Letter from Japan to the Prime Minister of India

Respected Prime Minister of India, and Chief Minister of Tamilnadu:

We are residents and organisations from Japan, and are intimately aware of the unpredictability and uncontrollable nature of nuclear power. We are the unfortunate witnesses of two nuclear holocausts.  It is with pain that we see the Indian Government pursuing a dangerous path of constructing large nuclear power plants within even larger nuclear “parks” where power generation capacities are pegged at up to 10,000 MW.

We write this note with urgency to express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are peacefully protesting and fasting in Idinthakarai and calling for the cancellation of the Koodangulam nuclear power plant complex. It is important that you heed their protests. We read with dismay the letter of the Chief Minister which acknowledged the people’s protests and even extended support to it, but failed to appreciate that the protestors are calling for a cancellation of the project and not to have their fears allayed. Indeed, their fears can never be allayed at least as long as Chernobyl remains a no-go area nearly three decades since the disaster, and while the memories and stories of the unfolding disaster in Fukushima are fresh and ongoing.

India has suffered a Bhopal disaster. Japan suffered the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan did not learn its lessons and pursued “peaceful” uses of nuclear energy. The result was the disaster in Fukushima. One mistake of this kind is enough for the world. It may seem like a waste of money to cancel a nuclear power plant that has been constructed. But as Japanese, we know that the magnitude of human lives and environment wasted in the event of a nuclear disaster dwarfs the dollar investments made in construction of an inanimate concrete and steel structure.

We hope that as prominent leaders of a great democracy, you will respect the sentiments of your citizens and cancel the Koodangulam power project.

Respectfully,

On behalf of the listed organizations and individuals

Mr. Sugio FURUYA
Secretary General, Japan Occupational Safety and Health Resource Center (JOSHRC)
Japan Occupational Safety and Health resource Center (JOSHRC)
Takeshi YASUMA, Coordinator, Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution (CACP)
Japan Auto Workers Network (JAWN)
Tokyo Occupational Safety and Health Center (TOSHC)
Shuji KAWAMATA, Journalist
Kansai Occupational Safety and Health Center (KOSHC)
Toshimi MASUDA
Hirohiko TAKASU, Project Director, Research and Education Center for Fair Labor, Hitotsubashi University
Uiko HASEGAWA, Organizer, NGO e-mirai Vision
PARK Seung-joon, Associate Professor, Kansai Gakuin University
Ryota SONO, Action in front of TEPCO!
Association of Support for People in West Africa
Association of Institutions for Community and Occupational Health Care
Ryuta SAITO, Jujo-dori Clinic
Japan Association of Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Disease Victims and Their Families
Naoka KANEKO
North East Asia Information Center (Hiroshima)
Jubilee Kansai Network
Hiroko UEDA, Postgraduate Student, Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Social Sciences
Toshio HIRANO, Kmeido Himawari Clinic
Citizen Network for Wiping Out Asbestos (ASNET)
Masazumi HARADA, Ex-professor of the Department of Social Welfare Study, President of the Institute of Minamata Sudy, Kumamoto Gakuen University
(as of 18:40, Japan Time, September 20)
Hideki SATO, Minamata Disease Victims’ Mutual Aid Society
Shigeru ISAYAMA, Collaboration Center for Minamata Disease Victims (NPO)
Yoichi TANI, Solidarity Network Asia and Minamata

6 thoughts on “Letter from Japan to the Prime Minister of India”

  1. An urgent necessity! But will the government heed? Probably not. There is a reason for it
    though not a comprehensive vision for the future of humanity. I will come to that later. Before, let me briefly narrate a personal experience. In 2004 I underwent a surgery for removing my thyroid glands completely. Medical experts indicated that I had probably been affected by the radioactivity emanating from Chernobil. Note this: Paris (France) where I live is thousands of km.s away from Chernobil. Yet the radioactive clouds blew across the sky, and rained down into farms and fields all over Europe. But the socialist govt. in France at that time thought that those clouds could not reach French airspace!
    That was sheer indifference on the part of politicians and bureaucrats though they knew
    very well the truth about radioactivity, France being a heavy producer, consumer and
    exporter of nuclear energy. Whereas the other western and central European states
    warned immediately their population of the danger and cautioned not to consume fruits,
    vegetables, etc exposed to the “radioactive cloud bursts”. But subsequently it was found
    (through the efforts of ecologists and anti-nuclear scientists) that the Chernobil clouds had
    indeed arrived in France and incidences of thyroid cancer were detected in large numbers.(Incidentally, thyroid cancer is one that is directly caused by nuclear radiation) Now there are several groups of “victims” of that fiasco claiming compensation and more
    transparency in nuclear energy production.

    Now at the center of this scramble for energy is the “concept” of develpment and progress. The European model, which is based on ruthless exploitation of Nature’s
    resources, is dependent on what is “combustible” energy. Even to treat the waste produced by it, we need more energy! That is why more and more scientists, economists,
    political thinkers and sociologists in the West (including the US) believe that the development model conceived and practiced here can no longer be sustained! And they
    do not recommend it to other parts of the world. Of course their governments and experts
    propose these technologies to enrich their economies and to maintain their energy-wasting
    lifestyle! So, we in the so called emergent countries with enormous population, have to find
    alternative energy sources and technologies to improve our lives quality-wise. Energy-poor
    Europe is frantically searching for safer and more nature-friendly energy sources. Interesting advances are being made on various fronts and more and more citizens are on their guard. In France itself there have been strong antinuclear protests and manifestations. Certainly they will try to sell their technology ( knowing well its dangers) to
    us, because that is part of their trade. We all know that the super-powers are also super-
    exporters of armaments – of all sorts- including bombs! But the revolution “of the rising
    expectations” set in motion with de-colonisation and the resultant desire for more “progrss” à l’occidentale,( including that of the defunct socialist block), will it let us search
    for more people-friendly alternatives: a question to be pondered over by all, specially by
    the elites of all branches of science and technology?
    Inasu/poet-writer:Paris

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  2. Let us fight for a nuclear power plant near delhi fist.In the same way let all the future plants be situted near the state capitals.

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  3. You do know that India has a huge energy shortage?? Unless you personally are willing to live without electricity you have no right to condemn the poor of this country to live without electricity for ever!!!

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    1. @ Raman, So far nuclear pwoer plants only provide us with 3% of our electricity. After adding 80 more India hopes to gain in total 13% of electricity with these dangerous nuclear plants. There are new wind and solar projects that give as much electricity as nuclear and their fuel wind, solar and tide are free as opposed to uranium which runs into crores and will soon run out. Plus uranium leaves wastes that damages our Planet earth. the costs of decommissioning plants and treating the wastes also costs in millions Don’t be a fool. it’s not worth risking our land and our health for just 13% of our electricity.

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  4. @Raman. Less energy, more safety. Since nuclear energy is inherently dangerous – calamitous – it is better to avoid nuclear plants, which in any way are American and Western stratagem to bolster up their sagging nuclear industrialists/capitalists. If it was so safe, why has America not installed a single nuclear plant all these 30 years or more? India and its villages are not going to the dogs simply because there may be no electricity or no sufficient electricity for some years to come but the amount of damage,the catastrophe, that can be caused by nuclear plants is to be avoided. Better prevent than later repent.

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