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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 February 20 - 26  > Residents push DM to remove plutonium from local facility
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2013 February 20 - 26 [SDF]

Residents push DM to remove plutonium from local facility

February 26, 2013
It has been discovered that radioactive plutonium stored at a Defense Ministry facility in Tokyo since 1973 was shipped back to the U.S. in December last year. This removal was realized thanks to local residents’ longstanding efforts.

In August 1973, the Defense Agency (currently the Defense Ministry) bought plutonium 239, produced by a U.S. company, via a Japanese general trade firm. Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives member, the late Ueda Koichiro, revealed this fact during a Diet deliberation in 1986.

In 2009, at the Defense Ministry’s session to explain to local residents its plan to build the Japan Peacekeeping Training & Research Center at a DM facility in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, residents learned that plutonium was still stored at the facility.

Calling for the removal of the radioactive material, local peace activists made representations to the national government and submitted to the ward government a petition with 7,000 signatures.

JCP representatives in the ward assembly urged the local government to demand that the national government ship the highly radioactive substance back to the U.S. The local assembly in November last year unanimously adopted the petition submitted by residents.

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