'70s activist foresaw nuclear disaster

Jul 23, 2011

'70s activist foresaw nuclear disaster

When the late Shizuko Sakata started distributing the newsletters she wrote in Nagano Prefecture more than 30 years ago to campaign against nuclear power, her daughter, Masako, was not fully supportive. “I thought her doubts over nuclear power plant safety might have been fair, ...

'49 Mitaka Incident retrial sought

Dec 24, 2010

'49 Mitaka Incident retrial sought

On July 15, 1949, Hitotsubashi University freshman Sakuji Horikoshi was returning to his dormitory when he hopped off a late-night train at Mitaka Station in western Tokyo to have some quick noodles. He suddenly found himself in the middle of a disaster zone. An ...

Dec 20, 2010

Tokyo rally against death penalty draws over 1,800

More than 1,800 people staged a rally Sunday in Tokyo to call for abolition of the death penalty. In a keynote speech, Yo Hemmi, an award-winning writer, said: “Are we able to condone hanging someone? Are we able to pass on such a scene ...

Dec 2, 2010

Calls grow to give wartime sex slaves official apology

Calls are growing for the government to offer an official apology to the wartime sex slaves, known as “comfort women,” and to provide them with compensation through legislation. In 1993, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono acknowledged the forced recruitment of women into sexual ...

Nov 26, 2010

Rights still lacking over gender identity disorder

More than 10 years have passed since gender reassignment surgery was introduced in Japan as part of treatment for gender identity disorder patients. In addition, such patients, who identify with the sex opposite their biological one, have been allowed to officially change their sex ...

Nov 18, 2010

Essays recount deadly Tokai nuke debacle

Seeking to hand down lessons from Japan’s first criticality accident, the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, has published an anthology of essays contributed by people involved in the Sept. 30, 1999, fatal disaster. The accident occurred when workers at the JCO Co. nuclear fuel ...

Convicts' art show makes Tokyo debut

Sep 12, 2010

Convicts' art show makes Tokyo debut

A unique art show is under way at a small Tokyo gallery displaying 40 paintings by 26 prisoners, including current and executed death row inmates. “As the prisoners are under extreme restraint, their imagination has been well-honed,” said Hiroshi Matsuhashi, owner of the TEN ...

Aug 25, 2010

Exhibit shows struggle of 'comfort women'

An exhibition to look back on developments over the past 10 years in addressing wartime sexual slavery is now under way at a Tokyo museum and resource center on the former “comfort women.” The exhibition was organized to mark the 10th anniversary of the ...

Jul 28, 2010

Lawyers work to undermine death penalty

In the face of recent revelations of wrongful accusations, lawyers involved in capital cases are calling for abolition of the death penalty, arguing at a Tokyo gathering that innocent people could be hanged. Lawyer Yasuyuki Tokuda, who is working to reopen the case of ...