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Stop Olympics In Fukushima, Stop Restarting Japan NUKES & Releasing Radiation
Date Thursday April 11
Time 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorNo Nukes Action
Location Details
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St. near California
San Francisco
4/11 Speak Out Now! Stop Olympics In Fukushima, Stop Restarting The Japanese NUKES & Releasing Radioactive Water-Stop Repressing Anti-War/Anti-Nuclear Activists

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 3:00 PM
Japanese Consulate In San Francisco
275 Battery St near California St.
San Francisco

The Japanese Abe government continues to propagandize that Fukushima has now been “decontaminated” and that the refugees should return under threat of losing their housing subsidies. In a major propaganda ploy, they have also connived to get the Olympics to have the Olympic baseball games at Fukushima arguing that it is now “safe” and can be re-developed.

At the same time, the government has still been unable to remove the melted nuclear rods in the three broken down reactors and also is pouring thousands of tons of water to cool them. There is over 1 million tons of radioactive water in tanks surrounding the nuclear plant and another major earthquake could rupture these tanks pouring this radioactively contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. In fact the Abe government is pushing against the opposition of the Fukushima fisherman co-operatives to release this tritium-contaminated water in the Pacific now.

The Abe government is also pushing to restart even more nuclear plants in highly dangerous areas. Japan is in what is called the ring of fire because of the dangerous earthquakes but this does not matter to these government officials.

The Abe government is repressing anti-nuclear activists including Fukushima refugees and even arrested one woman at Hiroshima in August that was alerting the public about the danger of radiation in Japan. She was held without charges for ten days and is with the group GoWest.
Increasingly repressive laws have been passed by the racist and reactionary Abe government including the Secrecy Act and Conspiracy Act that is aimed at silencing journalists and whistleblowers.

The government also continues to imprison anti-war activist Fumiaki Hoshino who has been imprisoned for more than 43 years for protesting against the US-Japan military treaty which was illegally used by the US to bring nuclear weapons into Okinawa and other US military bases in Japan. His condition is very difficult with extreme heat and cold temperatures in the prison that threaten his health as well as the health of other prisoners.
Come speak out to defend the people of Fukushima, Japan, and the world.

For more event information:
http://nonukesaction.wordpress.com

Would You Play Ball at Fukushima?
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/sports/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-tokyo-olympics.html?login=email&auth=login-email

Children played baseball at Matsukawaundo Koen Ya Baseball Field in Fukushima in November. Some parts of the prefecture — mainly in the capital city of Fukushima — are trying to change the perception around their name through sports.
Credit
Seth Berkman for The New York Times


Image
Children played baseball at Matsukawaundo Koen Ya Baseball Field in Fukushima in November. Some parts of the prefecture — mainly in the capital city of Fukushima — are trying to change the perception around their name through sports.CreditCreditSeth Berkman for The New York Times
By Seth Berkman
Dec. 29, 2017

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — A sea of brightly colored banners and advertisements decorated Fukushima train station in early November to celebrate coming road races and Fukushima United, the local soccer club.

There are new professional baseball and basketball franchises in the region, too. They carry inspirational names like the Hopes and the Firebonds, the latter signifying the spirit of a team connecting to the community, said 21-year-old point guard Wataru Igari.

For an area with a growing interest in sports, the biggest boon came in March when the International Olympic Committee approved Fukushima to host baseball and softball games during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Yet Fukushima remains defined by tragedy.

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami killed an estimated 16,000 people across Japan and caused meltdowns and radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Devastation touched every corner of Fukushima Prefecture, which is about the size of Connecticut. Among the population of nearly two million residents, more than 160,000 near the power plant fled or evacuated.
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The disaster also damaged the Fukushima name. Tourism declined. The rest of Japan shunned produce or materials from Fukushima.

Almost seven years later, pockets of the prefecture — mainly in its namesake capital city — are attempting to change its perception through sports.
An advertisement for a new baseball team on the side of a vending machine.
Credit
Seth Berkman for The New York Times

An advertisement for a new baseball team on the side of a vending machine.CreditSeth Berkman for The New York Times
“We are looked at like Chernobyl,” said Saito Nobuyuki, who was born in Fukushima and now owns Sportsland, a sporting goods store here. “It’s difficult to change.”

Akinori Iwamura is among those hoping to rehabilitate Fukushima’s name.

Iwamura was the starting second baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 World Series. He also won two World Baseball Classic championships with Japan and played in the Nippon Professional Baseball League for 13 years.


Today, Iwamura, 38, is toiling at the lowest levels of organized baseball. He is the manager of the Fukushima Hopes, a semipro team whose games are sparsely attended; Iwamura equated the level of play to Class AA baseball in the United States.

“I call myself a missionary,” Iwamura said. “Even though it’s a negative way many people know the name of Fukushima, we have to change it into a positive way.”

Iwamura was preparing to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles when the earthquake and tsunami struck. Although he is from Ehime Prefecture in southern Japan, Iwamura said he felt it became his “destiny” to help rebuild Fukushima after he retired. Among those who encouraged him, Iwamura said, was Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon, who was his coach with the Rays.

Iwamura could have a big stage to help bolster the area’s image when Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, the home park of the Hopes, hosts Olympic games in 2020. Iwamura sees in that another opportunity to inform the world about life beyond the disaster.
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The Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium in November. Some of the 2020 Olympic baseball and softball games will be played at the stadium.
Credit
Kyodo News, via Getty Images


Image

The Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium in November. Some of the 2020 Olympic baseball and softball games will be played at the stadium.CreditKyodo News, via Getty Images
“When they go back to their country, they can tell their impression to the local people of their countries so it will bring more people to come for tourism,” he said.

The stadium is in the capital, about 90 minutes from Tokyo by high-speed train and 55 miles west of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The city did not receive extensive damage like other towns closer to the plant and the coast, which concerns critics who believe the conditions of more seriously affected areas will be ignored because of the Olympics.
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Immediately after the announcement in March that Fukushima would host baseball, antinuclear activists denounced the move. They argued it created a facade that Fukushima had returned to normal and glossed over the remaining hardships faced by an estimated 120,000 residents who still cannot — and may never — return to their homes.

“The Japanese government wants to show the fake side of Fukushima,” said Hajime Matsukubo, secretary general for the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center in Tokyo. In his office, Matsukubo showed a copy of the Fukushima Minpo newspaper, which listed radiation levels of all the towns in Fukushima like box scores in a daily sports section.

Azby Brown, who works for Safecast, an organization that helps citizens independently measure environmental data like radiation levels, said Olympic visitors staying near the stadium for a week probably would not be exposed to higher than normal radiation. But he also disagreed with the government’s messaging about Fukushima.

“Communities have been destroyed, there has been no real accountability, the environmental contamination will persist for decades and will require vigilance and conscientious monitoring the entire time,” Brown wrote in an email. “People who accept the radiation measurements and make a rational decision to return still live with a nagging concern and doubt, as if they’re living in a haunted house.”
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The No. 3 nuclear reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that caused meltdowns and radiation leaks at the plant forever changed the area.
Credit
Digital Globe, via Reuters


Image

The No. 3 nuclear reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that caused meltdowns and radiation leaks at the plant forever changed the area.CreditDigital Globe, via Reuters
When Japan was awarded the 2020 Olympics in September 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the I.O.C. that “the situation is under control” in Fukushima.

Four years later, Brown said, public infrastructure projects in destroyed areas have been delayed because construction companies became too focused on gaining Olympic-related work around Tokyo.
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Prefectural Gov. Masao Uchibori contended that the area was showing notable progress in reconstruction. Uchibori cited the continual reopening of tourist sites in the area and the growing influence of sports on civic pride.

He added that the rebuilding of contaminated areas and a declining population cannot be overlooked, calling these contrasting aspects the “light and shadow” of Fukushima.

“At this moment, I cannot find any negative point,” to holding Olympics events in Fukushima, Uchibori said, “but I would like to work in cooperation with the organizing committee and the central government in order to make people think it was good to hold the events in Fukushima.”

Uchibori added that “rumors” of Fukushima’s condition contribute to the shadow over the prefecture.

Large swaths of Fukushima remain uninhabitable, with cleanup at the plant estimated to take up to 40 years and cost almost $200 billion.
Schools in places like Naraha, in Fukushima Prefecture, have re-opened, while other towns nearby remain deserted.
Credit
Tomohiro Ohsumi for The New York Times


Image

Schools in places like Naraha, in Fukushima Prefecture, have re-opened, while other towns nearby remain deserted.CreditTomohiro Ohsumi for The New York Times
Still, some residents see hope in the Olympics.

“If the Olympics doesn’t happen in Fukushima now, the image of Fukushima doesn’t change for a long time,” said Aya Watanabe, a student at Fukushima University who interned in Houston during the summer and saw the impact the Astros’ World Series victory had on morale in the hurricane-stricken city. “It’s a very big chance for Fukushima to change the prospects.”

While teams like the Hopes and Firebonds are still relatively new, their players have already seen how sports can be helpful in Fukushima’s recovery.
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Deon Jones, who played college basketball at Monmouth University, is in his first year with the Firebonds. His mother initially worried about him living in Fukushima, but he has enjoyed playing here, learning about the backgrounds and hardships of local teammates like the point guard Igari and Shota Kanno, who is from the nearby city of Nihonmatsu. Several times a week, players hold clinics at local schools. A team spokeswoman said Firebonds home games draw about 2,000 fans.

“You’re playing for a little bit more than basketball,” Jones said. “You’re playing for everyone in Fukushima.”

And then there’s baseball, Japan’s national pastime. After Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics, a strong push was made to reintroduce baseball specifically for these Games because of its history and popularity among youth in Japan. Participation has fallen in Fukushima since the 2011 tsunami. Atsushi Kobari, director of the Fukushima High School Baseball Federation, has tracked the declining enrollment of high school players over the last six years.

“It’s definitely due to the disaster at the nuclear plant,” Kobari said.

Miwako Kurikama, whose son Ryota plays baseball for Fukushima Commercial High School, was evacuated after the tsunami. Ryota’s elementary school permanently closed. At times, Kurikama drove 90 minutes away just to find fields where her son could practice.
An abandoned house inside the exclusion zone, in Namie, in February 2016. Earlier this year, some residents of Naime, only 2.5 miles from the plant, were cleared to return. But a majority of the 21,434 former residents asked for their homes to be demolished instead.
Credit
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


Image

An abandoned house inside the exclusion zone, in Namie, in February 2016. Earlier this year, some residents of Naime, only 2.5 miles from the plant, were cleared to return. But a majority of the 21,434 former residents asked for their homes to be demolished instead.CreditChristopher Furlong/Getty Images
On a recent Sunday morning, Kurikama watched him in a scrimmage with his high school teammates at Shinobugaoka Baseball Stadium in Fukushima. She was joined by six other mothers sitting behind home plate. They shared snacks and kept score on a chalkboard, laughing and cheering in unison during rundowns or run-scoring hits.

Kurikama has known some of the players since first grade, before her son’s school closed. Having them all together again seemed cathartic, familial.
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Nearby at the baseball stadium, Little Leaguers from Fukushima were playing on the same field in Azuma Park that Olympians will patrol in two and half years. At Matsukawaundo Koen Ya Baseball Field, a children’s tournament was invigorated by a soundtrack of banging plastic megaphones, resembling a Japanese professional game.

As normal as these scenes may have felt for some residents, the specter from the 2011 disaster remained.

In a fenced-off area in Azuma Park, hundreds of giant black trash bags filled with decontaminated waste were being stored, stacked above eye-level and still not yet properly discarded. The city government is working with Japan’s ministry of the environment to remove them before the Olympics, but for now the area, which was big enough to hold another baseball field, instead resembled a junkyard.

At the baseball fields around the city, as children ran down the first base line or chased down fly balls in right field, they passed by ominous signs posting the day’s radiation levels — tallies with more serious implications than the runs on the scoreboard.

Although sports are helping some in Fukushima heal, they have not erased all doubts about the future — and perhaps they shouldn’t be expected to.

“The government needs to inform us of actual information with scientific proof,” said Michiaki Kakudate, who was watching his son, Keigo, 11, pitch at the children’s tournament. “They say it’s no problem, but that doesn’t convince people.”
Correction: Jan. 4, 2018
An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the death toll after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and the following meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. An estimated 16,000 people died across Japan - not solely in Fukushima Prefecture - and those deaths were caused only by the earthquake and tsunami, not by radiation from the damaged nuclear facility.

Japan Abe’s Government Run TEPCO Which Was Taken Over By Japanese State Still Making “donations”
TEPCO, despite financial woes, still thinking to make donations
Its largesse is at odds with the fact that TEPCO is effectively under state control, given the huge amounts of public funds pumped into the utility to keep it afloat.
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903300028.html
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
March 30, 2019 at 17:20 JST


Photo/Illutration
The site where Tokyo Electric Power Co. had planned to construct its Higashidori nuclear power plant. Lying in the foreground is Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s Higashidori nuclear power plant. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Saddled with massive outlays following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the parent company of Tokyo Electric Power Co. is only able to keep going through the injection of public funds.

Yet, it has emerged the company now feels it is in a position to donate about 200 million yen ($1.8 million) to a village in Aomori Prefecture through a special tax program that allows firms making payments to receive a corporate tax break.

The donations would underwrite the cost of three projects totaling 800 million yen that the village of Higashidori hopes will revitalize its economy. One program is for branding local farm and fishery products.

TEPCO gained approval in January 2011 to construct a nuclear power plant in Higashidori, and the initial plan was to begin operations in March 2017.

But the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant led to an indefinite postponement of construction work. The village had anticipated property tax revenues after the nuclear plant was constructed, but has had to undertake stiff fiscal belt-tightening instead. A number of inns in the village have since closed.

TEPCO Holdings on March 29 proposed the donation for fiscal 2018 to the village and also indicated it was prepared to make another donation for fiscal 2019.

Its largesse is at odds with the fact that TEPCO is effectively under state control, given the huge amounts of public funds pumped into the utility to keep it afloat.

It also faces crippling costs in decommissioning the stricken Fukushima plant and compensating victims of the nuclear accident.

Given the situation, eyebrows will likely be raised if donations are made to local municipalities that play host to nuclear plants seeking to resume operations or serve as candidate sites for new plants.

TEPCO is not the first utility to offer a donation. On March 18, Tohoku Electric Power Co. used the same tax break program to propose a total of about 400 million yen in donations over two years.

Operations at Tohoku Electric Power's Higashidori nuclear plant have been suspended since the Fukushima nuclear accident.

TEPCO had once said it was prohibiting donations to local governments because of the many streamlining measures it must still implement. TEPCO has not made a donation to Fukushima Prefecture or any other local government through the corporate tax break program.

A TEPCO Holdings official said the proposal to Higashidori was one way to cooperate with the local community for the construction of necessary infrastructure and insisted the donation ban was unchanged.

Higashidori Mayor Yasuo Echizen said, "I believe the proposal was made based on an understanding of the fiscal position the village faces."


(This article was written by Taiji Ito and Rintaro Sakurai.)

‘Old man squad’ ends patrols of evacuated town in Fukushima-The Insanity Of The Abe Government
“The evacuation order is to be lifted thanks to your efforts,” brought tears to the eyes of some members.
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201904060001.html

By DAIKI ISHIZUKA/ Staff Writer
April 6, 2019 at 07:20 JSTPhoto/Illutration
Hisatomo Suzuki, right, speaks after he and other members of the "old man squad" received flowers from town government officials in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 31. (Daiki Ishizuka)
Photo/Illustraion
Photo/Illustraion
OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture--A team of older residents that stayed behind to patrol this town after its residents evacuated following the March 2011 nuclear crisis has completed its mission.

The "old man squad," as its six members called themselves, ended its six-year activities on March 31 before an evacuation order is lifted for the Ogawara and Chuyashiki districts on April 10.

Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe and 30 town government officials visited the team’s base and expressed gratitude to the members.

Hearing Watanabe saying, “The evacuation order is to be lifted thanks to your efforts,” brought tears to the eyes of some members.

The team comprised Hisatomo Suzuki, 66, who formerly served as head of the town’s general affairs section, other former senior town government officials, a former firefighter and others. The average age of the team is over 65.

Okuma co-hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The six members started making rounds and removing weeds in 2013 in lieu of town government officials.

When forming the team, Suzuki told Watanabe: “There's no need for young people to risk their lives. We, old men, will make the rounds.”

Two to three members patrolled the town in rotation, removed fallen trees and branches, cleaned streets and assisted residents who temporarily returned to the municipality on behalf of the town government.

The new Okuma town government office will open on April 14 in Ogawara, where 100 officials are expected to start work on May 7.

“I believe the entire town will be able to recover from the disaster. People can do anything if they have high morale,” said Suzuki.

“I want to do everything I can to contribute to the town. We, six members, promised to keep going on until the decommissioning process of the nuclear reactors is complete.”
sm_fukushima_hopes_.jpg
Added to the calendar on Sunday Apr 7th, 2019 1:17 PM
§Abe's Propaganda Ploy-the Olympics In Fukushima
by No Nukes Action Sunday Apr 7th, 2019 1:17 PM
sm_fukushima_stadium.jpg
“I call myself a missionary,” Iwamura said. “Even though it’s a negative way many people know the name of Fukushima, we have to change it into a positive way.”

As a major propaganda ploy, the corrupt Abe government with the support of the International Olympic Committee is having the 2020 Olympics in Japan and the baseball games at Fukushima despite the continuing global threat by the contaminated nuclear plants. They are spending tens of millions on refurbishing a stadium for the nuclear games saying that it is now "safe" in Fukushima for baseball, softball and other sports.
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JPN Nationwide Increase in Complex Congenital Heart Diseases After Fukushima MeltdownrepostSunday Apr 7th, 2019 2:14 PM

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