Winston Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
This applies to many Japanese over the past year, but - aside from those who lost family members or loved ones - none so much as the operators, management, technical staff and general support staff at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi and even Daini nuclear energy stations. If a conscious decision was made to ignore warnings of credible tsunami, if regulators were cajoled, or if any privileged deals were cut; employees at the plants would have had little knowledge, let alone direct involvement.
Yet, for the past year, following a series of events beyond their control, they endured incredible hardship with perseverance and demonstrated extreme loyalty to their profession and their communities.
My sincere thanks to them for demonstrating the core values, spirit and dedication of a nuclear energy station operator. And to their families who shared in the sacrifice and stress of navigating the unknown.
They are heroes. Over time, details depicting the magnitude of their endeavour will be better understood by the world.