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Saturday, June 30, 2012

NOTE THE YELLOW...Post 3.11 Nuclear-Free Japan organizers borrow the color of the Okinawa Movement to express solidarity...

(Demonstrator at June 30 rally in Ginowan City for a V-22 Osprey-free Okinawa.
Photo: Masami Mel Kawamura)


The Japanese Nuclear-Free Movement, has now matched the scale of the Okinawan Movement.

The symbolic color, yellow, was intentionally adopted by earlier Post-3.11 Nuclear-Free organizers in Fukushima, to express solidarity with Okinawans protesting US military expansion & V-22 Osprey aircraft deployment in their prefecture, explains Satoko Norimatsu in "Fukushima and Okinawa – the “Abandoned People,” and Civic Empowerment" published by APJ last fall.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hydrangea Revolution: 100,000-200,000 Japanese citizens rally for a Nuclear-Free Japan


(Photo: Chie Matsumoto on FB)

Via Chie Matsumoto, a reporter with LaborNet Japan:
We did it!! Revolution Hydrangea in Japan, where people say there never is a revolution. We figured nearly 100,000 were there.

The Diet/PM's office area is the most restricted area for demonstrations, but we flooded onto the streets and started walking toward PM's office in hopes of getting our voices heard.

Very peaceful demo. Respect to all who are determined to raise their voices until their fight is won and keep all power plants shut.
Via Temple Valley Times, estimates of rally participants:
Asahi Shimbun: 150-180,000
NHK TV: more than last time [next day's report estimated 100,000]
Police: about 17,000
Rally Organizer: 150,000
Sankei Shinbun: less than 20,000
TBS TV: 200,000
TV Asahi: 40-50,000
Kimberly Hughes notes that Bloomberg has reported more than 100 million Japanese citizens are against the nuclear power.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Japanese seismologists warn Tokyo against nuclear restart at Ohi Plant in Fukui

Via Reuters, "Seismologists warn Japan against nuclear restart":

Seismic modeling by Japan's nuclear regulator did not properly take into account active fault lines near the Ohi plant, Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist at Kobe University, told reporters.

"The stress tests and new safety guidelines for restarting nuclear power plants both allow for accidents at plants to occur," Ishibashi told reporters. "Instead of making standards more strict, they both represent a severe setback in safety standards."

Experts advising Japan's nuclear industry had underestimated the seismic threat, Mitsuhisa Watanabe, a tectonic geomorphology professor at Tokyo University, said at the same news conference.

"The expertise and neutrality of experts advising Japan's Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency are highly questionable," Watanabe said.

After an earthquake in 2007 caused radiation leaks at reactors north of Tokyo, Ishibashi said Japan was at risk of a nuclear disaster following a large earthquake, a warning that proved prescient after Fukushima.

While it is impossible to predict when earthquakes will happen, Ishibashi said on Tuesday the magnitude 9 quake last year made it more likely "devastating" earthquakes would follow.

Commuters signal "Vote of No Confidence" in Tokyo's Nuclear Restart


Photo: Ryusaku Tanaka Journal

Happy 97th Birthday & Many More, Grace Lee Boggs!

People are aware that they cannot continue in the same old way but are immobilized because they cannot imagine an alternative. We need a vision that recognizes that we are at one of the great turning points in human history when the survival of our planet and the restoration of our humanity require a great sea change in our ecological, economic, political, and spiritual values. - Grace Lee Boggs
Happy 97th Birthday, Grace Lee Boggs, born June 27, 1915!


More about the Love Celebration for Grace Lee Boggs in Detroit and upcoming speaking events throughout North America at Boggs Center website & The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century book website.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ruthie Iida's exuberant explanation of the meaning of "Hydrangea Revolution"

Love Ruthie Iida's exuberant explanation of the meaning of the name"Hydrangea Revolution" at Kanagawa Notebook:



I did not hear the term “Hydrangea Revolution” until this morning, when I opened up Facebook to find a post from Jacinta [friend of Ruthie's, who lives in Tokyo], along with her own beautiful photographs of hydrangeas taken in her neighborhood. After reading that one post, the phrase seemed to pop up repeatedly, all day long.

The Friday demonstrations have been compared to the big, bold, brazen blooms ( are they not? nothing wimpy about hydrangeas) that are made up of myriads of tiny blossoms pressed together. What began as a series of small symbolic gatherings has become a huge, spirited protest that the media can no longer ignore...

I haven’t made it to Tokyo on a Friday yet, but I’m proud to be on the same side as such good people. I’m part of the big, brazen bloom….Woo-hooooo!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

HYDRANGEA REVOLUTION: Another video of the 6.22.12 "No Restart" protest rally at PM's House


This amazing video of the 6.22.12 rally outside of the PM's house gives a sense of the enormity of feeling against nuclear restarts in Japan. Partipants are not simply chanting, but screaming "Saikado Hantai!" ("Against the Re-start!"), not in unison, but passionately, discordantly...

HYDRANGEA REVOLUTION: 6.22.12 - 首相官邸前 原発再稼働反対デモ - 40,000 PEOPLE IN TOKYO RAGE AGAINST THE NUKES


40-45,000 Japanese citizens rallied at the PM's house Friday evening to protest the restart of nuclear plants. Partipants chanted "Saikado Hantai!" ("Against the Re-start!").

Ongoing protests challenging Tokyo's inaction in Fukushima and the restart of the Oi nuclear reactors are taking place throughout Japan.

Plans for a 100,000-person march next Friday are in the making. Japanese are calling their movement for a nuclear-free Japan the "Hydrangea Revolution."

(Video: senseofwonder888 on YouTube)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cornerstone of Peace & the "Okinawan Heart"


Today Okinawans commemorated the lives of those who died during the Battle of Okinawa, and prayed for peace for Okinawa and the world.

During the American Occupation of Japan, instead of bringing peace and democracy to Okinawa, the U.S. government positioned Okinawa as its military "Cornerstone of the Pacific."  Soldiers seized ancestral farmland and homes ("by bayonets and bulldozers") from war survivors to make way for US military bases on 20% of the island's land mass. After fifty years of enduring the US expropriation of their land for war training and support bases, Okinawans countered this unwelcome militarist monkier with their pacifist self-definition when they named a memorial erected on Mabuni Hill in Itoman the "Cornerstone of Peace" ( (平和の礎 Heiwa no Ishiji).

The massive monument was dedicated on June 23, 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War and the Battle of Okinawa. Its purpose: (1) Remember those lost in the war, and pray for peace; (2) Pass on the lessons of war; and (3) Serve as a place for meditation and learning. Mabuni Hill was the site of the Japanese military headquarters and scene of heavy fighting in late June 1945, towards the end of the Battle of Okinawa. The names of over two hundred and forty thousand people, including Imperial Japanese and American soldiers, as well as over 100,000 innocent Okinawan civilians, who lost their lives are inscribed on the memorial:
It conveys to the Japanese as well as people of the world, the "spirit of peace" which has developed through Okinawa's history and culture. The names of all those who lost their lives in the Battle of Okinawa- regardless of their nationality or whether they ware of military or civilian status- are inscribed on "The Cornerstone of Peace," serving as a prayer for eternal world peace.
The Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum is adjacent to the Cornerstone of Peace:
In late March 1945, a fierce battle such as has rarely been seen in history took place on these islands. The "Typhoon of Steel" that lasted for ninety days disfigured mountains, destroyed much of the cultural legacy, and claimed the precious lives of upward of 200,000 people. The Battle of Okinawa was the only ground fighting fought on Japanese soil and was also the largest-scale campaign of the Asia-Pacific War. Even countless Okinawan civilians were fully mobilized.

A significant aspect of the Battle of Okinawa was the great loss of civilian life. At more than 100,000 civilian losses far outnumbered the military death toll. Some were blown apart by shells, some finding themselves in a hopeless situation were driven to suicide, some died of starvation, some succumbed to malaria, while other fell victim to the retreating Japanese troops. Under the most desperate and unimaginable circumstances, Okinawans directly experienced the absurdity of war and atrocities it inevitably brings about.

This war experience is at the very core of what is popularly called the "Okinawan Heart," a resilient yet strong attitude to life that Okinawan people developed as they struggled against the pressures of many years of U. S. military control.

The "Okinawan Heart" is a human response that respects personal dignity above all else, rejects any acts related to war, and truly cherishes culture, which is a supreme expression of humanity. In order that we may mourn for those who perished during the war, pass on to future generations the historic lessons of the Battle of Okinawa, convey our message to the peoples of the world and thereby established, displaying the whole range of the individual war experiences of the people in this prefecture, the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum.

Friday, June 22, 2012

TONIGHT - June 22! Greetings From the Earth @ Chikuya Live House, Kunitachi, Tokyo


Greetings From the Earth
Peace Not War Japan



Friday
7:00pm until 11:30pm in UTC+09
Chikyuya Live House, Kunitachi, Tokyo, Japan
☆日本語の詳細が↓↓にあります☆

Come listen to the fabulous music and stories of Alicia Bay Laurel, author of the best-selling 1970 Living On the Earth, who will also be joined by the upbeat grooves of the Inoue Ohana band featuring Hawaiian and reggae style tunes.

An evening of warmth, love and vibrant energy not to be missed!!

Alicia Bay Laurel and Inoue Ohana: ‘Greetings from the Earth’

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
OPEN/START 19:00/20:00
Chikyuya in Kunitachi 地球屋@国立市
Map アクセス: http://chikyuya.info/contents/access

Advance Price: 2000円
At the Door: 2500円

☆LIVE
・ INOUE OHANA (Hawaiian/reggae)
・ Alicia Bay Laurel (acoustic folk)

☆TALK
Alicia Bay Laurel

☆DJ
RAS FUKU

Alicia Bay Laurel's full Japan tour schedule:
http://www.aliciabaylaurel.com/2012japantour

Photo/video/highlights from a recent show of hers in Tokyo:

http://tenthousandthingsfromkyoto.blogspot.jp/2012/06/artists-bring-message-of-harmony-spirit.html

アリシア.ベイ.ローレル

1949年、整形外科医の父と彫刻家の母の間に生ま れたアリシア.ベイ.ローレル。母の影響で、ボヘミアン的な生き方に憧れた彼女は、 高校卒業後、ヒッチハイクの旅に出ます。そうしてたどり着いたのが、カルフォルニアの北部に あるウィラーズランチ、
いわゆるコミューンでした。 当時ランチには100人ほどの自由人が、畑を作り、 牛や馬をかって暮らしていました。

電気も水道もない森の中。右も左もわからない彼女 は、少しずつそこでの生活を覚えていきます。そして、ランチでの自分の役割を見つけます。それは得意の絵 と文章で、自然の中で生きる手引書をつくること。 そうしてできあがったのが『地球の上に生きる』です。
小さな森の手引書はたちまちベストセラーに。

ミュー ジシャンとしても活動しており、2000年に地球
に生き るの音楽編Music from Living on Earth をリリース。
続編に Living inHawail style がある。

*Kathie & Keni Inoue (INOUE OHANA)

Keni 井上:70年代より”南正人”、又バンド”久保 田真琴と夕焼け楽団”その後”サンディーアンドサン セッツ”のギタリストとして活動を開始。その後内外の著名なミュージシャンとのセッションを 経て、現在ソロ活動とバンド"INOUE OHANA"で活動中。

*Kathie井上:90年代より作詞作曲活動をして、
サン ディーや内田有紀などに楽曲提供。"Kathie & Keni Inoue"名 義で"Voyage to Paradise"を2004年に発表。

現在はKeni 井上と日本やハワイのメンバー達と"INOUE OHANA"名義で最新アルバム"Island Blend"をハワイで制作発表。作詞作曲活動と共に"INOUE OHANA"のボーカル&ウクレレ プレイヤーとして活動中。

http://inoueohana.com/

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shut Down not Meltdown: Keep Japan Nuclear Free Simultaneous Events - June 22 - U.S. West Coast and Tokyo

While the Japanese and local governments restart nuclear reactors throughout the country, Californians and Oregonians are joining hands with the 7.5 MILLION PLUS people in Japan demanding that Japan graduate from nuclear power.

Simultaneous Shut Down, Not Meltdown events will be taking place this weekend all along the west coast of the continental U.S. There actions are a part of an international solidarity movement led by a coalition of six groups Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC), FoE Japan, Green Action, No Nukes Asia Forum, Peace Boat, and Shut Tomari .

Portland, Oregon

June 22, 2012, at 3:00 pm at:

Consulate General of Japan
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 2700
1300 S.W. 5th Ave.
Portland, OR 97201

Contact:
Beth Rakoncay, No Nukes NW -
971-238-3898
www.nonukesnw.org
beth@nonukesnw.org

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/150492381751639/

San Francisco, California

June 22, 2012, at 3:00 pm at:

Japanese Consulate
50 Fremont St/Mission Street
San Francisco

Message from the organizers:
While we are taking this action at the Japanese Consulate on June 22, the US government and the Obama administration continue to tell the people of California and the United States that the two nuclear plants in California at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon are safe and that the taxpayers should continue to subsidize the nuclear industry. We reject these policies and views and the lesson of Fukushima is that there is NO Safe Nuclear Power whether in Japan or the the 104 nuclear plants in the United States.
Los Angeles, California

June 22, 2012, at 3:00 pm at:Japanese Embassy in downtown L.A.

From the organizers:
We will gather at 3PM with signs. We'll deliver a letter to the Prime minister's representative and at 4:45 we will participate in a Die-in, where we'll reenact what it is like to suffer from deadly radiation exposure. Body painting will be available to make people look like we are bleeding from our orifices (symptom of radiation exposure).
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/346978435370914/


東京/Tokyo:
【日時】6/22(金)18〜20時予定
【場所】首相官邸前(国会記者会前、国会議事堂前駅3番出口出てすぐ)
【呼びかけ】首都圏反原発連合有志
June 22 at 6-8pm

Location: In front of Prime Minister's residence at the Kokaikishakai Building
Get off at Kokkai-gijoudoumae station- exit 3 (MAP)

Organized by the Metropolitan Coalition against Nukes

大阪/Osaka:
【日時】6/22(金)18~19時半予定
【場所】関電本店前(大阪府‎ 大阪市北区中之島3丁目6-16)
【呼びかけ】TwitNoNukes大阪有志

June 22 6-7:30pm

Location: In front of Kansai Electric Power Company Headquarters
Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Kitaku, Nakanoshima 3chome 6-16 (MAP)
Organized by TwitNoNukes Osaka Yushi

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Artists bring message of harmony, spirit of earlier era to Tokyo event


Alicia Bay Laurel performs "Rinpoche", a song that she wrote for Tibetan Buddhist master Kyabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche, which includes an enlightenment mantra, at his request

This past Sunday, in a home that doubles as a café and event space overlooking the stunning vistas of the Hachioji Basin in western Tokyo, one might have thought they had traveled back in time.

Accompanied to the backdrop of a flashing multi-colored light show, artist and author Alicia Bay Laurel—whose 1970 best-seller “Living On the Earth” has inspired generations of hippies and permaculturists across the planet—strummed her acoustic guitar and told fascinating stories of her life as a traveling artist.

“Over and over again, I watched people come to Hawaii and heal their bodies and spirits simply by absorbing the energy from the sun and the ocean,” she said, speaking of Maui island, her home for some 25 years. Her stay there served as the inspiration for her second book, “Being of the Sun”—described by Amazon as a “cult classic among nature-worshippers to this day”.



Laurel has earned a devoted following in Japan, where she has traveled nearly every year since 2006 to play music, sign individual copies of her books and CDs in her trademark flowing script, and collaborate with numerous artists, musicians and designers. She illustrated a book for bestselling author Banana Yoshimoto in 2010, and her works have helped raise funds for environmental nonprofit Artist Power Bank, as well as its sister project Kurkku, a complex of environmentally sustainable businesses. Her designs also helped raise funds for survivors following the 2011 disaster in Tohoku.

This past Sunday’s event, held at the aptly named Holistic Earth Café, indeed featured a distinctly Beatnik vibe. Guests were invited to try on and purchase hemp-based clothing, and the lineup of kitchen offerings even included fresh hemp pasta. “I could easily imagine myself in northern California in the 1960s, but here we are in present-day Tokyo,” Laurel commented. “The popularity of Living On the Earth never diminished in Japan, in large part because of the absolutely phenomenal community of people here who are committed to the ideas represented in the book.”

Event attendee, who told Laurel that he and his wife utilized the advice from her book to home-birth all three of their children

Laurel was joined by actress-turned-environmentalist Ikue Masudo (who was also a featured speaker at Harukaze 2010, a peace and sustainability event held in Tokyo). Masudo left the metropolitan capital several years ago to build an organic café and event space along the gorgeous shores of the Boso peninsula in Chiba prefecture, later going on to the island of Ishigaki in Okinawa, where she is now in the midst of creating a retreat and healing center. “My hope is that more and more people will become connected with the natural world, which will have positive repercussions for society on the whole,” she said, sharing her own personal story of becoming deeply inspired to change her life after filming television documentaries that featured swimming with dolphins in Hawaii and aboriginal communities in Australia.

Ikue Masudo

Sunday’s event, while unmistakably holding a vision for a better world, was most certainly not exclusively idealistic. Kathie Inoue, vocalist and ukulele player for the Hawaiian/reggae band Inoue Ohana, utilized the time in-between the band’s upbeat set to urge attendees to take action by adding their voices to citizen movements to end nuclear power and advocate alternative energies—including a recent worldwide petition urging Japan not to restart its nuclear reactors.

“There are many tools, including social networking sites like Facebook, that we can use to share information with each other and encourage positive social change,” she said, also echoing Laurel and Masuda with her message of simple living.


Kathie and Keni Inoue performing a chilled-out acoustic version of their song "Touch the Sun"

Alicia Bay Laurel and the full Inoue Ohana band play Yokohama Thumbs Up on June 21st, and Kunitachi Chikyuya on June 22nd. Laurel’s complete Japan tour schedule may be found on her website. In addition, this article provides a lovely introduction to her work and her long-standing connection with Japan.

--Kimberly Hughes

Anja Light: "Candle Night"



...This beautiful song by Anja Light celebrates Japan's Candle Night held during the winter & summer solstices...

Japan’s Candle Night asks that people switch off their lights for two hours, from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on the night of the summer solstice to enjoy the night in candlelight. Candle Night was inspired by the Voluntary Blackout movement in Canada, launched in 2001.

During the summer of 2008, facilities all over Japan to turned out their lights during two events: Black Illumination held on June 2 and Lights-Down at the Tanabata Star Festival on July 7. Between the two events, 149,939 facilities joined the campaign, reducing the amount of electricity used by approximately 2,371,786.51 kilowatts. This translated into saving 925 tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the total daily emission of 64,000 households.

The event has spread across the world. The Korean Environmental Women’s Network worked closely with Japanese Candle Night organizers to hold their own Candle Night. Events were also held in Taiwan, Australia, China (Shanghai), Mauritius, and many other countries.

...More info at the Candle Night website...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Uncanny Terrain: Rio+20: Four Fukushima Farmers 福島:その土地に残る意味



This video, capturing the diverse views of four Fukushima activist farmers, screens beginning June 16 in the Rio+20 United Nations Sustainable Development Conference, where one of the main subjects of the documentary Uncanny Terrain, Seiji Sugeno, director of the Fukushima Organic Farmers Network, is presenting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fukushima Organic Farmers Fight Odds to Continue Livelihood Amidst Radiation’s Unknowns


Filmmakers Junko Kajino and Ed Koziarski with organic farmer Seiji Sugeno in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima

This past January, while most participants at the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World in Yokohama were angrily demanding that the government relocate endangered Fukushima citizens to safety, a small delegation of organic farmers had a different message to share. They had no intention of leaving their family land, they said, and as long as radiation levels remained within prescribed safety limits, others were urged to continue consuming Fukushima crops in support of the prefecture’s revitalization.

Fast-forward nearly five months. Consumers nationwide remained mistrustful of food grown within Fukushima prefecture, and outrage loomed large against Prime Minister Noda’s likely decision to restart the Ohi nuclear power plant, while a group of Fukushima citizens were calling for criminal charges against the officials responsible for the disaster. Within this social climate, I wondered, had the farmers’ message changed in any way?

To find out, I decided to take a day trip one recent Friday up to Nihonmatsu, located approximately 50 km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. There, I would accompany documentary filmmakers Junko Kajino and Ed Koziarski on a visit to the farm of Seiji Sugeno, one of the several farmers to be profiled in their upcoming film, “Uncanny Terrain”
I recalled that Sugeno, a leader of the Fukushima Organic Farmers Network, had been one of the more staunch bearers of the “stay on the land and continue to eat local” message.

As the three of us made our way through winding roads to Sugeno’s farm, the rolling green fields and gorgeous blooming flowers reminded me of the prefecture's stunning beauty—also prompting me to reflect that Fukushima has inherited the painful legacy of Chernobyl: its name now automatically equated with the nuclear accident itself in the minds of people around the world.

Sugeno was out when we arrived onto his land, whose name translates roughly as the “Playful Cloud Farm”. We found his daughter Mizuho inside the greenhouse, tending to the family’s 1800-some tomato plants.

“Last year after the disaster, people still had hope that things might turn out okay, and most farmers decided to stay here and plant,” she said. “But due to the new restrictions on acceptable radiation levels, nearly half of the farmers in our area have given up and figured it just isn’t worth it to grow their crops this year. It’s really too bad.”

After rolling up in his sunflower oil-powered tractor, Sugeno echoed his daughter’s sentiments. He was adamant about staying on his land this season to plant, he said, despite the extra labor necessary to measure all food for radiation levels and sprinkle zeolite in local rice fields on government order—and despite the possibility that crops from an entire region could be judged unfit for shipping onto the market if even one local field were found to exceed radiation limits.

“This year is really critical, particularly for people who didn’t plant last year,” he said. “If they let their land go for one more season, it may be ruined permanently.”

Both Sugeno and his daughter were honest about the discouragement they sometimes felt regarding what was essentially a lonely battle, but pointed out the strength and encouragement that they received from the relationships that they have created with others around the world following the 3.11 disaster. Mizuho has traveled overseas several times to meet with organic farmers in Thailand and New Zealand, and her father heads shortly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as a delegate to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development—a forum he most certainly intends to utilize to the fullest in order to share his experience with others.

“Large corporations talk about the future of our world in terms of economics, but the truth is that it is small, sustainable farms like ours that make the most important contribution to biodiversity—with rice fields acting to prevent flooding, for example,” he emphasized. “And it was only after the nuclear accident that this truly became clear to me.”

Sugeno then rolled back out into his fields, while Mizuho took Ed, Junko and myself on a drive through more vibrantly beautiful landscapes to visit the family’s canola farm, which her father had decided to grow for another season after determining that radiation levels in the area were low enough to warrant planting.


After later parting ways with Mizuho, the three of us headed to the local michinoeki, a facility featuring local wares and produce that may be found in many small towns around the country. Sugeno is one of the directors of the Nihonmatsu branch, where radiation detection machinery has been installed in order to make sure that every food item sold falls below the maximum acceptable level of 100 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, and where residents may also come to be measured by a whole-body counter that can detect existing radiation levels. When we arrived, a television installed at the entrance was repeatedly broadcasting a national television news program whose interviewer was emphasizing the farmers’ struggle to appeal to citizens regarding the safety of the local food.


"For a Fukushima Full of Smiles"

As we hiked later that afternoon in the gorgeous sunshine around the grounds of the Nihonmatsu Castle—which was completely deserted except for our presence—Junko, Ed and I had a chance to chat about the bizarre new post-3.11 world, which seems in a certain sense to have fragmented into various parallel realities, depending upon which news sources people read, and how they might personally be inclined to believe. This was certainly the case in Tokyo—and, I imagined, was likely numerous times more so the case for residents in Fukushima.

While government-mandated maximum safety levels for food stand at 100 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, many activists, including filmmaker Hitomi Kamanaka, argue strongly that any possible exposure to internal radiation through measures including food consumption should be avoided entirely. As a measure of support for the Fukushima farmers, however, the filmmakers have consumed almost exclusively local food during their most recent two-month stayexplaining that many crops have tended to hover in the area of 20-30 becquerels, which is well within the government-set safety zone.

“Are these levels dangerous? You’ll find any number of opinions on the matter, because frankly, nobody knows,” Junko commented. She pointed out that Aya Marumori, the Executive Health Director of the Citizens’ Radioactivity Measuring Station (and a speaker during a recent event held in Tokyo) visited numerous doctors, who fell into one of two categories: either claiming that radiation was totally harmless, or else that it was completely deadly. “She finally came across one doctor who said: ‘We don’t know.’ And that’s who she decided to trust.”

“Radiation effects will most certainly be one of the long-term aftermaths of the disaster, although—as with Chernobyl—the causality cannot be proven,” added Ed, pointing out that this matter was taken up in-depth within the recent Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ feature issue on low-level radiation. “In addition to this, though, are the other ill health effects such as diabetes and cancers that will result from the existing stress and fear, as well as the social phenomenon of uncertainty. Honestly, no one has any idea how the situation here will continue to play out into the future.”

The Uncanny Terrain blog follows the progress of the film, including Ed's thoughtful piece titled “Would You Stay?” documenting the ways that communities in Fukushima have fragmented following the crisis. The filmmakers are also gratefully accepting donations via Google to help them complete their project, as well as assistance with volunteer translation.
A recent article from the Japan Times also sensitively describes the many complexities that continue to face farmers--and food consumers--in Fukushima following last year's disaster.
--Kimberly Hughes

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stop Nuclear Reactor Restart International Action June 13-15




The Ohi Genpatsu (nuclear reactor) and the reaches of radiation to Osaka and beyond should accident strike (Map courtesy of Olive News)

A coalition of six groups Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC), FoE Japan, Green Action, No Nukes Asia Forum, Peace Boat, and Shut Tomari have united to organize international protest against nuclear restart in Japan. Despite intense public opposition (see Women "die-in" at the Ohi reactor June 7th), and international celebration for the shut down of all reactors in Japan, officials have turned a blind eye, and are proceeding with plans to restart the mismanaged Ohi reactor in Fukui Prefecture, Western Japan.

The coalition is urging support to conduct the following acts of civil protest, preferably on Wednesday to Friday this week / June 13~15, 2012:
  1. Please assemble in front of the Japanese embassies in your capital to voice your protest against the decision and policy of Prime Minister Noda.
  2. Please try to submit a letter of protest -addressed to Prime Minister Noda- to the Japanese Ambassador in your country and request the Japanese Ambassador to forward this letter of protest to the Japanese Prime Minister
  3. Please try to seek coverage of this action by your local and international media, especially Japanese media, as well as on the Internet
  4. Please give us notice about your planned action, so we can organize a press event in Japan to reinforce your message to the Japanese government.
Some actions in Tokyo and Osaka include the following:

Tokyo
Time: Friday, June 15, 2012, 6 to 8 pm.
Location: In front of the prime minister’s official residence. (In front of Kokkai Kisha Kaikan, right outside #3 exit at Kokkaigijidomae station.)
Organizer: The Metropolitan area anti nuclear power plant alliance members.

Osaka
Time: Friday, June 15, 2012, 6 to 8 pm.
Location: In front of Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) headquarter. (6-16 Sancho-me, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka Prefecture)

More information at Fukushima Voice.

Send YOUR event information to: info@greenaction-japan.org or share it with us here at Ten Thousand Things.

Here is a draft letter of protest created by the coalition with contact details for the Prime Minister posted below:

Letter of Protest

To: Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan

We protest your decision to restart two nuclear power reactors in the town of Ohi in Fukui Prefecture. We ask you to reconsider and instead impose a moratorium on nuclear power in Japan. We ask you to come up with a responsible energy policy for a Japan without nuclear power and based on energy conservation and renewable energies.

Here are our reasons:

1. Your decision is undemocratic. The Japanese public is not supporting you. Many members and parliamentarians of your own party are not standing with you.

2.The full truth about the meltdown of the three reactors in Fukushima has not been established, yet.

3.The prevailing, temporary safety standards that have been applied by the stress tests and that you referred to when you declared the Ohi reactors to be safe, are insufficient. At present, essential safety measures that are required by the stress tests have not yet been implemented in Ohi. It is not verified whether the reactors can be shut down safely if a serious earthquake were to occur.

4.Any new regime of safety standards must be formulated and overseen by a truly independent Nuclear Safety Agency. This agency has not yet been established, and parliamentary procedures have just been started.

5.The sharp increase in seismic activities in Japan since the earthquake and tsunami catastrophe of March 11 is alarming. The fact that there are active fault lines in the vicinity of the Ohi reactors, and perhaps even under the site is a major reason of concern.

You may reject this letter as an outside interference into the internal affairs of Japan. However, we know since Chernobyl and Fukushima that the fallout of nuclear accidents does not know national borders, but severely impacts the global environment and bears unknown risks to the health of all mankind. We believe it is our moral obligations to voice our concerns to you.

We also know that our concerns are shared by many people in your country and that a majority of your people does not agree with you. We have high respect for the people of Japan, for their sense of community and service in times of great harm. We believe in their creativity and strong will to overcome these difficult times, and to rebuild a Japan without nuclear power.

We, therefore, ask you to kindly reconsider the restart of the Ohi reactors and to declare a moratorium on nuclear power. We ask you to come up with a responsible energy policy for a Japan without nuclear power based on energy conservation and renewable energies.

Yours sincerely,

Date:
Signature:
Contact Details for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
●Prime Minister’s Office TEL:+81-3-3581-0101 FAX:+81-3-3581-3883
Opinion box to Prime Minister (in Japanese) https://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/forms/goiken_ssl.html
●Diet Office TEL:+81-3-3508-7141 FAX:+81-3-3508-3441

●Local Office TEL:+81-47-496-1110 FAX:+81-47-496-1222

June 12: 30th Anniversary of the Historic Million People Nuclear-Free March in New York City




On June 12, 1982, in New York City, one million people demonstrated against nuclear weapons; and for an end to the Reagan administration's military build-up, arms race, and military violence in Latin America (El Salvador). This was the largest political demonstration in world history (until the Feb. 15, 2003 global march protesting the U.S.-UK "preemptive" war against Iraq).

Many thanks for the reminder of this anniversary to No More Fukushimas Peacewalk, organized by the engaged Buddhists of Nipponzan Myohoji, a group known for global witness for peace:
June 12th will be the 30th anniversary of the anti-nuclear rally that drew a million people to New York City. That event was a major touchstone for Nipponzan Myohoji-- 5 peace walks converged on NYC with their teacher, Venerable Nichidatsu Fuji (Guruji). Here is some great archival footage (in Japanese) of Nipponzan Myohoji & Guruji in NYC and then Bainbridge Island Seattle.


Found this short overview video of the march by theAmerican Friends (Quaker) Service Committed (AFSC) :


...And this funky but also great English language footage of the march by NY cable television producers Coca Crystal and Jonathan Burke.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Clear Overview of Oi by David McNeill at The Independent

David McNeill: The country's reactors have lain idle since the tsunami that crippled the Fukushima plant. Now the government wants to turn them on again, starting in Oi – a picturesque town that is bitterly divided on the issue:

"They chose the most stunning places in Japan for nuclear plants," says Jiku Miyazaki, and it is hard to disagree when you are in Oi. The small fishing town shelters in a rugged cove ringed by rice paddies and mountains which once cut it off from Kyoto and Osaka. The postcard beauty is only slightly marred by towering orange pylons and cables which traverse the mountains to the four-reactor power plant near the bay.

Since the 1970s, these power lines have fed electricity to Japan's second-largest concentration of people and industry, the vast urban area called Kansai. In return, the plant's remote host – population 8,800 – has become strikingly prosperous. New schools, hospitals and recreation centres dot the countryside. A hot spring resort and a baseball stadium dominate either end of Oi.

The reactors that generated this largesse, however, have been shut down since last year and are being kept idle by Japan's post-Fukushima fear of nuclear energy...

Anti-nuclear protesters camp permanently in the town...

If the government has its way, Oi will become the first host town since the crisis to restart its idling reactors. On Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made a televised appeal for the country to get behind a restart at two of Oi's reactors, saying it was crucial to ensure a stable power supply. But despite many sympathisers in Oi, the government has a long way to go in broadening that support outside the towns which directly benefit from the plants. The further you go from Oi, support for a restart melts away.

Oi belongs to one of the planet's heaviest concentrations of nuclear power generation: 13 reactors at four plants strung along a 50km-odd stretch of the Japan Sea coast – an area known as the "nuclear Ginza". Further up the coast is the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki complex, the world's largest – part of a 50-reactor network that supplied about a third of Japan's electricity before March 2011. One by one during the past year, the reactors have been powered down for inspections, leaving the nation nuclear free for the first time since the 1970s. Before they can restart they must pass new stress tests and win the backing of their hosts...

Women's "Die-In" against the Restart of Ooi Nuke Plant (Jun/07/2012)


On June 7, 2012, about 70 women including 10 women from Fukushima did a "die-in" in front of the Prime Minister's official residence to protest the restart of Ooi Nuclear Power Plant [in Fukui prefecture]. Before the die-in, 10 Fukushima women visited the Cabinet Office and met with officials to submit a letter of requests addressed to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

This video clip shows the words from the Fukushima women and part of the die-in.

On the very next day, June 8, 2012, Prime Minister Noda held a press conference and declared he would restart Ooi Nuclear Power Plant.

The original video by OurPlanet-TV: http://youtu.be/ODNhDhw_-VY

Translation and captioning by tokyobrowntabby.
Video editing by sievert311 (http://www.youtube.com/user/sievert311).