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27 January 2012

Dear Japanese Government regarding Fukushima nuke crisis

Due to the nonconformities at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused by Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011,  Soil of Fukushima Prefecture was covered with a mass of radioactive substances which the effects on human body are not clarified completely yet..

 

Fukushima prefectural government and the Central Government took countermeasures quickly, including the designation of the areas within 20 km and 30 km respectively as a nationally specified evacuation area and a scheduled evacuation area, as well as a series of designations for evacuation according to the actual situation.

 

However, the standard for the scheduled evacuation area, as a basis of protection against radiation in Fukushima Prefecture, was set to 20 mSv/year, and the standard values specified so far for the evacuation areas were set to levels not always safe and very high for the children and the people who were to give birth to, and bring up children.

 

In the matter of radiation, the effects on human body are not clarified. In the event of accident that has occurred at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, former Soviet Union, people were evacuated by force from areas exceeding the radiation level of annual 5 mSv. Causal relationship was not demonstrated at the results of investigations by a research institute consigned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It is said, however, that there are significant differences, in the incidence rates of cancers and leukemia, over the border line of 10 mSv/year between the people who were exposed to low doses of radiation continuously and those not exposed to such radiation.

 

It is requested that "Crisis management capability" at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station controlled by Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO) be investigated thoroughly. We are persuaded by neither the TEPCO's instructions to enforce things nor the explanations by Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Standard values for foods are also higher in Japan than the "Standard values" ruled under the influence of radioactivity after the accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. What will become of Japanese diet several years later if no corrective action is taken? What is wanted now is "Safe foods." It is essential, before anything, to install the standard values even severer than the temporary standard values ruled in the event of Chernobyl Accident.  

Standards values must be tightened as soon as possible to protect the safety of children. For 1 month or more, at least, in summer vacation, winter vacation and spring vacation, "children, pregnant women, etc. must be evacuated to areas of low environmental radioactivity to recover their health." Please note children are indispensable to support future.

 

Therefore, we hope the Central Government learns cases in the past, and implements the following measures quickly to ensure the safety of the children living in Fukushima Prefecture and the ease-of-mind of their parents.

 

Create the environment quickly for the Children to easily evacuate by setting up standards for young people whose 4 times ( 2 times for Elementary school kids) more sensitive than adult for current radioactive standards, 20mSv/Year, set up in planned evacuation area.

Provide more support for self-evacuee who resides outside of 30Km areas, for the purpose of maintaining children’s safety from the risk of radioactive threat. 

There is a necessity to spread the word to residents of Fukushima that radioactive exists certain risks to their life. To do so, possible demand dismissal of current advisor, Mr. Shunichi Yamashita and select highly knowledgeable advisor to remind residents of Fukushima to give necessary awareness of crisis management.

For further conducted health monitoring, Country will overall support based on the premise of protecting all residents of Fukushima. This monitoring will conduct thyroid gland echo to contribute early detection of thyroid cancer, most threatening disease influenced by radioactivity, urine testing, and blood testing to all ages of residents of Fukushima. For monitoring, setup checkup organization by third party.

To set standards and to disclose information swiftly regarding radioactive protection, Set up unified decision making organization beyond the border of existed government agency. System should be able to adopt international standards, as well as Japanese standards  .

Influences of massive radioactive not only for Japan but also for the world from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant which under the supervision of Tokyo Electric Power Company(TEPCO) is way beyond immeasurable. TEPCO must pay compensation for damages to all workers (not only in Fukushima) who are engaged in farming/breeding/fisheries.

 It’s beyond imaginable to think that current situations are stable enough for policy to lift the evacuation area. There is massive radiation fell to the ground, contaminate the land and no place for kids to play outside. We have to replace all of contaminated soil.

Government and TEPCO must buy up lands within the range of 30km radius areas from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, set up restricted area, build interim storage facilities, and disclose all information to citizens and residents of Fukushima. At the same time, set up an independent panel to discuss regarding the way of communications for disabilities. 

 

Simulate the nuclear power plant again, think about the way how to make sufficient disclosure of information so as to prevent the similar accidents from happening again, and make efforts to avoid that citizens and residents struggle for decontamination on the streets.

Fukushima governor neglected accurate and adequate information dissemination for Fukushima residents including even disabled people, resulting in exposition to radiation of many people.  He also neglects the measure for voluntary evacuation.  He and Fukushima government are required to pay the burden charge which is used by citizens for evacuation purpose

We urge Fukushima government to apologize to all Fukushima citizens through TV and newspapers for the following reasons:

 / Not to disclose any information on SPEEDI simulation although it already come on March 11 from the national government.

/Not to disclose any information on stable iodine although written instructions are obtained before that.     Fukushima citizens, not knowing anything, only waited for water-supply wagon and gasoline.

After governor Satoh declared the safety of Fukushima rice, many people bought rice made in Fukushima prefecture.  However, radioactive material exceeding the national standard was found later, driving many farmers into the plight.  In order to support their livelihoods, we urge Fukushima government, TEPCO and national government to carry out reparations based on the revenue of each farmhouse in the last fiscal year.

In the caution zone, many animals are left behind and are not rescued yet.  It is plausible that they be rescued by volunteer organization.  Animals have also rights to live, to become happy and to eat as we humans have.Should their rescue efforts end on 27th?  The notion that it is unavoidable in a watch zone will be 'unconstitutional'.Only the governor can give the permit.  In order to save their lives, 'please give us the permit to save them.

30 December 2011

2011 is a nuke year

The biggest news this year is muti-meltdown of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants caused by magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Massive radiation was released out of the plants.

A lot people died by the earthquake and tsunami, but damage by the nuclear accident will go on for a long time. Since March 11, bad news continued endlessly. Every day is like living in hell. It is said the nuclear power plants is now stabilized but no one knows how nuclear reactor is like at this point. It will take years to just know actual situation. To fix and clean-up it will take decades.

 

I went to Fukushima prefecture to join clean-up efforts.

nuclear power

I joined anti-nuke demonstration march in Tokyo. I watched nuclear related documentary films and read books on nuclear power generation. 

nuclear power

In Tokyo, a big political movement is collecting signatures to call for the referendum for demanding the government to halt nuclear power generation. I am one of signature collectors.

The activists set up the tents in the government building district to show the will to protest nuclear power. The Japanese government is considering lowering dependency of nuclear power generation but still approves exporting nuclear power technology overseas.

 

We have to raise voice to change things better, not counting on politicians or beaucrats any more. That is what I learned this year.

 

I hope 2012 will be opening of new energy era such as solar power, wind power, micro-hydrogen, and so on. Of course I know it is not a very easy thing to do.

14 August 2011

Book: "Letters from Berlin" written by a Japanese woman who lived in West Germany during Chernobyl crisis

The book is letter format. A writer named Chikako Yamamoto's wrote her experience of life in West Germany during Chernobyl nuclear crisis between April 1986 and 1989.

During that time she lived in West Berlin. What she experienced had many similarities to my current life in Tokyo, or surprisingly even worse. Tokyo is 220 kilometers away from Fukushima, but West Berlin is 1200 km away from Chernobyl. But radioactives Germen had to deal with was the same or even worse than Fukushima. Is it because Chernobyl disaster was much worse and more wide-spread or what we've been told since Fukushima crisis was censored by the authorities?

The life in West Germany was dramatically changed since Chernobyl accident occurred. The newspaper was occupied by radioactive related matters.

In contrast as time passed by, people tried to adopt to such changed environment and not to pay attention to serious matters although food they ate had been kept contaminated.

West Germany at that time censored the reports on radioactives and supressed anti-nuke activities because at that time West Germany took pro-nuke policy. But some citizens stood up and started to fight against oppression.

Similar phenomenons have been happening here in Japan.

However, because this is quarter century after Chernobyl, we may have been a little wiser, I hope.

Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan declared "Less dependency on nuclear energy" policy on August 6, the day of Hiroshima nuclear bomb day. It is like modeled after Germany's decision of abandoning all nuke plants in that country by 2012.

Now only 1 third of Japan's nuclear power plants are operated currently. No re-operation is scheduled at this point. Local governments of where nuke plants are located are very reluctant to OK re-operation. 

Japan's Parliament decided to pass the law that promotes more use of renewable energy, so called FIT (Feed in Tarrif). This is modeled after Germany's system as well.

We have to learn a lot from Germany's experience, like we did in the past such as imperial constitution and ground force military system in late 19th century and how to recover relationship with neighboring nations which we invaded during the second world war.

Deutschland, be our good model. Danke!

30 April 2011

Dear Tomodachi, Thanks but No Thanks!

Tomodachi means "friend(s)" in Japanese. The U.S. military in Japan is undergoing "Operation Tomodach" after the earthquake of magnitude 9.0, tsunami and nuclear power plant explosion occurred in our country.

Yes, the U.S. has been our greatest and closest friend, especially in a turmoil caused by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster.

The U.S. government and military helped us a lot by sending air craft carrier, Ronald Reagan to the disastor area coast to transport commodities and equipments in order to rescue refugees in the disaster areas. The U.S. goverment provided expertise and machines to crippled nuclear power plants.

We do appreciate that. But the U.S. is not only country that provides assistance to us. China, Russia, France, Israel and a lot of other nations do so. We do appreciate those nations as well.

I do know for the U.S. Japan is not just a friend, rather very important ally in terms of politics and economics. Japan is 2nd largest owner of U.S. treasury bonds next to China. Japan is one of the biggest trading partner for the U.S.

As for crippled nuclear plants, the U.S. should be very much concerned about this issue because the U.S. is heavily dependent on nuclear power generation having more than 100 plants in the nation. In fact crippled nuclear plants in Fukushima-Daiichi contains U.S. made reactors, designed by General Electronics. The same type of reactors are used in 23 plants in the U.S.

Like the U.S. France is very concerned as CEO of France's biggest nuclear power plant corporation came to Japan to fix the problem. France is much more heavily dependent on nuclear power generation, 80% of its electriciy comes from nuclear power, while 20% in the U.S. and 35% in Japan.

Just recently the U.S. and Japanese government agreed to relocate U.S. Marine in Okinawa. The plan is relocate around 8000 marines to Guam and newly building base inside Okinawa island. That plan has been disapproved by local Okinawans. Even the Okinawa governor demanded the change of plan.

But the both governments seem to go ahead despite the protest movement there because the "Operation Tomodachi" can ease the tension there. But it seems not.

We feel the U.S. is taking advantage of this turmoil to get what they want. In our country such act is called "stealing things from burning house." Later you will be demised.

Don't do that, please if you want to continue to be good friend to us.

Under this plan, Japanese government not only provides the area for the new base but the budget to build the new base. This is huge money.

You know we are now in a big crisis. We need so much money to rebuild the disaster areas and fix and safely abandon nuclear plants. How come you can receive such benefits from troubled nation?

In Yokosuka, USS George Washington evacuated from Yokosuka, home port for the ship right after the earthquake and nuclear power plant explosion happened. Now he returned.

Funny, that ship was deployed for the purpose of defending Japan. This time he did not. Ironically, the nuclear powered ship which contains so much of radioactive materials got away from radioactive.

After he returned, they say the ship is safe. But localies in Yokosuka cannot agree. People have been so concerned about radioactive since its home porting in 2008. Now we've got one from our own.

My advice as your Tomodachi is to rethink the whole package of US-Japan defense treaty and its operation.

We do appreciate great friendship so in order to stregthen such friendship why not just rethink about this issue?  

Especially after the earthquake disastor, our nation's financial and mental situation has greatly changed. We do not want to suffer any more.

So be nice TOMODACHI!