Ex-Tepco worker becomes World Cup heroine

15 July 2011

Workers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan have been given a boost to their morale as one of their former female colleagues has helped the national soccer team to get through to the finals of the FIFA Women's World Cup. On 9 July, former Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) employee Karina Maruyama was brought on as a substitute and scored a last-minute goal that enabled the Japanese team to beat host-nation Germany. Maruyama told the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper that she cried when she later read a message on her blog from a former colleague working at the Fukushima Daiichi plant saying that the goal had "renewed our will to work and strive together." Maruyama, who currently plays for Japanese club JEF United Ladies, worked at the plant between 2005 and 2009 while playing for Mareese, a club sponsored by Tepco. Japan went on to beat Sweden in the semi-finals on 13 July and will now face the USA in the finals in Frankfurt on 17 July.

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