12/11 Emergency Actions-Stop The Secrecy Laws In Japan No More Nuclear Start-ups And Fukushima Cover-ups
Fukushima residents furious at lower house passage of contentious secrecy bill
Women march through Tokyo’s Ginza shopping street to protest against a state secrets protection bill on Nov. 26.
Tamotsu Baba, mayor of Namie near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, who had stated his opinion at the public hearing, said on Nov. 26, “I was surprised because the public hearing was held yesterday, and the bill was passed today. What was the public hearing for? What did I attend the public hearing for? I don’t have the faintest idea.” He then raised his voice and said, “That was too hasty. There should be much more discussion.”
Mitsugi Araki, a lawyer who stated his opinion at the public hearing, also said furiously, “That trampled on the sentiments of the Fukushima people.” He went on to say, “We were feeling that our opinions could be used as an excuse. But still, all of us spoke up with our utmost efforts. But our thoughts were ignored.” However, the bill has not been enacted yet. Araki added, “I want legislators to discuss it carefully.”
Saki Okawara, a 61-year-old resident of Miharu, said, “The public hearing was something like a sneak attack. Okawara went to the venue for the public hearing, but was not able to sit in on the hearing. Tickets to the hearing were distributed to political parties and many people who have no connections with political parties did not even know the public hearing had been planned, Okawara said. “Fukushima was nothing but one of the pieces leading up to the vote. Even if we raise our voice, it would never be heard. It is sad that politicians don’t have any intention to accept our opinions,” Okawara said.
Kazue Morizono, a 51-year-old housewife from Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, who could not sit in on the hearing, raised her voice and said, “I was sort of hoping that the frank opinions of the speakers would put on the brakes. But how far are they going to go and try to fool Fukushima?” She went on to say, “Because our relationship of trust with the government has crumbled this far, it would affect not only the bill but also every piece of reconstruction work.”
Reiko Hachisuka, 61, who had served as a member of the Diet’s investigation committee on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, said, “I hope information involving the lives of residents will not be made secret. The government must have learned lessons from the accident. I want the government to distinguish between information it needs to safeguard and information involving people’s lives and handle such information in good faith.”
Meanwhile, about 300 members of women’s groups marched through the Ginza shopping street in central Tokyo to protest against the secrecy bill on Nov. 26. Members of women’s groups from around the country took part in the rally proposed by writer Karin Amamiya. Carrying placards, some of which read: “What is secret?” and “That is secret,” they shouted, “We will never tolerate forcible passage (of the bill).” The rally started after the bill was railroaded through the lower house special panel on security. Yuri Horie, president of the Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations (Fudanren), said, “We must not allow for a repeat of the mistake that lead to the war with women’s eyes, ears and mouths shut off.”
A separate protest rally was also held near the Diet building in Tokyo’s Nagatacho district until around 9 p.m. on Nov. 26. When protesters heard the news that the lower house plenary session had just passed the bill, they shouted, “No!” and “Kill the bill!”
November 27, 2013(Mainichi Japan)