7/11 NNA Letter To Japan PM Abe
July 11, 2014
Dear Prime Minister Abe,
I am writing to you on the occasion of a monthly demonstration in front of the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco, CA. This demonstration has taken place on the eleventh of each month for three years, since the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. We gather here to call attention to the ongoing tragedy of Fukushima residents, who are unable to leave the area and who, along with their children, are suffering dangerous levels of radioactive contamination. Many have already contracted thyroid cancer, with more children being diagnosed by the month. Trying to find out how many of them have become sick has been made difficult by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s pressure on researchers to maintain secrecy and to not make relevant statistics public.
Meanwhile, contrary to ample scientific evidence, you keep insisting that contaminated areas are safe, and that people should return to their lives in Fukushima without fear. The Secrecy Law, sponsored by the governing coalition, criminalizes truth-telling by citizens, journalists and public servants at a time when the public’s right to know is absolutely essential to the survival and health of their families. In Osaka, peaceful anti-nuclear protestors have been subjected to police harassment and have been convicted of trumped-up charges for telling the truth about the public health threat posed by burning nuclear waste and releasing its debris into the atmosphere at a facility in Osaka Bay.
The chaotic wreckage of the Fukushima nuclear reactors has not, in fact, been brought under control. A desperate struggle continues in order to stabilize the destroyed facilities. While thousands of gallons of contaminated water are being dumped into the Pacific Ocean, it is clear that the consequences of this crisis are threatening people all over the world with environmental degradation. The workers on the ground at the clean-up sites are often untrained, poorly-paid and recruited by criminal organizations. They are at high risk for future cancer, but little effort has been made to register and track them, or to ensure that they have the medical care that they might need. We know the great sacrifice made by the workers who were sent in for only minutes at a time in the aftermath of the Chernobyl melt-down. Very few remain alive.
From the beginning of this crisis until the present moment the Japanese government and TEPCO
have hidden the full truth of the catastrophe at the Fukushima plants, using their economic power and a compliant mass-media to push an utterly false image of security and control. In addition, you have repeated your personal intention to restart nuclear reactors in other parts of Japan, which are currently shut down, despite opposition by the majority of the public. Fortunately, the Fukui High court’s recent decision, on May 21, affirmed the supremacy of human well-being over the profound risks of nuclear energy technology and it rejected KEPCO’s plans to restart the Oi reactors # 3 and #4.
Sadly, my own government has provided steady ideological support for the Japanese government’s relentless pursuit of nuclear power, and for Japan’s exports of nuclear power technology to other nations. The Obama Administration has also provided diplomatic support for the Secrecy Law and for the recent proposed changes in the implementation of Article 9. of the Japanese Constitution, changes which will facilitate Japan’s participation, with combat troops, in future U.S.-led wars, like the disastrous one in Iraq. My government, though, like the Japanese government, does not speak for all of its people; and it often works against us in matters of war, government secrecy and mass-surveillance, and in its own support of nuclear power. The influence of profit-making energy corporations frequently outweighs public interest. That is why we are here today, as “ordinary people”, with a responsibility to resist loudly and publicly, to protect ourselves and our planet.
With other concerned people in the United States, we join people living in Japan who are demanding accountability from the Japanese government and TEPCO regarding the precarious situation of residents around Fukushima. We urge the Japanese government to immediately:
Protect the right to evacuate of all people in radioactive-contaminated areas and to implement economic, medical and education support for them. Do not cut off compensation to victims, or force people to return to areas with radioactive exposure.
The Japanese government must implement a health survey for Fukushima disaster victims. If disease is detected among the affected population, the government must provide medical security to patients all people who participate in the health survey have a right to know the test results.
All medical data must be disclosed, and medical care professionals and specialists must have access to data.
The Japanese government must, in addition, implement a health survey particularly for children, pregnant women, and Fukushima plant operators as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Abe, These are sensible and urgent measures which you can implement now, and in so doing, begin to reverse a pattern of deceit and neglect. The children of Fukushima and Japan deserve a healthy future. Their parents deserve to watch their children play outdoors without fearing deadly contamination. These are basic human rights!
Our lives and political careers are relatively short, but our legacies long.
It is never too late to do the right thing.
for No Nukes Action Bay Area
Mr. Shimada who is a reporter of Japanese paper “AKAHATA”, came to the rally and wrote the report about our rally.
His report was published on both on the daily paper and the web. He reported what we have been doing, and the interview conversation with Jason.
reported by No Nukes Action Committee member Chizu Hamada