Huge pro-peace demonstration in Japan


This video, recorded in Japan, says about itself:

Huge Protest in Tokyo Rails Against PM Abe’s Security Bills

30 August 2015

Members of the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s (SEALDs) protest against the revision of the pacifist Article 9 [of the Japanese constitution] outside the Parliament building.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered near Japan’s parliament building on Sunday to oppose legislation allowing the military to fight overseas.

From Reuters news agency:

Sunday August 30, 2015 10:45am EDT

Huge protest in Tokyo rails against PM Abe’s security bills

TOKYO | By Kiyoshi Takenaka

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered near Japan’s parliament building on Sunday to oppose legislation allowing the military to fight overseas, the latest sign of public mistrust in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s security policy.

In one of Japan’s biggest protests in years – organizers put the crowd at 120,000 – people of all ages braved occasional rain to join the rally, chanting and holding up placards with slogans such as “No War” and “Abe, quit”.

Demonstrators swarmed into the street before parliament’s main gate after the crowd size made it impossible for police, out in heavy numbers, to keep them to the sidewalks. A second nearby park area also filled with protesters.

The rally was one of more than 300 this weekend in Japan protesting Abe‘s move to loosen the post-war, pacifist constitution’s constraints on the military.

“Sitting in front of TV and just complaining wouldn’t do,” said Naoko Hiramatsu, a 44-year-old associate professor in French and one of the Tokyo protesters.

“If I don’t take action and try to put a stop on this, I will not be able to explain myself to my child in the future,” said Hiramatsu, holding a four-year-old son in her arms in the thick of the protest.

Abe in July pushed through parliament’s lower house a group of bills that let Japan’s armed forces defend an ally under attack, a drastic shift in Japan’s post-war security policy.

The bills are now before the upper chamber, which is also controlled by Abe’s ruling bloc and aims to pass the legislation before parliament’s session ends on Sept. 27.

Abe’s ratings have taken a hit from opposition to the security bills. Media surveys showing those who oppose his government outnumber backers, and more than half are against the security bills.

“We need to make the Abe government realize the public is having a sense of crisis and angry. Let’s work together to have the bills scrapped,” Katsuya Okada, head of Japan’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, told the Tokyo rally.

The demonstration was the biggest in Tokyo since the mass protests against nuclear power in the summer of 2012, after the March 2011 Fukushima atomic disaster.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Linda Sieg; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

See also here.

Large protests took place in Tokyo Sunday against the military legislation currently being debated in the upper house of Japan’s legislature or Diet. These demonstrations are a sign of widespread anti-war sentiment in Japan and opposition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s backing of the US war drive against China: here.

Amid the worsening global economic slump and sharpening geo-political tensions, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is accelerating his remilitarisation agenda. While the government is pushing legislation through parliament to evade constitutional restraints on the armed forces, the Japanese defence ministry is requesting another 2.2 percent rise in its budget next year to a record 5.1 billion yen, or $US42 billion: here.

Japanese people block government’s Fukushima waste dumping plans


This video from California in the USA says about itself:

Fukushima Remembered”, Miyagi Delegates Spoke @ SCCC. March 10th 2012. Pt1

March 10th, 2012, San Clemente Community Center. Two delegates from Miyagi, Ms. Kyoko Suagasawa and Mr. Hirohide Sakuma, spoke to the community of San Clemente. Moderated by Gary Headrick. Interpreted by Yushi Yamazaki, and Umi Hagitani. Sponsors and endorsers of the events include: Citizens Oversight Project, Peace and Recourse Ctr. of S.D, Residents Organizing for a Safe Environment (ROSE), San Onofre Safety (SOS), San Clemente Green, S.D. Coalition for Peace and Justice, Talk Nukes, Occupy Encinitas, Occupy San Diego, Ocean Outfall and No Nukes Action Committee.

From the Mainichi Shimbun daily in Japan:

Angry Miyagi residents block gov’t survey of candidate nuclear waste disposal site

KAMI, Miyagi — Local residents here blocked an attempt by Environment Ministry officials on Aug. 28 to inspect a candidate site for the disposal of waste contaminated with radioactive substances that have leaked from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The ministry was unable to begin surveys on three candidate sites in the Miyagi Prefecture municipalities of Kami, Kurihara and Taiwa as of 1 p.m. because the Kurihara and Taiwa municipal governments had agreed to accept surveys on condition that the ministry simultaneously launch them in all three municipalities.

The ministry aims to complete its drilling surveys on the three sites before winter snowfalls, and hopes to select a site from among the three candidates by the end of the current fiscal year.

The Environment Ministry had notified the three municipalities on Aug. 27 that it would launch surveys at the three candidate sites.

In Kami, Mayor Hirofumi Inomata, municipal government officials, as well as about 200 people including members of an association of 50 groups opposing the construction of the disposal facility, gathered on a road leading to the site in the Tashirodake district of Kami at around 6 a.m., and blocked the street with a banner expressing opposition to the project.

At around 8 a.m., 16 Environment Ministry officials arrived at the scene to conduct a survey — the first since October 2014 — only to be met by protesters.

The ministry officials confronted the mayor as protesters raised their voices expressing stiff opposition to the construction plan.

“We’d like to go ahead with the survey as planned,” a ministry official said.

“This area doesn’t meet the requirements for a candidate site,” the mayor responded.

About 20 minutes later, ministry officials withdrew from the scene, but one of them said the ministry was determined to go ahead with the survey.

“We must ensure that specified waste is disposed of in a stable manner as early as possible,” the official said.

Fukutsugu Takahashi, leader of the anti-disposal site association, which includes a local agricultural cooperative, criticized the construction plan.

“It’s wrong to bring materials contaminated by the nuclear power plant to a beautiful mountain like this,” he said.

As of the end of June, some 3,404 metric tons of rice straw, sludge and other waste containing cesium with a level of radioactivity topping 8,000 becquerels per kilogram — designated under a special measures law as specified waste — is being stored at 39 locations in nine municipalities in Miyagi Prefecture, according to the ministry. A disposal facility that the ministry is planning to build would store such waste.

August 28, 2015

Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: here.

Japanese butterflies sick from Fukushima radiation


This 2014 video is called Mating dance of butterfly Zizeeria maha okinawana. This is is Okinawa, in the south of Japan, far from the Fukushima pollution.

From Nature journal:

Body size distributions of the pale grass blue butterfly in Japan: Size rules and the status of the Fukushima population

Wataru Taira, Mayo Iwasaki & Joji M. Otaki

Published online: 22 July 2015

Abstract

The body size of the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha, has been used as an environmental indicator of radioactive pollution caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident. However, geographical and temporal size distributions in Japan and temperature effects on size have not been established in this species. Here, we examined the geographical, temporal, and temperature-dependent changes of the forewing size of Z. maha argia in Japan. Butterflies collected in 2012 and 2013 from multiple prefectures throughout Japan demonstrated an inverse relationship of latitude and forewing size, which is the reverse of Bergmann’s cline.

The Fukushima population was significantly larger than the Aomori and Miyagi populations and exhibited no difference from most of the other prefectural populations. When monitored at a single geographic locality every other month, forewing sizes were the largest in April and the smallest in August. Rearing larvae at a constant temperature demonstrated that forewing size followed the temperature-size rule. Therefore, the converse Bergmann’s rule and the temperature-size rule coexist in this multivoltine species. Our study establishes this species as a useful environmental indicator and supports the idea that the size reduction observed only in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011 was caused by the environmental stress of radioactive pollution.

Livestock offspring contaminated by Fukushima radiation: here.

Japanese Prime Minister not apologizing for war crimes


This video about the Philippines is called WW2 Japanese War Crimes in Manila.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Abe rejects calls to apologise for crimes in WWII

Saturday 15th August 2015

PRIME MINISTER Shinzo Abe refused to apologise yesterday for Japanese crimes during the second world war, while acknowledging that they took place.

In a widely anticipated television statement marking the 70th anniversary of his country’s surrender, he said instead that Japan’s previously repeated “heartfelt apologies” would suffice.

“On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad,” Mr Abe said.

“I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.”

But, he added, future generations of Japanese should not feel remorse over their country’s brutal history.

“We must not let our children, grandchildren and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologise,” he said.

The prime minister made only a vague reference to the “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military, saying: “We must never forget that there were women behind the battlefields whose honour and dignity were severely injured.”

He also claimed that Japan would remain a peaceful nation, despite his plans for remilitarisation.

Mr Abe’s comments were scrutinised in China and Korea, both of which bore the brunt of Japan’s brutal imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said: “Abe trod a fine line with linguistic tricks, attempting to please his right-wing base on the one hand and avoid further damage in Japan’s ties with its neighbours on the other.”

Last Friday’s speech by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to mark 70 years since Japan’s surrender in World War II was a carefully contrived exercise. It sought to maintain a veneer of pacifism and contrition for the past crimes of Japanese militarism even as his government expands the country’s armed forces and ends constitutional constraints on Japanese participation in new US-led wars of aggression: here.

In November 1936 Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and Italy as a careful prelude – by the signatories – to fascist aggression on a global scale, writes JENNY CLEGG: here.

Japanese protest against post-Fukushima nuclear restart


This video says about itself:

Japan: Protesters rail against Sendai ‘No. 1’ nuclear reactor’s restart

9 August 2015

Protesters railed against the restarting of the ‘No. 1’ nuclear reactor at the Kyushu Electric Power Co. plant in Sendai, Kagoshima, Monday, the day company officials announced that a full safety check of the radioactive rods would take place ahead of its potential new lease of life.

From RT.com:

Protests as Tokyo restarts first nuclear plant since Fukushima disaster

Protesters rallied outside Japan’s Sendai nuclear plant and its company’s headquarters to demonstrate against the planned restarting of operations, over four years after the Fukushima disaster that left the entire world horrified.

One major concern about the resumption is that no evacuation plans – in case of a Fukushima-style catastrophe – have been disclosed to locals.

“There are schools and hospitals near the plant, but no one has told us how children and the elderly would be evacuated,” Yoshitaka Mukohara, a prominent Japanese anti-nuclear activist leading the protest, told the Guardian as the demonstration gathered in front of the Kyushu Electric Power Co. headquarters.

“Naturally there will be gridlock caused by the sheer number of vehicles, landslides, and damaged roads and bridges.”

His concerns were echoed by many, including Naoto Kan, prime minister during the Fukushima crisis and a participant in the protests.

“We don’t need nuclear plants,” he told protesters as he spoke during the rally.

The Fukushima catastrophe had “exposed the myth of safe and cheap nuclear power, which turned out to be dangerous and expensive,” the former leader added.

Anti-nuclear activists also expressed their frustration at the step.

“I cannot understand why operations are resuming,” said Tatsuya Yoshioka, director of Peace Boat, one of the rally organizers, as cited by the Asahi newspaper.

A day earlier, 2,000 people marched near the Sendai nuclear plant to protest against the re-launch.

It comes as the first reactor is to be restarted since a March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the Fukushima nuclear power plant. …

The authorities are still dealing with the Fukushima crisis, trying to contain the contamination after the meltdown.

This video says about itself:

Japan: Protesters & police scuffle as return to nuclear power looms

10 August 2015

Several protesters scuffled with police as they railed against the restarting of the ‘No. 1’ nuclear reactor at the Kyushu Electric Power Co. plant in Sendai, Kagoshima, Tuesday. A day earlier, company officials announced that a full safety check of the radioactive rods had taken place ahead of its potential new lease of life. The reactor is set to be brought online later in the day.

South Korean self-immolation in anti-Japanese war crimes protest


This video from South Korea says about itself:

This documentary aims to highlight the issue of “Comfort Women” or girls forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Army during World War II as grave violation of human rights that affected AND continues to affect women all across Asia and Europe.

The film begins in South Korea and moves on to meet victims in Wuhan, China, Shanghai, the Philippines and Australia.

It was aired on March 1st, 2013 on Arirang TV, Korea’s only global network.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

South Korea: Man sets himself alight in protest over WWII Japan

Thursday 13th August 2015

AN ELDERLY man set himself on fire in Korea yesterday during a protest demanding Japanese recognition of its war crimes in the 1930s and ’40s.

The rally outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul was held days before the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.

Protesters rushed to smother the flames after 80-year-old Choi Yeon Yeol poured a bottle of fuel on himself and ignited it in a nearby flowerbed.

Mr Choi was taken to Hallym University Medical Centre, where he was said to be unconscious and suffering breathing difficulties after sustaining third-degree burns to the face, neck, upper body and arms.

Police said that a five-page statement found in his bag, apparently written by himself, condemned Japan’s stance on issues related to its colonial rule of Korea and wartime conduct.

Since 1992 there have been weekly protests in front of the Japanese embassy to demand justice for South Korean women who were forced to work as “comfort women” — a euphemism for sex slaves — for the Japanese military during the war.

Hundreds of thousands of Koreans also were forced to fight as front-line soldiers or work as slave labour.

With the approaching anniversary, yesterday’s turnout was particularly high.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has evaded requests for an official apology, while moving to glorify wartime Japan and remilitarise the country in violation of its post-war constitution.