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


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.

Stop Japanese militarism revival, nuclear bomb survivors say

This video says about itself:

Nagasaki mayor urges careful deliberations on security bills

9 August 2015

The mayor of the Japanese city of Nagasaki has urged the government to engage in ″careful and sincere deliberations″ on a series of security bills currently moving through parliament.

In an address at the 70th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of the city, Mayor Tomihisa Taue said the peaceful path Japan has pursued in the past 70 years should never be changed.

If the new bills are made into law,Japan would be allowed to engage in armed conflicts overseas for the first time in 70 years since the end of World War Two.

Japanese constitutional experts view the security legislation pushed by the Shinzo Abe administration as ″unconstitutional.″

Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only cities in the world devastated by the atomic bomb.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japanese call on PM Abe to halt rush to war

Monday 10th August 2015

80,000 dead mourned 70 years after Nagasaki atom bomb

by Our Foreign Desk

NAGASAKI marked the 70th anniversary of the US atomic bombing yesterday, as survivors warned against Japan’s renewed militarisation.

With the solemn tolling of a bell, the city observed a minute’s silence at 11.02am, the minute the US B-29 bomber Bockscar dropped its terrifying and deadly payload on August 9 1945.

The bombing of the defenceless city killed some 40,000 people instantly and the same number from the lingering effects of radiation.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the event along with representatives from 75 countries, including US ambassador Caroline Kennedy.

Mr Abe said Japan, as yet the only country to suffer atomic bombing, would seek to play a leading role in disarmament. But the PM was criticised by survivors — known as hibakusha in Japan — and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue.

Hibakusha representative Sumiteru Taniguchi, now 86, said that legislation recently pushed through parliament by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party “will lead to war.”

The new laws “reinterpret” Japan’s post-war constitution, which limits the armed forces to self-defence only, to allow them to be sent overseas to defend its allies — among them the US.

“We cannot accept this,” said Mr Taniguchi, after describing in graphic detail the horrors of the atom bomb, including the terrible burns to his back.

Mr Taue noted the “widespread unease” about the legislation, which has passed the lower house of parliament and is now before the upper house. “I urge the government of Japan to listen to these voices of unease and concern,” he said.

A message from UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon echoed the calls of Mr Taue and others to abolish nuclear weapons.

“I wholeheartedly join you in sounding a global rallying cry: No more Nagasakis. No more Hiroshimas,” Mr Ban said in a message read by acting UN high representative for disarmament affairs Kim Won Soo.

Speaking in Rome, Pope Francis called the bombings “a tragic event that still arouses horror and revulsion” and “a permanent warning to humanity” to reject war and ban weapons of mass destruction.

See also here.

Fukushima worker dies

This video is called Fukushima Tomioka the abandoned city.

From Vice News:

Worker Dies at Disabled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

By Pierre Longeray et Pierre-Louis Caron

August 4, 2015 | 10:15 pm

A 30 year-old man died this weekend as he worked on decommissioning Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, which was devastated in the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, in which 20,000 died or were reported missing.

It is not yet known whether the man’s death was due to radiation exposure, and an autopsy is pending.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a series of meltdowns in 2011 during a massive earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan. The quake knocked out the plant’s cooling systems, causing meltdowns in the plant’s reactors and a radioactive leak that triggered the evacuation of thousands of people in the area.

In a statement released Monday, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said that the man had been taken to the emergency room after complaining that he wasn’t feeling well. “His death was confirmed early in the afternoon,” Tepco said.

Isabelle Dublineau, the head of the experimental radiotoxicology laboratory for France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), said that, “there are many thresholds of radiation exposure.” Speaking to VICE News Tuesday, Dublineau said it was “too early” to comment on the death.

This is the third recorded death at the stricken Fukushima plant since the start of the decommissioning work. In March 2014, a laborer at the plant was killed after being buried under gravel while digging, and in January 2015, a worker died after falling inside a water storage tank.

While the latest death has already been branded suspicious in the media, Tepco has so far denied that any of the deaths are related to radiation exposure.

On some days, radioactive emissions at the Fukushima plant can be as high as 2.16 millisieverts [mSv] — more than one-tenth of the allowed annual exposure for nuclear energy workers. As a result, workers are limited to three-hour shifts, and labor in grueling conditions, particularly in the summer, when the temperature can reach 113 degrees. The heat is made worse by the heavy protective gear worn by workers to protect themselves from radiation exposure — including suits boots, gloves and masks.

The worker who died over the weekend was working up to three hours a day at the plant, on the construction of the “ice wall” — an underground frozen wall designed to box in the melted reactors and contain the seeping radioactive water to prevent further groundwater pollution. Today, clean groundwater from around the plant flows through the melted reactor and mixes with the contaminated water in the reactors. To prevent ocean pollution, Tepco has to store the contaminated water in reservoirs and treat it, before pumping it back out.

Tepco has warned that decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear plant could take up to 40 years. In early July, the Japanese government notified the evacuated residents of Naraha — a town of 7,400 that lies 20 miles from the nuclear plant — that they would be able return to their homes in September. Naraha has an estimated annual radiation dose of 20 millisieverts — the maximum annual dose allowed for nuclear energy workers in France.

Following the 2011 nuclear disaster, Japan shut down all of its 50 working reactors, which were supplying close to a third of the country’s electricity. …

Tepco has been heavily criticized for its handling of the Fukushima catastrophe, and three former Tepco executives currently face criminal charges and are due to stand trial soon for “negligence.”

In February, the nuclear operator revealed that contaminated water had been leaking into the Pacific ocean. According to French daily Le Monde, Tepco had known about the leak for almost a year before it made the information public.

Dutch storm damages Japanese old tree

This is a Japanese video about Japanese walnuts.

On 25 July 2015 there was a storm in the Netherlands. In the botanical garden in Leiden, it damaged an old tree. It was a Japanese walnut tree.

In 1859, famous Japanologist Philipp Franz von Siebold had brought it from Japan to the garden. Now, the storm broke off its branches, and only the trunk still stands.

The botanical garden is investigating whether the tree can be kept alive.

Marie de Brimeu, Clusius and the founding of the Leiden botanical garden: here.