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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 August 24 - 30  > Nuclear energy and political parties - Komei Party (Part 2)
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2011 August 24 - 30 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Nuclear energy and political parties - Komei Party (Part 2)

August 28, 2011

Soka Gakkai features pro-nuclear series every year

Soka Gakkai, the religious organization and parent organization of the Komei Party, publishes a newspaper Seikyo Shimbun, in which Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) used to run an advertisement every summer between 1978 and 1982.

Begins in 1978

The first TEPCO ad appeared on August 2, 1978, covering five bottom columns to advertise that TEPCO was steadily carrying out its plan to promote nuclear power generation.

In 1978 TEPCO aggressively approached Soka Gakkai and the Komei Party in a bid to get the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant (NPP), whose construction was approved in Sep. 1977, built at all costs in Niigata Prefecture to follow the Fukushima NPP.

From 1983 through 2010, TEPCO ran a new style ad in the form of a series for children “Let’s learn about electricity during summer holidays.” The series appeared for an average of 10 to 14 issues every summer. Seikyo Shimbun advertising bureau played a major role in producing the series, with TEPCO providing the information.

The installment dated August 29, 1983 was extraordinary. The article set the scene in which a mother and her child visit the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, which is the one involved in the March accident, and the Daini NPP. The mother asks, “Can it withstand an earthquake?” A TEPCO staff member answers, “The foundation of an atomic power plant is built on hard bedrock. At the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, a staff member working inside a nuclear reactor building says he did not feel the quake at all when the 1978 Earthquake off Miyagi occurred,” and notes how sturdy the structure is. Then the child says, “So we can take shelter in a NPP for safety when an earthquake occurs.”

The serial “summer study” article dated July 29, 1999 took the reader on a visit to the Fukushima Daiichi NPP Unit 3 reactor. The article says that the nuclear reactor is guarded by thick cement walls and that its exterior is further surrounded doubly and triply by protective walls to completely seal in radioactivity. The article concludes by saying that the visiting mother and child are convinced that there would be no leak of radioactivity outside in the event of an accident.

Absence of self-criticism

Pro-nuclear ads on Seikyo Simbun did not end even after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in the United States, the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the Soviet Union, and even after the 1999 criticality accident in Tokai Village in Ibaraki Prefecture.

So far this year, the year of the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident, there has been no joint Seikyo Shimbun-TEPCO series. Likewise, there has not been a single article in the newspaper expressing self-criticism for propagating the nuclear “safety myth.”

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