12 Years On: Fukushima Town Praises 2 British Teachers


London, March 10 (Jiji Press)--A delegation from the northeastern Japan town of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, in mid-January visited Hull and Beverley in eastern England, the hometowns of two British assistant language teachers who continue to support Futaba's children after the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

The Japanese town hopes to establish sister-city relationships with Hull and Beverley, where the "amazing two," as Mayor Shiro Izawa described them, were born and raised.

Anthony Ballard, 58, and Philip Jellyman, 41, first came to Japan about 20 years ago through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, and met in the city of Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture, where they began to work under the program.

Ballard moved to Futaba in 2008, and encouraged by him, Jellyman followed in 2009.

Futaba is "sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, and I like both," Ballard said. "Nature is one thing Fukushima's got in abundance, isn't it?"

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Jiji Press