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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Koizumi Supports US Sailors’ TEPCO Lawsuit

Former Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, flanked by his 2 translators, gives a press conference with plaintiffs in a suit against Fukushima operator TEPCO. Their attorney Charles Bonner is 3rd from right. EON photo

Former Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, flanked by his 2 translators, gives a press conference with plaintiffs in a suit against Fukushima operator TEPCO. Their attorney Charles Bonner is 3rd from right. EON photo

I want to say – and this is very important – in the end, we lucked out! It was luck that prevented nuclear war.  [Holds up his thumb and forefinger an half-inch apart.]  Rational individuals came that close to total devastation of their societies.   And that danger exists today. Former U.S. Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara – in ‘The Fog of War” a documentary film by Errol Morris – 2003

Today we still have over 20 thousand real world nuclear weapons. Enough to blow up everybody on the planet several times over….
The antagonism between Russia and the United States has reached a point now where I believe we are on the brink of a new nuclear arms race. It breaks my heart.
Today, the danger of a nuclear catastrophe is actually higher than it was during the cold war.   Let me say that again…. Former U.S. Sec. of Defense, William J. Perry – 2016

[ Video clips of Mr. Koizumi’s press conference with the sailors are at the end of this article. ]
[ Transcripts of the English translations of press conference segments from May 17 are available in PDF here: Pt. 1 – Mr. Koizumi’s Personal Statement Pt. 2 – Q&A ]

Crackpot Nuclearism and Ponerology – The Science of Evil
The pervasiveness of nuclear technology in our culture is arguably a symptom of the systemic institutionalization of evil in the current world system. In all its forms it is an assault on the collective future of humanity and the entire planetary biosphere.

The serious study of this increasingly common phenomenon, called political ponerology, was pioneered by Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Łobaczewski, a former member of the Home Army, an underground Polish resistance organization. According to Wikipedia, The original theory and research was conducted by a research group of psychologists and psychiatrists from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and pre-communist Hungary.

“Crackpot Realists” was the term coined by controversial mid-twentieth sociologist C. Wright Mills for the self-described ‘hard-headed realist’ Cold War strategists who thought it ‘realistic’ to plan for Mutually Assured Destruction of the planet in the name of ‘national security.’ To adapt his term in the 21st century, the Crackpot Nuclearists – those who advocate more nuclear power, more nuclear weapons, and (therefore) more radioactive waste – are either seriously deluded or seriously evil themselves.

Former PM Koizumi fights back tears as he acknowledges the suffering caused by Fukkushima. EON photo - MB Brangan

Former PM Koizumi fights back tears as he acknowledges the suffering caused by Fukkushima. EON photo – MB Brangan

Awakening from the Spell of Atomic Enchantment
Only a handful of contemporary statesmen have awakened from the Crackpot Nuclearism trance that has deluded decision makers and risked global destruction for more than half a century. They include Mikhail Gorbachev – Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of the USSR, Former American Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, Former Defense Secretary William Perry, Senator Sam Nunn, and, most recently, former Japanese Prime Ministers Naoto Kan and Junichiro Koizumi.

On March 7th, 2011 – coincidentally four days before the still on-going Fukushima nuclear disaster began – Kissinger, Shultz, Perry and Nunn published a joint letter in the Wall Street Journal declaring that “the doctrine of mutual assured destruction is obsolete in the post-Cold War era.”

wsj-letter-from-perry-et-al

The four elder statesmen explained,

The advent of the nuclear weapon introduced entirely new factors. It was possible, for the first time, to inflict at the beginning of a war the maximum casualties. The doctrine of mutual assured destruction represented this reality. Deterrence based on nuclear weapons, therefore, has three elements:

  • It is importantly psychological, depending on calculations for which there is no historical experience. It is therefore precarious.
  • It is devastating. An unrestrained nuclear exchange between superpowers could destroy civilized life as we know it in days.
  • Mutual assured destruction raises enormous inhibitions against employing the weapons.

They continued,

…[R]eliance on this strategy is becoming increasingly hazardous.

… With the spread of nuclear weapons, technology, materials and know-how, there is an increasing risk that nuclear weapons will be used.

It is not possible to replicate the high-risk stability that prevailed between the two nuclear superpowers during the Cold War in such an environment. The growing number of nations with nuclear arms and differing motives, aims and ambitions poses very high and unpredictable risks and increased instability.

…Our broad conclusion is that nations should move forward together with a series of conceptual and practical steps toward deterrence that do not rely primarily on nuclear weapons or nuclear threats to maintain international peace and security. [ Deterrence in the Age of Nuclear Proliferation http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703300904576178760530169414?mg=id-wsj ]

" Today, the danger of a nuclear catastrophe is actually higher than it was during the cold war." Fmr. U.S. Sec. of Defense Dr. Wm. J. Perry - photo: EON

” Today, the danger of a nuclear catastrophe is actually higher than it was during the cold war.” Fmr. U.S. Sec. of Defense Dr. Wm. J. Perry – photo: EON

Joined at the Hip from Birth
The original, main, and continuing purpose of nuclear reactors was/is production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. Electricity production, under the slogan ‘Atoms for Peace,’ was the cover story. Corporate profit from tax- and rate-payer subsidized nuclear weapons and energy technologies became the dominant business model in a permanent war economy. That there is an indissoluble relationship between the two applications of nuclear technology is taken for granted by policy-makers – witness the recent brouhaha about Iran’s nuclear program.

Many observers are alarmed by on-going re-militarization of Japan under the Abe government, aware that Japan has one of the largest stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium in the world. [See: Japan could change pacifist constitution after Shinzo Abe victory ]

Just this week, current US Defense Secretary Ash Carter outlined plans for nuclear war with Russia, and Pakistan threatened a nuclear attack on its next door neighbor India.

Then there is the glaring fact that every operating reactor and radioactive waste storage site represents a weapon-of-mass-destruction-in-place for potential terrorists – of either the state or non-state varieties.

A mix of local activists and international media attended the May 17, 2016 press conference in Carlsbad, CA. EON photo - MB Brangan

A mix of local activists and international media attended the May 17, 2016 press conference in Carlsbad, CA. EON photo – MB Brangan

Lies My Advisors Told Me
During his tenure as Japan’s PM, Junichiro Koizumi believed his ‘expert’ advisors who assured him that nuclear energy is ‘cheap, clean and safe.’ Since Fukushima he has done his own research and concluded, he says, that “Those were all lies.”

Now, deeply regretting his former position, he has emerged as an outspoken international and domestic opponent of nuclear energy.

Sailors attempt to remove Fukushima radioactive fallout from the deck of aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in 2011. File photo.

Sailors attempt to remove Fukushima radioactive fallout from the deck of aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in 2011. File photo.

The Tomadachi Lawsuit – The Fukushima Four Hundred

Earlier this year he learned of the lawsuit filed against TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, by American military personnel suffering dire health impacts from their exposure to Fukushima fallout during the U.S. Navy’s disaster assistance operation Tomadachi in 2011.

More than 400 veterans who were part of the Operation Tomodachi mission to provide humanitarian relief after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and triple meltdown have filed a mass lawsuit in California against Tokyo Electric Power Co., seeking compensation their on-going health problems. So far seven plaintiffs have died as TEPCOs army of high-priced lawyers have fought tooth and nail to delay and block the Sailors’ lawsuit in the US court.

In May Mr. Koizumi took the unusual step of contacting the sailors’ attorneys Charles and Cabral Bonner and Paul Garner to request personal confidential interviews with a representative sampling of their clients.

EON has been covering this story since 2013 and was asked to provide video recordings of the interviews for Mr. Koizumi’s exclusive use. [ Previous EON reports: 2013 US Sailors Sue TEPCO for Radioactive Fallout Cover-Up 2015 – USS Reagan Sailors Sue for Nuclear Justice ]

On May 17, after days of face-to-face conversations with several of the plaintiffs and their families, Mr. Koizumi held a press conference in Carlsbad, CA to announce establishment of a fund to solicit donations for medical treatment for the sailors and their affected family members. He fought back tears as he told of the suffering he had learned about in the interviews.

EON's Jim Heddle raises the question of holding the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan's radioactive environment. EON photo - MB Brangan

EON’s Jim Heddle raises the question of holding the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan’s radioactive environment. EON photo – MB Brangan

In that press conference, when EON producer Jim Heddle asked Mr. Koizumi about the issues surrounding the holding of the 2020 Olympics in Japan, he responded that he was “not in a position to comment.” But he has since changed his mind.

Olympic Lies from Dishonest Abe
At a September 7th news conference, held at Tokyo’s Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, Mr. Koizumi stated that current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lied when he told the Olympic committee in 2013 that Fukushima was ‘under control’ in order for Japan to be approved to host the 2020 Olympics.

Koizumi also pointed out that, now, 5 years later, Fukushima is still nowhere near ‘under control,’ as the locations of three melted-down cores beneath the plant remain unknown and radioactive water continues to collect at the site and to pour into the Pacific.

In the September 7th news conference Mr Koizumi said: “The nuclear power industry says safety is their top priority, but profit is in fact what comes first… Japan can grow if the country relies on more renewable energy,” (Ayako Mie, staff writer, Despite Dwindling Momentum, Koizumi Pursues Anti-Nuclear Goals, The Japan Times, Sept. 7, 2016 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/07/national/politics-diplomacy/despite-dwindling-momentum-koizumi-pursues-anti-nuclear-goals/#.V9bwVoW1y9s ).

Because of its historical significance, we are making the May 17 Carlsbad, CA. press conference available in the following three video segments. In order to make them accessible to both Japanese and English speaking viewers, we have chosen to present his remarks and their real time translation in their entirety.

[ Transcripts of the English translations of press conference segments from May 17 are available in PDF here: Pt. 1 – Mr. Koizumi’s Personal Statement Pt. 2 – Q&A ]

Pt. 1 – Mr. koizumi’s Statement
This is the first of three segments of a May 17, 2016 news conference held in Carlsbad, CA by Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the US sailors’ lawsuit against TEPCO..

Pt. 2. – Q&A with media
This is the second of three segments of a May 17, 2016 news conference held in Carlsbad, CA by Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the US sailors’ lawsuit against TEPCO..

Pt. 3. Sailors’ Story
This is the third of three segments of a May 17, 2016 news conference held in Carlsbad, CA by Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the US sailors’ lawsuit against TEPCO. Attorney Charles Bonner summarized the current status of their case,

For an excellent in depth update on this on-going story see Libbe HaLevy’s Nuclear Hotseat #272: EXCLUSIVE! USS Reagan v. TEPCO Hearing – Attorneys, Survivors + John Edwards