamis, the disaster raised serious questions about the government’s preparations for and handling of the disaster. The project thus examines the shift in the perception of risks in the Japanese society and its implications in other democracies, especially France.

How Democracies Deal with Disasters

Thirdly, the project brings together the above two themes in a comparative perspective with France, seeking to understand how democracies deal with disasters and to draw lessons. Though developed countries are often supposed to have good capacities to cope with disasters, these recent examples show that they are actually often ill-equipped to do so. Without pointing fingers, the project will seek to draw lessons from the Tohoku Earthquake for the management of extreme natural disasters worldwide, with a special focus in France.

The project is implemented mainly by the collection of primary data through an extensive field research and the analysis of secondary data such as media reports, government documents, opinion surveys, and related articles. The field research will be the key component of the project, and will collect empirical evidence through interviews with the displaced population, local authorities, emergency workers and the government officials in concern. The data collected from the fieldwork will be made available to the public and the academic community through this website. The analysis of secondary data will be conducted throughout the project implementation to complement this process. It includes the analysis of evacuation plans, opinion polls, media coverage, and related scientific articles.

This website is an essential part of our dissemination effort to communicate the project results and progress to a larger audience and make the primary data widely available for the research community.

Part 1

En confinement: les habitants de Minamisoma, 15 mois après la fusion
Caméra  : Ian Thomas Ash/ Koji Fujita 藤田 浩二
Directeur/éditeur Ian Thomas Ash
les sous-titres: Kna (
*** ENGLISH-subtitled version can be found here:

Partie 1  : Les habitants de la ville de Minamisoma, préfecture de Fukushima, se souviennent des victimes du tsunami quinze mois après la catastrophe du 11 Mars.Ian se rend ensuite sur l’ancien site de la zone d’exclusion de 20 km et est interrogé par un officier de police. Plus tard, les citoyens de Minamisoma partagent les combats personnels auxquels ils continuent de faire face.

Partie 2 HISTOIRE: Avant de se rendre dans la zone d’évacuation pour procéder à une inspection, Junichiro Koizumi, membre de la Diète Nationale et fils de l’ancien Premier ministre Japonais, visite les magasins temporaires mis en place pour les personnes évacuées suite à la catastrophe du 11 Mars, où il affiche une attitude douteuse à l’égard des victimes. Plus tard, la personne évacuée qui a été choisie pour donner des fleurs à Koizumi lors de sa visite et a fait les frais de sa marque d’humour, lui offre des conseils sur le fait d’être un politicien. Enfin, Hiroshi, habitant de Minamisoma, se prépare à conduire Ian dans la zone d’évacuation. En confinement: les habitants de Minamisoma, 15 mois après la fusion
*** ENGLISH-subtitled version can be found here: ***
caméra Ian Thomas Ash/ Koji Fujita 藤田 浩二
directeur/éditeur Ian Thomas Ash
les sous-titres: Kna (

南相馬市メルトダウンから1年後  – One year after the March 11, 2011 disaster, Ian travels back to the radiation zone to the city of Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture to find out what conditions in the town are like now.

In Part 3, Ian meets with two local businessmen; one who has made the decision to evacuate his children and the other who has made the difficult decision to keep his children with him. Finally, Ian goes back to the checkpoint at the exclusion area and then to the elementary school where the children are attending classes in the radiation zone.

Born in America, Ian Thomas Ash earned an MA in Film and Television Production at the University of Bristol, UK, in 2005. His first feature documentary, ‘the ballad of vicki and jake’ (84 min/ UK/ 2006), received the Prix du Canton Vaud prize at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland. At the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival, Ian’s film ‘In the Grey Zone’ (89 min/ Japan/ 2012) won the “Audience Choice Award First Prize for Best Documentary”, and at the same festival Ian was presented with the “Filmmaker of the Future Award”. Ian’s latest film, ‘A2-B-C’ (71 min/ Japan/ 2013), recently received the “Nippon Visions Award” (best film by new-coming Japan-based director) at the 2013 Nippon Connection Film Festival. Ian has lived in Japan for 10 years and currently lives in Tokyo.

Ian Thomas Ash – Awards :

Nippon Visions Award (best film by new-coming Japan-based director)
at the 2013 Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany, for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013, Japan)

Audience Choice Award First Prize for Best Documentary
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival for “In the Grey Zone” (2012, Japan).

Filmmaker of the Future Award
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Prix de Canton Vaud (best first film)
at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, for “the ballad of vicki and jake” (2006, UK).

Duration: 1 hour

On March 11th 2011 Japan was hit by the greatest tsunami in a thousand years.

Through compelling testimony from 7-10 year-old survivors, this film reveals how the deadly wave and the Fukushima nuclear accident have changed children’s lives forever.

The story unfolds at two key locations: a primary school where 74 children were killed by the tsunami; and a school close to the Fukushima nuclear plant, attended by children evacuated from the nuclear exclusion zone. Credits :Director : Dan Reed, Producer : Dan Reed , Executive Producer : Alex Cooke