Friday, October 11, 2013

Japan's 311 ongoing anxiety

IAEA is coming 14th for a week of invitation to study Fukushima contamination and before to come to Tokyo stated that Japan should work harder to address international concerns about leaks of radioactive contaminated water.

It goes without saying that Japan government does not always hear or act in regard to what others have to advise, recommend, or argue about the current nuclear crisis since Fukushima 3/11, Iaea included. But Abe does not listen, spends his time in his dream come true cute country "うつくし no kuni" and wants to explain the world that all is fine here, all is under control.

True enough, people don't say much about the real situation, so they ask abroad. How often I met anxious Japanese, with no time to think about their safety because life here does not give them time to think and look up. They ask us foreign media to dig for truth and to question events and people. Often we have vague answers from authorities.

When breaking news happen, there are devastating improper moral conducts revealed. People know to well about it because motives are fear and greed. Tepco and Co did not assume relevant safety measure, maintenance and proper reparations on their power plants. Then accident happened. A battle is allegedly engaged between regulators.

I don't think Mr Tanaka has the power to fight against the industrial lobby handled by Keidanren big bosses. It is all pretending everything is normal, like in a normal country, and do the necessary agitation on the surface like flies on the pond.

We heard enough nuclear cleaners testimonies from Fukushima employed by the sub-sub-sub contractors paid by Tepco which employs workers who often are totally ignorant about how to clean a facility such as a nuclear destroyed plant as Fukushima Dai Ichi is presently. So why does the NRA and the Abe's administration let it go until next... accident, leakage, and what will happen when disease start to affect people? It will be most important to follow the health and check up of Fukushima nuclear workers. Of course some will argue that it is a matter of health privacy.

So, there are still people who demonstrate. Friday is the day when Japanese used to demonstrate in Tokyo in front of the Parliament and in front of Kantei Abe's office to voice their opposition to Abe's nuclear industry since 2011 March 11th Fukushima nuclear accident. Interesting events happened this week, important too is the pain of the Tohoku people, who see the enthusiasm for Tokyo 2020 Olympics grow and their hope to restart a new life weakening.

And as an echo to their painful concerns, same are Fukushima people evacuees who live in a dilemma: "Move back population in contaminated area even though the radiation levels are too high or abandon their assets without proper compensation," said Greenpeace friday at a conference in Tokyo. 

"Decontamination efforts by Japanese government are insufficient" Greenpeace confirmed after radiation measurements the organisation made in Tamura region surrounding Fukushima Dai 1, near Koriyama. On the ICRP radiation recommendation and accumulated level of radioactive contamination,  Greenpeace Jan VandePutte (who work on Chernobyl and Fukushima contamination) considers that "2 years and a half after Fukushima accident, you can't keep referring to emergency situation." Japan does not control the situation. 

Levels of radiation for nuclear workers and population continue agitating the campaigns of information launched by nuclear opponents. Those I have seen in Tokyo and the northern Japan are ordinary normal people, not necessarily the activists type. I was not sure about it, after all demonstrations are filled with believers.

So I went to Nagatacho, the hill on top of the city with parliament, government and political parties headquarters. I have been chatting yesterday with LDP people about former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi posture since he advocates Abe to courageously address the nuclear situation in Japan since Fukushima nuclear accident.

Something Japanese newspapers (Yomiuri, and especially Asahi and Mainichi) focus a lot, with lashing editorials against Abe's nuclear policy. And I was told, interesting enough, that in their circles and current talks, the LDP members discussion are really nervous and vivacious about the future of the nuclear energy and how Japanese media will act about it. 

Should the media opt for a confrontation with LDP on issues that divide the Kantei from their MPs' and the coalition, this will sell lots of papers. Let's remember that grass roots organisations and local politicians are constantly in fear not to be re elected in next parliament. Problem is they do not know much about the real situation. Some plan to invite foreign scientists, with no connection what so ever with the industry...

And as things are indeed unconfident, we now read that NRA President Tanaka is himself unsure about restarting Tepco's Kashiwazaki Kariwa as long as Fukushima Dai 1 accumulates daily troubles.

This would not really be seen as a surprise, as local electric companies (say... atomic energy companies) are disregarding essential procedures to guarantee people's safety on the archipelago as we learned. Still regarding nuclear industrial cooperation between Japan Vietnam, things move on, and one question came in town the other day about the Vietnamese nuclear workers that are to visit Japan to learn about nuclear power. 

Some voices abroad say that emergency training in Japan are to include the vietnamese staff to work in decontamination at Fukushima crippled nuclear plant as manpower. We are told of  5.000 or 6.000 remunerated employees concerned by Japan Vietnam agreement with Vietnamese companies and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toshiba and Hitachi contract. 
Contract deals are here:

As a matter of fact, more and more Vietnamese (and Turkish) consumers products are accessible on the Japan market these days, from farming to IT. Vietnamese lecturers appear more often at conferences and seminars here and there. Japan knows well how to thank his friends when... he needs them!

Last as one one my scientist friend wrote me recently: "In the Fukushima cleanup, it is required to have Tepco executive officers with accountability. Media vigilance is a guarantee and we need [have] to force Tepco to greater transparency. The NRA, the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority should play this card. Does it with such communiques? And does the NRA has all its investigation known to the public? This Fukushima Dai Ichi situation concerns the whole of Japan and its treatment can not remain private. Equally important is that everyone's responsibility will be more significant if the debate becomes more opened." I could not agree more.