Militarist Japanese government sabotaging Korean peace process


This 27 April 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Korean War Finally Ending, in Huge Victory for Peace Activists

North and South Korea have agreed to sign a peace deal, after nearly 70 years of war. Christine Ahn says this is thanks to dedicated activism inside and outside of the Korean Peninsula. In conversation with TRNN’s Ben Norton.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

‘Complete denuclearisation’ – Trump signs agreement with Kim Jong-un

US PRESIDENT Trump announced he has agreed to suspend ‘war games’ with South Korea in return for a commitment to the ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula’.

Speaking at a press conference in Singapore after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time, Trump said: ‘The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor.

‘I hope it’s going to be soon. But they’ll come off – as you know and as I have said, the sanctions right now remain but at a certain point I actually look forward to taking them off and they’ll come off when we know we’re down the road where it’s not going to happen, nothing is going to happen.’

… He announced: ‘We have done war exercises with a long period of time working with South Korea and we call them war games.

‘… They’re tremendously expensive. The amount of money that we spend on that is incredible. …’

In response to a question regarding the value of the agreement he signed with President Kim, Trump answered by implying he has his sights set on dealing with Iran.

Only months ago, Trump threatened nuclear war on North Korea. Now, the prospects for peace in Korea have brightened. That is not thanks to Trump and his militarist administration. It is thanks to the peace movement in Korea and worldwide. Earlier this year, that caused rapprochement between North Korea and the new South Korean government, elected after their militarist right-wing predecessors had been impeached for corruption. Rapprochement, eg, at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Trump and his new war-minded ‘security’ adviser John Bolton tried to sabotage that peace process. However, apparently Trump came to the conclusion that he still wanted to do warmongering, but that warmongerring all over the world at the same time would be self-defeating.

US President Richard Nixon was a war criminal, who had United States peace activists killed and who attacked press freedom in reporting on the Vietnam war. Still, Nixon came to the conclusion that it was undesirable to wage cold war on the Soviet Union and on China at the same time. So, the stopped the Cold War policy of not recognizing China. Though done by a crook of a president, that was in itself positive. Even though Nixon did it to concentrate warmongering on the Soviet Union.

It looks like Donald Trump’s recent handshake with North Korea’s Kim Jung-un is somewhat similar to Nixon’s 1972 handshake with Chairman Mao in China.

From News Line daily today:

TRUMP COURTS NORTH KOREA TO AVOID A WAR ON TWO FRONTS …

Trump bending over backwards to make a deal with North Korea contrasts starkly with his conduct towards Iran, where he has ripped up a negotiated deal that kept Iran from producing a nuclear weapon, and where the US has threatened sanctions against its onetime allies, now in a G6 set-up that signed the Iran deal – as did the US – and now refuse to break it off, and thus face US sanctions. …

However, not even the US can take on the entire planet at the same time. This is why Trump has temporarily changed his tune in relation to North Korea.

However, other militarist politicians are not changing their tune in relation to North Korea. Especially so the right-wing revanchist government in Japan. Consisting of members of the ‘Liberal Democratic’ party. A beautiful name. Like the name ‘Freedom Party of Austria‘ sounds beautiful. However, both parties were founded after the second world war by ex-allies of Adolf Hitler. And at present, there are still echoes of Hitler-like ideas in both parties.

Instead of an all-out effort to clean up the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the right-wing Shinzo Abe administration is in denial about that disaster. Instead of stopping cancer causing nuclear pollution, they rather spend Japanese taxpayers’ money on militarism.

Peace between North Korea and South Korea and the USA would make it harder for Japanese warmongers to sell to the taxpayers more and more spending on war, with the North Korean bogeyman as the pretext.

It is time for Shinzo Abe to resign, and to give peaceful people in Japan the chance to repair the damage he caused.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Japan: war games are of vital interest

The Japanese Defense Minister says that the presence of US military personnel in South Korea and the joint war games are vital for security in East Asia.

Who is minister of war … sorry, I am supposed to use the euphemism ‘defense’ in the right-wing Abe administration?

It used to be Ms Tomomi Inada.

Pictures from Japanese neo-Nazi Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and his party’s then policy chief, Tomomi Inada

These pictures from Japanese neo-nazi leader Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and Abe’s party’s then policy chief, Tomomi Inada. Ms Inada later became minister of war … sorry for forgetting to use the euphemism ‘defence’ … of Japan.

In July 2017, Ms Inada resigned as war minister. Not because of her nazi scandal, but because of other scandals.

Ms Inada’s successor became Mr Itsunori Onodera. Wikipedia writes about him:

He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in December 1997 from Miyagi Prefecture No. 6,[2] but resigned in 2000 in the wake of an electoral donation scandal.[3]… Like Abe, the majority of his government, and many predecessors as defense ministers, Onodera is affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi.[6] Onodera supports Japan having the ability to launch a first-strike attack against enemy bases.[7]

The word ‘revisionist’ has lots of meanings. In Onodera’s context, it means denying that the 1930s-1940s Japanese imperial government, allies of Hitler and Mussolini, did anything wrong. Korea was then a Japanese colony. The Japanese occupiers then kidnapped teenage girls in Korea (and in China, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc.) to be raped as ‘comfort women’ in military brothels. Today, Japan’s ‘Liberal Democrat’ ‘revisionists’ deny this war crime and other war crimes.

The NOS article continues:

Minister Onodera responds to President Trump’s unexpected intention to stop the annual war games of South Korea and the USA on the border with North Korea. …

US President Trump said yesterday at the summit with [North Korean] Kim that he will stop the war games because they are expensive and provocative. …

Japan states that it intends to continue to conduct war games with the US and to work together to defend against missiles from North Korea.

Unfortunately, not only in Japan there are right-wing politicians trying to out-Trump Trump on militarism. Like in the USA: Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) was less pleased, calling Trump’s reasoning for halting the military exercises “ridiculous”. [Reuters]

The Singapore summit and the growing war threat: here.

The massive war games send a regular threatening message to China, which is the true target of US and Japanese aggression. … The disagreements in Washington are over how best to proceed with planning for war against China and Russia: here.

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Philippines government giving in to Japan, removing ‘comfort woman’ statue?


This 12 December 2017 says about itself:

Japan has expressed regret following the Philippines‘ recent unveiling of a statue representing the so-called “comfort women”.

In a press briefing Tuesday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan regrets any country installing a comfort woman statue, adding that it will decide how to react to through communication with the Philippine government.

On Friday, the League of Filipino Women and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines jointly unveiled the two-meter tall statue to honor some 1,000 Filipino victims who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War Two. The Philippine government said it would not take any position on the comfort women issue, hoping that the statue would not affect Manila-Tokyo relations.

After President Duterte of the Philippines recommended his soldiers to shoot communist women opponents of his government ‘in their vaginas’

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Anger after Philippines removes sex slave statue

‘We kneeled down to the Japanese, that’s why it’s shameful, so shameful’

A statue honouring women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the Second World War was quietly removed from a busy seaside promenade in the Philippine capital, angering women’s groups.

Manila City Hall said in a statement that the bronze statue of a blindfolded Filipina, unveiled alongside Manila Bay in December, will be returned once drainage work is completed. It gave no time frame for the project, alarming activists who suspect that the Japanese government pressured the Philippines to take the monument down.

“What happened is that we kneeled down to the Japanese. … That’s why it’s shameful, so shameful,” said Teresita Ang See, co-founding president of a Chinese Filipino group.

Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, a professor at the De La Salle University Manila, called on the public to fight to get back the statue as a symbol of national dignity.

The monument was removed Friday night.

Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Seiko Noda had expressed regret over the construction of the monument in January. According to Kyodo News service quoting the Japanese Embassy in Manila, the Philippine government had notified the embassy of its intention to remove the statue.

The emotional issue of “comfort women” has provided a dilemma for the Philippines’ relations with Tokyo, a major provider of aid and financing to Manila.

A National Historical Commission marker says the monument memorialises Filipinas who suffered abuses during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945. It was built with donations from Chinese-Filipino groups and individuals.

Historians say 20,000 to 200,000 women from across Asia, many of them Koreans, were forced to provide sex to Japan’s front-line soldiers. Japanese nationalists contend that the so-called “comfort women” in wartime brothels were voluntary prostitutes, not sex slaves, and that Japan has been unfairly criticized for a practice they say is common in any country at war.

In 1995, Japan provided through a private fund 2 million yen ($18,000) each to about 280 women in the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea, and funded nursing homes and medical assistance for Indonesian and former Dutch sex slaves. However, many women in South Korea and the Philippines have demanded a full apology accompanied by official government compensation.

Last year, Osaka terminated its 60-year sister-city ties with San Francisco to protest a statue commemorating Asian sex slaves that was erected by California’s Korean, Chinese and Filipino communities.

Philippines government books Trump hotel as Duterte pushes for free trade deal with US: here.

Fukushima boss sabotaged anti-tsunami wall


This video is about photographs of the March 11 2011 tsunami hitting the Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant.

From Newsweek in the USA:

Fukushima nuclear plant: Tsunami wall could have avoided disaster but boss scrapped the plan, employee testifies

April 24, 2018

by Tom O’Connor

A worker for the plant involved in the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster said in a Japanese court Wednesday that his former boss was warned that a massive tsunami could strike the site, but delayed measures to build a protective wall to prevent it.

An unnamed employee of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that owns the ruined Fukushima Daiichi or No.1, Nuclear Power Plant testified during a trial this week that a 2008 safety test showed an earthquake could cause a tsunami as high as 52 feet capable of pounding the coastal facility, according to The Asahi Shimbun. The company was initially set to build a seawall, but the employee told the court that former TEPCO Vice President Sakae Muto suddenly dismissed the idea.

The potentially catastrophic scenario was brought up again during a meeting on March 7, 2011, compelling shocked regulators to again recommend a wall to shield the facility, The Japan Times reported. But it was too late already: A magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck only four days later on March 11, 2011, leaving up to 18,500 people dead or missing and destroying the facility.

Three out of the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima No.1 plant suffered devastating meltdowns. Muto, along with former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and former TEPCO Vice President Ichiro Takekuro were indicted in February 2016 and are facing trial for suspected professional negligence resulting in death or injury after the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl incident in 1986.

The multi-billion dollar effort to recover the site is far past schedule and over budget …

Efforts to retrieve the fuel, however, have been hampered as the $324 million ice wall that penetrated 100 feet into the earth failed to stop groundwater from leaking into the site, as Reuters reported last month. In fact, the amount of groundwater seeping into the facility may have increased since the highly-anticipated ice wall was installed last August, amounting to the latest setback in a cleanup process already beset by seemingly endless complications and miscalculations.

Removing this water adds to an already growing storage crisis on the site. TEPCO deliberately added water to cool off the plant’s damaged reactors. After coming in contact with the plant, the coolant water and groundwater became tainted with a substance known as tritium, a byproduct of the nuclear process notoriously difficult to filter out of water. TEPCO has accumulated over 1 million tons of this tritium-laced water in 650 giant tanks, according to The Japan Times, and is urging the government to let the company begin dumping it into the ocean.

Some locals have protested this, however. While tritium was a natural byproduct of the nuclear process that experts have described as harmless in smaller doses and was dumped into oceans worldwide, Fukushima activists and fishermen have argued that dumping tritium, even in small quantities, would further hurt the reputation of the region, still synonymous with nuclear disaster. Nearby China and South Korea are among the nations that still restrict the import of certain products from Japan.

Lingering concerns about radiation have also reportedly kept many of the 160,000 residents that fled Fukushima from returning. Life, nevertheless, has begun to return to some parts of the crisis-stricken prefecture. The town of Okuma announced Wednesday that some citizens would be allowed to stay overnight starting next week for the first time since the March 2011 disaster, Japanese daily The Mainichi Shimbun said.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Fukushima: Ongoing Lessons for California – Naoto Kan

On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, former Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, spoke at a panel discussion regarding the lessons learned from the Fukushima-daiichi nuclear accident as it pertains to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California.

From the Christian Science Monitor in the USA:

APRIL 11, 2018

by Clare Kittredge

FLAMANVILLE, FRANCE—Trading “le nucléaire” for renewables is a tough sell in the planet’s most nuclear-dependent nation.

Naoto Kan came to France anyway. The once pro-nuclear former prime minister who led Japan through the Fukushima nuclear disaster recently made a swing through one of France’s most nuclearized areas – the tip of Normandy – giving struggling environmentalists a rare boost.

An improbable activist in his conservative dark suit and tie, Mr. Kan came to explain his 180-degree switch from pro-nuclear to antinuclear crusader, and urge people to go for renewables instead.

“I came here because I am fiercely opposed to nuclear power, and I want to show my solidarity with people fighting it here”, Kan politely told a small crowd of activists near Flamanville’s controversial EPR nuclear reactor. “Before Fukushima I was pronuclear”, he said, laying flowers on a homemade memorial to unknown radiation victims whose slogan, “aux irradiés inconnus”, mimics monuments to unknown soldiers dotting France. “But with Fukushima, we almost had to evacuate millions of people, and I realized we had to stop nuclear power – in France, Japan, the world – and turn to renewables as fast as possible.”

Kan’s unusual visit buoyed “écolos” in rural Normandy, where the nuclear industry employs thousands and its critics feel marginalized. “We’re used to criticism, but his message is universal, so he gives the opposition credibility”, said retired schoolteacher and veteran activist Paulette Anger, secretary of Crilan, one of two small anti-nuclear groups hosting Kan.

How to produce electricity safely is a quandary many countries have grappled with since the Fukushima Daiichi disaster – the planet’s second major nuclear accident after the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. It’s a question Kan never thought he’d face when he became prime minister of Japan on June 8, 2010.

Nine months later, Japan’s worst nuclear accident confronted him with its greatest crisis since World War II.

Kan was a science buff who thought nuclear power was needed in a plugged-in world. After majoring in applied physics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, he was drawn to ’60s activism, and then entered politics.

But on March 11, 2011, a massive category-9 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s east coast, killing thousands. Huge waves swamped the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, knocking out electric power to its six reactors and seven spent fuel pools.

Kan followed with dread as the power loss halted cooling to the nuclear fuel rods in the reactors and spent fuel pools. The failure of all backup fixes inexorably led to three meltdowns and several hydrogen explosions, spewing long-lived radioactive poisons across the countryside.

“Human error is inevitable”, Kan told a rapt crowd of 400, packed into a community center near Flamanville’s village church. Because a nuclear accident robs people of their lives and ancestral lands, the risk is too high, Kan said in guttural Japanese, pausing for his translator to catch up. “So I’m trying to use this terrible experience to convince as many people as I can to get out of nuclear power.”

For his antinuclear hosts, Kan was the biggest guest star since oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau came to fight the Flamanville reactors decades ago.

“It’s remarkable to have the former prime minister here,” said retired schoolteacher and antinuclear veteran Didier Anger, president of Crilan and a spokesman for Can-Ouest, the two antinuclear groups co-hosting Kan. “When someone changes their mind as Mr. Naoto Kan has, bravo!” he said to resounding applause.

A fictionalized film of the disaster’s first days accompanied Kan. “Le Couvercle du Soleil” (“The Seal of the Sun”), produced by Tomiyoshi Tachibana, shows the besieged prime minister struggling to understand the problem so he can react without causing panic. The secretive fictional power company lies and stalls. A chain of errors leads to disaster. In a key turning point, radiation levels in the doomed plants get so high the power company wants to leave. In what investigators conclude “saves Japan”, Kan orders them to stay.

An earthquake and tsunami are catastrophes that end, Kan explains in his book, “My Nuclear Nightmare.” But leaving an unmanageable nuclear reactor alone only lets things get worse.

The disaster released massive amounts of radiation, created 160,000 refugees, drove farmers to suicide, and rendered a beautiful part of Japan uninhabitable for years. After a no-confidence vote, Kan resigned, but not before insisting on legislation easing Japan’s path to renewables.

Chernobyl got explained away as an accident in an old reactor in an undeveloped nation. For Kan, Fukushima underscored the false assumption that nuclear disaster can’t happen in a high-tech country. By luck, he didn’t have to order Tokyo and 50 million people evacuated for 30 to 50 years, he said.

Now, Kan travels the world as a guest of antinuclear groups, warning about the powerful collection of special interests promoting nuclear power.

Those who benefit from nuclear power are not the ones who will pay”, he warned, noting that the half-life of plutonium is 24,000 years. Fukushima, he stressed, is not over.

After speaking to the National Assembly in Paris and the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Kan toured Normandy’s “nuclear peninsula.” Activists took Kan along the rugged coast to view Flamanville’s controversial EPR reactor from a cliff. They drove him past France’s oldest nuclear waste dump to the huge La Hague nuclear waste reprocessing plant, home of Europe’s largest store of nuclear materials, tons of plutonium, and thousands of tons of nuclear waste. A citizen scientist from the independent radiation lab ACRO showed Kan two contaminated streams amid bucolic cow pastures behind the nuclear waste plant, including one where authorities last year confirmed plutonium in sediments. Kan admired the grand view at the peninsula’s jagged tip, where the waste plant’s discharge pipe routinely pours thousands of gallons of radioactive wastewater out to sea with government permission.

After the disaster, Japan shut down its 54 nuclear reactors, 12 of them permanently. Five restarted, but efforts to restart more are stalled by public opposition. Kan wants them all shut down.

Fukushima had a profound effect on global nuclear programs, said Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based independent energy and nuclear policy analyst and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report. “It accelerated its decline in Europe, the US, globally – and significantly slowed down expansion in China.”

Still, France’s 58 reactors produce almost three-quarters of its electricity.

Flamanville’s Mayor Patrick Fauchon echoed the French industry view that its plants are safe. “I think it’s important that he share his experience,” he said of Kan. “But it’s his fight.” As for a nuclear accident here: “I’m not particularly worried.”

Meanwhile, Kan’s visit left veteran critics of le nucléaire feeling buoyed.

“It probably won’t change opinions on the pronuclear side”, Ms. Anger said. “But because he lived through certain things and was once pronuclear, it made them think. His visit enormously enhanced our credibility. It was a big event.”

A government body has given up trying to arbitrate between Tokyo Electric Power Company and more than 15,000 people seeking higher monthly compensation for the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster: here.

Fukushima, Greenpeace report


This 28 February 2018 video shows a Greenpeace report about the Fukushima nuclear disaster area in Japan.

Is Fukushima doomed to become a dumping ground for toxic waste? — The Guardian: here.

Clearing the radioactive rubble heap that was Fukushima Daiichi, 7 years on — Scientific American: here.

Jumping spider in Japan


This video says about itself:

Jumping spider (Menemerus brachygnathus (Thorell)) filmed in Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan on 11 June 2017. This specimen was about 1 cm in length.