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SF Speak Out At Japanese Consulate To Defend Fukushima Families and Opposition To Restart
by No Nukes Action Committee
Friday Jul 7th, 2017 6:05 PM
No Nukes Action is having the 60th action at the SF Japanese consulate to defend the families and workers of the nuclear plant and to oppose the re-opening of more nuclear plants in Japan by the Abe government.
7/11 SF Speak Out
Tuesday July 11, 2017 3:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St./California St.
San Francisco

The Abe government continues to demand that the families who were evacuated from Fukushima return to the contaminated area. Despite the claims of the government that Fukushima has been “decontaminated” the opposite is the case and the radioactive material continues to leak into the Pacific ocean. Additionally the thousands of tanks filled with radioactive water are a serious threat to burst and leak when the next major earthquake hits the Fukushima area. The government is pushing ahead as well to re-open additional nuclear plants despite the continuing dangers.
The No Nuke Action Committee is also opposed to the increase repression in Japan through the “secrecy law”, the proposed “conspiracy law” and the revocation of Article 9 which would militarize Japan. The repression has also been used to arrest and harass anti-nuclear activists like Professor Shimoji in Osaka.
Please join the action and speak out to defend the families and oppose the continued restarting of Japan’s nuclear plants.

We all on to people to join us this coming July 11, 2017 at 3:00 PM at 275 Battery St. near California at the Japanese Consulate. Make your voice heard.

Speak Out and Rally initiated by
No Nukes Action Committee

US court: Sailors can sue in US over Japanese nuclear disaster
June 23, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court says members of the U.S. Navy can pursue their lawsuit in a U.S. court alleging radiation exposure from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Thursday that the sailors for now don't have to make their legal claims in Japan.

Their lawsuit accuses Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Japanese government of conspiring to keep secret the extent of the radiation leak following a 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of people.

The plaintiffs arrived off the coast of Fukushima aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and other vessels to provide humanitarian aid a day after the quake.

They filed their lawsuit in 2012 in federal court in San Diego.

An email to an attorney for Tokyo Electric was not immediately returned.

Although Abe Government Says Fukushima Has Been Decontaminated It Is Pushing Rice That "absorbs less radiation”
Fukushima may get rice variant that absorbs less radiation
June 13, 2017 at 07:10 JSTare

TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--A new type of the famed Koshihikari rice strain that absorbs just half as much radioactive cesium as the regular variety may be grown in Fukushima Prefecture.
The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization hopes to introduce it into the prefecture as part of efforts to dispel lingering negative publicity after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster of 2011.

Satoru Ishikawa, who leads NARO’s Crop Safety Unit, and his co-workers used ion-beam irradiation to cause a gene mutation in Koshihikari to block the discharge of sodium ions from its roots. That enhanced the concentration of sodium ions in its root cells and suppressed the intake of cesium.

When the mutant was test-grown on contaminated soil alongside conventional Koshihikari, the cesium concentration in the mutant turned out to be 55 percent lower in unpolished rice grains and 59 percent lower in rice straw, both well below the government’s safety limit.

The mutant had about the same number of rice ears and about the same yield of unpolished rice grains as traditional Koshihikari, and its taste was evaluated by an external organization as being “almost equal” to that of the parent strain.

The use of potassium ion fertilizer to suppress cesium absorption has been effective in reducing cesium, but that method is expensive and labor intensive.

“(Use of the mutant suppresses cesium uptake) more effectively when combined with the use of potassium fertilizer,” Ishikawa said. “We hope introduction of the mutant will be considered as an option in areas where farming is going to be resumed.”

Criminal Trial Begin For Japan Ex-Tepco Executives Six Years After 3.11 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Thursday, July 6, 2017

On Friday, June 30th, the Tokyo District Court held the first hearing of the criminal trial against former Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) executives over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The trial comes six years after the disaster, which resulted in the loss of livelihoods and assets for many of Fukushima’s residents, including those forcibly ordered to leave their homes. Given the massive scale and widespread impact of the disaster, it seemed an immediate investigation by police and public prosecutors was in order. Instead, Japanese law enforcement agencies—as if under orders from pro-nuclear forces within the government—did not pursue the matter despite public calls for an investigation. Without any recourse, survivors of the nuclear disaster took to filing several class-action lawsuits against Tepco. The prosecutors continued, however, to refuse pressing criminal charges against Tepco executives, ignoring the violation of basic human rights of Fukushima’s residents. After a prolonged battle to bring the case to court, the survivors’ grievances were finally accepted by the committee for inquest of prosecution, which oversees cases dropped by prosecutors, and prompted a criminal trial that will determine whether ex-Tepco executives are liable for professional negligence in the 2011 disaster (TERAHIMA Shigehiro).



Japan Abe Government's 'Conspiracy' law enacted to punish planning of crimes

"But opponents, including legal experts, warned it could pave the way to suppression of free speech, invasive state surveillance and arbitrary punishment of civic groups and labor unions."
'Conspiracy' law enacted to punish planning of crimes
June 15, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)
House of Councillors Judicial Affairs Committee chairman Kozo Akino, front, speaks on revisions to the Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds Act during the chamber's plenary session early on June 15, 2017. (Mainichi)
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's parliament enacted Thursday contentious legislation to criminalize the planning of serious crimes, which the government says will help thwart terrorism but opponents claim could lead to the suppression of civil liberties and excessive state surveillance.

【Related】Gist of regulations in 'conspiracy' law
【Related】Ruling coalition diverts attention from scandal by ramming 'conspiracy' bill into law
The amendment to the law on organized crime cleared a vote in a plenary session of the House of Councillors, or upper house, after the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito took the unorthodox step on Wednesday of bypassing an upper house committee vote.

The choice to circumvent the normal legislative process effectively allowed the coalition to avoid having to extend the current Diet session, set to end on Sunday, at a time when corruption allegations against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have prompted heightened scrutiny of the Abe administration.

Opposition parties have said documents shared in the education ministry imply that Abe had a hand in a decision to approve a university project in a specially deregulated economic zone so as to benefit one of his close friends.

"Is it that you don't want (the allegations) to be covered any more than this? Is that why you've embarked on the ultimate form of railroading (by bypassing the committee)?" Democratic Party leader Renho said while speaking against the amendment.

"We want to use this law appropriately and effectively to protect the public's lives and property," Abe told reporters at his office on Thursday morning.

Under the new law, members of "terrorist groups or other organized crime groups" can be punished for carrying out specific actions in preparation for 277 different crimes.

The Abe administration framed the law as an essential tool for thwarting terrorist attacks, of particular importance as Tokyo prepares to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, and as necessary to allow Japan to ratify the 2000 U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

But opponents, including legal experts, warned it could pave the way to suppression of free speech, invasive state surveillance and arbitrary punishment of civic groups and labor unions.

Opponents called it the "conspiracy bill" in a reference to three similarly worded bills that had sought to introduce a conspiracy charge. None of those bills had made it through the Diet.

Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda insisted Thursday the law has been designed to dispel concerns brought up about those previous bills, as it "is expressly limited to organized criminal groups, the applicable crimes are listed and clearly defined and it applies only once actual preparatory actions have taken place."

The law serves as a fundamental shift in Japan's penal code, which previously applied penalties only after crimes had actually been committed.

Joseph Cannataci, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy, warned last month that the law could lead to undue restrictions of privacy and freedom of expression due to its potentially broad application. The Abe administration publically dismissed his concerns.

While lawmakers quarreled late into the night on Wednesday, a throng of protesters -- about 5,000, according to an organizer's count -- gathered in front of the Diet building, objecting to the "dictatorial" tactics used to pass the law and its potential to chill future protest against the government.

Opinion polling has shown a split over the law among voters, suggesting they have not been satisfied with the defense offered by the government and ruling parties in response to opposition concerns the law could lead to a surveillance society.

In a Kyodo News national poll late last month, taken after the bill passed the lower house committee stage, 39.9 percent of respondents were in favor of it and 41.4 percent opposed.

The question of whether the bill needed to be enacted during the current Diet session prompted a less divided response, with 56.1 percent of respondents saying it was unnecessary compared to 31.0 percent saying it should be enacted within that timeframe.

The ruling parties' tactic of bypassing a committee vote and taking a bill straight to a session of a whole Diet chamber is rarely used, although technically allowed.

Wataru Takeshita, the LDP's Diet affairs chief, told reporters Thursday morning the bypass tactic was used because "we want those in the opposition parties to reflect on their habit of getting in the way of questions and answers (in parliament)."

The Democratic Party and three other opposition parties had agreed to pursue all possible means of impeding the bill.

They submitted Wednesday evening a no-confidence motion against the Abe Cabinet, which was eventually rejected in a plenary session of the House of Representatives early Thursday.

The new law is expected to come into effect on July 11, according to the Justice Ministry.

A less controversial amendment bill that would strengthen the penal code's punishment of sex offenses is likely to pass a vote in an upper house committee later Thursday and be enacted in a plenary session on Friday, removing the remaining justification for an extension to the current Diet session.4 hours ago - 06/15/2017 - 09:41:12 JST -- TOKYO [Politics]