Boris Johnson was filmed drinking a can of peach juice from Fukushima, an area of Japan which has suffered a triple nuclear meltdown. He was swigging from the can, which Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Tarō Kōno brought to London in a visit to the Foreign Office this week. Appearing to enjoy the drink, the Foreign Secretary said: “Very good … Mmm.” Tarō Kōno tweeted: “British FM Boris Johnson drinking peach juice from Fukushima, showing the products from Fukushima are safe.” The two met in London to discuss security and defence and were joined in talks by their countries’ respective defence ministers, Itsunori Onodera and Gavin Williamson Some countries have imposed restrictions on imports from the area, which is a prominent producer of peaches, due to fears about the safety of the produce but the EU has said it would ease restrictions on imports of agricultural items and seafood introduced to the area after the 2011 meltdown.
Telegraph 15th Dec 2017 read more »
Nearly seven years after the triple reactor meltdown, this unique nuclear crisis is still underway. Of the many complex issues resulting from the disaster, one in particular may have become routine but is anything but normal: the vast amounts of nuclear waste, stored and being transported across Fukushima prefecture. As we conducted our radiation survey work across Fukushima in September and October 2017, it was impossible not to witness the vast scale of both the waste storage areas and the volume of nuclear transports that are now underway. Again the numbers are numbing. In the space of one hour standing in a main street of Iitate village, six nuclear waste trucks passed us by. Not really surprising since in the year to October over 34,000 trucks moved nuclear waste across Fukushima to Okuma and Futaba. The target volume of waste to be moved to these sites in 2017 is 500,000 m³. And this is only the beginning. By 2020, the Government is planning for as much as 6.5 million m³ of nuclear waste to be transported to the Futaba and Okuma sites – a rough estimate would mean over one million nuclear transports in 2020. On any measure this is insanity – and yet the thousands of citizens who formally lived in Namie and Iitate are expected and pressurized by the Japanese government to return to live amidst this nuclear disaster zone. Perhaps one of the most shocking experience in our visit to Fukushima was to witness a vast incineration complex hidden deep in the woods of southern Iitate and a nearby vast storage area with tens of thousands of waste bags surrounded on all sides by thick forests. The tragic irony of a multi-billion dollar and ultimately failed policy of decontamination that has unnecessarily exposed thousands of poorly protected and desperate workers to radiation – but which leads to a vast nuclear dump surrounded by a radioactive forest which that can never be decontaminated. There is no logic to this, unless you are a trucking and incineration business and of course the Japanese government, desperate to create the myth of recovery after Fukushima. On this evidence there is no ‘after’, only ‘forever’. The nuclear waste crisis underway in Fukushima is only one of the many reasons why the Japanese government was under scrutiny at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last month. Recommendations were submitted to the United Nations by the governments of Austria, Mexico, Portugal and Germany at the calling on the Japanese government to take further measures to support the evacuees of Fukushima, in particular women and children. The Government in Tokyo is to announce its decision on whether it accepts or rejects these recommendations at the United Nations in March 2018. Greenpeace, together with other human rights groups and civil society in Japan are calling on the government to accept that it has failed to defend the rights of its citizens and to agree to implement corrective measures immediately.
Greenpeace 15th Dec 2017 read more »
Contaminated water, bill of astronomical work, leaks … Despite the progress made since the disaster six and a half years ago on the Japanese site, the urgency remains.
Liberation 14th Dec 2017 read more »