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China reacts to U.S. trying to link Ukraine, Taiwan — Anti-bellum

South China Morning PostJune 11, 2022 Chinese defence officials take aim at US’ ‘aggressive’ Taiwan-Ukraine comparison Chinese military officials hit back at US attempts to draw parallels between cross-strait tensions and the war in Ukraine, describing the comparison as very aggressive. At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday, Chinese Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo said […]

China reacts to U.S. trying to link Ukraine, Taiwan — Anti-bellum

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NATO’s No. 2 touts global conflict to make the world safe for…rules-based international order — Anti-bellum

NATOJune 9, 2022 Russia’s war against Ukraine has ”galvanised our democratic society” Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană spoke at a panel on Russia’s war against Ukraine on Thursday (9 June 2022), hosted by POLITICO and presented by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies. He said that the war had not just galvanized NATO and […]

NATO’s No. 2 touts global conflict to make the world safe for…rules-based international order — Anti-bellum

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

6.3 billion yen in damages to local governments due to the Fukushima nuclear accident has not been paid. 7 prefectures in the Tokyo metropolitan area The scope of compensation was decided at TEPCO’s initiative

June 12, 2022
Following the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, seven prefectures in the Kanto region claimed a total of 32.5 billion yen in damages from TEPCO for expenses made necessary by the accident, but TEPCO has not approved compensation for a total of over 6.3 billion yen of this amount and has not been paid, according to a report in this newspaper. Experts have pointed out problems with the system that allows TEPCO to determine the scope of compensation. (The report is based on a report by Toyohiro Kato and Minori Suzuki.)
Related article] “6/17 Supreme Court Decision / Four Lawsuits by Nuclear Power Plant Survivors” (1) Fukushima: “I will not run away even if I am called ‘walking reputational damage’.
 The local governments of the prefectures, cities, towns, and villages affected by the accident have filed claims against TEPCO for personnel expenses for temporary staff, expenses for purchasing air dose meters, and PR expenses for countermeasures against reputational damage. This paper compiled the claims made by the seven prefectures of the Kanto region (not including those made by municipalities). TEPCO decided whether to accept compensation based on the “Interim Guidelines,” which set compensation standards by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Nuclear Damage Dispute Review Committee, and TEPCO’s own guidelines based on these standards.

 Compensation for Damages Caused by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident The “Interim Guidelines,” the standard for compensation for damages established by the Japanese government in August 2011, include a provision that allows for flexible operation: “Even if the damage is not specified as a compensable damage, it may be recognized as a damage with a reasonable causal relationship (with the accident) depending on individual concrete circumstances. If TEPCO does not agree, the Center for Settlement of Nuclear Damage Disputes mediates a settlement through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In some cases, the case may not be settled and a lawsuit may be filed.

◆These costs would not be necessary if there had been no accident.
 According to several local government officials, TEPCO has refused to pay some of the claims, claiming that there is no causal relationship with the accident and that it is difficult to separate the expenses for the accident from its normal operations.
 The largest amount that TEPCO refused to pay was 4.65 billion yen from Saitama Prefecture, which only paid 54% of the 10.1 billion yen claimed. Most of the fees for the disposal and storage of contaminated soil containing radioactive materials that had accumulated at the water purification plant were denied, amounting to approximately 3 billion yen. A prefectural official said, “These expenses would not have been necessary if there had been no accident. The full amount should be compensated.
 The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has been the most prolific in the amount of claims. The total amount was 11.7 billion yen, including 7.5 billion yen for sewerage projects, 2.9 billion yen for water supply projects, and 300 million yen for air dose testing. Of the total amount, 750 million yen was not paid, but a Tokyo Metropolitan Government official said, “Details cannot be disclosed because the matter is still under procedure.
 In addition, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures refused to pay 520 million yen and 220 million yen, respectively. Gunma Prefecture, on the other hand, requested 1.25 billion yen, most of which was approved.
 In some cases, local governments have applied for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) at the Center for Settlement of Disputes over Nuclear Damages when TEPCO does not agree to pay. In Kanagawa and Gunma prefectures, the claim for 100 million yen and 50 million yen, respectively, was abandoned in such cases.
 Regarding the decision on compensation, a TEPCO representative said, “We refrain from responding to individual cases. We are handling compensation based on the interim guidelines,” he replied.

◆The voices of the victims were not reflected.
 The interim guidelines do not adequately reflect the voices of the victims, including local governments, and are not functioning properly. He criticizes the interim guidelines and the operation based on them, saying, “There is a problem with the current system as a whole, in which the government and TEPCO themselves, which can be said to be the perpetrators of the accident, take the lead in determining compensation standards and operation.
 Outside of the Tokyo metropolitan area, in October 2020, Fukushima Prefecture, which was unable to reduce its staff as planned due to the accident, filed a lawsuit with the Fukushima District Court seeking compensation of approximately 90 million yen from TEPCO after it was denied payment of personnel expenses.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Ms. Sugie Tanji, a plaintiff in the Gunma lawsuit against the victims of the nuclear power plant accident, said, “I couldn’t give up because I was frustrated”

Ms. Sugie Tanji (left), a plaintiff in the Gunma lawsuit against the victims of the nuclear power plant accident, said, “I want to clarify the cause of the nuclear power plant accident.

June 12, 2022

◆The opportunity to prevent the accident “was there time and time again.”
 Before 6:00 p.m. on June 10, Tanji Sugie, 65, was holding a microphone in front of JR Maebashi Station.
 I want to clarify the cause of the accident, and I don’t want to see anyone shed tears the same way again.”
 This is the 483rd time for the campaign to call for nuclear power plant phase-out, which started every Friday since November 2012. She will not stand in front of the station on the 17th, the next time. On that day, the final verdict in her own trial will be handed down by the Supreme Court.
As one of the evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture to Gunma Prefecture following the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, she filed a lawsuit in September 2001. She wanted the Supreme Court to recognize that not only TEPCO but also the national government was responsible for the accident, which was one of the worst in the world.
 She argued that the government could not have prevented the accident even if it had taken countermeasures, even though it had many, many opportunities to prevent the severe accident. It was most upsetting to me that they didn’t even try and it was all for naught.”
 She went to every court hearing and traveled to various locations to support the lawsuits of other evacuees. She was not paid for her transportation or time off work. At home, she has piles of books and other materials related to the nuclear power plant that she has read.
 I studied, listened to others, and communicated. I have never had such intense days. I have no regrets. But I wonder if this is the life I wanted.

◆word like abuse I cried and shouted alone.
 If the accident had not occurred that day, she would be living with her husband Mikio, 68, in Okinawa. They were on their honeymoon in Okinawa, where Mikio continues to work as a home appliance repairman and a tourist guide. They used to talk about the future together, but now they only think about the past, “Those were the days….
 Mikio’s business was going well as he repaired word processors sent by customers all over Japan when the nuclear power plant accident occurred. In July 2011, Mikio moved from his home in northern Iwaki City, 35 km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, to Maebashi City. It was a “voluntary evacuation” from outside the government’s evacuation zone. About half of the plaintiffs are also voluntary evacuees.
 They were forced to evacuate for their own reasons, such as fears about radiation and not being able to raise their children safely. Despite this, the voluntary evacuees were labeled as “having fled without permission.
 At one point, I was even heckled with the comment, “The trial is hindering the reconstruction of Fukushima. I cried and screamed alone in the car many times,” she said. Even so, she continued to lead the group of plaintiffs. Four of the plaintiffs have died, and some are suffering from terminal cancer. I didn’t give up because I was frustrated.

◆There is still work to be done even after the trial is over.
 The Supreme Court’s unified decision on the government’s responsibility will have a tremendous impact on about 30 other lawsuits. I’m scared. I can’t sleep when I think about it. I can’t sleep when I think about it,” she said. I can’t sleep thinking about it. But I want them to accept responsibility.
 We need to create many measures so that the victims of the nuclear accident can live in peace. It is our responsibility as adults living after the nuclear accident”. Even after the trial is over, there is still work to be done. It will be a while before I can discuss the future with Mikio. (Shinichi Ogawa)

Gunma Lawsuit On September 11, 2013, 137 residents and their families who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to Gunma Prefecture due to the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station filed a lawsuit against the government and TEPCO, seeking compensation. The court ordered TEPCO and the government to pay a total of 3.855 million yen. However, on January 21, 2009, the Tokyo High Court (Presiding Judge Satoshi Adachi) reversed itself and denied the government’s responsibility. It ordered TEPCO alone to pay a total of 119.72 million yen. TEPCO’s liability was confirmed on March 2, 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Second Petty Bench (Hiroyuki Kanno, Chief Justice) rejected TEPCO’s appeal.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

The second cutting of the contaminated pipe was interrupted because the device was stuck again

The cutting equipment is being lowered to remove the pipes (from TEPCO’s live camera) at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant at 0:19 p.m. on June 10, 2022.

June 11, 2022
On June 10, TEPCO resumed removal work of pipes contaminated with highly radioactive materials between Units 1 and 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Okuma and Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture) for the first time in 18 days and began cutting a second pipe, but the work was interrupted by a problem. The chain-shaped cutting tool became stuck in the pipe. TEPCO was forced to review its construction methods.
 According to TEPCO, around 3:00 p.m., a large crane began cutting a 7-meter-long pipe (approximately 30 cm in diameter), and an hour later, when 90% of one side had been cut, the cutting tool became lodged in the pipe. At around 7:50 p.m., the cutting device was forcibly lifted up by a crane and removed.
 A similar problem at the end of March occurred when 90% of one side of the pipe was cut. When work resumed two months later after considering measures to prevent the pipe from biting, the piping had been cut spontaneously, so the prepared measures could not be tested on site.
 The piping, 135 meters long in total, was used for venting the steam containing high concentrations of radioactive materials that had accumulated inside the reactor to prevent the containment vessel from rupturing at the time of the accident in March 2011. Since it will be an obstacle to future construction work, it will be removed in 26 sections.
 The work began at the end of February, but after a series of troubles, the first pipe (approximately 12 meters long) was successfully cut on May 23. The cut surface of this pipe was found to have a radiation dose of 3 sievert per hour, which is high enough to kill a person if exposed to radiation for several hours, and the work procedure was reviewed. (The work procedure had to be reviewed.)

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

I will not run away even if people say I am a “walking rumor mill”.

Takashi Nakajima cuts and slices fresh fish, mostly locally caught, that he personally selects at the market into sashimi and displays them at his restaurant, which his son has taken over, in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture.

June 11, 2022

I think I might have to close down the store.
 In December 2012, when asked by Guntaro Managi, 46, a lawyer visiting from Tokyo, to become a plaintiff leader, Takashi Nakajima, 66, who runs a local fish supermarket in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, could not give an immediate answer. I might have to close down the store,” he said.
 Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, supermarkets were packed with people every day in search of water and food. They cooked rice from stores they had left over, negotiated to buy fish from frozen warehouses at markets, and carried water in bleached kettles. Some people came from far away by bicycle or on foot due to lack of gasoline. 1,500 people a day formed a long line. While stores in the area were closed, they worked desperately to secure foodstuffs so as not to let the local people starve to death.
 After the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the fishing industry in Fukushima was forced to suspend operations. Both the fish brokers and the retailers’ association, of which Mr. Nakajima is the president, were in dire straits because they could not get local fish. We have no choice but to hang ourselves,” he said. Such voices came in on a daily basis. With the help of a lawyer, he filed a direct claim for damages with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), but the company was slow to take action.

Sales down 30%, living on a pension with his wife without pay
It was then that he was asked to become the leader of the plaintiffs’ group in a lawsuit seeking compensation from TEPCO and the central government. His wife Kazumi, 66, told him, “Everyone is going to hang themselves. My son will teach you how to cut fish. I’ll teach my son how to cut fish, and we’ll take care of the restaurant. The fact that the lawyers had told him, “We are prepared to win even if it costs us our own money,” also crossed his mind. We can’t just run away.
 Meetings of the plaintiffs’ group, lawsuits, negotiations with the government and TEPCO…. He began to leave the restaurant frequently. Due in part to the nuclear accident, sales have dropped by 30% at best, and now he and his wife live on a pension without pay.
 As the head of the plaintiffs’ group, he was prepared to face criticism from those around him for continuing to complain about the damage. I was very angry when I was told by neighbors that I was a “walking rumor mill. However, his determination to have TEPCO and the national government admit responsibility for the nuclear accident and apologize, and to help victims other than the plaintiffs, was unwavering.

The government’s efforts to restart the nuclear power plants will not end with the court’s decision.
 More than 11 years have passed since the accident, and more than 100 plaintiffs have died. Mr. Nakashima cannot forget Mitsuo Takagi, then 71, a ramen shop owner in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, who committed suicide in 2003. In court, he said, “I was happy when my children came to the store with their families. Now that the area has been designated as an evacuation zone, I can’t even open that store. Do you understand my frustration? There was no suicide note.
 There was no suicide note,” Nakajima said. I believe that the Supreme Court’s decision will recognize the government’s responsibility. I wanted my friends who passed away to hear this. The government is now trying to restart the nuclear reactors. The ruling is not the end of the matter. The plaintiffs’ group will not disband and will continue to fight until we hand over to the next generation a society in which nuclear accidents will never happen again.

 Fukushima lawsuit: “Give back our livelihood, give back our community! The lawsuit was filed on March 11, 2013 under the slogan “Give back our livelihoods, give back our community! The lawsuit was filed on March 11, 2013 under the slogan “Give back our livelihood, give back our community! The Fukushima District Court (Kanazawa Hideki, presiding judge) in the first trial held the government liable for one-half of TEPCO’s damages, but the Sendai High Court (Ueda Satoshi, presiding judge) in the second trial found the government’s liability equal to that of TEPCO and doubled the amount of damages to 1.01 billion yen. The high court decision expands the area covered by the “loss of hometown” compensation, which was only allowed in the difficult-to-return zone under the government’s “Interim Guidelines” for compensation standards. The court also approved compensation for victims in the Fukushima and Aizu regions and parts of Tochigi and Miyagi prefectures that are outside the evacuation zone.

 On April 17, the Supreme Court’s Second Petty Bench will issue a unified decision on whether the government is liable for damages in four lawsuits filed by victims of the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, and Ehime prefectures against TEPCO and the government. Ahead of the ruling, which could have a tremendous impact on the approximately 30 class action lawsuits filed nationwide, we asked the plaintiffs in the four lawsuits about the past 11 years and what the future holds.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Government OKs reopening of Fukushima village section to residents in June

Decontamination work is conducted in the village of Katsurao, Fukushima Prefecture, in November 2018

June 3, 2022

Fukushima – More than a decade since the March 2011 nuclear disaster, some registered residents of part of a Fukushima village made off-limits by high radiation levels can finally return home after the government decided Friday to lift evacuation orders on June 12.

While some areas around stations and rail tracks had their so-called “difficult-to-return” zone classification lifted, it is the first time for the classification to be lifted to host permanent residents again.

A 0.95 square kilometer part of Katsurao, located near the defunct Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, will have the designation lifted, the government’s nuclear emergency response headquarters and the Reconstruction Agency agreed in a joint meeting.

The move comes after national and local governments decided in May that the area’s radiation decontamination and infrastructural developments had progressed enough to reopen.

“This is a big step toward the restoration of the village,” said Mayor Hiroshi Shinoki in a statement. “The lifting is not a goal, but a start.”

The entirety of Katsurao became off-limits after the nuclear crisis triggered by an enormous earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, with evacuation orders for most of the village lifted on June 12, 2016.

Of the 30 registered households and 82 residents in the relevant part of Katsurao, just four households totaling eight people have expressed an intention to return, according to the village government.

Currently, around 337 sq. km of land in six municipalities of Fukushima Prefecture, including Katsurao, Okuma and Futaba, is still subject to the difficult-to-return zone classification.

At Friday’s meeting, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he intends to “move ahead with work to lift restrictions and further accelerate Fukushima’s recovery.”

Among the five other Fukushima municipalities inside the zone, Futaba and Okuma are set to have restrictions partially lifted from June onward, while the other three can expect partial removals in spring 2023.

However, more than 90% of the difficult-to-return zone in the prefecture will remain under the classification, and there is no concrete timetable for when it will be completely accessible again.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Aging Fukui nuclear unit to restart in Aug., 2 months early

File photo taken Nov. 28, 2021, shows the No. 3 reactor of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan.

June 10, 2022

An aging nuclear reactor in central Japan’s Fukui Prefecture will resume operating in August, about two months earlier than scheduled, with the unit expected to help ease tight electricity supply conditions during the busy summer season, its operator said Friday.

After being offline for about 10 years, Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama No. 3 reactor initially restarted in June last year, becoming the first nuclear unit to operate beyond the government-mandated 40-year service period introduced under new rules set after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

But the No. 3 unit was then suspended just four months after its restart after failing to meet the Oct. 25 deadline set by regulators to implement antiterrorism measures.

Kansai Electric said it will now start operation of a designated safety facility in late July and thus bring forward the schedule for the reactor’s restart from Aug. 12.

With the reactor back online, it is hoped the country’s power reserve rate, except for Hokkaido and Okinawa, in August will improve to 4.7 percent from 4.4 percent. The reactor was initially scheduled to operate from Oct. 20.

While the No. 3 unit was given the green light to operate, the Nos. 1 and 2 units of the plant in Mihama on the Sea of Japan coast were terminated in April 2015 in line with the 40-year limit.

Disaster-prone Japan has recently been struggling to provide stable power supply, with most of its nuclear power plants remaining offline under stricter safety regulations imposed since the Fukushima nuclear accident and an increasing number of aging thermal power plants being shut down.

“We will operate our nuclear plants in a safe manner while considering current challenges in the power supply and demand,” Kansai Electric said in a statement.

Even so, power supply still looks tight this summer as the government projects the reserve rate to drop to 3.1 percent in July, just 0.1 point above the required level for stable power supply.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda on Friday urged the public again to save energy such as by setting air conditioning to 28 C, turning off unnecessary lights and avoiding stacking too much food in refrigerators.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Areas reopening after Fukushima nuclear disaster need sustained gov’t support

June 10, 2022

Evacuation orders that have been in place since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station disaster are set to be lifted in part of the Fukushima Prefecture village of Katsurao, one of the so-called difficult-to-return zones, on June 12.

Difficult-to-return zones, which people are forbidden from entering in principle due to high radiation levels, have been left behind in the recovery process. The latest move marks the first time that people will be able to live in one of these areas since the meltdowns triggered by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

The central parts of six difficult-to-return towns and villages including Katsurao have been designated as “zones for reconstruction and recovery,” and the national government has been carrying out decontamination work there. The part of the village of Katsurao set to reopen for living is one of such zones, finally marking a step forward more than 11 years after the accident.

However, of the 82 people in 30 households registered in that part of Katsurao, at this stage only eight people in four households have expressed their intention to return.

Evacuation orders were lifted in 2016 for other parts of Katsurao that fell outside the difficult-to-return zone, five years after the onset of the disaster. Another six years have passed since then, and residents have apparently become hesitant to return.

Through next spring, it is expected to become possible for people to permanently return to designated reconstruction and recovery zones in five remaining towns and villages including the towns of Futaba and Okuma, which the crippled nuclear power station straddles.

Many residents, however, are reluctant to return as those areas face an uncertain future. While local bodies are planning to secure medical care and attract commercial facilities into the areas, there is a need to steadily prepare such a living environment.

Besides worries about the future, an additional source of concern for people is that decontamination work in areas outside the specified reconstruction and recovery zones has yet to commence.

The government promised to create an environment enabling all residents wanting to return to do so in the 2020s. But the only places outside the restoration and recovery zones that the government has decided to decontaminate are returning residents’ homes and their vicinities. It has not revealed how it plans to handle other land and homes.

If the scope of decontamination work is not fixed, there will likely be many residents unable to decide whether they can return with peace of mind. The government needs to quickly present a course of action.

The road to recovery of the difficult-to-return zones is still far off. An official at Katsurao Murazukuri Kosha, a public corporation that is promoting the revival of the village, stressed, “First, it’s important to properly support the lives of people who have returned. We want to move forward one step at a time from there.”

The government has a responsibility to accomplish the revitalization of Fukushima. It must listen to the voices of residents, and continue to offer sustained support.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

No to Fukushima discharge

South Korean environmental activists perform during a protest in Seoul against Japan’s plan to discharge Fukushima radioactive water into the sea, as they mark World Oceans Day on June 8, 2022. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP)

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment