Category Archives: Protest

Ant-Nuclear Protest Demo & March in Kyoto; Saturday March 8th

“No one can guarantee the safety of nuclear power stations in an earthquake-prone country. They are unnecessary and have proved to be a disaster. Demonstrate this Saturday in Kyoto against the prospect of nuclear restart? The march begins around 2:45 from Maruyama Park.” – Stephen Gill

no nukes

Date: Saturday 8th March 2014
Place: Maruyama Park
Schedule: From 12:00 pm  – “Free Action” – A kind of mini-festival by the famous weeping cherry tree of Maruyama Park with art, goods, possibly some cosplay (!) & various performances.
1.00 pm – People will begin to gather for the main demonstration at the outdoor stage in Maruyma Park
1.30 – 2:45 – Speeches by representatives of various groups representing Fukushima refugees, Fukushima children and those taking legal action on behalf of Fukushima residents.
+ a performance from protest schoolgirl group, 制服向上委員会 (Uniform Advancement Committee?)
*After all the speeches and performances are finished there will be a march as far as Kyoto City Hall.
Please check this site for details of this event in Japanese: http://nonukeskyoto.jimdo.com/

As for the girl group, I think I prefer punk for protest music myself, but this being Japan, there is no escaping the endless “kawaii”… The song is called ダッ!ダッ!脱・原発の歌 which means “Abandon! Abandon! Abandon Nuclear Power Song”.

Anti-Nuclear Rally, Maruyama Park, Kyoto – Saturday March 9th 2013

The only Japanese nuclear power station to have been restarted since the nuclear disaster of March 2011 is the one at Oi in Fukui, just 60km from Kyoto and only 30km from our drinking water supply, Lake Biwa. (Stephen Gill)

Bye Bye Genpatsu - 2013.3.9 Maruyama Park, Kyoto

There will be a big anti-nuclear rally at Maruyama Park this Saturday (March 9th). As usual with these events it looks very much like it will have a festival feel. People will gather for speeches, performances etc from 12. The main rally is at 1.30 and the march commences at 14.45. Details (Japanese only) at this site: http://nonukeskyoto.jimdo.com/

Thanks to Aileen Mioko Smith of Green Action Japan for sharing this news.

Of related interest are these recent articles from Fresh Currents writers Winifred Bird and David McNeil.

Winifred Bird, has recently published two new articles with her colleague Jane Braxton Little on the contaminated forests of Chernobyl and Fukushima. They give a good overview of the likely long-term effects on both ecosystems and the dilemma that local authorities face in how best to manage them. LINK

David McNeil has an excellent interview in the Independent with one of the “Fukushima 50″:

They displayed a bravery few can comprehend, yet very little is known about the men who stayed behind to save Japan’s stricken nuclear plant. In a rare interview, David McNeill meets Atsufumi Yoshizawa, who was at work on 11 March 2011 when disaster struck. LINK

UPDATE (7th March): Stephen Gill informs me that there is a further event on Monday March 11th – the anniversary of the disaster. Demonstrators will gather at the Bic Camera plaza (beside Kyoto station) from 6.30 and march from there at 6.45 twice around the KEPCO offices. So if like me, you can’t make the big event on Saturday, this is your chance to show your solidarity and make some noise.  For an insight into why this issue is still important check out this video: Fukushima: Human Impacts

AN URGENT APPEAL TO SUPPORT GREEN ACTION JAPAN!

Please donate to Green Action here:
http://www.greenaction-japan.org/modules/entop2/

From Beyond Nuclear:

During the critical first days and months of the Fukushima nuclear
catastrophe in Japan, many of us turned immediately to Aileen Mioko
Smith (pictured far left with Sachiko Sato and Kaori Izumi) and her
organization, Green Action-Japan. Through her depth of knowledge on the
nuclear issue, organizing skills, and essential translations between
English and Japanese, Aileen played a crucial role in globally
networking the U.S. and Japanese anti-nuclear movements.

Today, Green Action-Japan needs your financial help to keep its
important work ongoing.

Without Aileen’s relentless efforts for more than a decade to delay the
use of plutonium (MOX) fuel, the three reactors that melted down at
Fukushima could have been loaded with 33% plutonium cores,
significantly worsening the radiological catastrophe that has unfolded.
(Only Unit 3 had loaded MOX fuel, at a 6% level.) Aileen has also
helped oppose the Rokkasho reprocessing facility and the Monju breeder
reactor.

Please make a generous donation via Green Action’s Paypal button today.
Green Action-Japan and Aileen Mioko Smith play an essential role in
connecting our campaigns and sharing knowledge, information that will
help us end the Nuclear Age.

Please donate here:
http://www.greenaction-japan.org/modules/entop2/
———–
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This Friday ~ July 20th ~ Join the Growing Protests Against the Nuclear Restarts

July 16th Anti-nuclear protest march, Kyoto ~ this picture from Stephen Gill.

This picture from Andy Couzens

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join in Monday’s anti-nuclear march here in Kyoto, but with all the musicians and drummers and the likes of Christopher Fryman blowing on his trumpet it looks like it must have been fun! Here’s the good word from two friends who were there. Stephen Gill writes,

We need more younger people to come and walk against the restart of nuclear power in Kansai. About 300 showed up in 35 degrees heat this afternoon in front of Kyoto Station to try to keep the light of hope alive here in Kyoto. We marched up Karasuma and along Shichijo and then past the Kansai Power Co. Building – twice in all, chanting and drumming. The issue is not just nuclear power, but power politics and vested interests, and if more Japanese people don’t say what they really think, it could end up making a mockery of democracy.

Continue reading

Ohi Nuclear Power Plant ~ Why We Should Be Worried…

Estimated number of people living within 30 kilometers of Fukui’s 14 reactors: 1,249,981
(Fukui Shimbun, Oct. 21, 2011)

Distance from the Ohi reactors to central Kyoto city: 60 kilometers

The following message is from Aileen Mioko Smith of Green Action Japan. Click on the pictures to view a larger image.

The red lines on this JPEG photo depict the shattered zones (earthquake faults) under the Ohi Nuclear Power Plant. The information is from Kansai Electric. The information is laid over Google Earth by Professor Mitsuhisa Watanabe, tectonic geomorphologist, Toyo University (Tokyo, Japan.)

The F-6 fault which is suspected of being an active fault is marked. The boat-shaped blue shows the location of the original trench excavation.

Professor Watanabe inspected the Ohi Nuclear Power Plant site yesterday (June 27th) with 5 members of the Japanese Diet. He confirmed 3 locations where the F-6 fault which is suspected of being an active fault can be examined by excavation. According to Professor Watanabe, the process to confirm whether this fault is active or not can be undertaken within a one week period (this includes the time required for refilling the excavation).

Government regulations state that category “S” equipment which require rigorous seismic resistance standards are “not assumed to be built over active faults.” Yesterday, it was confirmed during the on-site examination that the pipes for the emergency coolant intake from the ocean are “S” category, and they cross over the F-6 fault.

The Fukui prefecture newspapers report on the above issue today. Below, see Kansai Electric’s original sketch of the Northwest Wall of the trench. The sketch depicts a classic active fault. This controversial sketch was not submitted by Kansai Electric during the recent government back-check of Ohi.

Yuichi Sugiyama, a prominent member of the government’s back-check committee, in an interview with Kyodo (article 26 June) stated, “It is necessary to make an onsite examination of the shattered faults once more. We have only seen part of the past inspection records. We need to examine all of the information.”
(Original Japanese of Sugiyama quote:「現地で破砕帯をもう一度調査するべきだろう。過去の調査記録も一部しか見ていないので、全部確認するべきだ。」)

For more details, contact Green Action.

Aileen Mioko Smith: cell +81-90-3620-9251.

News Roundup: PM Noda Defies Massive Public Opposition to OK Restart of Ohi Reactors / Expert Warns of Active Faults Under Ohi Nuclear Plant

11,000 protestors gathered outside Prime Minister Noda’s official residence last night to oppose the restart of the Ohi nuclear reactors in Fukui prefecture.

However, none of this was broadcast on Japanese TV. [Source: Fukushima Voice]

And today in direct defiance of massive domestic opposition, Prime Minister Noda gave the go-ahead for the reactors to be restarted.

Activists have collected more than 7.5 million signatures on a petition urging an end to atomic power. Protesters have poured into the street almost daily over the past week. [Source: Reuters]

A Mainichi newspaper poll recently showed that 71 percent of the Japanese population are against the nuclear restarts.  And in direct contradiction of  PM Noda’s claims that the restarts are necessary for Japanese business, a Reuters Tankan poll has revealed that 72 percent of Japanese firms also want no early restart before safety can be guaranteed. Already there is speculation that this decision by the already unpopular Noda, “could undermine his political support and force early elections. ” [Source: Bloomberg]

Continue reading

A Call for International Protest & Action: “Don’t restart the Ohi reactors”

Today I am posting an urgent message to the world from a coalition of six groups opposed to the restart of nuclear reactors in Japan. Thank you to Stephen Gill for bringing this to my attention:

[UPDATE: Local actions in Tokyo and Osaka are also posted below*]

Dear Friends,

The Japanese Prime Minister Noda has announced his decision to order
the restart two nuclear reactors in the town of Ohi in the prefecture
of Fukui in Western Japan. He also claimed that nuclear energy will
remain an important source of energy for Japan also in the future,
thereby reconfirming Japans nuclear energy policy.

Despite all our efforts, despite the strong resistance in the region of
Western Japan surrounding Ohi, and despite the fact that a majority of
the Japanese people is against nuclear power, the Japanese government
is bowing to pressures of the nuclear lobby in Japan. We have tried
hard on our own, but now we believe that coordinated international
pressure on the Japan government is essential to bring on real and
substantial change. We believe that the Japanese government and the
Japanese public will react very sensitively to international pressure,
so we wish to ask you for your support to initiate and coordinate
international protest against the Japanese government.

Continue reading

Let’s Dance!

Today our new guest contributor, Sara Ai Coe, introduces a petition to save Japan’s dance culture!

James Brown once said ‘The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.’ Now there were times when James Brown didn’t make much sense, but with this one, he really hit the spot. A form of release, a form of expression, dancing is a way we shake our daily nags away and get lost in the moment.

And Japan, known for it’s overtime and stressful work ethics, is probably a country that would benefit from a LOT of dancing. Yet in Kansai right now ‘dancing’ has become regulated. Yes our friend ‘dancing’ has gained a bad reputation and has been handed down a curfew by Japanese authorities.

A club as it should be ~ Picture by Natalie Coe

Under the Fuzoku (or Adult Entertainment) Law, clubs and bars that cater to dancing are now only supposed to operate up to 1am. As the name of the law suggests, the law was created to deal with the sales and operation of adult businesses (host clubs, brothels, girls bars etc….) However, due to the vague nature of the terminology, the law also includes “nightclubs and related establishments that allow customers to dance.” Because nightclubs in Japan are categorized under this law, they have to conform to strict specifications for business operation.

Now this law is nothing new and has been in place since 1948. Back in post war Japan, in some establishments, ‘dancing’ itself wasn’t just dancing. It was a way for places to lure customers in for some other ‘services’ (wink nudge). Continue reading

“Bye Bye Genpatsu” Anti-Nuke Event & Demo in Kyoto, March 10th

Here’s another event I will miss while I’m away oop north. Thanks to Stephen Gill for sending this to me.

Bye Bye Genpatsu @ Maruyama Park, Kyoto, Monday March 10th 2012

  • 13:00 Rally at Maruyama Park’s outdoor stage (near the famous weeping cherry tree)
  • 13:15 “Attractions”
  • 14:00 Meeting begins
  • 14:45~ Demo begins. The demonstrators will walk from Maruyama Park to City Hall via Shijo and Kawaramachi Streets.

This promises to be a fun event, with speeches, music, dancing, a small flea market of home-made, eco-friendly goods and a chance to speak your own mind in the “free speech” event too! There will also be a show for the kids called the “Bye Bye Genpatsu Rangers.” Sounds like quite the festival doesn’t it?

For more details of this and other events please check the Bye Bye Genpatsu website (Japanese only).

Translators Needed for Avaaz Website

Kimberlye Kowalczyk says,

Avaaz.org, an international online campaigning organization, is looking for 4 or 5 English to Japanese translators for 2 to 3 weeks of work to translate the Avaaz website (www.avaaz.org) into Japanese in November/December. You will be working on a team overseen by an Avaaz staff member. No previous translation work is necessary (although preferred) but some knowledge and dedication to the causes advocated by Avaaz is a must. We are looking for passionate people to make the Avaaz website sing in Japanese and MOVE the audience to TAKE ACTION. Please contact kimberlye@avaaz.org for more information.

Don’t know much about the work Avaaz does? Click here!