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View other events for the week of 12/11/2014
Berkeley Screening Of Australian Film "When The Dust Settles", Report On Japan & Video Of
Date Thursday December 11
Time 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Location Details
Berkeley North Branch Library, Community Room
1170 the Alameda (x Hopkins) Berkeley, 94707
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorNo Nukes Action Committee
12/11 Berkeley Screening Of Australian Film "When The Dust Settles", Report On Japan & Video Of Diet Member Taro Yamamoto

No Nukes Action will be having a film screening of "When The Dust Settles" about Australian uranium miners, a video of anti-nuclear independent Tokyo Diet member Taro Yamamoto and a report on Fukushima and political developments in Japan.

When The Dust Settles - Uranium Miners In Australia 37 min. (2010)
By David Bradbury
Australia is a major center of the mining of uranium. This film shows how the mining companies recruit electricians and other workers who are encouraged to work in the open pit uranium mines. Behind the clean mining towns is dangerous contamination from the uranium mines. The film, financed by the ETU (Australian Electrical Trade Unions), is a docu-drama on how these workers and their families are bribed to take the jobs and what the real cost of this mining is.
When The Dust Settles - Uranium Miners In Australia 37 min. (2010)

No Nukes Action Committee is a organization that works on education and action against nuclear power in
Japan and around the world and is also opposed to militarization.

Date and Time: Thursday, December 11th, 5:30-7:30
Place : Berkeley North Branch Library, Community Room
1170 the Alameda (x Hopkins) Berkeley, 94707
Admission : Free, but donation will be appreciated

For more information

And monthly rally at Japanese Consulate 275 Battery St., San Francisco at 3:00 PM

December 11, 2014 3:00 PM Rally at Japanese Consulate to Oppose Restarting Japan's 50 nuclear plants and for evacuation of children and families of Fukushima.
There will also be the monthly rally at the
Japanese Consulate San Francisco
275 Battery St./California
San Francisco, California

Japanese politician causes uproar by giving letter on Fukushima to emperor
Taro Yamamoto faces criticism after handing note to Emperor Akihito at garden party in breach of strict protocol

• Associated Press in Tokyo

•, Thursday 7 November 2013 04.24 EST

The Japanese lawmaker and anti-nuclear activist Taro Yamamoto hands Emperor Akihito a letter. Photograph: Koji Sasahara/AP
A novice Japanese lawmaker who wanted to draw attention to theFukushima nuclear crisis has caused an uproar by doing something taboo: handing a letter to the emperor.

It began at an annual autumn Imperial Palace garden party last week. As Emperor Akihito and his wife, Michiko, greeted a line of guests, the outspoken actor-turned-lawmaker Taro Yamamoto gave the emperor the letter – a gesture considered both impolite and inappropriate.

Video of the encounter, repeatedly aired on television, shows the 79-year-old emperor calmly taking the letter, written on a folded "washi" paper with ink and brush, and briefly talking with Yamamoto. An apparently wary Empress Michiko gently pulled her husband's elbow from behind. The chief steward, who was standing next to Akihito, grabbed the letter the instant the emperor turned to him.

Yamamoto's action drew criticism from both ends of the ideological spectrum and left many Japanese baffled by what they consider to be a major breach of protocol: reaching out to the emperor in an unscripted act.

The controversy shows how the role of Japan's emperor remains a sensitive issue, nearly 70 years after Akihito's father, Emperor Hirohito, renounced his divinity following Japan's defeat in the second world war and became a symbol of the state.

Many conservatives still consider the emperor and his family divine – "the people above the clouds" – and believe a commoner should not even talk to him. Decades ago, commoners were not even allowed to look directly at the emperor, but today Akihito does meet ordinary people, including those in disaster-hit areas in northern Japan.

There is no specific law, but people are not supposed to talk freely to the emperor, touch him or hand him something without permission. Taking a mobile phone picture of the emperor or his family is also considered impolite.

An upper house committee is discussing whether to discipline Yamamoto and a decision is expected this week. The 38-year-old lawmaker, who was elected in July as an independent, has apologised for troubling the emperor but rejected calls to step down.

Yamamoto, an anti-nuclear activist, said he wanted to make an appeal to the emperor about the crisis in Fukushima and its possible health impact on residents and workers cleaning up the power plant, which suffered three meltdowns after it was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Neither Yamamoto nor the palace has released the letter's contents. If Yamamoto sought the emperor's assistance, he may have violated a law requiring cabinet approval for such requests.

Yamamoto denied any intention to use the emperor for political purposes – a possible infringement of the postwar constitution, which relegates the emperor to a non-political, ceremonial role.

"My behaviour was indiscreet for a place like the garden party," Yamamoto said at a news conference on Tuesday. "I just wanted the emperor to know the reality. I was frustrated by not being able to achieve any of my campaign promises yet."

Liberals criticise Yamamoto for turning to the emperor for help rather than upholding democratic principles as an elected lawmaker. Some worry that Yamamoto's ploy reinforced the idea that the emperor is Japan's most trusted public figure, and fear that could play into conservative efforts to give the emperor more powers.

Others criticise Yamamoto as an amateur and populist politician who has set back the anti-nuclear movement, said Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Japanese Right Attacks Newspaper on the Left, Emboldening War Revisionists

Former The Asahi Shinbun reporter Takashi Uemura in front of the university where he teaches.CreditKo Sasaki for The New York Times

SAPPORO, Japan — Takashi Uemura was 33 when he wrote the article that would make his career. Then an investigative reporter for The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s second-largest newspaper, he examined whether the Imperial Army had forced women to work in military brothels during World War II. His report, under the headline, “Remembering Still Brings Tears,” was one of the first to tell the story of a former “comfort woman” from Korea.

Fast-forward a quarter century, and that article has made Mr. Uemura, now 56 and retired from journalism, a target of the Japanese political right. Tabloids brand him a traitor for disseminating “Korean lies.” Threats of violence, he says, have cost him one university teaching job, and could soon rob him of a second. Ultranationalists have even gone after his children, posting messages on the Internet urging people to drive his teenage daughter to suicide.

The threats are part of a broad, vitriolic assault by the right-wing news media and politicians here on The Asahi, which has long been the newspaper that Japanese conservatives love to hate. This most recent campaign, however, has gone beyond anything postwar Japan has seen before, with nationalist politicians including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unleashing a torrent of abuse that has cowed one of the last strongholds of progressive political influence in Japan. It has also emboldened revisionists calling for a reconsideration of the government’s 1993 apology for the wartime coercion of women into prostitution.

“They are using intimidation as a way to deny history,” said Mr. Uemura, who spoke with a pleading urgency and came to an interview in this northern city with stacks of papers to defend himself. “They want to bully us into silence.”

“The War on The Asahi,” as commentators have called it, began in August when the newspaper bowed to public criticism and retracted at least a dozen articles published in the 1980s and early ’90s. Those articles cited a former soldier named Seiji Yoshida, who claimed to have helped abduct Korean women for the military brothels. Mr. Yoshida was discredited two decades ago, but the Japanese right pounced on The Asahi’s gesture and called for a boycott to drive the 135-year-old newspaper out of business.

Speaking to a parliamentary committee in October, Mr. Abe himself weighed in, saying The Asahi’s “mistaken reporting had caused many people injury, sorrow, pain and anger. It wounded Japan’s image.”

With elections this month, analysts say Japan’s conservatives are trying to hobble the nation’s leading left-of-center newspaper. The Asahi has long supported greater atonement for Japan’s wartime militarism and has opposed Mr. Abe on other issues. But it is increasingly isolated as the nation’s liberal opposition remains in disarray after a crushing defeat at the polls two years ago.

Mr. Abe and his political allies have also seized on The Asahi’s woes as a long-awaited chance to go after bigger game: the now internationally accepted view that the Japanese military coerced tens of thousands of Korean and other non-Japanese women into sexual slavery during the war.

Continue reading the main story
Most mainstream historians agree that the Imperial Army treated women in conquered territories as spoils of battle, rounding them up to work in a system of military-run brothels known as comfort stations that stretched from China to the South Pacific. Many women were deceived with offers of jobs in factories and hospitals and then forced to provide sex for imperial soldiers upon arriving in the comfort stations. In Southeast Asia, there is evidence that Japanese soldiers simply kidnapped women to work in the brothels.

Among the women who have come forward to say they were forced to have sex with soldiers were Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos, as well as Dutch women captured in Indonesia, then a Dutch colony.

But there is little evidence that the Japanese military abducted or was directly involved in entrapping women in Korea, which had been a Japanese colony for decades when the war began. The revisionists have seized on this one fact to deny that any women were held captive in sexual slavery, and to argue that the comfort women were simply camp-following prostitutes out to make good money. In their view, Japan is the victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by South Korea to settle old scores.

For scholars of the comfort women issue, the surprise was not The Asahi’s conclusion that Mr. Yoshida had lied — the newspaper acknowledged in 1997 that it could not verify his account — but that it waited so long to issue a formal retraction. Employees at the newspaper said it finally acted because members of the Abe government had been using the articles to criticize The Asahi’s reporters, and it hoped to blunt the attacks by setting the record straight.

Instead, the move prompted a storm of denunciations and gave the revisionists a new opening to promote their version of history. They are also pressing a claim that has left foreign experts scratching their heads in disbelief: that The Asahi alone is to blame for persuading the world that the comfort women were victims of coercion.

Though dozens of women have come forward with testimony about their ordeals, the Japanese right contends it was The Asahi’s reporting that resulted in international condemnation of Japan, including a 2007 resolution by the United States House of Representatives calling on Japan to make “a clear and unequivocal” apology for “one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century.”

For Mr. Abe and his allies, humbling The Asahi is also a way to advance their long-held agenda of erasing portrayals of Imperial Japan they consider too negative and, analysts say, eventually overturning the landmark 1993 apology to comfort women. Many on the right have argued that Japan behaved no worse than other World War II combatants, including the United States.

“The Asahi’s admission is a chance for the revisionist right to say, ‘See! We told you so!’ ” said Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo. “Abe sees this as his chance to go after a historical issue that he believes has hurt Japan’s national honor.”

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
The Asahi’s conservative competitor, The Yomiuri Shimbun, the world’s highest-circulation newspaper, has capitalized on its rival’s troubles by distributing leaflets that highlight The Asahi’s mistakes in reporting on comfort women. Since August, The Asahi’s daily circulation has dropped by 230,797 to about 7 million, according to the Japan Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Right-wing tabloids have gone further, singling out Mr. Uemura as a “fabricator of the comfort women” even though his article was not among those that The Asahi retracted.

Mr. Uemura said few in the news media had taken his side. Even The Asahi, he said, has been too fearful to defend him, or even itself. In September, the newspaper’s top executives apologized on television and fired the chief editor.

“Abe is using The Asahi’s problems to intimidate other media into self-censorship,” said Jiro Yamaguchi, a political scientist at Hosei University in Tokyo who helped organize a petition to support Mr. Uemura. “This is a new form of McCarthyism.”

Hokusei Gakuen University, a small Christian college in northern Japan where Mr. Uemura lectures on local culture and history, said it was reviewing his contract because of bomb threats by ultranationalists. On a recent afternoon, some of Mr. Uemura’s supporters gathered in a chapel on campus to hear a sermon warning against repeating the mistakes of the dark years before the war, when the nation trampled dissent in its march toward militarism.

Mr. Uemura did not attend, explaining that he was now reluctant to appear in public.

“This is the right’s way of threatening other journalists into silence,” he said. “They don’t want to suffer the same fate that I have.”
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Dec 2nd, 2014 8:39 PM
§Nuclear suit to protect from radiation
by No Nukes Action Committee Tuesday Dec 2nd, 2014 8:39 PM
Uranium miners are being contaminated in Australia and around the world.
§Anti-nuclear painting
by No Nukes Action Committee Tuesday Dec 2nd, 2014 8:39 PM
Painting about the costs of nuclear power.
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