Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"We refuse to inherit or leave a negative legacy" - Youth launch Tokyo hunger strike to end nuclear power

Commemorating the six-month mark of the Fukushima nuclear tragedy, a group of young adults from around the country began a ten-day hunger strike in Tokyo in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Sunday, September 11th. Their goals are to call for an immediate end to nuclear power throughout the country, as well as advocate for increased health and financial support to those left vulnerable near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

The website for the action, which is titled " Tokyo Hunger Strike for the Future: Raising our voices not through fists or loudspeakers, but simply through fasting", describes the organizers' intentions as follows:
We, four young persons (one woman and three men), are going to do a "HUNGER STRIKE" for 10 days in Tokyo, hoping for a better future without nuclear power plants.

It will start from September 11, passing half of a year since we had the huge earthquake, tsunami and the accident of Fukushima nuclear power plants, and 10 years from 9.11.

The place is in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. We are making an appointment with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to submit this statement as a petition.


Due to the radiation leakage from the accident of Fukushima 1st Nuclear Power Plant, a number of people have been forced to leave their hometowns and their livelihoods. This radiation will continue to be littered to the air, the land and the sea until the nuclear power plant in Fukushima ends. The accident has proven that there is no way to undo what happened, and there is no one who can take responsibility.

Not only that, nuclear power plants have continuously damaged the ecosystems in nature by emitting a large amount of heated effluents and producing radioactive waste, which are required to be managed properly for thousands of years, even if there is no accident with the plants.

We, the younger generations, have unwillingly inherited the responsibility for taking care of the radioactive wastes, which nearly remain semi-permanently, from the 54 nuclear power plants in Japan and the radiation leaked from the Fukushima 1st nuclear power plant. Even in this current situation after the earthquake, an environmental study has been conducted for the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Kaminoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture. In addition, the Tomari nuclear power plant has started commercial services without any reasonable explanation for Japanese citizens.

We, the younger generations, refuse to inherit a negative legacy from the nuclear power plants any more. We, the young generations, also refuse to leave any more negative legacy to the children who are most vulnerable to the radiation now, as well as to future generations.

We are launching a 10-day-hunger strike in order to petition the Japanese government to reflect the importance of lives and nature--which is the bread of life--within their policies. These are our prayers as the young generation, residents on the earth who will be forced to inherit the legacy of such responsibilities from you.


Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Masaharu Nakagawa
Minister of Foreign Affairs Koichiro Genba
Minister of Environment Goshi Hosono

・ Call off the Kaminoseki nuclear power plant construction project

・ Ensure the health and stable livelihoods of the people who are living in and around Fukushima prefecture where a high level of radiation is detected, support the life after evacuation, and give compensation for damages caused by the accident.

・ Hold public discussions about the risk of accidents and needs for restarting the nuclear power plants before considering restarting any nuclear power plant, and begin taking government responsibility for the accident.

・ Stop exporting the nuclear power plants. “No more Fukushima” anywhere on the earth!

・ Make a national policy to abolish all nuclear power facilities, including nuclear power plants and Monju/retreatment plants for nuclear waste, as well as change policies relating to natural energy.


Naoya Okamoto, 20, Kaminoseki-cho, Yamaguchi prefecture
Kanta Yonehara, 21, Chiba prefecture
Shiori Skiguchi, 19, Tokyo prefecture
Yuiki Takenoshita, 22, Osaka prefecture
Gen Matsumura, 20, Osaka prefecture
Kotomi Tsuri, 27, Hyogo prefecture
Mare Tanaka, 17, Wakayama prefecture
Akari Okano, 19, Osaka prefecture
Genki Kojima, 18, Hyogo prefecture
Haruka Fukao, 18, Wakayama prefecture
Yuya Takahashi, 20, Tokyo prefecture
Naoto Sakura, 20, Tokyo prefecture
Juna Goto, 16, Hyogo prefecture
Inori Kojima, 20, Hyogo prefecture
Sachiho Tani, 18, Hyogo prefecture
Masanori Tojo, 27, Kaminoseki-cho, Yamaguchi prefecture
Saya Suga, 20, Saitama prefecture
Mui Kawano, 18, Tokyo prefecture
Kohei Fujiwra, 28, Tokyo prefecture
Mami Uchida, 27, Saitama prefecture
Yohei Kubo, 18, Osaka prefecture
Kokoro Kojima, 22, Hyogo prefecture
Masaaki Yamamoto, 22, Saitama prefecture
Luca Shimizu, 17, Miyagi prefecture

One of the organizers, Naoya Okamoto, also participated in a previous hunger strike in an effort to stop construction of the Kaminoseki nuclear power plant, which he discussed in a previous Ten Thousand Things post titled "Amidst hopeful signs, activists continue impassioned efforts to stop nuclear power plant in gorgeous Seto Inland Sea".

Photos and videos related to the hunger strike action may be seen on the official website, and support may be provided via the official Facebook page (in English) here.

The following video from Newsy, "Fukushima Six Months Later," provides excellent compiled footage from various news sources including Al-Jazeera and CBS regarding ongoing damage from the accident.

- Kimberly Hughes

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