View other events for the week of 1/11/2016
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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
|SF Rally-Speak Out At Japanese Consulate-Defend the Families And Children of Fukushima, St|
|Date||Monday January 11|
|Time||3:00 PM - 4:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St/California St.
Near Embarcadero BART Station
|Event Type||Press Conference|
|Organizer/Author||No Nukes Action Committee|
SF Rally-Speak Out At Japanese Consulate-Defend the Families And Children of Fukushima, Stop Nuclear Power, Militarization and Attacks On 'Comfort Women' And the Real History of the 2nd WWAdded to the calendar on Monday Jan 4th, 2016 8:52 AM
Rally and Speak Out At Japanese Consulate On Monday January 11, 2015 at 3:00
275 Battery St. San Francisco
The Abe Government despite the dangers of continuing radiation leaks from the Fukushima continues to demand that the children and families return to the area.
They also are pushing to re-open additional nuclear plants in Japan despite the continued risk of another Fukushima. The passage of a "secrecy law" and effort to eliminate Article 9 of the Japanese constitution forbidding offensive war continues. Reporters and investigators face potential prosecution if they report on serious breaches of health and safety protection by the nuclear industry and cover-up by Japanese regulatory agencies.
The latest effort of the Abe government is to reach a so called agreement about the issue of the 'comfort women' with the Korean government. The agreement which was made without consultations of the 'Comfort Women' themselves is not a formal apology from the Japanese Parliament and does not provide financial compensation. The US government and Congress issued a formal apology and financial compensation to all Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in concentration camps during the 2nd WW and this event is now recognized as a crime against the Japanese Americans.
The Abe government as it seeks to tell the Japanese people that they can overcome radiation and decontaminate Fukushima is now saying the issue of the 'Comfort Women' has been resolved and is over. This is the same line they are taking at Fukushima telling the Japanese people the dangers and contamination is over. In fact The Abe administration told the Olympic Committee that this was not longer an issue to be concerned about in Japan in order to get the Olympics in Japan. Can we or any person believe this government?
At the same time, the Abe government is seeking to stop memorials to the 'Comfort Women' in San Francisco and around the world as well as seeking to stop US publishers from including the history of the 'Comfort Women' in US education textbooks. The Japanese Foreign Minister is spending $500 million around the world in a propaganda campaign to justify the role of the Japanese Imperial Army in Asia. The remilitarization of Asia through new bases in Okinawa and in Jeju, Korea are not in the interests of people in Asia or the United States which is now supporting this further militarization.
Join the rally and speak out for defense of the Fukushima families and children, against further restarting of Japanese NUKE plants, the militarization of Japan and the cover-up of the role of the Japanese Imperial Army in the subjugation of the 'comfort women'.
Sponsored by No Nukes Action Committee And Additional Endorsers
For information call (510) 495-5952
Moves to restart Takahama reactors have Fukushima evacuees asking, 'What was learned?'
December 25, 2015
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
With the Takahama nuclear power plant getting the green light for a restart, evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture are asking if anything was learned from their plight following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
"I feel the Fukushima accident has become something that lies totally in the past," said Atsuko Fukushima, 43, who fled from Minami-Soma and now resides in Kizugawa, Kyoto Prefecture.
Work began on Dec. 25 to transport nuclear fuel into the Takahama plant, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co.
The move follows a court decision the previous day lifting an injunction against restarting two nuclear reactors at the plant.
If everything proceeds along the schedule set by Kansai Electric, one of the Takahama reactors could resume operations in late January.
Fukushima referred to the Dec. 24 ruling in Fukui District Court that overturned the injunction against the Takahama plant restart issued by the same court, but a different presiding judge, only eight months earlier.
"I cannot understand why there was a divergence in the decisions made by the judicial system," she said. "If the courts approve reactor restarts and those orders are carried out, there is the possibility of new victims appearing who have to go through what we did."
Fukushima is one of a group of plaintiffs that filed lawsuits in Kyoto District Court seeking compensation for evacuees from the nuclear accident as well as to order an injunction against the Oi nuclear power plant, also operated by Kansai Electric in Fukui Prefecture.
In Preparation to Join US Wars, Japan Dismantles Freedom of the Press
Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:00
By Jon Mitchell, Freedom of the Press Foundation | News Analysis
Two Okinawan women demonstrate against the construction of a new US Marine Corps base in Henoko district. (Photo: Jon Mitchell)
In 2010, Japan was ranked #11 in Reporters Without Borders' global Press Freedom Index. By February 2015, that number had plummeted to #61 - and next year it will likely fall further.
Since coming to power in 2012, PM Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party have embarked upon a war of attrition against press freedoms in Japan.
Assaults have included: embedding neo-nationalists in key positions at state broadcaster, NHK; issuing veiled threats to TV networks that coverage critical of the government might cost them their broadcast licenses; and accusing a German journalist - who'd written about PM Abe's historical revisionism - of accepting a bribe from China.
This week, David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, was scheduled to visit Tokyo - a trip which would have brought international attention to the Japanese government's suppression of the media. But at the last moment, officials canceled his trip claiming they were too busy to meet him.
The LDP is particularly keen to avoid scrutiny of the State Secrets Law which it rushed through parliament in late 2013.
The law gives the Japanese government free rein to classify as a state secret any information related to security and diplomacy - with zero independent oversight. Information can be kept classified for an indefinite period, including reports related to the triple meltdowns at Fukushima's nuclear power plant.
Under the new law, government whistleblowers can be jailed for 10 years while members of the media publishing leaked information face 5 years imprisonment; foreign journalists - like me - will probably be deported.
Realizing the future of their free press was at stake, the Japanese public - approximately 80% of whom oppose the act - organized some of the largest demonstrations seen here in decades. Newspaper editors, journalists, publishers and lawyers slammed the law as an attack on Japan's constitutionally-protected freedom of the press.
Reporters Without Borders said:
"… parliament is making investigative journalism illegal, and is trampling on the fundamental principles of the confidentiality of journalists' sources and 'public interest'."
Opposition to the State Secrets Act was unanimous - with one exception: the US.
Shortly after the act was passed, US Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, voiced Washington's approval:
"We support the evolution of Japan's security policies, as they create a new national security strategy, establish a National Security Council, and take steps to protect national security secrets."
For many years, Washington's Japan-handlers have pressed Tokyo to introduce repressive legislation to protect secrets concerning the US-Japan security alliance. Most notably Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye include these laws on their wish-list in the 2012 CSIS report The US-Japan Alliance.
Such US government interference in Japanese domestic politics is nothing new; the CIA funneled money to the LDP throughout the 1950s and '60s to ensure a subservient ally in the region. In recent years, this pressure has increased with Washington repeatedly urging Japan to allow members of its Self-Defense Forces to join America's endless wars in the Middle East.
Last month, Donald Rumsfeld - who once referred to Japan's SDF as "boy-scouts" - was given one of Japan's highest honors, the Order of the Rising Sun. Armitage and Nye are recipients of the same award.
In PM Abe's government, the Pentagon has found a sympathetic ear for the remilitarization of Japan. Motivated by revisionist nostalgia for Japan's pre-1945 Empire and a misguided hope that war munitions might save the nation's stagnant industrial sector, this year the LDP moved to re-interpret the nation's peace constitution - the key obstacle to the remilitarization of Japan.
In the summer, the government rammed through parliament its bills on collective self-defense - popularly known as the War Bills.
Worded purposefully vague, the laws allow Japan to send military forces to fight overseas for the first time since World War Two. These troops will fight alongside - or more likely under the command of - the US.
The US reacted to the passage of the bills with enthusiastic support.
The State Department said:
"We welcome Japan's ongoing efforts to strengthen the alliance and play a more active role in regional and international security activities, as reflected in Japan's new security legislation."
Once again, US support was at odds with popular sentiment in Japan. Many people here likened the rushed passage of the bill as a coup d'etat. Punch-ups between lawmakers broke out in the parliamentary chamber. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets - including, for the first time in a generation, many university students.
State broadcaster NHK gave scant coverage to these demonstrations - nor did it report about the man who set himself ablaze atop a Tokyo bridge to protest the war bills.
In Japan's southernmost prefecture, Okinawa, heckles of "Warmonger" and "Go home!" met PM Abe when he gave a speech in June to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War Two fighting there. Again, NHK ignored the news - as it does other ongoing human rights violations on the island.
Given their experiences of World War Two, Okinawans are painfully aware of the dangers posed by PM Abe's resurgent militarism. More than a quarter of the island's population died in the spring of 1945 - sacrificed by Tokyo to delay a US invasion of the mainland. Between 1945 and 1972, the island was a US military colony and the storehouse of perhaps the planet's largest concentration of weapons of mass destruction - approximately 1200 nuclear warheads, thousands of tons of nerve gas and Agent Orange.
Today, Okinawans are still dealing with the consequences of the 27-year US occupation - dioxin contamination, underdeveloped civilian infrastructure and US bases which continue to take up almost 20% of the island, hobbling economic growth.
Local residents must also contend with close ties between Japanese neo-nationalist groups and the US Marine Corps who leak surveillance videos to extremist websitesin order to discredit the island's peace movement.
Fortunately for Okinawans, their two daily newspapers - Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times - work fearlessly to hold the US and Japan to account for their abuses on the island.
This has put both newspapers in the LDP's line of fire.
On June 25, two days after PM Abe's humiliation at the Battle of Okinawa ceremony, the LDP held a study group in Tokyo to discuss the nation's media. At the meeting, Naoki Hyakuta - a former NHK governor appointed by the LDP - gave a speech calling for the destruction of Okinawa's two dailies.
Another speaker suggested the Japanese government should pressure advertisers to cut their funding to the newspapers.
Public outrage at these comments was so great that PM Abe was forced to dismiss the study group's organizer from his position - but not from the LDP.
In the coming years, as Japan prepares to send troops to fight in American wars, attacks on press freedoms in Japan are sure to worsen. And Washington will likely encourage the Japanese government in these assaults - just as it dismantles First Amendment rights at home.
TEPCO confronts new problem of radioactive water at Fukushima plant
TEPCO confronts new problem of radioactive water at Fukushima plant
December 26, 2015
By HIROMI KUMAGAI/ Staff Writer
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has unexpectedly been forced to deal with an increasingly large amount radioactive water accumulating at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after seaside walls to block the flow of groundwater were constructed in October.
TEPCO completed the walls on Oct. 26 to block contaminated groundwater from flowing into sea. The utility began pumping up groundwater from five wells dug between the walls and the plant's reactor buildings. The plan called for releasing the less contaminated water into the sea after a purification process, but TEPCO discovered that the water had larger amounts of radiation than it had expected.
TEPCO officials said the situation has left the utility with no option but to transfer 200 to 300 tons of groundwater each day into highly contaminated reactor buildings since November, a move that could further contaminate the water.
Comprised of numerous cylindrical steel pipes measuring 30 meters tall, the seaside walls were installed on the coastal side of the No. 1 to No. 4 reactor buildings to block contaminated groundwater flowing out of the highly contaminated buildings from reaching the ocean.
To control groundwater levels, TEPCO planned to release the less contaminated groundwater from the five wells into sea after a purification process.
However, the water from four of the wells was discovered to have high levels of tritium--a radioactive substance that is hard to remove--at levels higher than 1,500 becquerels per liter, which means the water cannot be released into sea.
To compound the problem, the seaside walls have also significantly raised groundwater levels, forcing the utility to pump a lot more groundwater than it originally planned.
TEPCO has been forced to temporarily transfer large amounts of the groundwater into highly contaminated reactor buildings, where it could become contaminated to an even further degree by being exposed to melted nuclear fuel.
The utility said it suspects the high levels of radiation found in the groundwater from the wells is due to the water being exposed to highly contaminated soil near the plant’s coastal embankment.
To reduce the amount of contaminated water at the plant, TEPCO began operations in September to pump up the groundwater in wells constructed around the reactor buildings to release it into the sea after a purification process.
The company initially announced that the project had reduced the amount of groundwater flowing into the contaminated reactor buildings from 300 tons to 200 tons a day.
The increasing amount of contaminated water has been stored in tanks constructed in the plant’s compound after going through operations to reduce contamination.
TEPCO plans to increase the amount of water it pumps from wells located elsewhere on the plant site to help reduce the amount of contaminated groundwater accumulating in the seaside wells.
Company officials admitted they are not sure when it can turn things around and reduce the amount of contaminated water at the Fukushima plant.
By HIROMI KUMAGAI/ Staff Writer
The US government and US politicians like Nancy Pelosi are supporting the construction of the new US base in Okinawa despite the opposition of the majority of people in Okinawa