Clean up Fukushima or else

Two months since The Japan Times’ June 11 editorial “Cease promoting nuclear power,” things seem to have gotten alarmingly worse. The Japanese and the world community should come to terms with the hard reality that this island nation is the only one in human history to have suffered three nuclear disasters.

The first was the atomic bombing of two cities during World War II; the second was the March 1,1954, exposure of the tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon 5) to deadly fallout from a hydrogen bomb test detonation on Bikini Atoll; and the third was the March 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster.

The three episodes are products of human hubris — anything but acts of God.

Most disquieting is the cynical disregard for human life and dignity, as exemplified by the scant attention paid to the victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, that seems to continue unabated.

Some 150,000 Fukushima residents are left for homeless, and many others live in fear of exposure to radiation released by the crippled nuclear power plant. The power plant, meanwhile, is said to be releasing up to 300 tons of radioactive water each day into the Pacific Ocean, a valuable common asset for mankind.

The top priority for the Abe government should be to end the nuclear crisis as soon as possible by tapping all of the nation’s available economic and technological resources. The whole society would readily stand behind a government commitment to an early resolution of the nuclear crisis.

Unless we Japanese clean up the areas contaminated by the Fukushima disaster, decommission the damaged reactors and resettle all uprooted Fukushima residents, there will be little world demand for tarnished Japanese nuclear technology, or other high-tech goods for that matter, and Japan will not have a sustainable economic turnaround.

We of the young generation run the risk of facing a bleak future on a radiation-contaminated island nation.

marise shikawa
ohmiya senior high school
koshigaya, saitama

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.