Japan enacts state secrets law late Friday night amid revolt — “It criminalizes investigative journalism” — Terrorism defined as “imposing one’s opinions on others”http://enenews.com/secrets-law-passes-late-friday-night-amid-revolt-mushrooming-opposition-it-criminalizes-investigative-journalism-terrorism-defined-as-imposing-ones-opinions-on-others-protesto
Japan Times, , Dec. 6, 2013: Following political turmoil that rocked the Diet over the past week, ruling block Upper House members finally enacted the contentious state secrets bill late Friday night. Earlier in the day, opposition parties intensified their protests in vain over a law that’s being criticizing for not creating an independent oversight body capable of preventing the government from hiding inconvenient information at its discretion.
Businessweek, Dec. 6, 2013: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured final passage of a bill granting Japan’s government sweeping powers to declare state secrets, a measure aimed at shoring up defense ties with the U.S. that prompted a public backlash and revolt by the opposition.
Asahi Shimbun, , Dec. 6, 2013: Kazuo Shii, chief of the Japanese Communist Party, described the ruling coalition’s behavior as “tyrannical, arrogant and disorderly.” The ruling coalition believed prolonging the Diet debate any longer could backfire, only fueling the mushrooming opposition to the bill, and lead to a further decline in approval ratings for Abe’s Cabinet and hold on power. An Asahi Shimbun survey taken between Nov. 30-Dec. 1 showed the Cabinet’s approval rating at 49 percent, dipping below 50 percent for the first time since he took power in December 2012. Officials in the Abe administration foresee the public eventually forgetting about the controversy, once the legislation is approved.
GlobalPost,, Dec. 6, 2013: Here are four disturbing ways the bill could be a democracy muzzler. It defines terrorism as imposing one’s opinions on others [...] According to Article 12, terrorism is partially defined as an activity that forces “political and other principles or opinions on the state or other people.” In other words, throw up a rowdy anti-government protest, and the judiciary can find a reason to lock you away. It criminalizes investigative journalism [...] Journalists can be prosecuted for “improperly accessing” classified documents or “conspiring” to leak them. Even asking an official to take a look at classified documents could constitute “conspiracy,” leading to up to five years in prison. “Instigating” the release of government secrets, meanwhile, carries up to 10 years in the dock. [...] Basically, anything can be a secret [...] administrators can make the opaque decisions to classify a document even if their work hardly relates to national security. That effectively allows them to hide any embarrassing piece of evidence, and then pursue the journalists and bloggers who make it public. [...]
Record outdoor radiation level that ‘can kill in 20 min’ detected at Fukushima Rt.com,8 Dec 13,Outdoor radiation levels have reached their highest at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant,warns the operator company.Radiation found in an area near a steel pipe that connects reactor buildings could kill an exposed person in 20 minutes,local media reported.The plant’s operator and the utility responsible for the clean-up Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) detected record radiation levels on a duct which connects reactor buildings and the 120 meter tall ventilation pipe located outside on Friday. TEPCO measured radiation at eight locations around the pipe with the highest estimated at two locations – 25 Sieverts per hour and about 15 Sieverts per hour, the company said.
The ventilation pipe used to conduct radioactive gasses after the nuclear disaster may still contain radioactive substances, TEPCO added. ……http://rt.com/news/fukushima-radiation-record-outdoor-912/
Japan may set up UK-style decommission agency for Fukushima plant BY YOSHIFUMI TAKEMOTO TOKYO Thu Dec 5, 2013 (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party could set up a British-style agency to shut down the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, taking control of a project now managed by the station’s embattled operator, a senior party policymaker said on Thursday…… Tepco, de facto nationalized after 2011, is still responsible for the ambitious decommissioning of the plant as well as for paying compensation to evacuees and cleaning up affected areas.
A plan to set up a decommissioning agency is controversial as it would reduce Tepco’s responsibility and increase the burden on taxpayers.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has so far pledged half a billion dollars in government funds to help stem the flow of contaminated water at the plant after a highly radioactive water leak in August triggered international alarm………http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-japan-fukushima-ldp-idINBRE9B407C20131205
The UK has decided to take the cheapest option for decommissioning according to a recent report by the badly named Department of the Environment and Climate Change (DECC), as 65 percent of their annual budget goes just on the costs of decommissioning it should be named British Nuclear Fools.
The processes involved with “decommissioning” are a “corporate secret” but a quick google says that the cheapest option is dissolution that involves melting everything in Nitric acid (or similar) and this has been the cause of high NO2 levels in the UK that are regularly blamed on other industries or countries. Though La Hague in France does contribute.
The UK has been reprimanded by the EU for the deaths caused by this NO2. And in the UK parliament we hear calls to cut the pollution detection monitors as they give the nuclear hazard away and threaten profits. These NO gases and particulates make it to even the arctic region of Russia (as Bellona has reported on many occasion whilst defending Norway from unjust blame)
As EDF and the French government begin the plans to reduce French nuclear and the shutting down of La Hague, they plan to increase use of Sellafield and other sites in the UK for these environmentally polluting nuclear processes.
The Irish Government has not been involved in the decisions for Hinckley, so An Taisce has formally lodged an appeal to the EU. The reaction of the UK and Ed Davey are well documented here… http://nuclear-news.net/2013/12/06/no-objection-by-ireland-uk-nuclear-hearing-told/
And as DECC were threatened with non co-operation if they asked for certain technical details or even the names of people involved, the Irish were likely not to be aware of the processes that the UK was planning to expand nor has their been a proper discussion concerning radionuclide’s and air quality issues being released due to these nuclear processes.
In fact not even the British public could be expected to know. In fact the UK NGO steering group who was supposed to be discussing this very issue over the past two years were not even allowed to know.
Who needs Leveson inquiry to silence information when the corporations and governments are doing the job so well anyway, I find myself asking.
I might point out that DECC also masterminded the Science Media Centre UK (SMC) to cover up or “manage” the Fukushima incident press coverage in 2011, which they then did and were rewarded by their sponsors (The big corporations and nuclear interests).
Bloggers and free press elements in Japan got too much truth out and the Japanese nuclear family had to close ranks with the USA and the Olympic Committee and have came up with the new “Secrets Act” , a shocking attack on free speech from a supposedly western country. It is now up to the Japanese Press to mobilize the people to reject this new Law, there are some signs of dissent in the media. We wish them well!
DECC has contracts of understanding with ROSATOM as well as some dubious eastern nuclear states. China, an authoritarian and pushy country will have the same leverage over DECC as the French and USA partners and therefore the Chinese communist (mostly)will have control of the information we hear on the news etc.. Have you heard the one about the Dalai lama recently? No? And you probably never will again!
Elements of the UK Media have had enough and are beginning to look a little harder at the Pro nuclear spin and analyse the sources of this drive for nuclear. The UK media is beginning to wake up to the deception but how deep will they dig?
It began after the crash of 2008 and 200 billion Euro moved directly into nuclear investments (A Norwegian insurance investment company has just sold its stocks in TEPCO at a massiviely reduced price and has beeen left licking its wounds). The Insurance and banking industry saw this as a safe bet for three more years and are heavily invested, in fact, the UK insurance industry will be proping up this PONZI scheme with a staggering 25 billion investment that is a curiously small amount considering the Total investment accrued in the Nuclear Industry by now. Just the normal monthly “Top Up” perhaps?
And if you dont think the Insurance Corporations view this as their own private nuclear “gravy train” why was the liability capped in Canada to only 1 billion? when the Japanese have paid TEPCO 50 billion in just the first year after the disaster. It seems it is the beleaguered Tax Payer is always the end recipient of this PONZI shaped dept burden.
Finally, the UK corporations have been supporting the Pro nuclear Corporations in Japan from the start and are still supporting Japan as it becomes a fascist state to protect their investments. These investments are very long term, measured in decades, and any country with nuclear power could be facing the same control of the population and of information.
Orwell would be not surprised perhaps at technology being used to enslave people by reducing their knowledge and controlling them totally.. No dissent, no illegal thoughts or 5 years in prison and a criminal history to stop you getting work for the rest of your life. Poor Japan! Poor UK!
Japan “will resuscitate nuclear energy, and rebuild the basis for promoting exports of infrastructure facilities,” indicating that the ministry would continue to advance nuclear power generation and further expand nuclear facilities exports.
Because the pro-nuclear Abe administration has said, “We will share our experience of the accident and lessons learned from the disaster with countries of the world,” the ministry’s report can be regarded as a prototype for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nuclear policy.
Ministry continued promoting nuclear power right after Fukushima accident December 02, 2013 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN The industry ministry began working to continue promoting nuclear power even immediately following the disastrous meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011, sources said.
The Asahi Shimbun has obtained a copy of the ministry’s confidential internal document titled, “Toward the Renaissance of Nuclear Energy,” which was compiled in late March 2011.
The report was written by a senior ministry official familiar with nuclear power facilities and distributed to its executives involved in designing the country’s energy policy, according to the sources.
The in-house document was used as a basis to determine the nation’s future nuclear policy in the aftermath of the disaster triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, the sources said. Read more »
Japan has said the main purpose of Emperor Akihito’s ongoing visit to India was to add more ballast to the bilateral relationship.
One of the elements that would add greater depth to the ties would be a civil nuclear agreement. “We are close to a bilateral deal on the peaceful use of nuclear energy,’’ said senior Japanese diplomats accompanying the Emperor, who is on a six-day visit to India……http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nuclear-deal-with-japan-on-the-anvil/article5415157.ece
Fukushima nuclear reactor clean-up unit hit by acid leak http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fukushima-nuclear-reactor-cleanup-unit-hit-by-acid-leak/story-e6frg6so-1226772520045 STAFF WRITERS AFP DECEMBER 02, 2013 THE trouble-prone system used to decontaminate radioactive water at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant was switched off yesterday because of a chemical leak, the plant’s operator said.
Hydrochloric acid, used to neutralise the alkaline water being decontaminated, was found seeping from a pipe joint, the Tokyo Electric Power Co said.
The joint was wrapped in a vinyl bag to contain the leakage, TEPCO said, and the company was investigating the cause. About a litre of hydrochloric acid had been contained in the bag. The leak was found at one of three Advanced Liquid Processing System units designed to remove radioactivity from contaminated water at the plant, where a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 sent the nuclear reactors into meltdown.
The systems are expected to play a crucial role in treating the huge amounts of toxic water accumulating at the plant. The troubled system was one of two units that had been in trial operation and were due to go into full operation yesterday.
In late September, plastic padding clogged up a drain in the same system, causing it to shut down. In October, it was halted due to a programming mistake.
Thousands of tonnes of water, used since the meltdown to cool reactors or polluted by other radioactive material, are being stored in huge tanks at the site on Japan’s northeast coast.
NUCLEAR INDUSTRY BUSINESSMAN WITHDRAWS LIBEL SUIT AGAINST FREELANCER HTTPS://EN.RSF.ORG/JAPAN-NUCLEAR-INDUSTRY-BUSINESSMAN-16-08-2013,45056.HTML 16 AUGUST 2013. Reporters Without Borders welcomes the decision by Shiro Shirakawa, the head of the nuclear security systems company New Tech, to withdraw a libel suit against freelance journalist Minoru Tanaka. A Tokyo court has accepted the withdrawal, announced on 12 August.
“This libel suit was an attempt by an influential member of Japan’s nuclear industrial complex, known as the ‘nuclear village,’ to harass and intimidate Tanaka into silence and self-censorship,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We are pleased that it did not work but we continue to be concerned for other journalists who try to cover the sensitive issue of Japan’s nuclear industry. There are still too many cases of reporters being pressured or censored when they try to provide information about the Fukushima disaster and its aftermath.
“The damages award Tanaka was facing if found guilty of libelling Shirakawa was clearly out of all proportion. We urge the courts to reject such ‘gag suits’ or ‘SLAPPs’ if they continue to be filed, and to propose proportionate alternatives such as the publication of a response.”
Shirakawa sued Tanaka, 52, over a December 2011 article for the weekly Shukan Kinyobiheadlined “The last big fixer, Shiro Shirakawa, gets his share of the TEPCO nuclear cake” – TEPCO being the owner of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant that suffered meltdowns after a tsunami in March 2011.
Using information in the public domain, the article accused Shirakawa of making a lot of money by acting as an intermediary between TEPCO, construction companies, politicians such as the leading parliamentarian Kamei Shizuka, and even clandestine organizations.
Ever since the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster, freelance journalists who cover the nuclear industry have had their access to information restricted and have, for example, been prevented from covering anti-nuclear demonstrations. Reporters Without Borders issued several press releases condemning the judicial harassment of Tanaka, who was sued for 67 million yen (600,000 euros) in damages.
Scanner measures radiation in babies http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000834507 1 Dec 13, The Yomiuri Shimbun University of Tokyo researchers and radiation measurement equipment maker Canberra Japan have jointly developed a device to measure internal exposure to radiation in babies, following the outbreak of the crisis at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
Hirata Central Hospital in Hirata, Fukushima Prefecture, will start to offer free tests using the equipment, dubbed “Baby Scan,” on Monday.
Developers of the device included Ryugo Hayano, 61, a University of Tokyo professor specializing in particle and nuclear physics. The equipment allows babies to be tested for radiation in a lying position, making it the first of its kind in the nation.
Until now, infants’ internal exposure has been measured with equipment for adults, leading to some errors. In addition, as such equipment requires the subject to remain standing for about two minutes, babies in principle cannot take the test.
Typhoons spreading Fukushima fallout ABC News 29 Nov 2013, Typhoons that hit Japan each year are contributing to the spread of radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the country’s waterways, researchers say.
A joint study by France’s Climate and Environmental Science laboratory (LSCE) and Tsukuba University in Japan shows contaminated soil gets washed away by the high winds and rain and deposited in streams and rivers. ”There is a definite dispersal towards the ocean,” LSCE researcher Olivier Evrard said Wednesday.
The typhoons “strongly contribute” to soil dispersal, he said, though it can be months later, after the winter snow melts, that contamination actually passes into rivers……….
Studies have shown that soil erosion can move the radioactive varieties of cesium-134 and 137 from the northern mountains near Fukushima into rivers, and then out into the Pacific Ocean.
Last year, the radioactive content of Japan’s rivers dropped due to fairly moderate typhoons. However, more frequent and fierce storms in 2013 have brought a new flood of caesium particles.
This is “proof that the source of the radioactivity has not diminished upstream” said Mr Evrard. Tsukuba University has completed a number of studies on Fukushima since November 2011. Scientists “concentrated mostly on the direct fallout from Fukushima yet this is another source of radioactive deposits” that must be taken into account, he warned. Coastal areas home to fishermen or where people bathe in particular face a potential risk…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-29/an-typhoons-spreading-fukushima-fallout/5124084
Yuri Horie, [ ed: I have doubts on this name - it might be incorrect] president of the Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations (Fudanren), said, “We must not allow for a repeat of the mistake that lead to the war with women’s eyes, ears and mouths shut off.”
Fukushima residents furious at lower house passage of contentious secrecy bill – Mainichi, 27 Nov 13, FUKUSHIMA – Residents here are angry over the ruling bloc’s railroading of a highly controversial state secrets protection bill through the House of Representatives on the evening of Nov. 26 — just one day after voicing strong opposition to the legislation at a public hearing.
At the lower house special committee’s public hearing on the legislation held in Fukushima on Nov. 25, all of the seven local residents who were invited to state their opinions voiced opposition to or concerns about the government-sponsored secrecy bill. They voiced fear that information related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster could be designated as “special secrets.” Their opinions, however, were not reflected in Diet deliberations. Therefore, they became infuriated at the quick-and-dirty passage of the bill through the lower house. One of the residents angrily said, “How far are they going to go in fooling us?” Read more »
Secrecy law approved in Japan — AP: Prison for ‘inappropriate reporting’ — Official: We’re on path to be fascist state — Fear Fukushima cover-ups to worsen http://enenews.com/secrecy-law-approved-by-japan-lawmakers-ap-prison-for-inappropriate-reporting-official-were-on-path-to-be-fascist-state-fear-of-more-fukushima-cover-ups
Associated Press, Nov. 26, 2013: Japan’s more powerful lower house of Parliament approved a state secrecy bill late Tuesday [...] Critics say it might sway authorities to withhold more information about nuclear power plants [...] The move is welcomed by the United States [...] lawyer Hiroyasu Maki said the bill’s definition of secrets is so vague and broad that it could easily be expanded to include radiation data [...] Journalists who obtain information “inappropriately” or “wrongfully” can get up to five years in prison, prompting criticism that it would make officials more secretive and intimidate the media. Attempted leaks or inappropriate reporting, complicity or solicitation are also considered illegal. [...] Japan’s proposed law also designates the prime minister as a third-party overseer.
BBC, Nov. 26, 2013: Japan approves new state secrecy bill to combat leaks [...] The bill now goes to the upper house, where it is also likely to be passed.
The key is that the nuclear village retains veto power over national energy policy and citizens will not get to decide the outcome even if an overwhelming majority support phasing out nuclear energy. In addition, Washington is leaning on the Japanese government to not pull the plug on nuclear energy.
Japan: Deeply enmeshed in the global nuclear industrial complex Abe’s Nuclear Energy Policy and Japan’s Future 安倍首相の原子力政策と日本の未来 Jeff Kingston : http://www.japanfocus.org/-Jeff-Kingston/3986#sthash.CV9q1CUY.dpufhttp://www.japanfocus.org/-Jeff-Kingston/3986“……..Why has Fukushima not been a game changing event? The institutions of Japan’s nuclear village (principally the utilities, bureaucracy and Diet) enjoy considerable advantages in terms of energy policymaking and have enormous investments at stake. The nuclear village has openly lobbied the government and actively promoted its case in the media while also working the corridors of power and backrooms where energy policy is decided. Here the nuclear village enjoys tremendous advantages that explain why it has prevailed over public opinion concerning national energy policy.
NHK: ‘Particles’ impairing visibility in Fukushima pool — Will try to remove spent fuel Tuesday, said to be “one of most dangerous operations ever attempted in nuclear history” — Tepco concerned about sabotage, warns media about filming http://enenews.com/nhk-particles-impairing-visibility-in-unit-4-pool-attempted-removal-of-spent-fuel-starts-tuesday-described-as-one-of-most-dangerous-operations-ever-attempted-in-nuclear-history-tepco-c
NHK, , Nov. 25, 2013: [TEPCO] says it will begin removing highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel from one of its reactor buildings on Tuesday. [...] TEPCO says [...] sand and fine particles in the storage pool impaired visibility. The utility says it will use a pump to clear the pool of particles for the next round of transfers. [...] The spent fuel assemblies are highly radioactive so the operation will require extra caution. This will be the first removal of spent nuclear fuel [...]
Bangkok Post, Nov. 24, 2013: World community needed at Fukushima [...] Last week workers at Fukushima successfully removed the [unused] nuclear fuel rod assemblies from a cooling pool suspended high above ground at Reactor No 4 in what has been described as one of the most dangerous operations ever attempted in nuclear history. [...] Experts say that if the fuel rods come too close to each other during the operation there is a chance of a nuclear chain reaction that could spread to all the fissile material. [...]
TEPCO, Nov. 21, 2013: [...] we have noticed that some news media released videos, taken from the air, of the on-premise transportation from the Unit 4 Reactor Building to the Common Pool Building [...] Some of those videos contain information (such as the transportation schedule, a route of the transportation, and activities of security guards) the disclosure of which conflicts with “Measures To Be Taken for Physical Protection of Specific Nuclear Fuel Material” stipulated in the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law. The regulatory agency is also aware of this matter, and instructed us to request the media to act with attention to physical protection. As we have already requested the media members on many occasions, in view of physical protection, please refrain from taking pictures and videos of the physical protection facilities such as the building entrances and exits, fences, sensors, and cameras as well as the cask transportation currently conducted. [*Physical protection: To protect nuclear materials and facilities against the theft or unauthorized diversion of nuclear materials and against the sabotage of nuclear facilities]
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