Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Buddhists, Christians, Shintoists, Rightists, Leftists, Centrists Join to Co-create Nuclear-Free Japan

(Photo: The Ehime Shimbun)

Buddhists and Christians in Japan have long collaborated on peace (Article 9), justice, and environmental issues. At the 2008 Global Article 9 conference in Tokyo, rightists and leftists joined the mainstream in a call to protect the Japanese Peace Constitution, abolish nuclear weapons, and to support related peace, justice, environmentalist causes. Japanese civil society is v. cooperative, collegial; groups and individuals work together in established networks now standing together for a nuclear-free Japan...

This great post (and comments) at EXSKF on an article from The Ehime Shimbun reveals the depth of shared concern across diverse groups in Japan, "Buddhist Monks Sit-in, Calling Christians to Join Them; Ultra-Right Joined by Ultra-Left in Hunger Strike Against Nuclear Power Plants:

Buddhist monks in Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku are staging the sit-ins to protest against the prospect of restarting Ikata Nuclear Power Plant, which sits just outside the largest active fault in Japan (Median Tectonic Line) and part of the plant is built on the landfill. The monks are calling out to Christian churches to join them in the protest.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) reports that the Interfaith Forum for Review of National Nuclear Policy (IFRNNP), an interfaith (Christian, Buddhist, Shinto) group that formed after 3/11, is now questioning the adequacy of radiation protection standards, charging industry bias:

International radiation protection standards have historically weighed radiation risks and cost-benefit considerations in such as way as to protect the nuclear power industry at the expense of radiation victims, a Japanese interfaith network has said.

The Interfaith Forum for Review of National Nuclear Policy held a meeting from April 17-19 in Fukushima to debate claims by the Japanese government regarding the effects of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, which took place in March 2011. The government, following standards set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, a Canadian organization of scientists and policy makers, has said “there is no immediate [radioactive] impact on human bodies” from the disaster.

The Tokyo-based IFRNNP ― an 800-member anti-nuclear network co-led by 40 Japanese Buddhists, Christians, and Shintoists ― invited Kozo Inaoka, a Japanese physicist and author of a book about radiation exposure, to the meeting to lecture about the ICRP’s history and “ideological character.”

In his book, A History of Radiation Exposure, Inaoka claims the radiation protection standards are “scientifically disguised social standards” allowing the industry to impose exposure levels that suit its needs as it develops nuclear plants.

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