Archive for November, 2013
November 26, 2013
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
FUKUSHIMA–The ruling Liberal Democratic Party invited Namie Mayor Tamotsu Baba to speak about the state secrets protection bill, expecting support by a leader near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site to quell criticism against the legislation.
The party’s plan, however, backfired.
“I am afraid no clear bounds were established about what should be designated a state secret,” Baba told a hearing on the bill here on Nov. 25. He also said he cannot trust a government that tends to keep information under wraps.
In fact, all seven speakers at the hearing criticized the bill, saying its ambiguous wording leaves open the possibility of abuse and its harsh penalties could keep citizens in the dark about matters that directly affect their lives.
The ruling coalition, which railroaded the bill through a Lower House committee on Nov. 26, organized the hearing in the prefectural capital. Apart from speakers and politicians, only 50 members of the public could attend after obtaining admission tickets from Diet members.
Since the bill was submitted to the Lower House late last month, calls have grown for specific guidelines on what constitutes a state secret under the legislation.
But the ruling coalition and opposition parties failed to clearly define such state secrets in closed-door meetings and the debate at the Lower House’s special committee on national security.
The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tried to reassure leaders of Fukushima Prefecture that the designation of state secrets will not concern information about nuclear power plants.
But experts at the hearing agreed there is room for officials to stretch the bounds of the legislation, and that the government has already given contradictory views about nuclear plant information.
The LDP expected Baba to show an understanding to the necessity of the legislation. The ruling party noted that nuclear power plants are not specified in the bill.
But Baba instead mentioned the government’s bungling of information in the early stages of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
The government failed to quickly release data from the computer-simulated System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI). Much like a weather map, the system shows the predicted spread of radioactive materials following an accident.
Lacking the SPEEDI information, many Namie residents fled toward areas of high radiation levels during the evacuation.
Residents in Fukushima Prefecture are particularly worried about the concealing of information under the legislation, in light of the water leaks and other problems at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, as well as the decommissioning process that is expected to take decades to complete.
“The general public is concerned about officials’ broad interpretation of state secrets,” said Yumiko Nihei, professor of law at Sakura no Seibo Junior College who was invited by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan to give her views at the hearing.
Nihei, who called for a halt to the bill, also said the government should respect the opinions of the public. The government solicited views from the public on its website in September. Of the 90,480 comments posted, 77 percent were opposed to the legislation.
Nobuyoshi Hatanaka, a professor of the Japanese Constitution at Iwaki Junior College, stressed the importance of the government having a well-informed public before making a crucial policy decision.
“Defense and diplomacy are the central government’s sole prerogative, but how can the central government facilitate the benefit for the public without keeping the public informed?” he said.
He spoke on the invitation of New Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner.
The bill lists four areas of protection for state secrets: defense, diplomacy, the prevention of harmful activities, such as spying, and the prevention of terrorist activities.
Hiroyasu Maki, vice chairman of the Fukushima Bar Association and a speaker at the hearing, said the government has varied its language about security measures concerning nuclear power plants.
“On one day the government says ‘routine security measures are not state secrets,’ whereas on another day it says ‘a security plan drawn up in response to tips on possible terrorist activities at potentially targeted nuclear power plants may be designated as state secrets,” he said.
Maki, invited to the hearing by the DPJ, said this occurred because the bill’s clauses are ambiguous and can cover a wide range of issues.
The government bill sets a maximum 10-year prison term for violators who leak state secrets. With no clear guidelines on what constitutes a state secret, potential whistle-blowers and journalists hoping to expose government corruption may back off to avoid arrest. That, in turn, could undermine the public’s right to know.
Kiyohiko Toyama, a New Komeito member of the Lower House, stressed at the hearing that legitimate news-gathering activities will not be punished.
He said “extremely unlawful acts” by journalists, as defined in the bill, include deception, assault, blackmail, property theft, intrusion and gaining illegal access.
Maki countered that reporters may be significantly discouraged from digging for the truth because the bill can allow investigative authorities to arbitrarily determine an “extremely unlawful act” in news gathering.
Mitsugi Araki, a lawyer invited to speak by the Japanese Communist Party, said the simple act of distributing fliers to residences could be punished as an unlawful intrusion under the legislation.
Even LDP members of the Fukushima prefectural assembly expressed concerns about the bill after the hearing.
The Fukushima prefectural assembly in October adopted a statement calling on the government and the Diet to proceed with caution in discussing the legislation.
After the hearing, Shoichi Kobayashi, an LDP assembly member, echoed the criticism that the scope of designated state secrets remains blurred.
“I’m afraid that the government and the Diet themselves have not had sufficient debate over that point,” he said.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Fukushima residents furious at “secrecy bill”
Posted by nelson311 ⋅ November 28, 2013
– Residents here are angry over the ruling bloc’s railroading of a highly controversial state secrets protection bill through the House of Representatives on the evening of Nov. 26 — just one day after voicing strong opposition to the legislation at a public hearing.
by Teppei Sato
At the lower house special committee’s public hearing on the legislation held in Fukushima on Nov. 25, all of the seven local residents who were invited to state their opinions voiced opposition to or concerns about the government-sponsored secrecy bill. They voiced fear that information related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster could be designated as “special secrets.” Their opinions, however, were not reflected in Diet deliberations. Therefore, they became infuriated at the quick-and-dirty passage of the bill through the lower house. One of the residents angrily said, “How far are they going to go in fooling us?”
Tamotsu Baba, mayor of Namie near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, who had stated his opinion at the public hearing, said on Nov. 26, “I was surprised because the public hearing was held yesterday, and the bill was passed today. What was the public hearing for? What did I attend the public hearing for? I don’t have the faintest idea.” He then raised his voice and said, “That was too hasty. There should be much more discussion.”
Mitsugi Araki, a lawyer who stated his opinion at the public hearing, also said furiously, “That trampled on the sentiments of the Fukushima people.” He went on to say, “We were feeling that our opinions could be used as an excuse. But still, all of us spoke up with our utmost efforts. But our thoughts were ignored.” However, the bill has not been enacted yet. Araki added, “I want legislators to discuss it carefully.”
Saki Okawara, a 61-year-old resident of Miharu, said, “The public hearing was something like a sneak attack. Okawara went to the venue for the public hearing, but was not able to sit in on the hearing. Tickets to the hearing were distributed to political parties and many people who have no connections with political parties did not even know the public hearing had been planned, Okawara said. “Fukushima was nothing but one of the pieces leading up to the vote. Even if we raise our voice, it would never be heard. It is sad that politicians don\’t have any intention to accept our opinions,” Okawara said.
Kazue Morizono, a 51-year-old housewife from Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, who could not sit in on the hearing, raised her voice and said, “I was sort of hoping that the frank opinions of the speakers would put on the brakes. But how far are they going to go and try to fool Fukushima?” She went on to say, “Because our relationship of trust with the government has crumbled this far, it would affect not only the bill but also every piece of reconstruction work.”
Reiko Hachisuka, 61, who had served as a member of the Diet’s investigation committee on the Fukushima nuclear disaster, said, “I hope information involving the lives of residents will not be made secret. The government must have learned lessons from the accident. I want the government to distinguish between information it needs to safeguard and information involving people’s lives and handle such information in good faith.”
Meanwhile, about 300 members of women’s groups marched through the Ginza shopping street in central Tokyo to protest against the secrecy bill on Nov. 26. Members of women\’s groups from around the country took part in the rally proposed by writer Karin Amamiya. Carrying placards, some of which read: “What is secret?” and “That is secret,” they shouted, “We will never tolerate forcible passage (of the bill).” The rally started after the bill was railroaded through the lower house special panel on security. Yuri Horie, president of the Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations (Fudanren), said, “We must not allow for a repeat of the mistake that lead to the war with women’s eyes, ears and mouths shut off.”
A separate protest rally was also held near the Diet building in Tokyo’s Nagatacho district until around 9 p.m. on Nov. 26. When protesters heard the news that the lower house plenary session had just passed the bill, they shouted, “No!” and “Kill the bill!”
Blackout – Your right to know has been revoked
The Secrecy Bill
Under the bill, anyone who will be convicted of leaking “special secrets” or any information that concerns diplomacy, defense, counter-terrorism or espionage, can be sentenced up to ten years in prison. The “special secrets” will remain classified for up to 60 years and after several discussions with opposition Japan Restoration Party and Your Party, they agreed on the Prime Minister having the authority to check whether or not the information can be legitimately considered a state secret. The ruling bloc will also “consider” setting up an independent monitoring body to ensure that it doesn’t violate the people’s right to know, which is the main reason for the opposition to the bill.
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations also roundly criticized the LDP – the country’s ruling bloc – for its actions in the Lower House. “Since the bill could render popular sovereignty a mere shell, the ruling coalition disrespected the will of the people by forcing it through the chamber,” according to the statement released by the organization. “The action goes against the basic principle of popular sovereignty in a double sense.”
Continuous protest has been promised by writers, academics and journalists against the state secrets protection bill, even as the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) pushed the legislation through the Lower House on Tuesday. Critics say that this control of the legislative process and the legislation itself is a dangerous step backward for Japan. The secrecy bill has been criticized widely for its vague wording that could lead to arbitrary designations of information as “secret” and scare off journalists and whistle-blowers.
“The citizens’ voices that the bill is dangerous will not end today,” Kenzaburo Oe, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature, said in a news conference at the Diet on Nov. 26. “Our experience of the March 2011 (Fukushima) nuclear accident will fuel the movement against the state secrets protection bill,” Oe said. “As a result, the movement will have tremendous power.”
I say you are very right Oe sensei !
Democracy and Nuclear Power dont mix.
n April 2011, while Fukushima’s fires still smouldered, journalists scrambled to find sources who could shed any light on the nuclear crisis.
In a car park 25 miles south of the plant, a nervous maintenance worker on a rare break told The Independent that conditions onsite were chaotic and dangerous. Workers were exhausted; nobody at the top seemed to know what they were doing.
Nearly three years later, Japan’s parliament is set to pass a new state secrecy bill that critics warn might make revealing such conversations impossible, even illegal. They say the law dramatically expands state power, giving every government agency and ministry the discretion to label restricted information “state secrets”. Breaching those secrets will be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, denies he is trying to gag the media or restrict the public’s right to know. “There is a misunderstanding,” he told Japan’s parliament today as the Lower House prepared to pass the bill (to be enacted on 6 December). “It is obvious that normal reporting activity of journalists must not be a subject for punishment.”
Few people outside the government, however, seem to believe him. The legislation has triggered protests from Human Rights Watch, the International Federation of Journalists, the Federation of Japanese Newspapers Unions, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and many other media watchdogs. Academics have signed a petition demanding it be scrapped.
“It represents a grave threat to journalism because it covers such a wide and vague range of secrets,” said Mizuho Fukushima, a former leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party. She pointed out that the bill casts its net so wide it even includes a clause for “miscellaneous” secrets.
Inevitably, perhaps, debate on the new law has been viewed through the prism of the Fukushima crisis, which revealed disastrous collusion between bureaucrats and the nuclear industry. Critics say journalists attempting to expose such collusion today could fall foul of the new law, which creates three new categories of “special secrets”: diplomacy, counter-terrorism and counter-espionage, in addition to defence.
During deliberations in November, Masako Mori, the minister in charge of the bill, admitted that security information on nuclear power plants could be designated a state secret because the information “might reach terrorists.” The designation would mostly be left to elite bureaucrats.
The government has attempted to steer debate away from Fukushima and toward rising tensions in Asia. Japan’s government says the secrecy legislation has been introduced partly to head off pressure from the US, its key military ally. Washington is still struggling to put out its own diplomatic fires started by whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.
One possible application for the new law could be seen in November, when Japan held some of its largest-ever military exercises near the southern prefecture of Okinawa.
Opponents of the bill say Japan’s mainstream media is in any case already largely compliant. The latest (2013) World Press Freedom survey, published by journalism watchdog Reporters Without Borders, ranks Japan just 53rd, behind most advanced democracies and Lithuania and Ghana.
“Why do we need another law,” asks Taro Yamamoto, an independent politician. “What the government is truly trying to do is increase the power of the state.”
The image belongs to the org, the consequences to the people.
Sep 16, 2013 Faith Aquino National 1 Comment
150,000 tons of radioactive Fukushima waste left in the open, away from storage
In addition to TEPCO’s problem with how to manage the radioactive water from the defunct Fukushima nuclear plant, it was found that there still remain about 150,000 tons of radioactive waste that has not been properly stored. Besides contaminated soil, among those collected were contaminated branches and leaves, accounting for about 30 percent of waste that resulted from the reactor meltdowns.
Thirty-six municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture will provide temporary storage sites. Out of the intended 372 locations, only 139 (37 percent) have been utilized. Both the local and central governments are charged for failing to assure residents that radioactive waste may be stored. Only 13 out of the 36 municipalities were able to secure land to be used as storage sites. One of the reasons the storage sites were not set up was the lack of consent obtained from the residents. Among those with such reason was Koriyama. Efforts to contain radioactive waste had already kept 550,000 tons but the 150,000 tons were kept in the open for its failure to meet the guidelines of the Environment Ministry.
Nishigo, a village in Nishishirakawa District, has the most uncontained radioactive waste accounting to 40,000 tons. The city of Motomiya comes next with 39,432 tons followed by the city of Tamura with 17,800 tons. There are also municipalities that have not properly tallied the radioactive waste in their area.
US nuclear adviser tells TEPCO to prepare for releasing Fukushima water into Pacific
Tritium levels of groundwater in Fukushima now at their highest
PM Abe’s assurance about Fukushima to IOC members now being questioned
Tokyo Olympics may come at the expense of Fukushima, netizens say
TEPCO detects new spot with contaminated water in Fukushima
Via Nelson’s Evacuate Fukushima blog:
“We won’t eat it ourselves, but we sell it” – Fukushima farmers to the Government
This is a very powerful video and heartbreaking ! We wish for these brave farmers to be compensated for their lost.
The farmers don’t even want to eat their crops, do you think you should ?
Shame on you Japan, for abandoning these brave people and making them an accessory in putting consumers in danger.
Farmers to the Japanese government;
“you keep saying harmful rumors … but it is not a rumor. If it is just a rumor, there would not have a basis for it … Our farmland have been seriously contaminated, in the thousands of Beqs … I measure it everyday on my land! It is THERE! So if you are saying these are “harmful rumors”, then take the contamination off my land !! You are not doing your job!”
“The environment hasn’t changed at all since the explosion.”
“I know there is radiation in what we grow. I feel guilty about growing it and selling them to consumers”
“We won’t eat it ourselves, but we sell it”
“Would you eat it yourself? I commend you for your willingness to sacrifice yourself (sarcasm)”
“but I bet you won’t allow your children to eat them (contaminated crops)”
“I can understand that you need to protect your job and your position, but you are crossing lines that should be crossed”
Live from Lalaland
special thx to World Network for Saving Children from Radiation
nelson311 | September 5, 2013 at 6:31 am | Tags: Abenomics, いわき福島, cancers, central government officials, chiba prefecture, children, contaminated food, 県を批判, 福島県調査, decontamination, environment, evacuate, evacuation, exposure, farmers, fukushima, japan, kodomo, PM Abe, radiation, selling, sieverts, tepco, uSv, 原子力 破滅未来の エネルギー, 四倉ビーチ福島, 東京 | Categories: FOOD 食品, TESTIMONIES | URL: http://wp.me/p1PrGG-gk
evacaute children Mari Takenouchi
PLEASE CONDUCT GENE TEST AND EVACUATE KIDS IN FUKUSHIMA! 早急に遺伝子検査を行い、福島の子供たちを避難させてください！
児玉龍彦氏（東大教授）と討論 投稿者 z1afa9fa75
Dr. Tatsuhiko Kodama, Tokyo University Radioisotope Center
“Meanwhile, gene studies are accurate. Among thyroid cancer patients in Chernobyl contaminated areas, their chromosome 7q11 become three pieces, which cannot be observed among other types of thyroid cancer patients.” (11 minute)
“Epidemiology and statistics research results come only after people got victimized by radiation. In order to protect children and pregnant women, we cannot wait for epidemiological research results.” (13 minute)
The evacuation of Fukushima children is the most pressing issue.
I really do not understand why the world organizations such as UN, etc are not making any move.
(On the contrary, I heard that the UN is now preparing a report to convince the public that there have been no health damages due to Fukushima radiation!)
Today, on twitter, I just heard that many kids who went through surgery in Fukushima were found to have not only thyroid cancer but also metastasis in his/her lymphs though their thyroid cancer size were reported to be small.
There had been some information that there was metastasis in the child’s lung, but actually, it was metastasis in his/her lymph. As a matter of fact, as far as my acquaintace knows, there are two children who already got metastasis in their lymphs.
It is a matter of urgency to evacuate children from contaminated areas as soon as possible.
In Fukushima Prefectural High School, two students died of illnesses (one was sudden death) in the year of the accident. (However, TUF-TV You Fukushima, local TV station’s broadcasting chief Mr. Makoto Omori, tweeted a lie saying that the second student died due to traffic accident to calm down the case. TUF admitted that Mr. Omori lied on the twitter but never apologized for it.)
In this August, two students were found to have thyroid cancer out of total number of 959 students in the same school!
Already, there have been 43 thyroid cancer and suspected cases among Fukushima kids in this August. However, considering that the large number of kids have not gone through the second exam, the number could be over 100, which is 3.7 thyroid cancer out of 10,000 although child thyroid cancer rate is usually between one in one million or several hundred thousands.
However, Fukushima Medical University and other governmental or municipality related organizations are saying they have to wait for further epidemiological data while letting children breathe in contaminated air!!!
I am a mother of an infant and this is quite unbelievable thing from an eye of an ordinary mother!
In order to prevent further exposure to radiation, children in contaminated areas should be relocated first though they have already been exposed to initial dose and thyroid abnormality rate has been increased. (Prime Minister Abe’s statement in front of IOC members, “There have been and will be no health damages,” is NOT TRUE.)
At the same time, we need to clarify whether the Fukushima kids cancer had been caused by radiation or not THROUGH GENE TESTS!
As a matter of fact, the director of Tokyo University Radioisotope Center, Mr. Tatsuhiko Kodama said the following.
“Epidemiology and statistics research results come only after people got victimized by radiation. In order to protect children and pregnant women, we cannot wait for epidemiological research results.”
“Meanwhile, gene studies are accurate. Among thyroid cancer patients in contaminated areas, their chromosome 7q11 become three pieces, which cannot be observed among other types of thyroid cancer patients.”
THEREFORE, WE NEED 2 MEASURES, ONE IS THE RELOCATION OF CHILDREN (THOUGH IT IS RATHER LATE) AND THE OTHER THE IS THE GENE TEST ON CHILDREN.
HOWEVER, RECENTLY I FOUND OUT THAT THE GENE TESTS HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED SECRETLY SINCE THIS YEAR.
Last year, the former Environment Minister Goshi Hosono announced that Total Genome Analysis would be started since 2013.
As a mother, I really cannot forgive this reality, but FUKUSHIMA CHILDREN HAVE BEEN UNDER GENOME RESEARCH ALREADY!!!
In addition, on March 11 2013 speech in the US, Dr. Shunichi Yamashita reported that gene called FOXE 1 had clearly altered due to Chernobyl accident. page 22 and 24 in http://www.ncrponline.org/Annual_Mtgs/20_Ann_Mtg/Yamashita.pdf
(Now this pdf file is invisible for some unknown reason.)
Dr. Yamashita also mentioned that increased rate of hyperlipemia among children and liver dysfunction and hyperuruicemia among young male are observed. Hypertention, glocose malmetabolism and kidney failures are increased among adults and elderly people.
However, he attributed all these symptoms only to stress and prolonged evacuation lives.
His attitude dose not seem to be scientific.
On the other hand, Dr. Yamashita wrote in his 2009 thesis that 40% of thyroid cancer in Chernobyl were metastasized to lymph nose even in small-sized stages!
Another prominent Japanese scholar is Professor Nobuhiko Ban from Tokyo Medical University and he is a researcher on the onset mechanism of leukemia.
According to Professor Ban, he wrote in his excelled thesis, “when mice are irradiated, their gene Sfpi1 on chromosome No.2 gets damaged and at the same time, aging of haematopoietic stem cell gets accelarated, and thus irradiated mouse developes leukemia after 1or 2 years. ”
However, Professor Ban, under the name of nickname “@buvery” has been promoting ETHOS Fukushima where residents are encouraged to keep living in contaminated areas.
ETHOS program was conducted in Belarus financed by French nuclear lobbies and they encouraged the residents to continue living positively through measuring soil, food and even their own bodies. Meanwhile, severely ill children got drastically increased after the program!
Now the same progam is being conducted in Fukushima backed by the same people.
Last year, I heard that there was a mother in Fukushima whose 2 young sons developed leukemia almost simultaneously and she got devastated.
After Fukushima accident, gathering statistics on leukemia was stopped in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures! And the above leukemia researcher has been promoting ETHOS program. To my eyes, this is solely an act of crime!
In this way, in case of Japan, which is the first nuclear weapon attacked country, scientists and doctors have been accomodated themselves to the government policies, and furthermore, they have been conducting human experiments!
They already did human experiments in Chernobyl, which had been criticized by the international communities, and they are now doing the same on their own people’s children.
The situation is really pressing. There is an urgent need to conduct gene tests and clarify the cause of the thyroid cancer and evacuate children in contaminated areas as soon as possible