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|SF Speak Out At Japan Consulate: Stop Olympics in Fukshima- Defend Fukushima Families|
|Import into your personal calendar|
|Date||Friday October 11|
|Time||3:00 PM - 4:00 PM|
|Event Type||Press Conference|
|Organizer/Author||No Nukes Action|
275 Battery St.
10/11/19 SF Speak Out At Japan Consulate: Stop Olympics in Fukshima & Japan- Defend Fukushima Families & Children
Stop PM Abe’s Big LIE and Fraud On The People Of The World That Fukushima is SAFE!
Friday October 11, 2019 3:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
275 Battery St near California St.
Join No Nukes Action NNA on its 85th action at the San Francisco Japanese Consulate to stop the Abe Japanese government's restart of Japan’s nuclear plants.
The Abe government is telling the people of Japan and the people of the world that Fukushima has been decontaminated and is safe. The New York Times and other corporate media are telling people in the US that Fukushima is safe to go ignoring the continuing dangers.
Their lies must be answered. Abe also lied to the Olympic committee saying that Japan should get the Olympics since the Fukushima meltdowns had been resolved but the three reactors still have melted nuclear rods that they have not been able to remove. In addition, there are over 1 million tons of contaminated radioactive tritium water in thousands of tanks surrounding the broken nuclear plants in Fukushima. The government is pushing to release the water in the Pacific Ocean despite the opposition of fisherman associations and now the Korean government. The IOC which runs the Olympics is in on. the cover-up of the dangers and remains silent.
They know that there are still also thousands of bags in Fukushima filled with radioactive waste with no place to go and these bags are spread throughout the region making it a major health danger. The Abe government is also pushing the sale of food next to contaminated sites and telling the public it is safe.
This is a continual threat to the people of Japan and the world.
The Abe government is also pushing for militarization and removal of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution that prevents military interventions outside Japan. They are also pushing for a new US military base in Okinawa despite the opposition of the mass of Okinawan people and the governor. This base would also have US nuclear ships and weapons which is presently against the US-Japan Security Agreement. The US has already violated this agreement many times and used Okinawa as a base for illegal wars around the world.
The majority of Japanese people are opposed to restarting Japan’s nuclear plants including the previous 3 prime ministers who are worried that Japan would be destroyed with another disaster like Fukushima. Again this shows that the Abe government has contempt for the people it supposedly represents. Join the rally and speak out.
Defend the people of Fukushima, Japan, and the world.
Stop The Restart of ALL Japan NUKE Plants
Defend the Children and People of Fukushima
No Olympic Baseball Games at Fukushima and Olympics in Japan
No Militarization and War In Asia
For more event information:
The ostriches of Fukushima and what they told us about radiation
By HIROSHI ISHIZUKA/ Staff Writer
September 30, 2019 at 07:30 JST
An ostrich runs by a bicycle with rusted chain in November 2011 in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Of all the astonishing sights that unfolded in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear crisis, the one that took the biscuit was ostriches roaming in one of the towns hosting the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Farmers in the area were forced to abandon their livestock due to mass evacuations ordered after the triple meltdown at the plant, and many departing residents also left their pet dogs and cats to fend for themselves as evacuation shelters would not accept animals.
An area of 20 kilometers radius of the plant was declared off-limits immediately after the accident, and the creatures left behind became feral.
It was not uncommon for later visitors, wearing protective gear because of high radiation levels, to see cattle and pigs wandering through the streets of Futaba and Okuma, the now-empty towns that co-hosted the nuclear power plant.
Masato Kino, now 50 and an economy ministry official in charge of decommissioning and radioactive water issues, returned to the area on Sept. 23, 2011, six months after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake that hit the northeastern Tohoku region, triggered devastating tsunami which in turn knocked out cooling systems at the plant and caused the nuclear crisis.
He was flabbergasted to come across an ostrich peeping into a private home from its yard in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture.
That day, Kino, who at the time also served as an official of the government’s local nuclear accident control headquarters, was accompanying returning evacuees on their visits to tend to family graves.
The ostrich was observed as Kino and three colleagues were driving back.
Although he wondered what the ostrich was doing there, he had the wherewithal to scatter dog food out of the car window for the big bird to tuck into.
Each time Kino came across dogs and cats in the restricted area, he would scatter dog food he had prepared in his car. He saw himself as a “lonely volunteer.”
It later emerged that the bird had escaped from an ostrich park in Okuma, situated 7 km from the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The facility was opened in 2001 by Toshiaki Tomizawa, now 81, a former assemblyman of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, to draw tourists to the region.
KEEPING OSTRICHES ALIVE
The ostrich park had nine birds when it opened. But the figure quickly rose to 30 and a restaurant was set up on the premises to serve ostrich meat. Soon after that, the nuclear crisis struck.
Following the disaster, Tomizawa moved to Saitama Prefecture to live with his daughter.
When he returned to the park three months later, more than half of the ostriches had died. The remaining 10 or so became feral in the no-entry zone.
Many sightings of the species were reported, drawing complaints from people, who on temporary return visits, were frightened to encounter ostriches near their homes.
Tomizawa trapped six ostriches in late 2011 with help from the farm ministry and other parties.
Farm ministry officials told him to kill them, so Tomizawa contacted ornithologists and other experts to find ways to “make full use of them.”
One of them, Yoshihiro Hayashi, director-general of the National Museum of Nature and Science, who was involved in research on animals affected by the disaster, asked ornithologist Hiroshi Ogawa, an animal husbandry professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture, for advice.
In response to the offer, Ogawa began examining how the six ostriches trapped in January and May 2012 had absorbed radioactive substances.
It was assumed the feral birds feasted on contaminated plants, bugs and rainwater, so Ogawa tried to see if there was a way of reducing radioactive substances in their bodies by feeding them radiation-free dog food and well water.
Although the ostriches should have been kept in an area where radiation levels were significantly lower, transferring animals from the no-entry zone was prohibited. As a result, they were cared for at Tomizawa’s stable in the restricted area.
The birds displayed a radiation reading of 4.6 microsieverts per hour when the research started in March 2012. To lower the figure, Tomizawa frequented the stable from Saitama Prefecture once every one or two weeks to give them clean food and water.
The six ostriches were finally euthanized and dissected one month, two and a half months, nine and a half months and 14 months after they were caught, respectively, so that changes in radiation levels in their bodies could be analyzed.
The results showed that almost no radioactive substances other than radioactive cesium derived from the Fukushima crisis remained in their bodies, meaning that they were free from strontium and other more dangerous materials.
According to the findings, cesium is more easily absorbed through skeletal muscles than organs. It turned out to be difficult to rid muscle tissue of the substance.
The cesium reading began dropping nine and a half months after the birds were captured, which suggests the radiation level will drop if the animals are kept under low-radiation conditions.
“The research provided insights into internal radiation exposure and drops in the radiation level of wild animals,” Ogawa said.
Tomizawa, who still lives in Saitama Prefecture, described his ostrich park as having “reported successive losses and posing many problems.”
But Tomizawa also has good memories of that time. Because the overseas media gave the escaped ostriches more extensive coverage than in Japan, Tomizawa was treated like a TV celebrity when he visited Indonesia, Australia and elsewhere after the disaster.
“I met many people thanks to the ostriches,” Tomizawa said. “I feel things worked out right in the end.”
OSTRICHES AT NUCLEAR PLANT
Tomizawa decided to open the ostrich park in 2001, two years after Tokto Electric Power Co. began keeping four ostriches at its Fukushima No. 1 plant.
The reasoning behind TEPCO's bizarre move was that the high productivity rate of the bird species resembled that of reactors.
An ostrich reaches adulthood within two years on a meager diet of wheat and corn, yet grows to 2 meters tall and weighs more than 100 kilograms. A female ostrich lays eggs for 40 years, starting from the age of 2.
“This feature is similar to the characteristic of nuclear power plants that can generate a lot of electricity from a small volume of uranium fuel,” reads a promotional pamphlet issued by plant operator TEPCO around that time.
As ostriches are called Strauss in German, TEPCO said it wanted the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to be nicknamed “Strauss power plant” in the document.
However, those efforts appear to have fallen flat as few TEPCO officials were aware of the nickname.
TEPCO hired a veterinarian to look after the ostriches, but as the species is ill-tempered it was decided that the three ostriches still alive should be sent to Tomizawa to look after.
While a TEPCO public relations official said the utility could not offer a detailed explanation as to when and why the utility stopped keeping the birds “due to an absence of relevant documents,” at least one thing can be said about the project: what it touted as “highly productive” turned out--just like the nuclear power plant--to be difficult to deal with.
Tepco trio face Tokyo court ruling in only criminal case stemming from Fukushima nuclear disaster
A staff member of Tokyo Electric Power Company measures radiation levels around the storage tanks of radiation-contaminated water at the tsunami-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, last year. | KIMIMASA MAYAMA / POOL / AFP) / XGTY / VIA AFP-JIJI
NATIONAL / CRIME & LEGAL
BY KYOKO HASEGAWA
SEP 19, 2019
More than eight years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a Japanese court will rule Thursday on the only criminal prosecution stemming from the worst nuclear crisis in decades.
Three former executives from Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the firm that operated the Fukushima No. 1 plant, face up to five years in prison if convicted of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.
They are the only people to face criminal prosecution in the wake of the disaster, triggered when massive tsunami caused by an earthquake overwhelmed the reactors at the plant in March 2011.
The three executives are accused of failing to act on information that showed the risks from a major tsunami, but they argue the data available to them beforehand were unreliable.
The path to their trial has been complicated — prosecutors twice declined to proceed with the case, citing insufficient evidence and slim chance of conviction.
But in 2015, a judicial review panel composed of ordinary citizens ruled that the trio should face trial, compelling prosecutors to proceed.
The defendants are former Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 79, and former Vice Presidents Sakae Muto, 69, and Ichiro Takekuro, 73.
All three have pleaded not guilty.
No one is officially recorded as having been killed by the Fukushima meltdowns, though the tsunami that triggered them left nearly 18,500 people dead or missing.
The charges against the men are tied to the case of more than 40 hospitalized patients who died after having to be evacuated following the nuclear disaster.
The prosecutors argue that the defendants should have understood the risk of huge tsunami and failed to take necessary safety steps.
The trio were present at meetings where experts warned of the anticipated height of tsunami off the Fukushima coast, the prosecutors say.
The prosecutors also argue that the executives had access to data and studies warning tsunami exceeding 10 metres (33 feet) in the area could trigger power loss and a major disaster at the plant.
And a Tepco internal study, based on a 2002 report by a respected government panel, concluded that a wave of up to 15.7 meters (52 feet) could hit after a magnitude 8.3 quake.
In the event, when the 9.0 magnitude quake hit offshore on March 11, 2011, waves as high as 14 meters (46 feet) swamped the reactors’ cooling systems.
The resulting reactor meltdowns forced massive evacuations and left parts of the surrounding area uninhabitable — in some cases possibly forever.
The three defendants have apologized to victims, but argue they could not have foreseen the disaster despite the information at their disposal beforehand.
Katsumata has said his job as chairman did not entail day-to-day business operations and that he believed Tepco officials in charge of nuclear safety were taking appropriate measures.
All the defendants have said they were told the internal report was not reliable, comments that have been contradicted by testimony from some of their subordinates.
“It is difficult to deal with issues that are uncertain and obscure,” Takekuro said during the trial.
A 2015 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said a misguided faith in the safety of atomic power was a key factor in the accident, pointing to weaknesses in disaster preparedness and unclear responsibilities among regulators.
And a parliamentary report a year after the disaster called Fukushima a man-made crisis caused by Japan’s culture of “reflexive obedience.
Separately from the criminal case, dozens of civil lawsuits have been filed against the government and Tepco.
Some district courts have granted damages to local residents, ordering Tepco and the government to pay.
Tepco also faces massive clean-up costs at the plant, where it is struggling with the question of how to dispose of more than 1 million tons of contaminated water used to cool fuel from the meltdowns.
Forever tied to nuclear disaster, Fukushima residents hope for PR boost from 2020 Tokyo Olympics
BY JIM ALLEN
SEP 27, 2019
SUKAGAWA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. –
Two softball games and one baseball game in Fukushima next summer may be little more than an 2020 Olympic cameo, but local fans are thrilled to have them, largely in the hopes they will give their prefecture a badly needed public relations boost.
Fukushima was one of the three northeastern prefectures that bore the brunt of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, along with Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, and will be part of the focus next year given that Tokyo Olympic organizers have dubbed the games “the reconstruction Olympics.”
In addition to the games in Fukushima, Miyagi Stadium will be one of the Olympic soccer venues, while all three prefectures will be focal points of the Olympic torch relay, which officially starts in Fukushima.
The 2011 disaster killed over 15,800 people and forced the evacuation of up to 470,000, while triggering a triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Even eight years later, Fukushima suffers from the suspicion that food from the prefecture might be contaminated. And locals see the Olympics as an opportunity to show off their region the way they see it.
Koki Unuma, a resident of Koriyama and a baseball fan who follows the local independent minor league club, expressed hope that the Olympics will put Fukushima Prefecture in a good light.
“It’s a chance to show that Fukushima has become vibrant again,” he said at a game in Sukagawa between the Fukushima Red Hopes and the Tochigi Golden Braves. “I wonder how foreign people will view us.
“I want the place to be packed with foreign visitors, so that people will see we are doing well, and that they tell others. I’m excited to have the games here.”
One man, who declined to give his name but said he had worked until recently not far from the stricken nuclear plant, said Fukushima had largely recovered but felt the symbolism of being included in the Olympics had value.
“There is basically one area that is not back (around the damaged plant), but by and large Fukushima has recovered,” he said. “I think as a symbol the Olympics are a good idea. What they mean by ‘the reconstruction Olympics’ is a little vague to me. That area around Soma is hard hit, but as a whole Fukushima Prefecture is doing very well.”
The plight of the prefecture encouraged former major leaguer Akinori Iwamura to help start up the Red Hopes, where he serves in a dual role as manager and team president.
“People living in Fukushima have suffered the most. It’s almost as if they are being treated as wrongdoers. The rumors are terrible,” he said in a recent interview. “Some evacuee children have been bullied in the towns they’ve been relocated to. That is the most intolerable.
“The (evacuee) kids going back to visit Fukushima might receive some kinds of gifts to take back with them, but some must feel those things, candy and the like, are troublesome, because at rest areas along the expressway people find uneaten candy from Fukushima thrown into the garbage bins.
“It makes you realize people don’t know how many of the things they hear they can actually believe.”
Iwamura said that consumers outside Fukushima have second thoughts about the safety of the food from there and local farmers cannot get fair value for their products. But he said the Olympics are a golden opportunity to change peoples’ perceptions of Fukushima.
“For us baseball people here, we want to make the baseball and softball games held here a success,” Iwamura said. “If we can be wildly enthusiastic about them and show that to the people coming from abroad, then they will tell others that Fukushima is safe, that the people here are living good lives.”
Naomi Nukazawa and her daughter Aya are fans of the Red Hopes and are keen to see the local Olympic competition, but so far have been unable to secure tickets.
“We’ll apply again, but right now it is like the people here are getting left out,” Nukazawa said.
“I work at a hotel. This is a chance to get different kinds of guests — I’m really excited about that. People will visit Fukushima (for the Olympics), but once it’s over that will likely be the end of it. Perhaps some people will be moved by their time here and that will have a lasting impact in some ways.
“Maybe other Japanese will be influenced by foreigners’ positive responses to us and will remember us, remember Iwate, remember Miyagi, remember our local specialties, because it seems we’re forgotten now.”
Another Koriyama resident, Yuji Amaha, echoed other locals’ complaints that people outside Fukushima don’t realize that most of the region is safe from radioactivity.
“Having a big international tournament here in Fukushima Prefecture is getting people excited,” he said, referring to Iwate hosting games for the Rugby World Cup and Miyagi hosting Olympic soccer. “In a sense, these things are connected to our recovery and are therefore meaningful.
“The people who live in Fukushima think it’s safe. I want those people who … question how safe it is to come. I want people who study the data to say it’s safe. Those who doubt the safety should come and see for themselves.”
Iwamura expressed optimism for next year and for the future.
“Most prefectures will have no Olympic sports,” he said. “That Fukushima is going to have baseball and softball is a thrill, something to be really happy about. Twenty or 30 years down the road, nobody will remember what it is like now.”
Added to the calendar on Monday Oct 7th, 2019 8:44 AM