Mainichi: “Nuclear devastation” for Japan, in peace time — Fukushima disaster “the same as war” -Buddhist Nun

Sunday, August 26, 2012
By Paul Martin

By ENENews
August 26th, 2012

itle: Complacency perished in the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Source: The Japan Times
Author: MICHAEL HOFFMAN
Date: Aug. 26, 2012

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Japan, complacent beneath the American nuclear umbrella, has in fact contributed remarkably little to the cause of nuclear disarmament. Note, besides, [Prime Minister Yoshihiko] Noda’s reference to “nuclear devastation in war,” and what that leaves unsaid — namely, nuclear devastation in peace.

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“In my mind, Fukushima is like a third nuclear victim, following Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” added Fukushima evacuee Sachiko Sato.

Nuclear devastation in peace is war, a 90-year-old Buddhist nun named Jakucho Setouchi goes so far as to say. Setouchi is a writer of considerable reputation whose collected works, published in 2002, run to 20 volumes. Speaking to Shukan Asahi magazine, she said, “The earthquake and tsunami were natural disasters, but (Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant) was a manmade disaster, and therefore the same as war.”

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“The atmosphere today,” says Setouchi, “is exactly like 1941, ’42.” Back then, the public and mass media bought the official line that Japan’s victory was assured. In our own time, the public and mass media bought the official line that the safety of nuclear power was assured.

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Future historians looking back on our time may conclude that the nuclear accident changed Japan not much less than the atomic bombs did. There’s a lot happening, where little was before. The weekly Shukan Gendai talks to three female lawmakers who lately bolted the governing Democratic Party of Japan, largely over its decision to reactivate two nuclear reactors in Oi, Fukui Prefecture. “Foreigners think the Japanese are sheep,” said one of them, Kuniko Tanioka. “But we’re raising our voices now, saying no to nuclear power, no to reactivation.”

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“Perpetrators of the subway sarin affair were given death sentences,” she says. “The top people in the company that caused radiation contamination are still in their executive boardrooms, drawing high salaries. That’s odd, isn’t it?”

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