August 6, 2011, Tokyo
Junichi Mishiba
Executive Director, Friends of the Earth Japan

August 6 and August 9 commemorate the 66th Peace Memorial Day of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We express heartfelt condolences for the victims who died in radiation, heat ray, and hellish flames 66 years ago, and those who died of radiation exposure afterwards. We also express our sincere solidarity with the people who are still suffering and fighting radiation-caused illnesses. This year, however, we have to give our serious thoughts to the grave situation the people in Fukushima are exposed at the risk of radiation poisoning due to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Radioactive materials still continue polluting our ocean, atmosphere, and ground, driving the people who lived in the surrounding area of the nuclear plant away far from their hometowns. A lot of people who live in the polluted area in Fukushima and neighboring area are exposed to high radiation dosages every day without sufficient measures taken for their protection.

We the Japanese people have promoted nuclear power generation and the nuclear fuel cycle use as "peaceful’h use knowing risks posed by radiation. Even though it was clear to many of us that nuclear power generation was expensive, had high risk and had potentially enormous negative environmental impacts, huge funds have been invested in the repeated propaganda re-assuming "Nuclear power is safe and clean." They weren’ft telling the truth. Many troubles, accidents, and the plant-workers’f health issues surfaced one after another, were deliberately understated and the policy to promote nuclear power continued. However, this accident in Fukushima has revealed that nuclear power has gone totally out of our control. It was the government and the industry that craved for nuclear power and we citizens allowed that policy. We owe the future generation the grave responsibility.

We make our resolution on this Peace Memorial Day in 2011, to stand up and face the grave threats of nuclear power and radiation as a country that has experienced devastating radiation exposures and the worst nuclear plant accident in the world’fs history. We again appeal to our government that the suffering of Fukushima is not in any way underestimated, and that all the available measures are taken to protect people and the environment. We work for a drastic reform of social structure and the way we use energy. Moreover, we share the reality we’fve learned with international community and work to prevent proliferation of the utilization of nuclear energy.

We citizens must change the policy NOW and the whole society. Our childrens’f future depends upon our choice today. Let us our voices heard and make our own future by ourselves.

>Statement on Peace Memorial Day (PDF)

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