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.

‘End Japanese militarism’, USA, UK, China declared in 1945


This video says about itself:

Shock Doctrine in Japan: Shinzo Abe‘s Rightward Shift to Militarism, Secrecy in Fukushima’s Wake

Democracy Now! is broadcasting from Tokyo, Japan, today in the first of three special broadcasts. At a critical time for Japan and the region, we begin our coverage looking at the country’s rightward political shift under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was re-elected just over a year ago. As head of the Liberal Democratic Party, Abe is known as a conservative hawk who has pushed nationalistic and pro-nuclear policies.

In December, he visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine, which honors Japanese soldiers who died in battle, including several war criminals who were tried by the International Military Tribunal after World War II. The visit sparked outrage from China and South Korea, who consider the shrine a symbol of Japanese militarism, and its refusal to atone for atrocities committed in the first half of the 20th century. We speak about Japan’s increasingly pro-nuclear, nationalistic stance with Koichi Nakano, professor at Sophia University in Tokyo and director of the Institute of Global Concern.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

China: Scholars: In the spirit of Potsdam, back peace

Monday 27th July 2015

CHINESE scholars marked the anniversary of the Potsdam Proclamation yesterday by calling for countries to “safeguard justice and peace.”

The proclamation was issued by China, the United States and Britain on July 26 1945 and called for the unconditional surrender of Japan, then occupying vast areas of Chinese territory.

Jin Yilin, deputy director of the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that it “stipulated the elimination of militarism in Japan and defined its territory.”

These “safeguards” had now been violated by the forcible “nationalisation” of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands and by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s determination to overturn the “peace constitution” and allow Japanese troops to fight abroad again, Lyu Yaodong of the Institute for Japanese Studies warned.

The Japanese right was “trampling on the victory of world anti-fascist efforts,” Mr Lyu said.

Japan surrendered less than a month later after the Soviet Union entered the war in Asia and the US dropped two atomic bombs on civilian populations.

This video says about itself:

New Nationalism: Far-right voices get louder in Japan

10 January 2014

Some parts of Japanese society want to drag the pacifist nation to the right. Nationalist groups are growing louder in their calls for the country to take a harder-line against enemies [at] home and abroad.

Filmmaker Miyazaki against remilitarising Japan


This 2013 video is called A List of the Best Hayao Miyazaki (Japanese Anime) Movies on DVD and Blu-ray.

By Richard Phillips:

Veteran filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki denounces government plans to remilitarise Japan

21 July 2015

Acclaimed animator and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki last week denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s moves to undermine the country’s nominally pacifist post-World War II constitution and called for an unambiguous apology to China and Korea for Japanese war crimes committed during World War II.

Miyazaki made the comments last Monday, a few days before Abe’s right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government, with the backing of its ally New Komeito, pushed 11 new “collective self-defence” bills through the parliament’s lower house.

The measures, which are expected to be rubber-stamped during the next two months in the upper house where the LDP has a majority, are based on the government’s “reinterpretation” of the constitution in July last year.

Final passage of the new legislation will allow the foreign deployment of Japanese troops with the US and other military allies and are in line with a US-Japan military agreement signed in April and Washington’s “pivot” to Asia aimed at militarily encircling China.

“I think we are going in completely the wrong direction,” Miyazaki told a meeting hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and streamed live over the Internet.

Japan’s challenge, he said, is to find a new means of creating peace and stability in the region. “Prime Minister Abe seems to want to be remembered in history as the man who revised the constitution and remilitarised Japan, but this is despicable,” the 74-year-old animator said.

During the hour-long press conference Miyazaki also noted the approaching 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, and said Tokyo should make “very clear that [Japan’s] aggressive war was a complete mistake and that we have deep regret for the great damage it caused the people of China

“Regardless of the political situation, Japan has to have deep remorse over a long period of militarist activities in China. There are many people who want to forget this, but it is something that must never be forgotten.”

Miyazaki, a liberal pacifist, has carved out a five-decade career as an animator, filmmaker, writer and manga artist and founded Studio Ghibli. While his meticulous, hand-drawn animations have always been popular with millions of Japanese youth, international releases of his full-length features—Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howls Moving Castle (2008), Ponyo (2008) and The Wind Rises (2013)—brought him a global audience and numerous awards, including an Academy lifetime achievement award, the first anime director to receive the prize.

Miyazaki’s denunciations of the Abe government are another indication of widespread anti-war sentiment in Japan and, in particular, the mass opposition to the government’s efforts to legitimise overseas operations by the Japanese military.

According to a Kyodo News poll conducted on the weekend, the Abe government’s approval rating plunged by 9.7 points to 37.7 percent, the lowest since it was elected in December 2012. More than 70 percent of those surveyed were opposed to the way the security legislation was pushed through the parliament.

Last month about 25,000 people demonstrated outside the Japanese parliament against the government’s new self-defence laws. Over 20,000 marched to the parliament last Tuesday and another 6,000 demonstrated on Saturday over the lower-house passage of the new legislation and carrying placards stating “We will not tolerate Abe’s politics.”

Miyazaki’s anti-war views are well-known. He refused to visit the US to receive an Oscar for Spirited Away in protest against the US invasion of Iraq and is an official spokesman for the Henko campaign group, which is opposing the construction of a new US marine base at Onaga in northern Okinawa.

The popular animator and filmmaker’s political outlook, however, is a confused combination of pacifism, Japanese liberalism and environmentalism.

In a lengthy interview in 2013, Miyazaki forthrightly denounced Abe and others “who mess around with our [pacifist] constitution,” appealed for the government to pay compensation to Chinese, Japanese and Korean “comfort women” enslaved by the Japanese military during WWII and called for a negotiated solution to the territory conflicts with China and Korea.

In the same interview, however, Miyazaki declared that he supported previous Japanese military missions in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, repeating the official lie that Japanese involvement had been “humanitarian.”