Vision

To help transition Japan to a peace promoting post-carbon country while enjoying every step of the process.
僕のビジョンは、祖国日本で、平和文化を育みポストカーボン(Post-Carbon) 社会を促進してゆく事です。
化石燃料や原子力に頼らず、他国の資源を取らない、
自給自足な国へのトランジションを実現させてゆきたいです。

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1.23.12 Japan, Fukushima, Radiation Update

I've been meaning to write an update about the situation in Japan, and about my trip to Fukushima.
There is just so much going on, and its not an easy subject to write about.


I am in an interesting position where I have access to experts, diverse groups of Japanese activists, some foreign activists, and information in Japanse and English (paints a different picture than what we have here in Japan). Unfortunately, I'm not the best person to digest it all, especially policy related issues. If only I was smarter with more time.... but I guess my role is to connect people and ideas.

My conclusion so far is that the post-Fukushima reality is particularly hard to perceive clearly.
Radiation is not visible, the general public literacy about energy and radiation is extremely low, and corruption in the industry and government seems rampant. Additionally, neither mainstream media nor P2P social media have reliable quality control, so its hard to get a solid footing in the information chaos. Cultural factors also make things quite challenging, as Japanese have a tendency to hide impurities as a duty to society.


One thing I am sure about, we are still in a state of emergency despite the surreal calm. Even in Fukushima city, where we measured 0.6 micro sieverts around the bullet train depot, everything seemed normal. Unless you had a geiger, you wouldn't know that it is not a safe place to be.


Currently, children and families are still unable to evacuate from high-radiation zones, government and industry are pushing for nuclear power plant restarts, and many Japanese and non-Japanese still seem to be in the dark about what is really going on.

Here is something I wrote up a little while ago
1. Brief update on the situation in Japan
Currently, we are still facing a near media blackout on the actual conditions of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and the extent of current radiation contamination in Japan. The media and government have been taking steps to insure that the situation appears under control, and are preparing the way for nuclear power plant restarts. Yet, citizen groups have found radiation contamination in food, house dust, and children's urine samples all the way to Tokyo. No mention is made of the conditions of day laborers who are cleaning the power plants for little money and benefits. Many Fukushima residents are struggling to evacuate as the government will only financially support evacuees from geographical area it deems necessary, and parents must make extremely difficult decisions about subjecting their children to radiation or leaving everything they have and risk financial hardship. Meanwhile, the industry and government are colluding to bailout TEPCO, while gross negligence and corruption in the industry are surfacing. These are some of the key issues affecting Japan.

On the other hand, there has been a surge of activities, such as organized groups of mothers who are fighting for the safety of their children and exposing industry and government lies concerning radiation contamination. There has been an occupation on the property of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) since September 11th, and the occupiers are determined to stay until all nuclear power plants are shutdown. Demonstrations have become common place in a country where such actions have been a rare occurrence. Most nuclear power plants are currently temporarily shutdown for inspections and this is a major opportunity to have a nuclear free Japan.

The global stakes are high as Japan is the best candidate to follow Germany's lead and demonstrate to the world that the people will not tolerate the enormous costs and risks associated with nuclear power. On the other hand, if Japan reemerges as a country that continues to embrace nuclear power despite this tragedy, then that will create a new platform for the global nuclear industries to push their agenda. We are in need of a lot of international support.

2. GREEN ACTION
Green Action is a small organization that has been actively engaging with the various issues associated with nuclear power, from pressuring the government to supporting children stranded in radioactively contaminated regions. We are also a bridge between the West and Japan.

We are in need of more international collaborators in our mission to end nuclear power in Japan and help current and future victims (children). Financial support is greatly needed for increasing staff, conducting training, expanding campaigns, developing outreach media, and helping Fukushima victims neglected by the government. Global strategizing is an area we would like to further develop. International pressure is critical for us, especially as the national media continues their blackout and misinformation campaign.

Here is our website which is a bit outdated

3. Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World
In collaboration with several organizations we are co-hosting the
Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World on January 14th and 15th, 2012. Below is the press release:

"On January 14-15 (Sat-Sun), the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World will be held at Pacifico Yokohama.

This two-day conference is being organized by a coalition of 6 Japan- based organizations (Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, FoE Japan, Green Action, Greenpeace Japan, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, and Peace Boat), and has been endorsed by many groups around the world including the Nobel Women's Initiative.

Local and international experts as well as ordinary citizens will gather to develop actions to realize a world not dependent upon nuclear power. 10,000 participants, including over 100 from outside Japan, will join the dozens of symposiums, workshops, exhibitions and screenings over two days."


ACTIVISM
So far, I've mainly been engaged with Occupy Kasumigaseki (officially "Keisansho tento hiroba"), the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World organizers, e-shift (an association of various group working to abolish nukes and promote green energy policies), and Green party (still in the making) youth team. Yesterday I met up with an art/designer collective, Sayonara Atom, who have been making really creative products, zines, and designs to help make this movement more fashionable and accessible to the mainstream. One other group I'm hoping to connect more with is Shiroto no Ran, who have been central to the large protests and sound demonstrations. There is a video "Amateur Riot" a few posts back that covers their activities.


During my meeting with them, they introduced me to this very powerful mini-film.
The film is set in post-nuclear Tokyo in a dimension not so distant from ours. 
Young salary-man’s morning commute takes a surreal turn....



While doing further research I came across Green Peace's website. They had a groovy timeline so I decided to embed it in this post. Its a bit too much info for me right now, but that seems to be a theme these days.



We need help. 
All the help we can get. 
This is an international catastrophe and crime scene.
Please put pressure on the "nuclear energy village," an old corrupt network of Japanese industries, government, media, and academics.
The elite, who commit crimes beyond comprehension, are not above the law.
This is a global citizens uprising for sanity and life!
For democracy, peace, and a future.

No comments:

Post a Comment