Fallout From Fukushima By Richard Broinowski Scribe, 2012 273 pages , $27.95 (pb) The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year was no accident, says Richard Broinowski in Fallout from Fukushima. Sitting a nuclear reactor on an “active geological fault line where two of the earth’s tectonic plates collide” was courting catastrophe from an earthquake and tsunami like the one that duly hit the Pacific in March last year.
Last week I had a dream that my house in the western part of Tokyo was shaking violently around me. Then I woke up and discovered it wasn’t a dream at all. It was a 5.3 magnitude earthquake with its epicentre in nearby Saitama. It was the second earthquake I had felt in less than a week following the March 11 anniversary of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. It was a frightening and potent reminder of exactly why it is so important to rid Japan of nuclear power plants.
The All Japan 3.11 Action Committee released the statement that is abridged below below on March 11. * * * March 11 marks the one year anniversary of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor accident. Many people were forced to evacuate and still continue to live under hardship without enough compensation. Despite the fact that an rising number of people in Japan (up to 70%) want to end nuclear power, the Japanese government is obsessively promoting it.
Tens of thousands filled the square as the echoes of the speaker at the podium boomed through huge speakers. Some came in anger, others in grief, but all agreed: it was time for a change. Many carried banners, others carried drums; some had taken their children out of school to attend. No, this wasn't Tahrir Square; it was Tokyo, Japan, on a chilly Monday last September. Ever since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, Japanese civil society has become less, well, polite.
Five anti-nuclear activists travelled from Australia to attend the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World held in the Japanese port city of Yokohama, over January 14–15. The conference was attended by 11,500 people over the two days including 100 international participants from 30 countries.
Three months after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear disaster in Japan, new radiation "hot spots" may require the evacuation of more areas further from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has now admitted for the first time that full nuclear meltdowns occurred at three of the plant’s reactors, and more than doubled its estimate for the amount of radiation that leaked from the plant in the first week of the disaster in March. See also:
More than 65,000 people in cities and towns all over Japan marched on June 11 to mark three months since Fukushima nuclear disaster. Marchers called for an end to nuclear power. In Tokyo, separate marches took off from different routes through the city before assembling in front of Shinjuku station. The largest action, a “sound-demo” called by the Shiroto no Ran (“Amateur Riot”) network attracted thousands of young people. They marched through the city accompanied by sound-trucks plying a variety of musical styles, from punk to folk to techno.
About 15,000 people attended the “No Nukes” protest in the central Tokyo district of Koenji on April 10. The rally called for assistance to those affected by the March earthquake and tsunami disaster, and for an end to nuclear power. Organisers said more than 1.23 million yen (A$14,000) had been raised for those affected by the disaster. About 2500 people joined a separate rally in another part of the city calling for the Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka to be switched off. The Hamaoka plant is on a fault line considered likely to be affected by future quakes.
On March 20, 1500 people marched in Tokyo opposing nuclear power in the aftermath of the nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima that followed the devastating March 9 earthquake. Protesters also opposed the imposition of fiscal austerity by the government in the face of the earthquake disaster. Activists have also staged speak-outs at the offices of Tokyo Electric, which runs the Fukushima plants, and government offices.
This appeal is reprinted from the website of the Maritime Union of Australia. You can also support the appeal launched by Europe solidaire sans frontières (Europe in Solidarity Without Borders). * * * Japanese dockworkers, seafarers hit hard by tsunami March 15 Tens of thousands of people have been rocked by earthquake, engulfed by tsunami and now, in the port of Sendai, consumed by fire.
The desperate nuclear emergency at three Japanese nuclear reactors is growing worse by the day. One of the three stricken reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant is now close to complete meltdown. Should this happen, molten uranium fuel may burn through the containment vessels, leading to a catastrophic release of radiation over the surrounding area.
Two activists were arrested on February 20 at a demonstration outside the US Embassy in Tokyo. The activists were taking part in a demonstration against the construction of a United States military base in Okinawa. The activists were released from custody on March 5. Their supporters are campaigning for the charges against them to be completely dropped. The demonstrators had received police permission to rally. But on reaching the embassy, protesters were greeted by a wall of police.
A long running struggle to save a public park in the central Tokyo ward of Shibuya from private development by sporting goods company Nike intensified on September 15. The Shibuya ward authorities sealed off the park and deployed police and private security guards to stop activists and homeless people who live in the park from re-entering. Activists had been occupying the park since March. Situated in the centre of downtown Tokyo, Miyashita Park has long been an oasis of trees amid the high-rise buildings and expensive retail outlets of Shibuya.
About 90,000 people marched in Yomitan, Okinawa on April 25 to call for the closure of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, an April 29 Counterfire.org article said. Protesters included the governor and all the mayors of Okinawa. Participants issued a statement calling for immediate closing and relocation of Futenma US Base outside Okinawa or the country. The rally recorded a record-high participation in Okinawa, expressing public opinion against the base. In 1995, 85,000 marched in protest at the rape of a schoolgirl by US servicemen.
The northern-most and thinly populated island of Hakkaido, Japan, has seen the extreme security measures taken against those wishing to protest against the G8 summit.