Apologize to Victims, Compensate for Damage and Abolish Nuclear Power Plants!

–Kyodososhiki Liaison Committee Visits Fukushima–

Min-Iren’s National Kyodososhiki Liaison Committee for Activity Exchange has been carrying out the “Solidarity Action in the Disaster-Afflicted Areas.” The members of the Committee visit the communities affected by the earthquake and nuclear disaster, listen to the local people on their needs and difficulties, so that their voices will be included in the process of future support activities and rebuilding of the communities. Following their visits to Iwate and Miyagi in the previous month, the members visited Fukushima on October 30 and 31, 2011.

Number of Difficulties Caused by Nuclear Power Disaster
Eight Committee members took part in the visit to Fukushima. The team listened to the explanation by Mr. Ito Tatsuya, Director of Hama-dori Health Co-operative Association on the current situation in Fukushima Prefecture, and held dialogues with the members of the local Kyodososhiki members.
Each of the local Kyodososhiki members spoke of the difficulties facing them, in the ongoing critical situation of the nuclear power plant: “After evacuating the children, all my family members live separately, with no jobs, no income.” “My grandchildren had to change schools twice in order to get away from radiation. I feel so sorry and helpless over their future study and friendship with others.”
Some people expressed their anger at the continued backward-looking posture of TEPCO in providing compensation to the victims. TEPCO requests the victims to submit complicated documentation to prove their damage, or to fill in many pages of application forms. The local members said, “TEPCO always takes a high-handed attitude, lacking the sense of being the perpetrator.” “They are always trying to underestimate the amount of damage for compensation.”
With the approach of winter at hand, they also said, “We need winter beddings and stoves, as the temporary housings are very cold” and “Many elderly people around me are worried about the snow piling up and fear if they can get the snow off around their houses.”

Largest and Worst Disaster in Human History
Director Ito also serves the Chairperson of the National Liaison Center of People’s Movements on Nuclear Power Plant Problems. Over many years, he has publicly revealed and criticized the danger of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants, and many times questioned TEPCO about what countermeasures to earthquakes and tsunamis it was taking. Regarding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, Mr. Ito said, “In terms of the severity and scope of the damage, the amount of damage and the time necessary for recovery and habilitation, this accident may be the largest and worst ever in human history”, and “Emigration to other prefecture still continue, especially among younger generations. The population of the prefecture has fallen below 2 million, equivalent to the level 33 years ago. The damage on the local economy is immeasurable.”
Further, referring to the resolution adopted unanimously by the Prefectural Assembly calling for the “Decommissioning of all the 10 nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture,” he stressed, “‘Apologize to the victims, compensate for the damage and abolish all nuclear power plants’ — this is the collective will of the people of Fukushima Prefecture.”

Raising Voices Together
Timed for the visits, the committee members joined the “October 30 Rally: Abolish Nuclear Power Plants! ” held in Fukushima City. Together with over 10,000 people from within the prefecture and from other parts of Japan sharing the desire of getting rid of nuclear power, the committee members raised their voices for phasing out of nuclear power generation.
Speakers at the rally included Mayor Baba Tamotsu of Namie Town, which lies within the 10 kilometer radius of Fukushima Daiichi NPP and many residents were forced to take shelter elsewhere; Mr. Sato Eisaku, former Governor of Fukushima; and President Shojo Tokuichi of the Fukushima Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives. On behalf of the preparatory body of the National Forum for the Abolition of Nuclear Power Plants, Secretary General Nagase Fumio of Min-Iren addressed to the participants, saying, “Right now, only 10 out of 54 nuclear power plants in Japan are in operation. With the power of the people, we can stop all of them. Let us show to the world the spirit of the Japanese people.”
A woman in her 60s from Yokohama Health Society of Kanagawa said, “We are holding a fund-raising bazaar at the entrance hall of the hospital in solidarity with the people in the affected areas. The government should work urgently on the development and dissemination of renewable energy sources, and create a society where nuclear power plants are unnecessary.”


Good-bye Nuclear Power Plants!

Report from Fukuoka

On November 13, “Good-bye Nuclear Power Plants! Fukuoka Rally Created by the Citizens of Kyushu, Okinawa and ROK” was held in Fukuoka City.
15,000 people, well over the target number of 10,000, gathered at Maizuru Park.
At the opening of the rally, Okinawa’s Eisa dance and Korean dance were performed. The venue of the rally had a festive mood, where fried noodles and Korean pancake stalls attracted people. Participants were dressed in animation characters or holding placards and goods to attract people’s attention, which were very popular among children.
Following the closing remarks of the rally, the members of the organizing body shared their sentiments and opinions as professionals. The rally was a valuable opportunity for people in different sectors and fields to work together beyond organizational barriers and speak in once voice, “Let us put an end to nuclear power generation.”
After the rally, the march was led by young DJs on the rap rhythm, saying, “NPP no more!” “We have enough electricity,” and “Life comes before profit!” The rally made me renew my determination to cherish the ties among people in the same desire to get rid of nuclear power plants and to go on with our activities.
(By Ichihashi Yoshie, Shinjin-kai)