Fukushima looks to renewable energy sources in the aftermath of nuclear disaster. The grass-roots movement pushing for renewables is not alone. Both at home and abroad, the Japanese government has been criticized for failing to embrace broader renewable energy policies in the wake of the 2011 disasters while remaining open to the construction of additional coal plants and nuclear reactor restarts. “The private power companies that control the regional monopolies of the grid have been highly influential politically for decades,” says Tomas Kaberger, executive board chairman of the Renewable Energy Institute in Tokyo. “Japan is lagging behind the rest of the world, where open competition in electricity markets has succeeded in modernizing production and lowering prices.”
Japan Times 10th March 2018 read more »
In shadow of nuclear disaster, Fukushima’s rice farmers look to rebuild their market.
Japan Times 11th March 2018 read more »
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led a sombre ceremony Sunday as Japan marked the seventh anniversary of a deadly earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that devastated its northeastern coast and left around 18,500 people dead or missing. The total of dead or missing from the earthquake and the tsunami stood at 18,434 people, according to the National Police Agency. In addition, more than 3,600 people — most of them from Fukushima — died from causes such as illness and suicide linked to the aftermath of the tragedy, government data shows. More than 73,000 people still remain displaced, while no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the nuclear catastrophe. The government lifted evacuation orders of some areas in Iitate village and the towns of Namie, Kawamata and Tomioka last spring, except for no-go zones with high radiation levels. Authorities are encouraging evacuees to return, but a government survey released earlier this month showed that about half the residents of Namie and Tomioka are not willing to return. Around 12,000 people who fled their homes for fear of radiation have filed dozens of lawsuits against the government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the stricken nuclear plant.
Daily Mail 11th March 2018 read more »
[Machine Translation] Seven years after Fukushima, Japanese opposition mobilizes for nuclear exit. Adraft law on the withdrawal of nuclear power that was tabled on Friday, March 9, by four opposition parties in Japan, starting with the Democratic Constitutional Party (PDC), which had been campaigning on this issue.
Le Monde 10th March 2018 read more »
[Machine Translation] In this population, an abnormal number of children and adolescents develop in fact thyroid cancer, according to a study revealed in August 2015 conducted among 300,000 young Japanese in the prefecture of Fukushima. Published in the journal Epidemiology, it indicates that 103 cases of thyroid cancer have been reported in children and adolescents under 18 who resided in Fukushima prefecture between 2011 and 2014. This is 25 more than ‘last year. “It’s hard to establish a cause and effect relationship, but you have to continue the exams because the proportion of tumor discoveries increases with age,” said Dr. Shunichi Suzuki when he presented the results.
Porquoi Docteur 11th March 2018 read more »
Okuma, on Japan’s east coast, used to host a busy community of 10,500 people. But today the houses stand empty. The town is empty because it is one of the closest to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station and – seven years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered a triple meltdown – it remains under evacuation orders with decontamination still not finished. However, Okuma is not totally deserted. It is patrolled by Jijii Butai, or The Old Man squad. A group of hardy retirees who keep watch over their beloved former home.
Guardian 9th March 2018 read more »