|His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Akihito, and Former Prime Ministers Morihiro Hosokawa, Junichirō Koizumi, and Naoto Kan.|
Why did Japanese TV channels cut Emperor Akihito's address on the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis?
There is a particularly sensitive accusation reverberating through online discussion boards and social media in Japan: that Emperor Akihito's speech on the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami was censored on TV for his comments about the nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
The 78-year-old Emperor Akihito had insisted on attending the memorial service, though he had been released from the hospital for heart bypass surgery less than a week earlier. While the emperor is technically just a figurehead, he is still deeply revered here. Many Japanese see him a source of guidance in times of political difficulty, which have been many in the last 20 years. His speech was highly anticipated. Unlike Prime Minister Noda, who never mentioned the nuclear crisis in his speech on the anniversary, the Emperor addressed it directly.
As this earthquake and tsunami caused the nuclear power plant accident, those living in areas designated as the danger zone lost their homes and livelihoods and had to leave the places they used to live. In order for them to live there again safely, we have to overcome the problem of radioactive contamination, which is a formidable task.
While this statement may seem more obvious than radical to outsiders, underneath the Imperial-grade Japanese understatement were two ideas that have become quietly explosive. First, he seemed to suggest that the nuclear crisis is not over, a "formidable task" yet to be overcome. This noticeably contradicts the government's official stance that Fukushima has achieved a cold shutdown and, for all practical purposes, the crisis is over. Second, it implies that it is not yet safe for people to return to areas stricken with high levels of radiation, at least not before the "formidable task" is "overcome." This, again, contradicts the government's position that it is now safe for people to return to almost all areas and that neither Tokyo Electric Power Company nor the national government are obliged to assist in long term evacuations.
Hosokawa eyes no nukes by 2020
-- The Japan Times
Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa will pledge in his campaign for the Feb. 9 Tokyo gubernatorial election to set out a road map for Japan to break with nuclear power generation by 2020, according to a close aide.
“By making 2020 his target year, he will change Tokyo and Japan, with the focus on a complete end to nuclear energy,” Shusei Tanaka, who was a special adviser to Hosokawa during his 1993-1994 prime ministership, said Friday in an interview.
With Tokyo slated to host the Olympics in 2020, Hosokawa, if elected, will “present (the road map) at the Olympics as an example” to the international community, Tanaka said.
Also in the event of a Hosokawa victory, “Japan will never be able to restart nuclear reactors,” Tanaka said, adding, “No restart of reactors means ‘zero’ nuclear power generation.”
Japan: Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s call for a “zero nuclear” policy
-- Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s call for a “zero nuclear” policy has been causing a stir among lawmakers and top government officials.
The opposition camp has been buoyed by Koizumi’s recent remarks calling for the government to phase out nuclear power generation. Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Tadatomo Yoshida held talks with Koizumi in Tokyo on Oct. 29. At the meeting, Yoshida and Koizumi agreed on the importance of eliminating the use of nuclear power. Koizumi, however, rejected the SDP’s call for him to ally with the opposition party in pushing for a nuclear phase-out. The ruling camp is poised to take a wait-and-see stance as it supports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which places a policy of maintaining nuclear power generation as a pillar of its growth strategy. Such being the case, Koizumi’s “zero nuclear” remarks have so far remained only as a “ripple.”
“The government can make a political decision toward a nuclear phase-out by changing public opinion,” Koizumi said during the meeting for about 45 minutes with Yoshida at a think tank, to which Koizumi himself serves as adviser. Koizumi vowed to continue to make remarks calling for Japan to eliminate the use of nuclear powe
Former Japanese PM Naoto Kan: 'Fukushima radically changed my perspective' -- DW.com
Prior to the Fukushima disaster, many Japanese believed that nuclear energy was inexpensive and safe. But since the accident, it's become clear that nuclear power plants are dangerous and the cost of running them is high compared to other forms of energy. This realization should have led the country to abandon nuclear power.
However, the industry has not been willing to give up its existing privileges and profit margins. It therefore tries to influence politicians and the media by organizing campaigns in favor of nuclear energy.
Claims by the nuclear power lobbyists that atomic energy is cheaper than oil or natural gas are simply false
Although more than 50 percent of the Japanese population support phasing out nuclear energy, such a proposition still lacks the backing of a majority in the Japanese parliament. I want to change this and be at the forefront of efforts to curb the power of the nuclear lobby....
Now if we could just get the truth to speak for itself....
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