Student hula adds glamour to beach opening in Iwaki(魅力発信「海開き」)

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About 50 high school students dance hula on Nakoso beach in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 16.(海開きに花を添えたフラガールズ甲子園出場校の高校生総勢約50人によるフラダンス=16日、いわき市・勿来海水浴場)

 IWAKI, Fukushima -- This year's beach season started on July 16 at Nakoso and Yotsukura beaches in Iwaki, only two out of 18 beaches in Fukushima Prefecture. The rest have yet to reopen as a result of the tsunami and nuclear disasters. Young people and families, who had longed for the season to come, enjoyed playing on the sand and swimming at the main beach of Nakoso.

  「海の日」の18日を前に、いわき市の勿来、四倉両海水浴場が16日海開きした。開設期間は8月16日まで。メイン会場の勿来海水浴場では、若者や親子連れらが砂遊びや遊泳を楽しみ、待望の海開きに笑顔を見せた。一方、県内には海水浴場が18カ所あるが、原発事故や震災の津波被害の影響で16カ所は再開しておらず、海開きは2カ所のみ。

 Sumire Sakamoto, a member of the sightseeing promotion group Sunshine Guide Iwaki, declared the opening of the season at the opening ceremony on Nakoso beach. She participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Toshio Shimizu, the mayor of Iwaki.

 メイン会場の勿来海水浴場で行われた海開き式では、観光PR役「サンシャインガイドいわき」の坂本すみれさん(23)が海開きを宣言し、清水敏男市長らとテープカットした。坂本さんらが初泳ぎし、水の感触を楽しんだ。

 After that, about 50 students from four high schools danced hula. The students will perform in a national high school competition called Hula Girls Koushien in August. Usually only one high school is involved in the ceremony. But this year, to commemorate the city's 50th anniversary, four schools performed for the first time, bringing a touch of glamour to the opening.

 8月のフラガールズ甲子園に出場する4高校の「フラガール」総勢約50人がフラダンスを披露した。海開きへの参加は例年1校のみだったが、市制施行50周年に合わせ、今年は初めて複数校が参加。華麗なフラダンスで海開きに花を添えた。

 "[The effects of the nuclear accident] are something to worry about. However, I came because a local friend told me the beach is clean now. I'm glad to see my child experiencing the beach," said Naoko Hayasaka, a native of Iwaki who traveled from Gunma Prefecture with two family members.

 いわき市出身で、家族3人で群馬県から訪れた早坂奈緒子さん(34)は「(原発事故の影響で)心配な部分はあるが、地元の友人に海はきれいになったと聞いて遊びにきた。子どもに海を体験させてあげられてよかった」と話した。

 According to Iwaki's municipal government, opening ceremonies were held at only two beaches out of 10 in the city. Preparations to reopen the other eight are under way, such as building embankments and other measures.
 When they reopen will be decided based on how much sand remains on the beaches. It is uncertain, however, how the preparations will progress, as some areas are conducting land readjustment projects for town reconstruction following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

 いわき市によると、市内には海水浴場が10カ所あるが海開きを行ったのは両海水浴場だけ。他の8カ所は防潮堤の建設など再開に向けた整備を進めており、砂浜の面積の残り具合などを考慮して再開を決めるとしている。しかし、震災復興土地区画整理事業を実施している地域もあり、今後の進み具合は不透明な状況だ。

 The Fukushima prefectural government and the Iwaki municipal government have confirmed the safety of the eight beaches through monitoring of both water and environmental radiation since May. For water radiation monitoring, sea water samples were taken from a depth of one meter to check for transparency, oil slicks, radioactive cesium, tritium and other factors.
 The governments will measure air radiation levels at the two newly reopened beaches until Aug. 16, the end of the season. The measurements are scheduled for 9 a.m. and noon and are displayed on bulletin boards.

 県といわき市は5月から、市内8海水浴場で環境放射線モニタリング調査や水質調査を実施し、安全性を確認した。環境放射線モニタリング調査では水深約1メートルの地点から海水を採取し、透明度や油膜の有無、放射性セシウム、トリチウムなどについて調べた。両海水浴場は期間中、午前9時と正午の1日2回、空間放射線量を測定し、掲示板に表示する。

 It is difficult to tell when Haragamaobama beach in Soma will reopen. It was popular among residents in the northern part of the prefecture before the earthquake, yet still suffers from the impact of the tsunami.

( Translated by The Japan News )

  このほか震災前、県北地方の県民らでにぎわった相馬市の原釜尾浜海水浴場も津波被害の影響などで、いまだ再開の見通しは立っていない。

 【2016年7月16日・福島民友新聞掲載】

民友セレクション