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No Damages to Nuclear Plants after 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake ‘according’ to TEPCO and Trade Ministry

No Damages To Nuclear Power Plants Reported After Earthquake In Japan – Trade Ministry
June 18, 2019
No damages have been reported so far on Japan’s nuclear power plants after the north of the country got hit by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 18th June, 2019) No damages have been reported so far on Japan’s nuclear power plants after the north of the country got hit by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
“There is no information of damage inflicted on the following Nuclear Power Stations (all in shutdown or in decommissioning). Tokyo Electric Power: Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant / Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant / Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, Tohoku Electric Power: Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant / Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant,” the ministry said on Twitter.
No impact from the earthquake on primary TEPCO power facilities
June 19, 2019
At around 10:22 PM on June 18th, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.
Field patrols at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power stations did not find any abnormalities with equipment at any of the stations. And, no abnormalities were found in monitoring post or plant parameter data.
There was also no impact from this earthquake on other primary TEPCO power facilities, such as hydroelectric power facilities and transmission facilities in Niigata Prefecture.

June 20, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japan: 6.8 magnitude earthquake – bungled report causes unnecessary nuclear scare

Get your fax right: Bungling officials spark Japan nuclear scare,  Bungling Japanese officials sparked a nuclear scare after a violent, late-night earthquake by ticking the wrong box on a fax form—inadvertently alerting authorities to a potential accident.

Employees of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata—where the 6.4-magnitude quake struck—faxed a message to local authoritiesseeking to allay any fears of damage.

But TEPCO workers accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form, mistakenly indicating there was an abnormality at the plant rather than there was no problem.

One official filled out the form, and it was checked by a colleague before being sent.

Many Japanese government departments and companies still rely on fax machines for communication.

TEPCO’s Tokyo headquarters noticed the mistake, and a correction was published 17 minutes after the original release, the firm’s Tokyo-based spokesman told AFP.

Kashiwazaki city mayor Masahiro Sakurai saw the incorrectly filled-out form and immediately directed staff to check what was happening.

The mayor hit out at TEPCO, which also operated the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant—site of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl—when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011.

“When a real earthquake is happening, not a drill, this is a massive error,” Sakurai told local reporters, according to the Mainichi Shimbun daily.

“It is extremely poor on their part to make errors in the most important and basic information at a time of crisis,” he said, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

TEPCO apologised and vowed not to make the same mistake.

The late-night quake prompted a tsunami advisory, but only small ripples of 10 centimetres (three inches) were recorded.

The government said up to 26 people were injured—two seriously, although not life-threatening.

June 20, 2019 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

AECOM signs agreement with Toshiba to perform nuclear decommissioning services in Japan

The signing of the collaboration agreement. From left to right: Dan Brouillette, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Mark Whitney, Executive Vice President and General Manager for AECOM’s Nuclear & Environment strategic business unit; Goro Yanase, Chief Nuclear Officer, Toshiba ESS; and Taizo Takahashi, Commissioner, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE).
June 17, 2019
The partnership will expand access to the key Asian market that is valued at $50 billion and further underscores AECOM’s leading nuclear decontamination and decommissioning capabilities
AECOM (ACM), a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, and Toshiba have signed an Alliance Agreement to work together on decommissioning nuclear reactors in Japan. This is a major step forward that combines AECOM’s 30 years of experience in nuclear decommissioning with Toshiba’s long history of supporting the nuclear industry. The alliance will offer comprehensive services to Japanese government organizations and commercial power utilities that plan to decommission their reactors and nuclear facilities.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
“We are proud to be in an Alliance with such a respected company and excited about marketing our collective capabilities to the Japanese government and utilities,” said Michael S. Burke, AECOM’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We believe this Alliance has the right experience, capabilities, skill mix and resources to meet the needs of this nuclear cleanup market. We have had tremendous success in nuclear decommissioning for the U.S. Department of Energy and the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, as well as commercial clients around the world, and we look forward to supporting the Japanese utilities through this Alliance.”
AECOM is the market leader in the U.S. and U.K. for managing high-hazard, complex nuclear decommissioning programs. This includes work for the U.S. Department of Energy at key sites, such as Hanford, Savannah River, Oak Ridge and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. AECOM also is a leader in the U.K. decommissioning market with major contracts at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority facilities at Dounreay and the Low Level Waste Repository. Including the Company’s work for commercial nuclear utilities, such as at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California, AECOM is viewed as a world leader in this expanding clean-up market. Combining AECOM‘s expertise with the local knowledge and capabilities of Toshiba, the Company can expand the full range of required decommissioning services to Japan.
“We are excited to partner with Toshiba and further expand our expertise in the nuclear D&D market,” said John Vollmer, AECOM’s president of its Management Services group. “In addition to our ongoing work at key U.S. Department of Energy sites and our recent selection for the $400 million Dounreay decommissioning framework, our teams have demonstrated a high level of success as we continue to expand our share within this high-growth market.”
Within the nuclear decommissioning sector, AECOM provides program management; planning, design and engineering; systems engineering and technical assistance; construction and construction management; operations and maintenance; environmental remediation; waste management and decommissioning, dismantling and closure services to a broad range of clients.
AECOM (ACM) is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate critical infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $20.2 billion during fiscal year 2018. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at and @AECOM.

June 19, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

NRA safety license for Sendai reactors legal, Fukuoka court finds, dismissing volcano risk lawsuit

“The plaintiffs argued the Nuclear Regulation Authority gave the green light without sufficiently assessing the potential risk of eruptions at nearby Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture and four other volcanoes.”
June 17, 2019
FUKUOKA – A district court said on Monday it found nothing illegal with a safety clearance granted to two reactors in Kyushu that were restarted after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, dismissing a demand for a retraction filed by plaintiffs who said it ignored the risk of volcanic eruptions.
The lawsuit was filed by 33 plaintiffs against a license authorizing design changes at reactors 1 and 2 at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture under tougher post-Fukushima safety regulations.
They were the first commercial reactors in the nation to be restarted after the crisis.
The plaintiffs argued the Nuclear Regulation Authority gave the green light without sufficiently assessing the potential risk of eruptions at nearby Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture and four other volcanoes.
In the first ruling of its kind, the Fukuoka District Court concluded the license issued was not illegal.
“Japanese laws on nuclear power do not go so far as to require that regulators consider the impact of a catastrophic volcanic eruption that is impossible to predict and highly unlikely to occur,” Judge Moriharu Kurasawa said.
But Kurasawa acknowledged there were “doubts” over the NRA’s standard for volcanic risk assessment, given no methodology exists for accurately assessing volcanic activity.
Kyushu Electric Power Co. described the ruling as “appropriate,” but the plaintiffs, who came from 10 prefectures, said they might appeal.
During the trial, authorities said that the rules were rational based on the latest analysis and that there was nothing wrong with the approval process.
The plaintiffs argued it is difficult to predict exactly when an eruption could occur and how big it could be, and said current safety standards underestimate their impact.
“It is regrettable,” plaintiff Ryoko Torihara, 70, of Kagoshima Prefecture said after the ruling. “The lessons of the nuclear accident have not been learned.”
Another plaintiff said, “The frequency of a catastrophic eruption may be low, but it could happen tomorrow. I’m very disappointed that the ruling appears to be just following (what) the state (wants to do).”
While the government is aiming to bring dozens of reactors back online after the triple reactor core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 complex led to a nationwide suspension of nuclear power, a number of lawsuits have been filed to stop the drive.
The two reactors at the Sendai plant were rebooted in August and October 2015, respectively, after the license was issued in September 2014.
A suit demanding an injunction to halt them was rejected by the Kagoshima District Court in April 2015, a decision that was upheld by the Miyazaki branch of the Fukuoka High Court in April 2016.
Volcanic hazards have been a major concern in regard to nuclear plant operations, with similar injunction requests filed elsewhere.
The Hiroshima High Court in December 2017 halted the restart of the No. 3 unit at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture with a provisional injunction, citing the potential hazard from Mount Aso, around 130 km away.
But the court later accepted an appeal by the utility to reactivate it, saying worries over a volcanic eruption damaging the unit were “groundless.”
In March 2018, the Saga District Court rejected a demand by residents to suspend the restart of two reactors at Kyushu Electric’s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture due to the risk of a volcanic eruption in the region.

June 19, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

G20: Japan proposes framework for nuclear waste,

G20: Japan proposes framework for nuclear waste,   Japan has used the G20 meeting to propose setting up an international framework for cooperative research into how to dispose of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

The Group of 20 energy and environment ministers are in the town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, for the second and final day of their meeting.

Japan’s industry minister, Hiroshige Seko, chaired a session on energy in the morning. He brought up the idea of the international framework.

He said it is important to share experience and knowhow to accelerate efforts to solve a common issue for countries that use nuclear energy.

Many countries have found it difficult to draw up concrete plans for final waste disposal. Only Sweden and Finland have decided on disposal sites.

Many nations, including Japan, have not even begun studying potential sites.

The proposal calls for countries to share what they are doing regarding the selection of disposal sites and to promote cooperation and the exchange of human resources.

The first meeting on the framework is planned for October in France.

Ministers are expected to issue a joint statement on Sunday after the conclusion of the G20 meeting.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan’s restarted nuclear reactors could be forced to shut down for safety measures to be implemented

World Nuclear News 13th June 2019 Nuclear power reactors in Japan that have resumed operation could be forced
to temporarily shut down again if back-up safety measures are not in place
by specified deadlines under new rules approved by the country’s Nuclear
Regulation Authority (NRA). Operators of restarted units have already said
they expect delays in the completion of such facilities.

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pretending that all is well at Fukushima, using this lie to promote Olympics

Abe pushing idea that Fukushima nuclear disaster is ‘under control’,   THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, 10 June 19 Without special protection against radiation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood on elevated ground about 100 meters from the three melted-down reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

“I was finally able to see the view just wearing a normal suit without having to wear protective clothing and a mask (for radiation),” he said on April 14 after hearing explanations from Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials. “The decommissioning work has been making progress in earnest.”

An act of bravado, perhaps. But it was more likely one of the ways Abe and his government want to show that the Fukushima disaster is, as he famously said, “under control.”

Progress has been made, albeit slowly, for the monumental task of decommissioning TEPCO’s crippled nuclear plant.

But radiation levels in certain areas of the plant are still lethal with extended exposure. The problem of storing water contaminated in the reactors continues.

And only recently was TEPCO able to make contact with melted nuclear fuel in the reactors through a robot. The means to extract the fuel has yet to be decided.

However, the government keeps touting progress in the reconstruction effort, using evacuee statistics, which critics say are misleading, to underscore its message.

Abe’s previous visit to the nuclear plant was in September 2013.

“When I conducted an inspection five years ago, I was completely covered in protective gear,” he said at a meeting with decommissioning workers in April. “This time I was able to inspect wearing a normal suit.”

Officials in Abe’s circle acknowledged that they wanted to “appeal the progress of reconstruction” by letting the media cover the prime minister’s “unprotected” visit to the site.

His visit in a business suit was possible largely because the ground was covered in mortar and other materials that prevent the spread of radioactive substances, not because decommissioning work has lowered radiation levels as a whole.

The radiation level at the elevated inspection ground still exceeds 100 microsieverts per hour, making it dangerous for people who remain there for extended periods.

Abe’s inspection ended in six minutes.

The prime minister raised eyebrows, particularly in Fukushima Prefecture, in 2013 when he gave a speech to promote Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Concerning the Fukushima nuclear plant, he told International Olympic Committee members, “Let me assure you, the situation is under control.”

An hour before he inspected the plant in April, Abe attended the opening ceremony of the new government building of Okuma, one of the two towns that host the nuclear plant.

The ceremony followed the lifting of an evacuation order for part of the town on April 10.

“We were able to take a step forward in reconstruction,” Abe said.

The central government uses the number of evacuees to show the degree of progress in reconstruction work.

In April 2018, Abe said in the Diet that the lifting of evacuation orders has reduced the number of evacuees to one-third of the peak.

According to the Reconstruction Agency, the number of people who evacuated in and outside of Fukushima Prefecture, including those who were under no orders to leave, peaked at about 160,000. But the initial evacuation orders for 11 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture have been gradually lifted, and the agency now puts the total number at about 40,000.

About 71,000 people were officially registered as residents of areas that were ordered to evacuate. Now, only about 11,000 people live in those zones.

This means that about 60,000 people have not returned to the homes where they were living before the nuclear accident unfolded in March 2011.

The gap of 20,000 can be attributed to how the agency classifies or declassifies evacuees.


The Reconstruction Agency sent a notice in August 2014 to all prefectures that have counted the number of evacuees.

It defined “evacuees” as people who moved to different places because of the nuclear disaster and have the “will” to return to their original homes.

The notice also said that if it is difficult to perceive their “will,” they can be regarded as people who have ended their evacuation if they bought new homes or made arrangements for new accommodations.

Based on the notice, people in Fukushima Prefecture who have bought new homes during their evacuation or settled down in public restoration housing or disaster public housing are regarded as living “stable” lives and are not counted as evacuees.

“It is not a problem because we continue supporting them even if they are removed from the evacuee statistics,” a prefectural government official said.

An official of the Reconstruction Agency said, “The judgment is made by each prefecture, so we are not in a position to say much.”

However, the prefecture has not confirmed all evacuees’ will to return to their homes. In addition, those who are removed from the list of evacuees are not informed of their new status.

Many people bought homes in new locations during their prolonged evacuations although they still hope to return to their hometowns in the disaster area.

Yumiko Yamazaki, 52, has a house in Okuma in a “difficult-to-return” zone.

But because she moved to public restoration housing outside of the town, she is not considered an evacuee by the agency and the prefecture.

“I had to leave my town although I didn’t want to,” Yamazaki said. “It is so obvious that the government wants to make the surface appearance look good by reducing the number of evacuees.”

“I can’t allow them to try to pretend the evacuation never happened,” Yamazaki said.

Critics say the central government’s emphasis of positive aspects and the downplaying of inconvenient truths in the evacuee statistics have much in common with its response to the suspected nepotism scandals involving school operator Moritomo Gakuen and the Kake Educational Institution.

June 11, 2019 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Japan’s government plans more nuclear energy, and of course increased pile of plutonium wastes

June 11, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Pro-nuclear incumbent Shingo Mimura wins fifth term in Aomori gubernatorial election

Distance from Fukushima to Aomori is 342 kilometers northward. This air travel distance is equal to 213 miles. Those people haved learned nothing from their Fukushima neighbors.
Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura (center) raises his hands in the city of Aomori on Sunday after being predicted to win Sunday’s gubernatorial election
June 3, 2019
AOMORI – Shingo Mimura, a pro-nuclear incumbent, won his fifth term in the Aomori gubernatorial election on Sunday, stressing his past achievements and focusing away from the area’s involvement in the country’s nuclear fuel recycling policy during campaigning.
Mimura, 63, backed by the local chapter of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, defeated 65-year-old dentist Wakako Sahara, who was supported by opposition parties.
The incumbent garnered 329,048 votes, against 105,466 votes collected by Sahara. Voter turnout stood at 40.08 percent.
The prefecture hosts a cluster of nuclear facilities, including an incomplete plant in Rokkasho where spent uranium fuel will be reprocessed for recycling.
During the 17-day official campaigning, Mimura touted his role in having expanded agricultural exports and promoted administrative reforms, while mostly avoiding discussion of the controversial nuclear policy.
Aomori Prefecture received about ¥20 billion in nuclear fuel tax income from nuclear facility operators in fiscal 2017, accounting for about 11 percent of the prefecture’s annual tax revenue.
A person involved in Mimura’s campaign said there were many residents in Aomori Prefecture who did not want the nuclear issue to be the focus of the election as they financially benefit from having the fuel recycling facilities there.
Sahara, who opposes nuclear power generation, criticized Mimura for promoting the central government’s nuclear power policy, but was unable to gain broad support from voters.

June 10, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japan to toughen screenings of seafood imports from S. Korea

An intermediate wholesaler at the Toyosu fish market provides a wide range of seafood products.
May 31, 2019
In what even some government officials admit is a retaliatory move, the health ministry will tighten screening of seafood imports from South Korea starting in June.
Ministry officials, in announcing the new measure, said it was aimed at preventing food poisoning during the summer. However, some in the prime minister’s office admitted the measure was to hit back for South Korea’s continued ban on imports of Japanese seafood harvested in waters in eastern Japan.
Seoul has raised concerns about the safety of such seafood in the wake of the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the latest measure was intended to protect the public’s health and was not meant as a retaliatory measure.
The seafood to be covered are farm-raised flounder, “akagai” ark clams, “tairagigai” pen shellfish, “torigai” Japanese cockle and sea urchin roe.
The percentage of that seafood to be inspected at quarantine stations will be raised from 20 percent to 40 percent of reported imports for flounder and from 10 percent to 20 percent for the other items.
Except for sea urchin roe, most of the other seafood items covered by the new measure come mainly from South Korea.
While the tougher measures for flounder will continue until the end of March, the steps for the other seafood items will at first be implemented for about a month.
A health ministry official explained that last year cases of food poisoning caused by the parasite kudoa septempunctata and the bacteria vibrio parahaemolyticus were found. The parasite and bacteria were found in imported flounder and sea urchin roe.
The three other types of shellfish are refrigerated when shipped much like sea urchin roe so ministry officials judged there was also the risk of those shellfish being contaminated with vibrio parahaemolyticus.
Food poisoning from the parasite and bacteria can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, but normally the symptoms are not severe.
Ministry officials said if levels of the parasite and bacteria are found beyond established standards, all produce shipped out from the same farm where the fish was raised and the same plant the other seafood was processed would be stopped at the quarantine station until the seafood passed inspection.
That would lead to a decline in the freshness of the seafood and would make it more difficult to import those items to Japan.
According to health ministry officials, about 9,000 tons of flounder sold annually in Japan is raised domestically with about 2,000 tons coming from South Korea.
The ministry official said imports would be allowed to continue as long as no problems emerged at the quarantine station.
An official with the South Korean Foreign Ministry only said necessary measures would be considered after carefully observing the developments that emerge from the tougher inspection.
Lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party had called for tougher retaliatory measures against South Korea after a World Trade Organization panel upheld Seoul’s ban on Japanese seafood imports because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The timing of the latest measure is somewhat unusual because normally tougher quarantine inspections are announced after products are found to have exceeded safety standards.
So far, there have been no new cases of imported flounder from South Korea found with unacceptable levels of parasites or bacteria.

June 10, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | 1 Comment

Not a single watt of electricity, but still 1 trillion yen in basic revenue

Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture faces the Pacific Ocean.
May 25, 2019
Even though it hasn’t generated any electricity at its two nuclear power plants since May 2011, Japan Atomic Power Co. chalked up close to 1 trillion yen ($9.1 billion) in basic revenues in that time.
Under an arrangement with five electric power companies, Japan Atomic Power has received about 100 billion yen annually in basic charges for maintaining and managing its nuclear power plants.
Two of the four nuclear reactors owned by Japan Atomic Power are now being decommissioned. Of the two remaining, the Tokai No. 2 plant has not been in operation since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
The No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear plant suspended operations in May 2011.
Since then, neither reactor has generated a single watt of electricity.
But Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., Kansai Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co. have continued to pay out basic electricity charges. In the fiscal year ended in March, the five companies provided Japan Atomic Power with a total of 109.1 billion yen in revenues.
Since the 2011 natural disaster, Japan Atomic Power has received between 100 billion and 150 billion yen annually, for a total of 988.5 billion yen.
The five utilities have since asked for a rate decrease in light of retail sales of electricity being completely liberalized in 2016, which has made their own corporate standing much more severe.
Mamoru Muramatsu, Japan Atomic Power president, said that for fiscal 2019, electricity revenues from the five utilities would likely fall under 100 billion yen.
But the company still faces a tough high-wire act in achieving financial stability because of problems it faces in resuming operations at its Tokai No. 2 plant.
Because the plant started operations close to 40 years ago, it asked for and received permission last November for a 20-year extension of operations.
An active fault has been found directly under the Tsuruga No. 2 reactor building in Fukui Prefecture, making resumption of operations there much more difficult.
So if the Tokai No. 2 plant cannot resume operations, Japan Atomic Power faces possible insolvency.
TEPCO and the four other utilities are now considering a plan to provide roughly 300 billion yen in financial assistance to Japan Atomic Power. Under the plan, the Tokai No. 2 plant is scheduled to resume operations in January 2023.
But local municipalities in the vicinity of the Tokai No. 2 plant remain at odds with Japan Atomic Power over what say they have over a resumption of operations. So it remains to be seen if those entities will come around to approving operation resumptions.
In addition, the Nuclear Regulation Authority in April decided not to allow an extension of deadlines for installing anti-terror facilities at nuclear plants. The deadline for the Tokai No. 2 plant is October 2023.
Muramatsu conceded that the company was only at the stage of considering specifications for the needed equipment and no discussions have been held on a construction timeline.
But even for nuclear plants that have already resumed operations, installation of the anti-terrorist measures are expected to take between five and a half and seven and a half years. Because no work has even begun at the Tokai No. 2 plant for such measures, the work period is expected to take even longer. Even if the plant resumed operations, the remaining operating period would likely become shorter.
TEPCO has said it was contemplating providing financial assistance to Japan Atomic Power because of the economic benefits that would accrue. But if the operating period is shorter, that would result in higher power generation costs, thereby weakening the rationale for providing the assistance.

June 10, 2019 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Japanese parish priests shared stories of suffering from victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Voices of Fukushima power plant disaster victims strengthens call to ban nuclear energy, ACNS Anglican News Service June 6, 2019  by Rachel Farmer Japanese parish priests shared stories of suffering from victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster at an International Forum for a Nuclear-Free World held in Sendai, Japan, last week. A joint statement from the forum, due out next month, is expected to strengthen the call for a worldwide ban on nuclear energy and encourage churches to join in the campaign.

The forum, organised by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK) – the Anglican Communion in Japan – follows the NSKKs General Synod resolution in 2012 calling for an end to nuclear power plants and activities to help the world go nuclear free.

The disaster in 2011 followed a massive earthquake and tsunami which caused a number of explosions in the town’s coastal nuclear power station and led to widespread radioactive contamination and serious health and environmental effects. The Chair of the forum’s organising committee, Kiyosumi Hasegawa, said: “We have yet to see an end to the damage done to the people and natural environment by the meltdown of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. I do think this man-made disaster will haunt countless people for years to come. We still see numerous people who wish to go back to their hometowns but are unable to. We also have people who have given up on ever going home.”

One pastor, Dr Naoya Kawakami, whose church was affected by the tsunami and is the General Secretary of the Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network, Touhoku HELP, explained how he had supported sufferers in the aftermath and heard from priests supporting the survivors. He said: “I have been more than 700 times to meet with more than 180 mothers and about 20 fathers, all of whom have seen abnormalities in their children since 2011. . . Thyroid cancer has been found in more than 273 children and many mothers are in deep anxiety.

“The more the situation worsens, the more pastors become aware of their important role. The role is to witness . . . pastors who have stayed in Fukushima with the ‘voiceless survivors’ are showing us the church as the body of Jesus’s resurrection, with wounds and weakness . . . sufferers are usually in voiceless agony and most people never hear them.”

The forum was attended by bishops, clergy and lay representatives from each diocese, together with representatives from the US-based Episcopal Church, USPG, the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, the Diocese of Taiwan, the Anglican Church of Korea, and also ecumenical guests. International experts took part, along with local clergy who shared individual stories from those directly affected by the disaster……….

June 8, 2019 Posted by | Japan, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Japan’s Olympic torch relay to start in Fukushima – even children are invited to carry it

Tokyo 2020 reveals Olympic Torch route will begin in Fukushima, Inside the Games, By Matthew Smith, 1 June 2019
The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has revealed the Olympic Torch Relay route, which will take in many of Japan’s most historic and famous sites – and also areas touched by tragedy.

The Flame will be taken all over Japan inside 121 days, culminating in the Olympic Games next summer.

It will begin the final leg of its journey on March 26, 2020 from the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima, the training facility of the Japan football team.

The Flame will travel to all 47 prefectures of Japan, with the Organising Committee claiming around 98 per cent of Japan’s population live within one hour’s travel of the proposed route.

The route will take in World Heritage Sites such as Mount Fuji and Itsukushima Shrine, but will also visit areas affected by recent disasters.

Fukushima has been chosen as a start point after the Tohoku region was struck by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which also caused a nuclear incident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

As well as revealing the route, Tokyo 2020 also unveiled the Torchbearer uniforms and how members of the public could apply to take part in the Relay.

The uniform features the Relay emblem on the front and the Olympic symbol on the back.

The most notable design feature is a diagonal red stripe, echoing the sash used in place of batons in Ekiden, Japan’s historic long-distance relays…….

“In Japan, these Games are being referred to as ‘the Recovery Games’ and so the Olympic Flame will start its journey from an area affected by recent natural disasters……

Games organisers say the Olympic Torch Relay will feature around 10,000 Torchbearers including men, women and children of a wide range of nationalities and ages.  People from all over the world are encouraged to apply and can do so here……..

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics international | Leave a comment

Hiroshima and Nagasaki protest U.S. subcritical nuclear test

Hiroshima and Nagasaki slam U.S. subcritical nuclear test, The governors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki prefectures sent letters of protest May 26 over the latest subcritical nuclear test in the United States., May 27, 2019 Hiroshima’s Hidehiko Yuzaki addressed his letter to President Donald Trump, who is now visiting Japan. He urged Trump to visit Hiroshima, which was leveled by atomic bombing in 1945, to fully “understand the reality of total destruction caused by a nuclear weapon.”

The United States conducted a subcritical nuclear test in Nevada on Feb. 13, according to a May 24 announcement by the U.S. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Yuzaki called the test “extremely regrettable.”

He said, “It destroys the hopes of Hiroshima residents who strongly wish the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

Trump arrived in Japan as state guest on May 25. He will wind up his visit on May 28.

Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura, along with prefectural assembly chairman Mitsuyuki Segawa, also denounced the subcritical nuclear test.

They sent protest letters to U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty on May 26.

June 1, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay set to visit Fukushima nuclear complex

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay set to visit Fukushima nuclear complex, PACNEWS, 1 June, 2019,

A staff takes out a banner featuring Tokyo 2020 Olympics emblem from the wall after a news conference in Tokyo, Japan June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO, 01 JUNE 2019 (INSIDE THE GAMES) – A town devastated by the nuclear meltdowns in the Fukushima Prefecture in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan is set to feature on the route of the Olympic Torch Relay for Tokyo 2020. The relay course will pass through the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear…. (subscribers only )

June 1, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment