NUCLEAR RESTARTED IN JAPAN, by Asami Sato

Guest post. Translated from the French by Tim Gupwell

On Saturday the 16th June, the Prefecture of Fukui (in the West of Japan) officially gave its consent to the Prime Minister for two reactors at the Ohi nuclear power station to be restarted. The dates are set for the 8th July for reactor N°3 and the 24th July for Reactor N°4.

So the ‘nuclear zero’ experiment will only have lasted two months. Apparently, the painful experience of Fukushima will have no impact on the habitual order of Japanese political life.

No question meets with a clear answer anymore: extremely divergent figures are offered up for elements that should be purely factual, whether they concern radiation levels, the probability of fresh seismic activity, or evaluations of the summertime energy consumption. The most fundamental things seem to get lost in a haze. Why did the Fukushima nuclear power station continue to function beyond the date which had been set for its shutdown? Why did the ex-Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, immediately announce the shutdown of the Hamaoka nuclear power station after the Fukushima catastrophe? There is speculation about a possible link between the answers to these questions and a war lost by Japan some 67 years ago – but only on Twitter.

Some hundreds of thousands of Japanese have manifested their opposition to a restart of the nuclear power stations, but this information is virtually absent from the Japanese media: the photos of the demonstrations cannot be found anywhere. On the 7th June, women from Fukushima demonstrated in front of the Prime Minister’s residence. You can see them here. Will their suffering be brought to an end? Unfortunately the question is more or less asked in vain: citizens have ceased to exist in today’s Japanese society which is in the process of transforming into a simple technological dictatorship.