The Aug. 12 Bloomberg article “Vested interests may stymie energy bill,” which quotes Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Taro Kono as saying that growing anti-nuclear “public opinion may not be enough to sway politicians,” is deeply disturbing.
Just who is it that elects a government in the first place? And to whom is a democratically elected government actually responsible, if not the majority who elect it?
Kono’s statement is a sad admission that the real forces in Japanese politics are so detached from the Japanese constituency and that the government is so controlled by powerful private interest groups that even when public opinion is clear-cut and vociferous, voters have no real influence over the decision-making process. Surely Japan has already experienced more than its fair share of hellish circumstances to date! Just where is the moral backbone of this nation when, from within the very ranks of power, its leaders are publicly acknowledged as having no inclination to promote or implement the wishes of its people?
The only fitting response, on the part of ordinary folk, to such cowardice and moral bankruptcy is an uncompromising insistence that politicians heed their wishes. The time for compliance and unquestioning faith in “leadership,” regardless of which party happens to be in power, is over. The future well-being of Japan depends on honest debate, decisive yet peaceful action, and a determination to put health and safety before the yen.
To the many in Japan who are finally speaking up, do not stop until you get what you want — a healthy country for you AND your children, with a genuinely and demonstrably safe, self-sustaining, renewable, nuclear-free energy supply.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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