8/6/15 Statement by Chizu Hamada of No Nukes Action Committee at Livermore National Laboratory on 70th Anniversary of Dropping of Nuclear Bomb on Hiroshima
Ohayougozaiasu. Good Morning,
I was born in Japan, and I grew up in a post-war climate that has shaped the way I view the world.
A couple month ago, I had a chance to speak about Japanese militarism. During that talk, I mentioned that dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki were war crimes. When the Q & A session came, a member of the audience expressed her opinion that Japan didn’t apologize to the USA, so why should the USA have to apologize to Japan. All opinions are valid, but I wondered if this woman really knew how horrible the effects of atomic bombs are. I wondered if she ever had a chance to know the facts of aftermaths of atomic bombings.
Two atomic bombs massacred over 150,000 people instantly. The total of 200,000 people were died in that year. Over 600.000 people have died up to this day due to those bombs. Most of these death were innocent civilians. When people were not instantly killed, they suffered greatly with burns, disfiguration, keloids, and finally took their last breath. Even now after 70 years later aftereffects remain, such as leukemia, A- bomb cataracts, cancers, birth defects, mental retardation. And the fear of birth defects in children will last many generations.
In 2014, Asahi newspaper in Japan researched 58 American major text books for Junior High and High school published from 1949 to 2010. 40 books didn’t even mention about death toll in Nagasaki. Of the books mentioning the number of deaths, more than half reported only half of numbers that Japan provided to United Nations. And only 5 books mentioned that radiation effects last for many years.
For all of us, it is very important to let people know how Atomic bombs are horrible, and inhumane. Atomic bombs should never be built, for they will ruin human kind, animals and the entire Earth.
So Japan has experienced horrible Atomic bombs twice. Did Japan learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Sadly, the answer is NO. When US wanted to sell nuclear power plants as “Atoms for peace”, Japan foolishly bought them. Of course, many Japanese people were very sensitive and afraid of nuclear power plants at that time. But Matutaro Shoriki who was called the “Father of Nuclear Energy” created a big newspaper company and he started to brain wash people by mass media that nuclear energy is cheap, safe and efficient . And the government and he succeeded . Altogether 54 nuclear power plants were built on tiny earthquake-prone islands.
Four and a half years ago when Fukushima Daiichi melted down, we have awakened wild. A report by the congress research concluded this was a man- made accident, an accident that would have been prevented if they had prepared for it, but they didn’t because there has been deep collusion between industry, the Nuclear regulators and the Japanese government.
The Japanese government has been lying to not only to the Japanese but also to the people of the world. As you know , when PM Abe invited the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo, he said “The Fukushima accident is under control.” And this is a lie. It has such a high level of radiation, that humans can’t get close to the core of the reactor, so we don’t know what exactly happened. We don’t know where the melted core is – inside the vessel or outside. Even several robots they sent in, have broken down.
Radiation is seeping out everyday into the air and into the Pacific Ocean. There are more than 100 children diagnosed the thyroid cancers. The evacuees are forced back to live in the contaminated areas. The tragedy has continued and the the daunting task has just began.
When people needed to seek the truth to save the victims and to protest the government’s policies, the government created the Secrecy Law, which was passed in December 2013. This Secrecy Law is so vague that bureaucrats and politicians can designate state secrets to their liking. People seeking state secrets or disclosing state secrets can be punished with up to 5 years in prison.
Then came the reinterpretation of our pacifist constitution. This bill have already approved in the lower Parliament and will pass the upper Parliament in this summer. The law allow our self defence force go out and join the US war. Japan seems as if wants to be prosperous by the war. So Henoko base has been pushed to be built, and Okinawa people’s sufferings never end.
The law has been created and changed to go forward the Japanese militarism. Japan can export war weapons now. Japan can send our military outside to kill people. Now Japan needs the nuclear weapons. Japan has 48 tons of plutonium. These can be created into 6000 nuclear weapons. Japan has been keeping the nuclear power plants for the potential of creating nuclear weapons and to make the threat to the neighboring countries.
That is the reason the Japanese government has never quit nuclear power plants. Even after the Fukushima disaster, they have pushed very hard to restart the next plant. So the Sendai nuclear power plant will restart anytime this month even though it is located near a huge active volcano. And the next and next nuclear power plants are lined up for restarting.
What can we do. We must keep on protesting. We must never give up. Because the spirits of Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims are here now, and are wishing the abolition of nuclear weapons.
written by NNA member Chizu Hamada