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'Civil Power' is tested in Japan

by PhilLee — last modified Apr 12, 2011 03:23 PM

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.

Serious radiation leaks still continue due to the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Overseas organizations have provided predictions of radiation dispersion, while nothing has been announced officially by the Japanese government.


Furthermore entrance and opening ceremonies at elementary schools have commenced regardless of locally high radiation levels in the surrounding areas, causing a potential threat to children.

Rapid response to minimize damage from nuclear accidents is required, and in the meantime unified civil society plays an important role in the abandonment of nuclear power and also a shift in energy policy in Japan.


Friends of the Earth Japan is involved in the development of non governmental organisational networks (NGO) in Japan, as well as lobby government policies. Presented below are Japanese NGO activities concerning nuclear power plants in Japan.

Radiation monitoring project in elementary schools

The Fukushima Conference for Recovery from the Nuclear-Earthquake Disaster, which was urgently set up by a group of citizens in Fukushima Prefecture and the adjacent southern part of Miyagi Prefecture, has conducted a study of radioactive contamination in elementary schoolyards.


The result of the study indicates that an uneven pattern in dispersion of contamination is likely to create areas of particularly high radiation in some parts of schoolyards, called hot spots.


The Fukushima Conference called on the governor of Fukushima Prefecture to conduct further investigation based on the study. Other organisations such as Citizens Against Fukushima Aging Nuclear Power Plants (Fukuro-no-Kai) supporting this activity, encourage the government and municipalities to act, while proceeding with citizen-run radiation monitoring projects.

Further information:

Petition the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Organisations such as Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants (Mihama-no-Kai), Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre and GREEN ACTION are calling on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to revise evacuation zones, repeal the upward revision of the maximum permissible radiation dose, measure and publicise the radiation monitoring, investigate radiation exposure and health status among residents and provide for their long-term health care. They are also gathering signatures for a petition.


Further information:

No more nuclear disaster! Build a no-nuke society! 4.24 meeting and demonstration

Stop nuclear power plants! Tokyo network (consisted of Do NOT Want Plutonium! Tokyo, Diahchi wo Mamoru Kai, Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre) will perform demonstrations on April 24, in Tokyo and march through the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry building, Chubu Electric Power Company, and head office of Tokyo Electric Power Company. Pavel Vdovichenko, one of the founders of Russian NGO Radimichi to the Children of Chernobyl, will talk at the meeting.

From "unplanned power outage" to "strategic energy shift"

Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) examined capacity for power supply in the Kanto region as well as its past demand, and proposes public policies in short, mid, and long terms.


Further information:

Radiation monitoring

Greenpeace set up an investigation team including radiation experts to protect citizens’ health and the surrounding environment by providing highly transparent information and analysis. Greenpeace’s statements are as below, based on their results of the first investigation: The data provided by the government is reliable, but their action in accordance with the data is not appropriate. The government must stop political action such as ‘within 30km’, and must act immediately to determine evacuation zones based on scientific data. In such case, actions with a priority for children and pregnant women, who are susceptible to radioactive materials, are necessary.


Further information:

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