Day 483 6 July 2012 – 150,000 in Tokyo

Via Senrinomichi:

A rainy Friday evening in Tokyo. An estimated 150,000 protestors….
Thanks to Naomichi Saegusa for the photo

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2012年7月6日の首相官邸周辺デモを60秒で見る動画

(The demonstration in Toyko on 6 July 2012 in 60 seconds)

and… another short one from the Nagoya demo last night:

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From EX-SKF at:

July 6 Protest in Tokyo: Organizers Say 150,000 Despite the Rain, 21,000 Says Police, Even Yomiuri Reports

The police this time says 21,000 people, up 4,000 from their last week’s estimate of 17,000. Organizers say 150,000, about the same level as last week. Participants (or would-have-been participants) say many more were stopped at the subway station (Kokkaigijidomae) exit and couldn’t get out.

(It looks like it was one particular exit, and others were open. They could have also ridden one more station and exit from there instead.)

And even more surprising, Yomiuri Online did cover the event (I think it is the first, online), and even quoted the police number. It even has a photograph! Tide is turning! This historical coverage must be preserved… (OK, sarcasm off.)

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/07/july-6-protest-in-tokyo-organizers-say.htmlhttp://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/07/july-6-protest-at-kepco-hq-in-osaka.html

and…

July 6 Protest at KEPCO HQ in Osaka City: 2,700 People Despite the Rain

Protests against the restart of Ooi Nuclear Power Plant have been happening outside Tokyo, too.

The largest outside Tokyo is the protest in front of Kansai Electric (KEPCO) Headquarters in Osaka City. The number of people participating in the protest is steadily growing there. This week’s 2,700 is up 500 from last week’s 2,200, which was up 700 from the previous week.

(See photos at link above)

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Article from Doshin Web (Hokkaido Newspaper)

My (weak) translation:

Stop dangerous nuclear power. The politicians are not listening to the people.

The people are thinking,”We have to spread the demonstrations quickly.”

Every Friday night, in Tokyo Nagata-cho, in front of Prime Minister’s official residence, the streets are packed with people echoing “Stop the restart!”. Their voices bounce off the buildings.

The public’s voices are saying the cabinet members, “Stop!” 

Yet PM Noda is leaning on those who support the theory of continuing the use of nuclear power and went ahead with the restart.

People are taking this as seriously as the current discussion about the tax rise and the question of what to do about the Okinawa military base.

One street away from the PM’s house, hearing the demonstration against the restart, Noda said “That’s a big noise, isn’t it?” It’s not just a big noise, it’s the citizens voice aimed at making the government listen. The demonstration is made up of people from Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba. At the end of March this year there were 300 people. They’ve held this demonstration continuously. Last week there were tens of thousands.

After the Oi restart, last night, they had many more supporters from many places.

Near the Diet this larger demonstration haven’t seen since 1960s – 1970s against the AMPO treaty. At that time, the left wing parties and student groups were the center of the protests. Now, however, news of the demonstrations spread on Twitter and Internet, and the largest number of supporters are mothers and average business people.

(continues)

Original (below) at:

http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/editorial/385442.html

脱原発デモ この声を無視するのか(7月6日)

 危険な原発を動かすのはもうやめようという多くの国民の思いが政治に届いていない―。

デモの広がりはそんな焦燥感の表れだろう。

毎週金曜日の夜、東京・永田町の首相官邸前を大勢の人が埋め尽くし「再稼働反対」の声が響き渡る。

民主党は、国民の声を足場に官僚支配からの脱却を訴えて政権交代を実現させた。しかし野田佳彦首相は原発推進派の論理に寄りかかり再稼働へ突き進んだ。

消費税増税や沖縄の基地問題にも同じような野田政権の政治手法を感じる国民は少なくない。

官邸から道1本隔てた脱原発デモに首相は「大きな音だね」と漏らしたそうだ。これは単なる音ではない。首相や関係閣僚は、訴えにきちんと耳を傾けてほしい。

デモは、脱原発を求める首都圏の市民グループが呼びかけ3月末に始まった。当初の参加者は約300人だったが、回を重ねるごとに増え、先週は数万人が集まった。

関西電力大飯原発(福井県)の再稼働後初めてとなる今夜も、多くの市民が集まりそうだ。札幌の道庁前でも呼応した抗議行動が企画されているという。

国会周辺でこれほどのデモが起きるのは、1960年や70年の日米安保条約に反対する闘争以来という見方もできよう。

左派政党や学生、組合などの組織的な動きが中心だった安保闘争と違い、ツイッターなどネット上でデモを知り自発的に足を運ぶ会社員や子供連れの母親らが多いのが特徴だ。

国会に送り込んだ代表が政権を担う間接民主主義制度が目詰まりを起こし、民意が政治に反映されていない。多くの国民がそう感じ、官邸へ直接声を上げているのではないか。

野田首相は再稼働を決めた際の記者会見で「計画停電になれば命の危険にさらされる人、働く場がなくなってしまう人も出る。国民生活を守る」と強調した。

しかし福島の事故原因も不明確なのに再稼働させるのは国民を守ることにつながるのか。停電を避ける手段は再稼働だけではない。節電への意識は高まっている。

首相の政治姿勢に国民から疑問が上がるのは当然と言えよう。

首相は「国論を二分している状況で結論を出すのが私の責任」とも述べた。国論を二分しているときに、民意を丁寧にくみ取る手続きを欠かしてはなるまい。

民主党政権の首相は衆院選を経ずに2度も代わった。

だからこそ首相はより謙虚に、国民の声を聴くリーダーでなくてはならない。

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Wherever you are in Japan, you’re about 200 kms (124 miles) away from a nuclear power plant. Comforting, isn’t it?
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Photo of the week: Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 4 Building Debris Removal

The head of a Diet-appointed panel to investigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster said Friday that the crippled plant in northeastern Japan remains in a dangerous situation because of its fragile structure.

“Fukushima remains at a very high risk, not only because of the spent fuel issues, but also because of its fragile structure,” Kiyoshi Kurokawa, also professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, noting that another huge earthquake like the one last year may occur off the coast of northeastern Japan again.

Article continues at:

http://enformable.com/2012/07/photo-of-the-week-fukushima-daiichi-reactor-4-building-debris-removal/

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Radioactive river mud threatens lakes, Tokyo Bay

Lakes across eastern Japan are being contaminated with radioactive cesium from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and scientists are warning of a growing problem in Tokyo Bay.

Radioactive mud carried down rivers is slowly accumulating in the lakes, in some cases making fish and shellfish dangerous to eat.

In March, a maximum cesium concentration of 9,550 becquerels per kilogram was detected in mud on the bottom of the Bizengawa river, 1.65 kilometers from where it flows into Japan’s second-largest lake, Lake Kasumigaura in Ibaraki Prefecture.

A month later, the highest reading was 800 meters closer to the lake and had increased to 9,980 becquerels per kilogram.

Hiroshi Iijima, who heads the Asaza Fund nonprofit organization, which conducted the surveys, has asked the central and prefectural governments to put cesium-absorbing zeolites in the lake and set up a temporary dam to stop the mud flowing from the river.

Ibaraki Prefecture is known for producing the largest eel catch in Japan. In May, the central government suspended shipments of eels caught in Kasumigaura and other locations in Ibaraki Prefecture after cesium levels exceeding the government standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram for food were detected.

 Article continues at:

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Please remember the animals left behind. Won’t you consider a small donation?

Animal Friends Niigata Needs Your Help
Animal Friends Niigata, an NPO shelter in Niigata needs your help!

With over 400 animals to house, care and get ready for adoption, Isabella Gallaon-Aoki is running a very tight ship as animal food supplies, vet care, and daily operations are very expensive and donations are always appreciated.
At AFN, a no kill shelter, animals are never turned away and each week Isabella Gallaon-Aoki and team goes out into the perimeter of the No Go Zone, including the Iitate village area, putting out food and re-filling stations that have been left empty by other individuals or groups. Animals are brought to AFN by owners, and calls are received to rescue animals on a daily basis. AFN has taken in many of the Fukushima animals rescues, including all the animals rescued by the team of Charles Harmison and Yoshiko Wada on their multiple rescue missions.
The GOJ has issued alerts that the second week of July will be a week where all roaming dogs will be trapped and kept waiting for owners to claim them. It is not indicated what will happen to unclaimed pets but AFN fears the worst and is getting prepared.
AFN plans to participate in saving as many animals as possible. Your donation is greatly appreciated. All chipin donations are sent directly to Animal Friends Niigata’s Paypal. On behalf of Isabella, staff, volunteers, and the animals, thank you!
 Donate at:
 
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From FukushimaDiary:
At “Kokkaigijidomae (= in front of National Diet)” station. Police is blockading the exits for the reason that outside is too full. People are arguing with police.
Read the entire article at:
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Slideshow: Rain can’t dampen Friday-night antinuclear protest rally

Staff writer

Despite a steady downpour and high humidity, another Friday-night demonstration in front of the prime minister’s office attracted a large crowd of protestors expressing their opposition to the restart of reactor 3 at Fukui Prefecture’s Oi nuclear power plant.

The protest rallies have been gradually been growing in size ever since they started being held each Friday night since late March. Police reports estimate that the number of protesters this Friday night was at least 10,000, while event organizers later put the estimate at 150,000 people.

The rally, which followed the official restarting of Oi reactor No. 3 last Sunday, had crowds of people chanting, along with drums and instruments, “No to the restart!”

Read the entire article at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120707b6.html#.T_fOSI6D57a

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For folks on the west coast of the U.S.:

4 U.S. states set up emergency funds to handle debris from Japan quake and tsunami

Local residents look at a dock from Misawa fishing port in Aomori Prefecture that washed up on Agate Beach in Newport, Oregon, on June 26. (Mainichi)
Local residents look at a dock from Misawa fishing port in Aomori Prefecture that washed up on Agate Beach in Newport, Oregon, on June 26. (Mainichi)

LOS ANGELES, California — Of the five U.S. states and one Canadian province that face the prospect of more rubble from last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami arriving on their shores, four have allocated emergency funds or are in the process of doing so, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

While debris has already begun to wash up on North American shores, the volume is expected to surge starting this fall, bringing with it concerns regarding disposal and impact on local ecosystems.

According to the Japanese government, up to 1.5 million metric tons of debris was washed away by tsunami generated by a massive earthquake that struck off the coast of northeastern Japan last March. Large-scale rubble has been found on the Pacific coast of Canada and the U.S. since April of this year; on April 6, the U.S. Coast Guard opened fire and sank a Japanese squid trawler off the coast of Alaska, and on June 5, a 20-meter-long dock from the Misawa fishing port in Aomori Prefecture washed up on a beach in Oregon.

Article continues at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120707p2a00m0na011000c.html

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As Japan Says Fukushima Disaster “Man-Made” and “Preventable,” Fears Grow for Nuclear Plants Worldwide

A Japanese parliamentary inquiry has concluded last year’s nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was “a profoundly man-made disaster — that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.” We speak to former nuclear industry executive Arnie Gundersen about the report and what it means for U.S. nuclear facilities, in particular the 23 with a similar design to the Fukushima plant. “There’s actually some curious information on Fukushima Unit 1. That was the first one to fail,” Gundersen says. “That was built by an American company, General Electric, and an American architect/engineer. So it’s hard for the Japanese to blame themselves, when this was an all-American design. … I am concerned that the industry, the nuclear industry in the United States, will say it’s a Japanese problem. And it’s not.”

ALSO SEE: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster “Man-Made” Reports Japanese Panel

TRANSCRIPT:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show in Japan, where a new parliamentary inquiry has concluded last year’s nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could have been prevented. The investigating commission appointed by the Japanese Diet concluded, quote, “It was a profoundly man-made disaster—that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.” The commission held the government, regulators and a nuclear operator responsible for the triple meltdown that occurred in March 2011 after a powerful earthquake and tsunami struck the country’s northeast coast.

Article continues at:

http://truth-out.org/news/item/10192-as-japan-says-fukushima-disaster-man-made-and-preventable-fears-grow-for-nuclear-plants-worldwide#.T_fwqicZR28.facebook

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Fukushima Nuclear Disaster “Man-Made” Reports Japanese Panel

The massive disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility that began with the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami could have been prevented and was likely made worse by the response of government officials and plant owners, so says a lengthy report released today by the Japanese Diet (their parliament).

The official report of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Committee [PDF] harshly criticizes the Japanese nuclear industry for avoiding safety upgrades and disaster plans that could have mitigated much of what went wrong after a massive quake struck the northeast of Japan last year. The account also includes direct evidence that Japanese regulatory agencies conspired with TEPCO (Fukushima’s owner-operator) to help them forestall improvements and evade scrutiny:

The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents.

Article continues at:

http://truth-out.org/news/item/10174-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-man-made-reports-japanese-panel-quake-damaged-plant-before-tsunami

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As Japan Says Fukushima Daiichi Disaster “Man-Made” & “Preventable,” Fears Grow for Nuclear Plants Worldwide

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Soaring number of Fukushima children with headaches/nausea — 6-fold increase blamed on ‘stress’

June 7, 2012 report in Mainichi summarized by Fukushima Diary:

Fukushima university conducted “stress” research for 2743 people this January 2012 […]

their last research [was] June / July 2011.

[…]

the ratio of frequent/occasional headache and nausea increased from 6% to 38%.

[…]

Prof. Tsutsui from the researching team states, this persistant and continuous stress is physically affecting the children.

However, the ratio of fear, anxiety, regression, dependence decreased.

[…]

Article continues at:

http://enenews.com/soaring-headachesnausea-for-fukushima-children-6-fold-increase-blamed-on-stress

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Fukui Pref. wants central gov’t to keep nuclear plants

FUKUI, Japan, July 7, Kyodo

The Fukui prefectural government called on the central government Saturday to continue to treat nuclear power as an indispensable source of electricity when deciding on the nation’s future energy policy in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.

The western Japan prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast made the call in a package of recommendations to the state ahead of requests to be made by central government ministries and agencies in the summer for their budgets for fiscal 2013 starting next April 1.

”It is necessary for the state to be responsible in maintaining the vitality of areas hosting (nuclear power plants) that have contributed to the nation’s energy policy and supported the Japanese economy,” Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa wrote at the beginning of the recommendations.

Read the entire article at:

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/07/168148.html

☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢

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