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by Richard S. Northcote
Sunday, Oct. 04, 2015 at 10:40 AM
At an official visit to Fukushima prefecture this Sunday, Japanese head of state Abe described radiation levels by the damaged nuclear reactors as minor and insignificant. The visit intended to persuade local mayors to return to their evacuated villages and culminated in a bathing session at Fukushima beach reminiscent of Obama´s lobbying for Caribbean drilling before the incident in the American-made reactors. Abe though allowed no photographers except on-site CCTV circuits as to keep it a national affair. The senior official stated on demand that the schedule had nothing to do with the fact that waste-water tanks on the damaged site were flushed into the Pacific Ocean several weeks ago.
The issue of radioactive water leaks has plagued the facility since the meltdown, as the reactor manufacturer failed to demand from its site contractors to provide dry land with water access and instead took up wetland, laying the root cause for long-term catastrophic aftermath following an eventual tragedy. An administrative specialist elaborated: “Imagine your family sitting together to decide over the purchase of a fridge, and just before everyone formally agrees on a specific model your grandfather drops a casual remark that it is going to be placed into the bathroom because it won´t wake up anyone there. Then you have an idea how a Tepco board doing business with the Americans works behind the scenes.”
Japan´s Abe recently has stirred up regional anger by lifting the country´s two-generations-old formal abstention from external military aggression. On the background of this revisionist campaign, neighbours perceive it as a breach of the dual-use line of control that the Japanese government is testing its civilian reactors at the same time it is calling upon others to refrain from military tests. But after catastrophic incident basically equalling war damage, the assumption of a difference between civilian and military testing is no longer plausible.
A demonstrator opposing the militarist rush elaborated: “The politics of Abe always come under the shrill mantra of `self-defence.´ But you can take the compensation lawsuits against Tepco and the board´s total failure to hand the claims up to its suppliers as a visible benchmark to which extent that capability is developed in which strata of our society. For Abe, `self-defence´ is a handsome catchphrase such as `co-prosperity´ was to the rapist of the comfort woman. For me, self-defence is if our elected politicians defend our legitimate rights against fraudulent reactor pushers duping our senior deciders into putting the cat into the microwave oven. But for a corrupt wreck as this one self-defence is when he attempts to persuade the most vulnerable of us just a little bit longer that he was in check of all our situation.”
Indeed an increasing share of the Japanese population does no longer buy these assertions, all the more so as government efforts to persuade villagers to return to sites close to the contamination limits have failed to bear fruit, which has been the initial trigger of Abe´s move in the first place. The medical exodus from the prefecture could not be reversed, as doctors reluctant to sign large stacks of death certificates were rejected by their colleagues arguing that their local concerns were overshadowed by the side-effects of day-by-day pharmaceutical stock market speculations.
Now they would have to explain to their patients on their return that the local risks from the meltdowns were outmatched by the risks of a militarist policy aimed at deliberately blurring the lines between civilian and military testing as to drag the Americans into a nuclear war in East Asia. The anti-terror psychologist who listens to the hostage-taker on the phone talking about self-defence probably would be equally unlikely to insert himself into the situation. But mass media attention inside Japan is focussed on the hate-speech investigation against the women whining in the streets for the cameras that Abe was a “traitor of the people.”
A Hongkong-based administrative specialist remarked on the issue of `self-defence:´ “To understand why the Japanese parliament does not represent the political will of the population it is referring to it is necessary to know that most of the representatives are not actually prepared to make any decisions, and collaterally influenced by their more organised colleagues to bring about majority votes. The phenomenon is being called the centrist bloc.”
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