Activists point to Fukushima crisis, urge Japan to stop nuclear exports

Kyodo

Foreign activists urged Tokyo on Friday to give up its policy of exporting nuclear technology as the impact of the meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant continues to ripple through Japan and other countries even after three years.

“My humble request to the Japanese and the Japanese government is please don’t dump this destructive technology on people who love you,” Sundarrajan Gomathinayagam, a member of the Indian environmental group Poovulagin Nanbargal, said at a news conference in Tokyo.

He made his appeal at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, where he was joined by fellow antinuclear campaigners from other countries, including France and South Korea, who met five evacuees from the crisis-hit areas this week to learn about their current situation.

Their trip to Japan was arranged by the international environmental group Greenpeace so they can inform people in their own countries in more detail about the Fukushima disaster.

Since the disaster started in March 2011, the Indian activist has been protesting over the Kudankulam nuclear plant in southern India due to concerns over its effect on the environment and public safety.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been promoting the export of Japan’s nuclear technology as part of the country’s economic growth strategy, while domestic opposition to the restart of reactors remains strong.

Japan is speeding up talks to conclude a nuclear pact with India that would pave the way for exporting its nuclear technology to the country.

Jean-Francois Julliard, executive director of Greenpeace France who also attended the press conference, said he felt that the “disaster is still going on” after meeting local residents, including former farmers in Date, Tamura, Futaba and Iitate, all in Fukushima Prefecture.

Among the local residents they met was Minako Sugano, a mother of three who evacuated from one contaminated area to another in Date and is struggling to protect her children’s health.

Julliard, whose country, France, is a global leader in nuclear power technology and has measures in place to respond to accidents, urged Japan not to export atomic power or build new reactors and instead aim to be a “nuclear-free country.”

Neither France nor any other single country can be fully “prepared” for a nuclear accident, he said.

Japan is still trying to contain the Fukushima nuclear crisis three years after the disaster displaced many residents.

But the recent spill of highly radioactive water from one of the many storage tanks at the plant continue to raise concerns in Japan and neighboring countries. Tokyo Electric Power Co. revealed Thursday that about 100 tons of contaminated water spilled.