Opposing the Ratification of Nuclear Cooperation Agreements:
The Ratification Ignores the Suffering of Victims of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
December 9, 2011
Today, the Upper House of the Japanese Diet ratified nuclear cooperation agreements with Vietnam, Jordan, Russia, and South Korea. This ratification opened doors to Japan’s dangerous and irresponsible export of nuclear power plants. We strongly oppose the ill-advised ratification of nuclear energy agreements that ignores the Japanese public opinion and the suffering of many victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The Japanese government has offered no satisfactory explanation for the following problems:
(1) When the nuclear cooperation agreement with Jordan was discussed during the last Diet session, it became clear that the proposed system of cooling water supply and evacuation plan for more than one million residents around the construction site were extremely unrealistic. It was also pointed out that a nuclear power plant in Jordan would face a high risk of terrorist attacks. None of these problems has been resolved.
(2) The proposed construction site in Vietnam includes a part of Nui Chua National Park and a breeding colony for the endangered species, the green sea turtle. The Vietnamese government is also proceeding with the construction plan without providing information of accident risks for residents around the proposed site. Nationwide, informed discussion of merits and demerits of importing nuclear power plants is missing.
Neither does Jordan nor Vietnam have a clear plan for disposing nuclear wastes. Also unclear is a compensation scheme for a potential nuclear accident comparable to the Fukushima. Since the Japanese government plans to use public funds to support the construction of nuclear power plants in these two countries, they should offer a satisfactory explanation for how to resolve the aforesaid problems.
We, people in Japan, have experienced the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Many people in Fukushima and elsewhere are still suffering from nuclear pollutions. Costs of decontamination and compensation are yet to be determined. It is also expected to take at least thirty years to decommission the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plants. We know the danger of nuclear-energy dependency firsthand. The Japanese government should stop exporting the dangerous nuclear-energy dependency in the name of “nuclear-energy cooperation.” We believe that genuine nuclear-energy cooperation is to tell the world the reality of the nuclear disaster and its damages and share ideas and technologies to move away from unsustainable society that over-consumes energy.
We therefore request the Japanese government to stop using Japanese taxpayers’ money as well as loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to export nuclear power plants in the interests of certain manufacturing companies. Furthermore, it has been reported that the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is considering punishing their Diet members who either opposed or abstained from the ratification vote. We question the DPJ’s tactic to force the ratification and request the party not to punish the sensible and conscientious Diet members who refused to vote for the ratification.
>Fact Sheet on Japan’s Nuclear Export to Vietnam
Friends of the Earth Japan
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