Mar 24, 2011
Our colleagues at Friends of the Earth Japan are writing a blog on life after the earthquake and tsunami. They will be documenting how they, and fellow citizens, are rebuilding their lives and addressing some of the issues that have arisen as the country recovers from its biggest crisis since World War II.
On 23 March the Japanese government announced not only vegetables, such as spinach produced in Fukushima, but also tap water in Tokyo is contaminated with radioactive materials.
Although the level of contamination is said to be only risky to babies, and it does not pose an immediate threat in any way, especially to adults, many people scrambled for bottled water.
I went to a shop to get water on my way home, but, too late.... No bottled water! Just tea and other sweet drinks were left. Instead I got one bottle of oolong tea.
Photos: A fridge in a Tokyo shop cleared out of water, and a sign rationing water to two bottles per person.
Below is a statement issued by our colleagues at Friends of the Earth Japan.
To the victims of the 2011 Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake and tsunami, we send our deepest condolences. To those surviving the aftermath in shelters, those engaged in relief activities in the affected areas, and those who have been working tirelessly day and night to minimize the damage from the resulting nuclear accident, we would also send our heartfelt appreciation and encouragement.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident following the earthquake has, unfortunately, become the strongest repudiation to date of the Japanese government's and power companies' justification of nuclear power.
We believe that, besides full support for current efforts in the field, to move forward from this situation, it is imperative now to mobilize the collective wisdom of citizens in our society and non-governmental organizations with expertise in relevant fields.
We also call for timely and full disclosure by the government of Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), nuclear agencies, and local governments, about the constantly-changing situation at the nuclear plant, in addition to information related to radioactive materials, their quantities, and possible radiation exposure in the affected region.
FoE Japan has for some time been advocating for a low-energy and nuclear-free society and working to curb the publicly-subsidized export of Japanese nuclear power plants to developing countries. The ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis is a direct result of Japan's official energy policy, which is skewed toward nuclear power.
In the coming weeks and months, we hope to see a meaningful review, not only in Japan but also internationally, of nuclear policies and issues surrounding nuclear exports. A fundamental review is needed of our energy-intensive economies and societies. We would like to cooperate with all interested parties and contribute to national and international discussions for the further promotion of renewable and nuclear-free energy.
We offer our prayers for the safety of those in the affected areas, those who have been evacuated, those working in the vicinity of the nuclear plants, and for everyone in Japan, and hope the situation will improve and return to calm in the coming days.
March 18, 2011
From All Staff of Friends of the Earth Japan