Wasn't Japan the country which has been suffering the damage of Nuclear bombs in Hiroshima & Nagasaki?
Wasn't Japan the country which promotes "the three nonnuclear principles (nuclear weapons shall not be; developed, possessed, enter Japan)"?
Since I was small, I had been taught from my parents and schools that nuclear bombs were awful and so many people suffered in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was a summer holiday assignment to read a novel called "black rain" by Masuji Ibuse, which described how Nuclear bomb had affected and changed people's lives. The assignment was meant to teach children how nuclear bombs awfully damaged people. Because we are the only country which has the experience of nuclear bomb, we have the nonnuclear principles.
But, how come Japan has taken the policy to build so many nuclear power plants that can have the same or even worse damage than nuclear bomb? I've read on Wikipedia in Japanese that Chernobyl accident released radioactive materials equivalent to 500 Nuclear Bombs dropped in Hiroshima. Japanese scientists & politicians must know nuclear power plants could damage worse than the nuclear bombs. Then, how was it possible that Japanese people accept such dangerous power plants?
Novel prize author, Kenzaburo Oe, who was alive in 1954 when US dropped the Nuclear bombs in Japan wrote an article on this nuclear contradiction on New York Times and says "To repeat the error by exhibiting, through the construction of nuclear reactors, the same disrespect for human life is the worst possible betrayal of the memory of Hiroshima’s victims." He also says that, "One hopes that the accident at the Fukushima facility will allow the Japanese to reconnect with the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to recognize the danger of nuclear power, and to put an end to the illusion of the efficacy of deterrence that is advocated by nuclear powers."
As he says, can we be wise enough to understand potential thread and risk of having nuclear power plants in these islands that are earthquake heaven? We should be wise and bold enough to abort nuclear power plants while developing new methods of supplying energy for economic growth.
Link to the article;
history repeats by Kenzaburo Oe
After spending around one week at my grandmother's house, working remote, I came back to Tokyo on 23rd March (wed). I had a mixed feeling. I was somehow happy to go back as I started to feel uncomfortable as I had to wear same kinds of clothes (I only brought 2 extra clothes as I didn't imagine I would have to spend so long time there.), working remote was difficult as my family could disturb me at any time, no my space with my favorite things around me. On the other hand, I was afraid about radioactive as the situation at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was still unclear.
I started to feel nuclear power plant issue is much more horrible & troublesome than earthquake & tsunami. Of cause earthquake & tsunami brought horrible damage to people, but it's something unavoidable and uncotrolable, so we cannot do anything but accept. But having Nuclear Power Plant is human-made and something avoidable. It is something we should regret about building such facility over such risky place. TEPCO should have known that there were high potential of having big earthquake in Fukushima, they said they never anticipated the earthquake would be so big, but this judgement was not right. There was an article saying TEPCO had a report that there is a risk of BIG earthquake as this one in Fukushima and potential risk was 0.1%.
What does this 0.1% mean?
Is it a big risk or low risk?
Is it low enough to ignore?
If the consequence of this 0.1% brings this big trouble, they shouldn't have ignored it and it's the failure of TEPCO to deliver safety. The consequence I know so far are;
- the area radius 30km from the plant is not possible for people to continue living
- around 80,000 people living in radius 20km have to evacuate without knowing when they can go back home
- even outside 20km, a lot of people have evacuated
- all the industry developed there have been destroyed
- some vegetables from Fukushima and some neighboring prefectures are banned to be sold in the market for high radioactive level
- one farmer committed suicide as his vegetables were banned to sell
- one person found dead in radius 10km
- firemen are working at the plant without proper protective colths
- drinking water was banned to be fed to babies less than 1 year old as it contains too much iodine even in Tokyo. (now it's confirmed OK to drink)
- blackout which affects badly on Japanese economic recovery. Some factories have to operate during night after blackout.
earthquake, tsuname & nuclear all together;
more than 28,000 people are dead/lost.
more than 160,000 people are under evacuation.
I found an interesting article about the Japanese people’s behaviors in this devastating
A test of Japan's "stoicism"
The author of this article says in Sendai, the city closest to the quake’s epicenter, there are only 40 incidents of theft and looting in 4 days after tsunami, that is quite low considering devastated
conditions as shortages of essential supplies and total blackout. Instead, people there queue calmly
for two hours rather than taking from the empty shops.
As introduced in the article, interests of community & groups are considered very important in Japan
and self-oriented behaviors, comments are not appreciated. So, if everybody is having same troubles by same cause, it’s better to cooperate rather than one person getting better. I think it’s a very
simple logic, you won’t be happy having plenty of foods while your neighbors are starving. If
everybody is not having, then it’s better to share, so that more people can be happy. Of cause it
doesn't always work like that, but at least in this kind of devastated condition, people think this
One another typical Japanese behavior introduced in the article that I have never objectively thought about is that Japanese people “smile with their face and cry inside”. Showing/expressing their
emotion is not something Japanese people are used to or like to do. After reading this article, I
started to think about my parents. It might sound funny but as long as I remember, I have never seen
them crying. Showing your emotions not being able to control is considered to be childish and
This kind of complex attitude may be linked to the comments that my boss who is non-Japanese often
says. She says that “Japanese people always say “yes” but it doesn’t mean they “agree” and
sometimes they think completely opposite”, so it’s very difficult to understand what they are
thinking.” I think fighting, arguing, expressing what you think are not just common among Japanese
as we value more on harmony of the group rather than fighting to make it better. Probably this is why it takes so long time to change something which is already accepted for a while in this society.
But, now a lot of things have been destroyed by the catastrophe and we are on the starting line for
reconstruction. Now is the time for active discussion on future strategy for Nuclear Power Plants.
We have 54 nuclear reactors and all locates by the sea and some on the active fault. There are many
for/against opinions but still no major direction by the government. (European countries are much quicker to act referring Japanese accident….) Although we are not used to expressing opinions, we have to do it now to avoid same tragedy to occure.
These 2 days, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant has been quite under control. There were things like white smokes or gray smokes, but no big explosions as before. Now I’ve read that the electronic cables to all reactors have been connected and it will be possible to cool down much more efficiently. I really hope no more explosions & no more high radioactive contaminations.
Now after 10 days from the earthquake and Nuclear fear, there were several small good news reported such as, people found alive in North, temperature of reactor pool water has declined xx degrees Celsius, all key high-ways are fixed, high way buss started to run in North and etc...
Thanks to the help of my very best friend, I note down some donation links in English, French and Spanish.