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Rally Speak Out To Stop The Repression Of Anti-Nuclear Actists
Monday February 11
50 Fremont St/Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
2/11/13 Rally Speak Out To Stop The Repression Of Anti-Nuclear Actists, Oppose Restart Of Japan NUKE Plants & LDP Abe
Government Plan To Build New NUKE Plants
Monday February 11, 2013 3:00 PM Japanese Consulate 50 Fremont St./Mission San Francisco
The No Nukes Action Committee NNAC will be having a rally and speak out on Monday February 11, 2013 at the Japanese Consulate on 50 Fremont St. San Francisco at 3:00 PM to protest the action of the Japan LDP Abe government to push for the building of more nuclear plants, the continued campaign that the Fukushima area can be "decontaminated" and the propaganda that Japan can "overcome" nuclear radiation. The reality is far different despite the government industry media campaign.
The government is also repressing anti-nuclear activists with arrest and on 2/3/03 over 1,000 people rallied in Osaka against the arrests and repression of activists.
The 2/11/2013 rally and protest will also call for the immediate halt of the burning of nuclear rubble at prefectures around the country, the halt of exports of nuclear technology and demand that Fukushima residents be adequately compensated for their evacuation from Fukushima.
The government has also stepped up police harassment including the arrest of anti-nuclear activists such as Osaka Professor Masaki Shimoji. He along with other anti-nuclear activists were arrested because of their political activity to inform the people of Japan about the danger of the burning of nuclear rubble in Osaka after they walked through the Osaka train station. While he and some others have been released there are still anti-nuclear activists in jail for seeking to educate the public about the dangers of the burning of nuclear rubble and the continued radiation threats from Fukushima and the nuclear power industry.
This attack on democratic rights by the Japanese government as it pursues its effort to continue to hoodwink that the Japanese people that radiation is not harmful is connected. The Abe government's call for the construction of more nuclear plants must be challenged throughout the world and people throughout the world must also come to the defense of Japanese anti-nuclear activists who are coming under increasing attack for speaking out and organizing against nuclear power and the nuclear industry.
We call on all opponents of nuclear power/weapons and those fighting for democratic rights to participate and speak out against the new actions of the LDP Abe government which only received 30% of the vote in the recent election. The Japanese people are being coerced by the pro-nuclear politicians and the US government and nuclear industry to move forward with this deadly and dangerous industry despite the dangers to the survival of Japan and the world.
The No Nukes Action Committee NNAC has a regular speak out and rally every month on the 11th to connect with the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown and continued radioactive contamination of Japan and the world by this plant.
Please contact our committee for more information and if your organization is interested in endorsing this action please let us know.
No Nukes Action Committee
I want my mate released! Osaka Profesor Shimoji
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2012
I want my mate released!
My mate is illegally detained by the Osaka police. I want him and others released at once.
Please sign the petition.
On Sunday morning of 9 December 2012, the Osaka prefectural police arrested and charged Masaki Shimoji, Associate Professor of Economy at Hannan University, for three alleged offences, violation of the ‘railway services act’; forcible obstruction of business; and unlawfull trespass.
We believe arrest of Shimoji is unlawful and he should be released immediately. We fear that this is a crude attempt to intimidate those citizens opposed to the nationwide spread of radioactive materials.
Shimoji was targeted because he was involved in the campaign to oppose city plans to incinerate imported earthquake debris throughout the nation, including Osaka, where he resides, and believes the plans will contaminate areas unaffected by last year’s nuclear accident in Fukishima.
The plans are proposed to commence in February 2013. After receiving and incinerating the earthquake debris from the north of Japan, local governments will then landfill the ashes. The central Japanese government
has pushed the program to ‘share the burden by all’ and has asked local governments throughout the nation to accept debris from earthquake zones.
The alleged offences took place on 17 October 2012, nearly two months before the Shimoji’s arrest. On that day at around 3pm, people including Shimoji, gathered on the footpath on the north-eastern corner of the Osaka railway station. In twos and threes, they then headed towards the city office to lodge their opposition to the city’s plan. They walked through the eastern corridor inside the station, from north to south, which is the apparent cause of the offences.
Besides the flimsy nature of the charges, the fact that Shimoji was arrested almost two months after the alleged offence of ‘walking through the station premises’ took place is very unusual. We can only conclude that this is
nothing but a crude attempt to silence us, suppress civil liberties and curb our democratic rights.
Since the earthquake and subsequent nuclear plant disasters on 11 March 2011, Shimoji and others have tirelessly cared for those 'refugees', most of them mothers with small children, who fled from the eastern parts of Japan, including Fukushima and other devastated areas, to the western parts of the country.
They have also campaigned vigorously to oppose the nationwide spread of radioactive contamination. The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has damaged the health and welfare of numerous people, both physically and psychological. It has destroyed the livelihoods of many. The national government who promoted the nuclear power recklessly for decades must take now responsibility. The manufacturers of the reactors and power utilities who have failed to implement adequate safety measures should be blamed for their negligence.
Yet, while their crimes for causing such devastation are still left unaccounted for, people who are trying to minimise the damage are being handed criminal charges. This should not be allowed. In Osaka alone, five citizens have been arrested, detained and charged because they expressed their opposition to the city plan to spread the radioactive contamination.
We strongly denounce such arbitrary use of the law. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of those unfairly detained and an apology.
The Citizens Opposing the Nationwide
Spread of Radioactive Materials
Secretariat Uiko Hasegawa and Park Seung-Joon
Statement of Prof. Masaki Shimoji
(Masaki Shimoji, Asst. Professor of economics at Hannan University, Osaka, was arrested on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 at his home and is currently under detention. His arrest warrant states that he illegally led a protest march through a portion of Osaka station on Oct. 17, 2012,
refused to obey the orders of station personnel, and jeopardized station business. Petitions are being signed for his release.)
What is written in my arrest warrant is untrue. I am totally shocked that the police, who witnessed my actions that are the basis for my arrest, have created completely false statements. Why do the police create lies in order to arrest me? The reason is I am participating in citizens groups protesting the re-start of nuclear power plants and the further spread of radiation (through disaster area debris incineration). In particular, I have criticized the unlawful conduct by police that I have come across through my participation in this movement. I have not done anything wrong.
Japan and the world we live in is an extremely dangerous place. The nuclear disaster of Fukushima is not under control, and should the spent fuel pool in reactor no. 4 collapse, the consequences would be catastrophic for not only Japan but the world as well. Nothing has been done to deal with nuclear fallout, as food and other products continue through the distribution system. Not only that, a campaign claiming “we don’t have enough electricity” is being waged, and use of nuclear energy is still being promoted. This is sheer madness.
In the coming 6 to 12 months, the policies implemented by the government will determine our future. Looking at the faces of my students on a daily basis who are about 20 years old, I think about what kind of world they will live in when in 20 years they reach the same age as me. Each time I do, I regret that those of us of the older generation were unable to prevent the nuclear disaster. The young are not responsible. If anything, I want to work toward leaving an even somewhat better place for them. The disaster has already happened and there is not much time left. But there is hope.
Now, I cannot act but I have not given up. I have been able to deliver this statement despite my detention. And if enough people act and raise their voices, we might be in time. I especially call on other university educators, doctors, scientists, and all those who are considered to be ‘specialists’: Learn from those citizens who appear to be “uneducated or emotional.” Their voices remain unheard and ignored; speak out so their concerns can be heard.
The truth will show itself through a process of critique and dialogue. Stand on the side of those who oppose and act so that the truth will be known, by taking to task the government and those wielding power. You may make errors, and that is all right. Always stand on the side of those with less power and support them. Even if they make mistakes, use your authority to get to the truth when dealing with those in power. It doesn’t matter what your field is; have the courage to speak out.
Finally, I address the issue that I have been most deeply involved; the debris from disaster areas. The city of Osaka forcefully began experimental incineration of such debris at the end of November and continues preparation for the full implementation beginning in February of next year. As I have repeatedly said, the wide-spread incineration throughout Japan of disaster debris will not benefit anyone. Budget funding earmarked for the reconstruction of disaster areas will be funneled off for such incineration, hampering progress on reconstruction. Radiation will be scattered, those living in affected areas will be forced to endure living in contaminated conditions, and the responsibilities of TEPCO will be lightened. We will pay for this with our lives and that of our children and those who are yet born. Such an irresponsible policy should not be allowed. We must stop this. Those of you who have studied and fought together, do not give up and continue to fight. For those of you who were not know about the debris incineration issue, learn more and lend us a hand. This is a fight to save our future.
I do not know when I will be released, but I will return at some point. Even if I’m not visible, I am with you in spirit. As for the others who were also unfairly arrested, I’m sure they feel the same way. I look forward to seeing you again.
December 12, 2012 Masaki Shimoji
Posted by 山頂２号 on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Solidarity Letter On The Case Of Japanese Professor Masaki Shimoji And Growing Repression In Japan Of Anti-Nuclear Activists
Adrienne Carey Hurley, Prof
Important Statement from a Colleague in Japan
February 1, 2013 8:43:58 AM PST
As many of you know, Professor Masaki Shimoji, a professor of economics at Hannan University, was arrested by Osaka prefectural police on December 9, 2012, held for twenty days, and released without charge. One can be arrested and held without charge for up to 23 days in Japan. The Hannan University administration was informed that police intended to arrest Professor Shimoji, and they provided police with access to Professor Shimoji’s office and cooperated with their investigation into Professor Shimoji’s participation in a small demonstration that took place in a train station in Osaka several months earlier, on October 17th. Professor Shimoji and others were protesting the distribution and incineration of radioactive rubble from Fukushima.
This article provides further background information: http://www.jfissures.org/2013/01/20/osaka-pushes-incendiary-tsunami-debris-plan/.
Professor Koji Shima, who also teaches in the Faculty of Economics at Hannan University, has been one of the very few members of the Hannan community to show solidarity with Professor Shimoji. Professor Shima, whose areas of research specialization are the Social History of Health and Economics, convened and organized the “Group in Support of Professor Shimoji. Professor Shima presented the following statement to that group on January 7, 2013. Please share this statement widely. (The original Japanese is attached to this message.)
To the members of the “Group in Support of Professor Shimoji”
2013 has just begun.
We founded the “Group in Support of Professor Shimoji” immediately after his unjust arrest on December 9th, 2012 with the aims of having him released from custody and to ensure that the university would not take any disciplinary actions against him. After twenty days of worry and uncertainty, we were pleased to hear that he would be released without charges, as he rightfully should have been. However, serious issues that were brought to light by this incident still remain, and in order to work towards their solution, I believe that it will be necessary to face these struggles by creating an organization with a different name and of a different nature. Since we have achieved the original goals that we set out for the Group in Support of Professor Shimoji, I would like to announce the dissolution of the Group.
Looking back in detail at what happened on October 17th, 2012, I was shocked that in Japan, a country with a constitutional government, a person could be arrested like this for an action that is constitutionally protected. I can neither forget nor forgive the insult that Professor Shimoji and his family suffered as a result of his unjust arrest and lengthy detention. For the authorities who spent two months planning and preparing for his arrest, the fact that he will not be prosecuted means defeat. They were unable to find any reason for prosecution that would stand up in court, and were further unable to “discover” any other evidence from the materials that they confiscated that could be used as an excuse to arrest him again or extend his period of detention. This clearly demonstrates the true facts of this “criminal incident”.
The primary factor in bringing about this victory was of course Professor Shimoji’s own struggle. However, the spread of the movement in support of Professor Shimoji, such as the declaration of protest by constitutional scholars, also contributed a great deal to this victory. I also have no doubt that our “Group in Support of Professor Shimoji”, in its own small way, formed one part of this wider social movement. However, when I ask myself whether Hannan University responded in an appropriate way to this “incident”, in which a professor was treated like a heinous anti-social criminal and taken away from his own home in handcuffs in a manner which, as has been consistently pointed out by legal scholars, has not happened since the period of disorder and chaos just following World War II, unfortunately the answer is “no”. The students from Professor Shimoji’s seminars and lectures did not organize any petitions or statements, nor make any appeals to the university authorities. Furthermore, one would think that certain questions would naturally arise among university scholars, at the very least regarding the reasons behind his arrest or the fact that he should have been immediately released. Yet not a single declaration in support of Professor Shimoji was released from any group of faculty including from his own department, nor the department head, nor from the person in the highest position of responsibility for education and learning at the university, the president.
But that’s not all. On December 19th, it was brought to light that the university had been informed by the police in advance that Professor Shimoji would be arrested. University president Tatsumi and vice president Kanzawa told us on December 19th that members of Section 3 of the Public Safety Division of the Osaka Police had come to the university on December 6th and informed them that they would be arresting Professor Shimoji and conducting a search of his office. It is not easy to surmise the real motives as to why the Public Safety Division would go against common sense and inform the university in advance, as though testing out how the university would respond. However, the administration showed no question or hesitation in dealing with the police. On the contrary, the president, who interpreted this visit as a kindly gesture intended to avoid causing any problems for the university, carried on as though nothing had happened, except for establishing a “crisis management office” that evening. And in spite of the fact that various meetings were held for planning and management and among department heads throughout the following week, in which the details of what had happened the previous week were announced openly, not a single question, objection, or protest was raised with regards to the administration’s measures (or perhaps their lack of measures). With all of this in mind, it is clear that nobody, from the president to the vice president, to the department head and all other management, considered the fact that they might be seriously compromising the university’s autonomy in allowing the police’s unjust arrest of a professor and search of his office.
Furthermore, as a professor at the same university, I am ashamed at their complete lack of sympathy or imagination as people living similar lives to Professor Shimoji. Their colleague, with whom they spent their days together teaching and conducting research, was taken by surprise and arrested for an act that is protected by the constitution, had his freedom taken away, and had police come tromping disrespectfully through his home and office. He has been humiliated in a way that cannot be undone. If these people had had even an ounce of imagination, they would feel some sympathy for Professor Shimoji’s pain and distress, as well as for the sadness and bewilderment of his family, having had someone they love suddenly taken from them. Then, there could have been any number of other possible scenarios for what happened after the morning of December 9th. When I think of these other possibilities, I shiver at their cruelty.
I suppose the root rot plaguing this university has probably been deeply and quietly spreading for years. I stepped away from administrative service a while back simply to get back to the work I am supposed to do, namely educating my students, but I deeply regret my negligence and irresponsibility in not having fought against the prevailing current here.
However, the gap between myself and the administration has grown extremely wide, and I feel that the gap cannot be bridged. The twenty days since December 9th have provided a valuable experience in which I learned how difficult it is to go against the grain and to fight.
Here, as we bring the “Group in Support of Professor Shimoji” to a close, I have shared some of my feelings on the matter. I would like to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to all of you for your support.
January 7, 2013
Professor Shima will be quitting his job at Hannan University when the academic year ends in March of 2013, two years before reaching the age of retirement. The following message currently appears on his faculty website.
“It seems as though the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor brought on by the earthquake of March 11, 2011 is gradually fading from the memory of people in Kansai. Is this the best we can do even as the danger of radiation spreads across all of Japan with each moment that passes? And even when there are fourteen aging and decrepit reactors (a third of the total number of reactors in Japan) in Fukushima Prefecture, which is only about 150 kilometers away from Osaka? I want to do whatever I can, however humble my abilities, to break us out of the snare of the nuclear safety myth and reclaim this country’s security.”
For those who know Japanese, Professor Shima also appears in the following press conference video beginning at 27:58:
Please share this message widely, such as via your mailing lists, Facebook, etc.
Adrienne Carey Hurley
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
Department of East Asian Studies
Osaka pushes incendiary tsunami debris plan
Move to burn 36,000 tons from Iwate, bury it in bay spooks locals
BY ERIC JOHNSTON
JAN 12, 2013
OSAKA – Despite fears of radioactive contamination, Osaka Prefecture is finalizing plans to begin incinerating 36,000 tons of tsunami debris from Iwate Prefecture next month.
The debris is scheduled to be burned in the city of Osaka’s harbor district. The resulting ash will then become landfill on Yumeshima, or “Dream Island,” a man-made isle in Osaka Bay that was once a proposed site for the city’s failed 2008 Summer Olympics bid.
Originally, the prefecture was supposed to have begun burning the debris last spring. But local opposition due to fears the incineration would create highly radioactive ash delayed the start. Critics argued that even with special filters at the incineration plant, radioactive ash would still pollute the air, and that it was folly to bury the ash in the bay area.
The prefecture’s maximum radiation limit for incinerated ash is 2,000 becquerels per kilogram, far stricter than the central government threshold of 8,000 becquerels. Critics, however, warned the true health hazard was being underplayed by local officials, and that it was important not to focus on the 2,000-becquerel standard but on the dangers presented by burning 36,000 tons with that degree of contamination.
However, after the Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka)-controlled prefectural assembly gave its OK, with the backing of both Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who founded the local group, a test incineration of 100 tons was carried out at the end of November.
The resulting ash had radiation levels of 38 becquerels per kilogram, prefectural officials said.
But citizens’ groups in Osaka and elsewhere continued their opposition, leading to several arrests.
The most notorious was that of Hannan University professor Masaki Shimoji, one of the most visible leaders in the fight against burning the debris. He was arrested in early December for allegedly trespassing, obstructing business activities and violating an obscure railway services law.
What was newsworthy about Shimoji’s arrest is that it took place nearly two months after his alleged crimes. On Oct. 17, he and several others gathered at JR Osaka Station and began heading to City Hall via the eastern corridor of the station to protest the incineration of Iwate debris.
The arrest warrant stated that Shimoji led an illegal protest march through the station, and that he refused to obey the orders of station personnel. Shimoji denied the allegations, and quickly attracted the support of legal scholars and activists nationwide.
“Shimoji was targeted because he was involved in the campaign to oppose city plans to incinerate imported earthquake debris throughout the nation, including Osaka, where he resides,” said activists Uiko Hasegawa and Park Seung Joon in an international appeal for his release.
Shimoji was freed at the end of December without charges.
Now, with less than a month to go before incineration is slated to start, opponents are mounting what may be a last-ditch campaign to halt the project.
On Thursday, Kinuko Motoshige sent a petition on behalf of 27 citizens’ groups nationwide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and two other officials in the Cabinet, asking them to put pressure on the city of Osaka to block the debris-burning plan.
In addition to citing various environmental reasons, the petition called on the Liberal Democratic Party government to sit down with city officials and discuss the issue in a public debate over the safety of incinerating the debris, and to not burn any of it until the dangers are completely eliminated.
“Some 2,232 letters and petitions calling on the city not to burn the debris have been sent to municipal assembly members. While LDP members have opposed the burning, Osaka Ishin no Kai and New Komeito, which are the ruling parties (in the assembly), have supported it,” Motoshige said.
She also noted the Osaka Prefectural Assembly is not listening to the concerns, and is simply saying the debris is safe to burn.
On Wednesday, prefectural and city officials, and, possibly, officials from the Environment Ministry, will meet with residents in Osaka for what is likely to be the final public meeting before the start of the incineration. Osaka officials, however, continue to claim that November’s test incineration met all environmental regulations and proved the waste could therefore be burned in the same manner as conventional garbage.
Added to the calendar on Thursday Feb 7th, 2013 5:47 PM
The people of Osaka protest in Osaka against the burning of rubble.
PDF of flyer for 2/11/2013