On the Ground for Fukushima’s Quiet Genocide
by Ashiya Austin, guest writer for Global Freedom Movement, March 2017
Six years after the accident at the Telco power plant in Japan, Fukushima is back in the news with stories of a meltdown and very high radiation readings from a fifth reactor.
There has been a wealth of information written about Fukushima since its Nuclear Power Plant had a melt downs in four reactors, but not many accounts from the Japanese people.
When I invited Dr Helen Caldicott to speak about Fukushima in my home town, in August 2012, I was contacted by a young Japanese woman who asked if she could please speak on behalf of her people. Saya Minami is an accomplished actress, starring in three films, and was campaigning as an anti-nuclear activist before the Fukushima incident. Saya spoke about how the people of Fukushima were being affected and especially the children. She appealed to the 200 people in the audience for help.
She later initiated a project to help the children of Fukushima and together with help from many local musicians we organised a fundraiser to bring some of the children to Australia for a holiday and also to be tested properly as this was not being done in Japan.
Saya has continued her work for Fukushima and has just returned from two months in Japan. She paints a picture of Japan as an isolated and desolate country where people are silent, afraid, and confused as a result of government coverup and intimidation.
“We have a famous professor who is on the TV telling people radiation is safe”, she says, “but lots of people are getting cancer and people are starting to research and find that the Government is controlling information on the internet as well as in the media.” She said that the Government and advertising companies were using famous people in advertisements where they were telling people to eat food from Fukushima. This she says was to support the economy.
Alternative news outlets broke some of Saya’s story on the internet this week. People worldwide are reacting to the news that the government has recently ordered residents back to the exclusion zone, a one kilometer radius around the plant.
The residents had been supported with temporary housing in Tokyo while a “clean up” took place. This consisted of collecting soil and putting it in garbage bags which were stored around schools and kindergartens. The idea that radioactive soil in a garbage bag is no longer dangerous and can be stored where children play is so outrageous to the average person that to make sense of it one can only see this as deliberate genocide. Fukushima residents are angry and demonstrating in the streets. They have lost their temporary housing and are being forced back into an extremely toxic radiation zone which has not been cleaned and with a new disaster on their doorstep. One of the most disturbing things is that high school students are being taken on tours to the reactor.
Saya says the only checks have been for outside radiation and not internal, the Japanese feel helpless and want help from other countries. There are numerous people getting cancer and we know from Dr Caldicott that many children in the Fukushima zone have developed thyroid cancer. Saya says the government stopped testing for this when 180 children were found to have it. People still living in Fukushima are very sick but cannot prove it is because of radiation.
Many of the workers at the plant are dying. One of them contacted Saya to say he had cancer. These workers, she said, are Kamikaze, sacrificing their lives for the people to try and fix things at the plant.
I asked Saya how she coped while spending two months in Tokyo. She told me when she arrived she was coughing black mucous and had to wear a mask. Many people are wearing masks, but the government is saying the polluted air is from China. She worried about where the food she ate came from and about having a bath because of the polluted water. Life in Tokyo is constant stress.
New laws make it an imprisonable offence to criticise the government in Japan. Saya is hoping that her Australian citizenship would protect her from a jail sentence if she returns to Japan.
So how do we make sense of the Japanese government’s actions? Saya says it wants war and to recreate the imperial Japan that existed before WW2. The Government is controlled by the Shinto faction which is a very dangerous group wanting war with China. The constitution was changed last year from a peace constitution to a war constitution.
War has actually been declared on its own people in the bid to gain prestige and cover up the severity of the Fukushima situation. It also has the 2020 Olympics in its sights as a way to boost the economy.
There are 54 nuclear reactors in Japan and only one politician, Taro Yamamoto, who is vocal about the dangers and trying to help the Fukushima residents. Taro wears a bulletproof vest. Another high profile activist is Ryuichi Sakamoto who is a musician and most important is Yanagihara Toshio who is a lawyer. Saya met Yanagihara on her recent visit and we talked about the possibility of creating an event for him to speak in Byron Bay along with Dr Caldicott. Dr Caldicott is an ex-resident of Byron Bay and with the town’s support for Fukushima it is very fitting that she and Yanagihara should speak here.
Dr Caldicott is the planet’s number one expert on the medical effects of radiation and she lectures around the world. Her message at the Byron Bay event was that Fukushima is a serious ongoing problem for all countries, not just for the people of Japan.
Younger people in Japan are waking up fast and establishing organic communities. Saya would also like to bring some of these young people to visit our rich organic community.
It all seems overwhelming in the face of the picture Saya paints, but when I look at her I get a vision of cherry blossoms against a background of ash. Something good will come of this disaster, the people of Japan will get their message to the world, even under threat of imprisonment; and the world will reassess the dangers of nuclear power.
Saya and her friends have created a concert for this Fukushima Day on March 11 and the trailer for her new film about Fukushima, which has a local setting; will be shown along with music, dance, and art from Japanese residents.
Please help get the word out to the world and show your support for the people of Fukushima and Japan as a whole. As usual, we the people must overcome the institutionalized denial and coverups of government.