FORWARD

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The earthquake and tsunami of 2011 caused tremendous damage across a wide area of Eastern Japan.
The nuclear power plant meltdown made the situation even worse.
People around the world were horrified by the aftermath but also inspired by the survivors' quiet courage.
The "FORWARD" documentary series, produced in collaboration with commercial television stations, demonstrates the determination to recover from the devastation.

Aired Programs List

VOD Title List

Aired Programs List

#1 OYAKO Forever -present to the future-

Bruce Osborn, an American photographer who takes parent-child pictures in Japan, brings his camera to the disaster area. What he sees are close ties of parents and children, both gentle and strong.

OA DATE : Feb. 10, Feb. 25

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oyako

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#2 Silent Warnings: Ancient Records of Tsunami

The Great East Japan Earthquake is often described as the country's largest earthquake and tsunami. However, historical documents speak of other gigantic tsunami in various regions. The program uses computer graphics and animation to assess disasters recorded in ancient records.

OA DATE : Feb. 17, Feb. 25,

komon-jo

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#3 The Long Road to Healing
  -Living with Unseens Scars-

People who lost their lives in the earthquake and tsunami are, of course,
the most evident victims. But survivors who lost loved ones, homes,
and jobs are victims too. Many are struggling to move forward, even as family members depend on them for love and support. The program examines ways of healing psychological scars left by the disaster.

OA DATE : Feb. 18, Feb. 25, Feb. 26

iyashi

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#4 Through Reporters' Eyes
 -Three Episodes of Restoration-

Immediately after the earthquake, reporters from across the country headed to the disaster area. The devastation they found exceeded anything they had imagined. Maintaining a "professional" distance while covering the story proved to be difficult. In this program, journalists recount the disaster as individuals.

OA DATE : Feb. 18, Feb. 25, Feb. 26

Restoration

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#5 Living Fukushima

Business-as-usual has been impossible for a family in Fukushima that makes traditional sweets. A small shopping center has also been struggling. Both are located in a town within the emergency zone. The program shows how they turn their commitment to the rebirth of their community into action.

OA DATE : Feb. 18, Feb. 19, Mar. 3, Mar. 4, 

Fukushima.

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#6 Tears and Hope
 -The search within the 30km-radius-

A former fireman in Minami-soma continues to try to find his father, son, and daughter, all of whom have been unaccounted for since the earthquake.
Three friends have been helping him, even though the search takes them within 30 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

OA DATE : Feb. 18, Feb. 19, Mar. 3, Mar. 4, 

kibou

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#7 Tendenko
 -Living with Tsunamis-

Yoshi Tabata lives in the Taro section of Miyako, a part of Iwate prefecture that is prone to tsunami. Her own grandfather experienced the 1896 Meiji Sanriku Tsunami. For many years, Tabata has passed her grandfather's words along to as many people as possible: "Your life is for you to protect and to live." Last year, she herself needed to follow the advice. She survived the tsunami by immediately running the higher ground. Since then, Tabata has become all the more devoted to bringing the message of survival to others and making sure that the passage of time does not make people complacent about the danger.

OA DATE : Mar. 2, Mar. 3 Mar. 17, Mar. 18

Tendenko

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#8 Memories Amid the Ruins

The tsunami of 2011 took away many lives and invaluable memories. Even a single photo could mean the world to someone. So, a woman who lost her own family in the disaster worked to return pictures recovered from the rubble to their owners. The program documents the reuniting of people with irreplaceable remembrances.

OA DATE : Mar. 2, Mar. 3, Mar. 17, Mar. 18

Memories Amid the Ruins

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#9 Song Bridges Us to the Future   Special Trailer

A singer by the name of Kumiko was in Ishinomaki for a concert when the 2011 disaster occurred. As the tragedy unfolded before her eyes, she struggled to understand her purpose as a performer. The program documents her encounter with the restoration of a piano pulled from the rubble. It also shows her meeting with a Hiroshima nuclear bomb victim whose painful memories remain. These experiences led Kumiko to overcome her doubts and return to the stage, with a new song.

OA DATE : Mar. 9, Mar. 16

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Song Bridges Us to the Future

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#10 Hula Girls
-Holding Sway in Fukushima-

A resort known as "Japan's Hawaii," in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, has reopened after a hiatus of eleven months. Its Hula Girls dance troupe brought their shows and smiles to various disaster-hit regions during that time. Now, the performers are back on their home stage every day, providing evidence of their community's recovery.

OA DATE : Mar. 10, Mar. 25

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Hula Girls

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#11 Resonate, Soul! -Hikamidaiko-

Wadaiko Japanese drums are an important part of the country's traditional performing arts. This program follows a group from Rikuzentakata that specializes in the Hikamidaiko style. The group lost seven of its members in last year's tsunami and was unable to continue its activities. Since then, though, the remaining members have reunited, with the desire to bring some cheer to the disaster-hit Tohoku region.

OA DATE : Mar. 10, Mar. 25

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 Resonate, Soul!

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5minutes, Please check your pc's volume.

#12 Timeless Ties

A snow statue of Fukushima's Tsuruga-jo Castle rose majestically at this year's Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido. It reflects the passion of people in Hokkaido for Fukushima's recovery and their support.

OA DATE : Mar. 17, Mar. 20

Timeless Ties

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#13 Bonds Beyond Borders

Abdulla Muzaffar was the only Kuwaiti man known to have been living in Japan's disaster area. The program shows his efforts to contribute to the rebuilding of Kesennuma, his adopted hometown, and his support of the international community there.

OA DATE : Mar. 17, Mar. 20, Mar. 21,

Bonds Beyond Borders

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#14 Devoted to Care

The program follows a caregiver and a nurse from abroad who had been working in Japan before the disaster. Despite evacuation notices from their countries' embassies, they chose to stay and continue working with an even greater devotion to their patients.

OA DATE : Mar. 23, Mar. 24, Mar. 30, Mar. 31

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Devoted to Care

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#15 Overcoming the Disaster -Tohoku Shinkansen-

Twenty-seven Shinkansen bullet trains were running on the Tohoku line when the earthquake hit on March 11th of last year. All of them stopped safely, without a single casualty. Various facilities and pieces of equipment, however, were severely damaged. Restoration work began quickly and service resumed throughout the line 50 days after the disaster. The program examines the Shinkansen safety technology and the efforts necessary to resume service.

OA DATE : Mar. 23, Mar. 24, Mar. 30, Mar. 31

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Overcoming the Disaster -Tohoku Shinkansen-

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#16 Never Forget 3/11
-A Photo Book of Encouragement and Gratitude-

Twenty-eight high schools across the country undertook a project to try to restore some smiles after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
In January of this year, more than 2,400 photos of encouragement were bound into a book. The program follows the high school students and their efforts to express support and gratitude through pictures.

OA DATE : Apr. 6, Apr. 11, Apr. 12

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 Never Forget 3/11

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#17 On Edge at Home

For 35 years, Shima Company has refined its technology for recycling motor vehicles.
The situation in Fukushima, however, put the company in dire straits.
Its facilities are located just 500 meters outside the 20 km exclusion zone around the nuclear plant. After only a month's evacuation though, staff members returned to get back to business.
A high school student also decided to stay in the city and work for the company. The program documents the efforts of people struggling to restore their hometown.

OA DATE : Apr. 13, Apr. 14, Apr. 18, Apr. 19

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On Edge at Home

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#18 Keeping People Connected
The Kamaishi Shimbun

The city of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture suffered catastrophic damages in last year's tsunami. Many people lost their homes and were dispersed to evacuation centers.
As connections to their hometown weakened, they had difficulty gathering the information they needed for everyday life. A newspaper filled the void. Employees of a local paper started the new publication after losing their jobs to the disaster. It's since become an essential part of the extended community. The program follows the reporters and their commitment to giving readers news they can use.

OA DATE : Apr. 20, Apr. 25, Apr. 26

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Kamaishi Shimbun

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#19 Deep Turns

Soon after Paul Vanderheiden moved to Misawa with his wife, a dentist in the U.S. Air Force, he was drawn to the Hakkoda Mountains. He formed close ties with residents, who shared his love for snowboarding on backcountry powder. Vanderheiden started a tour to help others safely enjoy the backcountry.
However, the events of March 11th of last year changed the lives of everyone in the Tohoku region. Paul's deep connection to the mountains and his family's bonds with the people there led them to stay in Tohoku and move forward there.

OA DATE : Apr. 27, May 2, May 3

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Mt.Hakkouda

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#20 Unforgettable
The cattle farmers of Fukushima

Radiation from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was scattered by the wind, falling with the rain onto the soil of surrounding areas after last year's earthquake and tsunami.
As a result, cattle farmers in the village of Katsurao had to dispose of their livestock and leave the land that their grandparents had developed. The program documents how members of a family manage their emotions and the economic reality they now face as they try to move forward.

OA DATE : Apr. 28, Apr. 29, May 5

cattle in fukushima

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#21 "Dear Mom" The Story of Five Siblings

Takako Takahashi from the city of Rikuzentakata disappeared in the tsunami. Her husband and five children have spent the past year coming to terms with their loss. The youngest daughter, Reina, has spent countless nights in tears. Kurumi, the eldest, has been doing her best to take on responsibilities such as preparing meals for the family. But she too grieves for her mother. Despite their sadness, the children find ways to smile as they take life one day at a time.

OA DATE : Apr. 28, Apr. 29, May 5

Dear Mom

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#22 Tarnished Land: Do I get compensated?

Nobuhiko Kurosawa owns a rice farm in the city of Nanyo, in Yamagata prefecture. His rice had received recognition as "the most delicious rice in Japan" and had been well-received in Hong Kong through five years of export. Kurosawa had been looking to the United States as a place for market expansion. However, after the Fukushima nuclear accident, he had to contend with a threat to his ability to do business at home. A Tokyo department store removed his rice from its gift catalogue, after featuring it for several years. Kurosawa has committed himself to overcoming harmful rumors and proving the safety of his products in order to restore their reputation.

OA DATE : May 4, May 9, May 10

rice farm Do I get compensated?

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#23 Unsung Professionals: Their 3/11 Stories

Countless unsung professionals saved lives and protected survivors of last year's disaster. The heroes include: *The Hyper-rescue Squad that undertook the mission of cooling the Fukushima nuclear power plant with water.
*The Ground Self-Defense Force Regiment based in Fukushima that saved 4,775 lives.
*Physicians and nurses who protected medical facilities and patients throughout days of isolation after the tsunami.
The program documents their contributions and sacrifices.

OA DATE : May 11, May 16, May 17

Helicopter Emergency Medical Service

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#24 Bring Hope to Healing:
Recovery of Motoyoshi Hospital

Despite suffering severe damage, Motoyoshi Hospital in Kesennuma didn't stop tending to people who needed attention. Eighteen nurses committed themselves to preserving the hospital and standing by those who sustained emotional wounds from the trauma of the disaster. The program shows what the nurses did then and how they continue to support the recovery of their hometown.

OA DATE : May 18, May 23, May 24

Bring Hope to Healing

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#25 Snapshots: Capturing Hometown Life

Photographer Mayumi Suzuki barely recognized her hometown of Onagawa, after it was struck by a 20-meter tsunami last year. She returned to find little left of her family's house, which also served as the community's photo studio. Her father had run the studio for years, but both he and her mother have not been seen since the disaster.
Mayumi had been based elsewhere in Japan. The devastation to the place she grew up, though, convinced her that she was needed where she had started.
The program follows her over the course of a year, as she takes over the studio and documents the town's transformation by shooting portraits of residents who decided to stay.

OA DATE : May 30, May 31, Jun. 6, Jun. 7

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Snapshots: Capturing Hometown Life

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#26 Best Hope: Community Ties

Nagahora village is a small fishing village in Iwate Prefecture. In the aftermath of last year's disaster, the villagers' strong, time-honored bonds with each other made survival possible. The next step toward recovery is to determine where they will live after vacating temporary housing.
The government is considering mass residential projects. However, villagers are concerned that their way of life, and their connections to one another, may be lost. The program shows their commitment to restoring the place they call home.

OA DATE : Jun. 8, Jun. 13, Jun. 14

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Best Hope:Community Ties

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#27 Our Beloved Schoolhouse

The disaster of 2011 hit shortly before the day the graduation ceremony at Minami Kesennuma Elementary School was scheduled. Some time later, the diplomas were miraculously found and the ceremony took place. However, at the end of March 2012, the school had to close down due to the declining number of its students.The program shows how students and teachers loved their schoolhouse and worked to keep the school's history from being forgotten, even after the name is gone.

OA DATE : Jun. 15, Jun. 20, Jun. 21

Our Beloved Schoolhouse

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#28 The Threat of Invisible Snow
The Story of a Fukushima Priest

Radiation contamination is an ongoing concern in the city of Fukushima.
A Buddhist priest there is active in decontamination activities. For example, he has allowed temple land to be used for temporary storage of contaminated soil.
The program chronicles his efforts, from Spring through Winter.

OA DATE : Jun. 22, Jun. 27, Jun. 28

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 The Story of a Fukushima Priest

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#29 Countryside Encounters

This program is a disaster-recovery episode of "Hitch Housing," a series produced by TV Tokyo in which famous people travel in the countryside and stay at local residences. Our traveler, singer Gen Takayama, revisits the island of Oshima in Miyagi Prefecture a year after the Great East Japan Earthquake and reunites with a family he met and stayed with four years ago. The program follows the family starting anew amidst hopes for restoration.

OA DATE : Jun. 29, Jul. 4, Jul. 5

 Countryside Encounters!

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#30 Machikoba: Big breakthroughs from small factories

A complex to accommodate small factories opened in Tokyo's Ota Ward in March, overcoming difficulties caused by financial consequences of last year's earthquake. Proponents found a way to work around the problems in order to support the growth of neighborhood-based industry. With 33 rooms, the facility provides space for the development of both traditional and modern technology. The close proximity of the companies to one another facilitates collaboration, creating an environment where they can take on new challenges and find solutions.

OA DATE : Jul. 13, Jul. 18, Jul. 19

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Machikoba

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#31 Cultivating a Recovery

Sendai Tomato Farm is a plastic greenhouse farm in the city of Sendai, Miyagi prefecture. A restaurant chain company built the farm as a contribution to the recovery of the area after being severely damaged by the tsunami of last year. 11 young local farmers are now working at the farm and will train to acquire a new tomato cultivation technique in the next two years.
The program follows their passion in growing tomatoes and their commitment to recovery and progress.

OA DATE : Jul. 20, Jul. 25, Jul. 26

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Cultivating a Recovery

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#32 Glamour Meets Gills

Fashion model Rai splits her time between Tokyo and the city of Kamaishi. Before March 11th of last year, she had been cultivating her own brand of oysters there, with the goal of making fish and fishing more appealing to young people. However, the disaster wiped out the oyster farm. She now is working with local fishermen to resume oyster cultivation and help restore Kamaishi's recovery.

OA DATE : Jul. 27, Aug. 1, Aug. 2

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Glamour Meets Gills

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#33 Not the Last Straw:
Restoring Japan's Reed Fields

Straw-thatched roofs are emblems of traditional architecture in Japan. The largest river in Tohoku, the Kitakami River, had been a major production area for a material used to make these roofs. However, the tsunami swept away almost 70% of the Common Reed nurtured along the river. Straw-thatched roof craftsmen are working to restore the fields.

OA DATE : Aug. 3, Aug. 8, Aug. 9

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Not the Last Straw: Restoring Japan's Reed Fields

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#34 Yu: A Gift of Life

Nine months after the disaster in Tohoku, Yu gazed at a picture left by her grandfather, a drawing of the sea of Kesennuma. Several months later, winter and spring had turned to summer. And yet, the restoration of the community had made very little progress. The slow pace only increased the 12-year-old girl's hope for revival of the once lively area. The program follows her growth and the endeavors of others to restore the place they call home.

OA DATE : Aug. 10, Aug. 15, Aug. 16

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Yu: A Gift of Life

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#35 Never Give Up!
Children's Videos of Hope

A year and a half since the catastrophe in Japan, people are still coming to terms with the upheaval and loss of life. The program shows video messages created by children from disaster-stricken areas.
12 year-old Tetsuya lost his grandfather. He talks about the beauty of nature in his hometown.
11 year-old Takato describes the happiness of reuniting with family members.
11 year-old Yuka from Fukushima wishes for recovery and overcoming the threat of radiation.
7 year-old Miki sings away the grief of losing her home and sends a comforting message: "Smile! You're not alone in this struggle."

OA DATE : Aug. 17, Aug. 22, Aug. 23

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Never Give Up! Children's Videos of Hope

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#36 Safe and Sweet
Yamagata Cherries Bring Facts to Market

Around 70% of cherries produced in Japan come from Yamagata Prefecture. However, the area has struggled to overcome an image problem caused by last year's nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.
The program follows the continuous hard work of farmers to grow high-quality fruit and the efforts of Yamagata's governor to promote the prefecture's produce.

OA DATE : Aug. 24, Aug. 29, Aug. 30

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Safe and Sweet Yamagata Cherries Bring Facts to Market

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#37 Lustrous Silk Again

Fukushima Prefecture's Kawamata is known as the "Town of Silk" for its production of the thin and light fabric. This silk has been used for the lining of kimono since the Edo era, several centuries ago. Its export business began to flourish in the Meiji era, starting in 1868.
However, in more recent years, the prominence of Kawamata silk has declined, in part because it has to compete with low-priced silk produced overseas. Its production area also suffered in last year's disaster.
Eita Saito has committed himself to turning out the world's thinnest silk fabric by using exclusive technology.
His company has recently been showing its wares at a trade show abroad.

OA DATE : Aug. 31, Sep. 5, Sep. 6

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Lustrous Silk Again

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#38 A Tale of Two Cities
Kobe Shows Kesennuma the Way

A representative of a shopping area in disaster-hit Kesennuma visited Kobe for insights as to how his community might recover. Kobe also experienced a massive earthquake, in 1995. People there shared their stories of rebuilding as well as advice, such as the importance of conducting business face-to-face. As an outgrowth of the visit, a collaboration developed involving Kesennuma's Murasaki Shrine Pumpkin Festival and a product from Kobe's leather industry, the "Pumpkin Keychain." The program documents the bond between the cities and their efforts to promote Kesennuma to visitors as a step toward recovery.

OA DATE : Sep. 7, Sep. 12, Sep. 13

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A Tale of Two Cities

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#39 Taking the Initiative
The Housewives of Fukushima

Conditions have settled somewhat in the 18 months since the disaster. Residents have opted to take the initiative in restoring their communities. In Fukushima, this involves applying information they have learned to battle radiation contamination. The program follows two housewives as they work toward reestablishing their lives to what they were before the nuclear meltdown.

OA DATE : Sep. 21, Sep. 26, Sep. 27

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The Housewives of Fukushima

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#40 Planting the Seeds of a Comeback

Farmers are among those who have suffered from the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. They've struggled to convince consumers to buy Fukushima peaches, for example, even though the produce has met safety standards. The program documents the efforts of those in the peach business to make sure their fruit is both safe and delicious.

OA DATE : Sep. 28, Oct. 3, Oct. 4

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Planting the Seeds of a Comeback

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#41 Serving Up Smiles

Residents of Ishinomaki once again can enjoy one of Japan's favorite fast foods, takoyaki octopus balls. A company selling the snack opened a shop in a temporary food court and followed up with another along the coast. The program follows the staff's commitment to serving up smiles at the disaster-hit city.

OA DATE : Oct. 5, Oct. 10, Oct. 11

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Serving Up Smiles

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#42 Making Fields Flourish Again

A company in Gifu prefecture has developed a machine that's helping with the recovery of agriculture in Japan's northeast. The device produces coal packed with minerals. Three youngsters in Kesennuma used the coal to grow tomatoes and rice on salt-polluted soil. The program documents the challenges they faced in achieving a successful harvest.

OA DATE : Oct. 12, Oct. 17, Oct. 18

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Making Fields Flourish Again