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Shii makes statement on 3rd anniversary of March 11 disaster

March 11, 2014
On March 11, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo issued a statement in commemoration of third anniversary of the 2011 disaster in northeastern Japan. The following is a part of the statement regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the government energy policy:

Gov’t should make all-out effort to deal with nuclear accident

Three years have passed since the outbreak of the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster and the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The nuclear accident is still far from being brought under control and the power station has remained in critical condition, as seen from the fact that an enormous amount of radioactive water has been accumulating on the plant premises.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo stated last year that his government would “come to the fore” to overcome the nuclear crisis. Even though the power plant has repeated serious troubles such as the leakage of radioactively-contaminated water, the government has been reluctant to clarify its responsibility for the disaster and left the handling of those troubles to the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The state’s pro-nuclear power position results in its lackadaisical attitude toward the crisis and the continued irresponsibility in regard to people’s lives and health, along with the harm to the global environment.

The JCP proposes to set up a consultative body in the Diet to bring together the wisdom of Japan’s scientists, technical experts, and industrial circles in order to stop the further spread of radioactive contamination. We call on the government to immediately establish a system to collect all wisdom from in and out of the country in order to help bring the nuclear disaster under control.

Stop Abe from restarting NPPs

Ignoring the critical situation of the Fukushima power station and the bitter lessons that should have been learned from the nuclear accident, the Abe administration is rushing to reactivate offline nuclear reactors. The government made clear its position to continue relying on nuclear power in the future by designating nuclear power as an “important base-load power source” in its draft basic plan for energy policy.

To restart idled nuclear reactors goes against overwhelming public desire for a Japan free from nuclear power. Recent opinion polls show that around 70 to 80% of the general public want an “immediate” or “future” departure from nuclear power policies. A majority of the people oppose resuming operations of offline reactors even after their “safety” is confirmed.

If idled reactors are restarted, indisposable spent nuclear fuel will keep on piling up. It is unacceptable for the government to push ahead with the reactivation of nuclear reactors while many municipalities located near nuclear power stations have yet to work out an evacuation plan in case of a severe accident. At present, all nuclear reactors in the country are offline. However, there is no power shortage. The Fukushima disaster showed us that nuclear power is the “most costly” power source because it entails a huge amount of cost for restoration once a nuclear accident occurs.

The JCP calls for public cooperation to oppose the government plan to restart nuclear reactors and will continue to struggle to achieve that aim.

It is the most realistic path for the state to make a decision to break away from nuclear power immediately and increase efforts to promote the use of renewable energy as well as to turn Japanese society into a low-energy consumption society.

Marking the third anniversary of the 2011 disaster, the JCP renews its determination to do its utmost for reconstruction together with the general public.
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