Japan’s homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-upJanuary 3, 2014
Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men.
He isn’t a social worker. He’s a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan’s nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.
"This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day," Sasa says, as he strides past men sleeping on cardboard and clutching at their coats against the early winter cold.
It’s also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong.
Almost three years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami leveled villages across Japan’s northeast coast and set off multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is running behind schedule. The effort is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, according to a Reuters analysis of contracts and interviews with dozens of those involved.
In January, October and November, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of infiltrating construction giant Obayashi Corp’s network of decontamination subcontractors and illegally sending workers to the government-funded project.
In the October case, homeless men were rounded up at Sendai’s train station by Sasa, then put to work clearing radioactive soil and debris in Fukushima City for less than minimum wage, according to police and accounts of those involved. The men reported up through a chain of three other companies to Obayashi, Japan’s second-largest construction company.
Obayashi, which is one of more than 20 major contractors involved in government-funded radiation removal projects, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the spate of arrests has shown that members of Japan’s three largest criminal syndicates - Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai - had set up black-market recruiting agencies under Obayashi.

"We are taking it very seriously that these incidents keep happening one after another," said Junichi Ichikawa, a spokesman for Obayashi. He said the company tightened its scrutiny of its lower-tier subcontractors in order to shut out gangsters, known as the yakuza. "There were elements of what we had been doing that did not go far enough."
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Japan’s homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up
January 3, 2014

Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men.

He isn’t a social worker. He’s a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan’s nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.

"This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day," Sasa says, as he strides past men sleeping on cardboard and clutching at their coats against the early winter cold.

It’s also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong.

Almost three years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami leveled villages across Japan’s northeast coast and set off multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is running behind schedule. The effort is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, according to a Reuters analysis of contracts and interviews with dozens of those involved.

In January, October and November, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of infiltrating construction giant Obayashi Corp’s network of decontamination subcontractors and illegally sending workers to the government-funded project.

In the October case, homeless men were rounded up at Sendai’s train station by Sasa, then put to work clearing radioactive soil and debris in Fukushima City for less than minimum wage, according to police and accounts of those involved. The men reported up through a chain of three other companies to Obayashi, Japan’s second-largest construction company.

Obayashi, which is one of more than 20 major contractors involved in government-funded radiation removal projects, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the spate of arrests has shown that members of Japan’s three largest criminal syndicates - Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai - had set up black-market recruiting agencies under Obayashi.

"We are taking it very seriously that these incidents keep happening one after another," said Junichi Ichikawa, a spokesman for Obayashi. He said the company tightened its scrutiny of its lower-tier subcontractors in order to shut out gangsters, known as the yakuza. "There were elements of what we had been doing that did not go far enough."

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We warned that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here. Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Lakota, with the Council of Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples in a statement of resistance to environmental destruction, saying there is “no time left to defend the Earth.”

Mass anti-nuclear protests held in Tokyo today
June 3, 2013

Thousands of demonstrators have rallied against the government’s consideration of restarting nuclear reactors in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

At least 7,500 people, including disaster victims and popular figures, gathered at a park in the city centre on Sunday, shedding light to the natural disaster two years ago that killed 19,000 and sparked a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose Liberal Democratic Party has close ties with the nation’s powerful business circles, has repeatedly said he would allow reactor restarts if their safety could be ensured.

Protesters later marched through the capital, holding anti-nuclear banners including one which read: “No Nukes! Unevolved Apes Want Nukes!”

They also demonstrated outside the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co, operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was crippled by meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami.

Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel literature laureate, was also among the protesters.

In March, more than 15,000 people gathered at the park demanding an end to atomic power two days before the anniversary of the disaster.

Japan turned off its 50 reactors for safety checks in the wake of the disaster but has restarted two of them, citing possible summertime power shortages.

Radiation from the plant, 220 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, spread over a wide area after the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Source

cainusalexavier

cainusalexavier:

thepeoplesrecord:

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese have protested to demand that the government scrap a $10 billion nuclear power plant slated to begin operating in two years.
March 9, 2013

Saturday’s protests were held in four cities. Many protesters chanted “We must not put the future of our children up for a vote.”

The government says halting the project could lead to electricity shortages and has proposed a public referendum to resolve the issue. But at least half of the eligible voters need to vote for a referendum to pass, which activists say will work against them.

Taiwan’s opposition party has long opposed nuclear power, and public caution over nuclear safety has risen following the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan.

Source

At first I thought it was a no nuclear bomb protest… And the problem with nuclear energy is what? It’s one of the cleaner versions of power. I guess wind turbines wouldn’t be bad, but what’s the geography of Taiwan? Is it good enough for wind power?

Sorry friend, but you’re reciting corporate propaganda-nonsense (as if it’s actually true) without any recognition of context. Why do you think tens of thousands of people are taking to the street over the ‘cleanest version of power’ (whatever that corporate-nonsense line is supposed to mean)?

The protests (in Taiwan, Japan, and elsewhere) come two years after the Fukushima plant disaster (by far the worst Nuclear disaster in the world’s history, at least since Chernobyl) that cost many, many people their lives & forced many, many people to be displaced. 

People in Taiwan, who are smart enough to make their decisions themselves, clearly do not want to be forced to live under such unfairly dangerous circumstances. Today, thousands of people are still living in temporary housing in Japan, and officials say it could be SIX TO TEN years before they’re re-settled.

Two years after a powerful earthquake and tsunami wrecked Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, many towns nearby remain abandoned, too affected by radiation for residents to return for more than short visits.

About 160,000 people were displaced by the nuclear disaster, and even some areas outside the 20-kilometer (12-mile) zone that initially was completely off-limits are too contaminated to be cleaned up in the foreseeable future. In others, work is proceeding on cleaning soil, leaves, grass and buildings to help reduce radiation to safer levels.

It remains unclear how effective the cleanup will be or how many people will eventually return to their homes, given fears over potential risks from the radiation and the lack of jobs in an area that depended mainly on farming, fishing and work at the now defunct nuclear plant. Source

Sounds clean & safe to me.

More than a third of Fukushima children at risk of developing cancer
July 20, 2012
Over a third of children in Japan’s Fukushima region could be prone to cancer if medics don’t apply more effort in treating their unusually overgrown thyroid glands and commit to international health aid and consultations, according to a new report.
The shocking new report shows that nearly 36 per cent of children in the nuclear disaster-affected Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths. This is an extremely large number of abnormalities – some of which, experts say, pose a risk of becoming cancerous.
After examining more than 38,000 children from the area, medics found that more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 millimeters on their thyroids, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey states.
In comparison, a 2001 analysis by the Japan Thyroid Association found that fully zero per cent of children in the city of Nagasaki, which suffered a nuclear attack in August of 1945, had nodules, and only 0.8 per cent had cysts on their thyroids, reports the Telegraph.
Radiation enters the body and is distributed through soft tissue, especially in muscle, and then accumulates in the thyroid. It is this accumulation that can potentially lead to cancer.
"Yes, 35.8 per cent of children in the study have lumps or cysts, but this is not the same as cancer,"says Naomi Takagi, an associate professor at Fukushima University Medical School Hospital, which administered the tests.
"This is an early test, and we will only see the effects of radiation exposure after four or five years"she added.
But some doctors are outraged that the results are not being sufficiently publicized. "The data should be made available. And they should be consulting with international experts ASAP. And the lesions on the ultrasounds should all be biopsied, and they’re not being biopsied. And if they’re not being biopsied, then that’s ultimately medical irresponsibility. Because if some of these children have cancer and they’re not treated, they’re going to die," says pediatrician Helen Caldecott, as cited by Business Insider.
Source
Note: This horrifying news comes during an incredible time of mass protest in Japan as thousands have taken the streets to oppose opening new nuclear reactors. For more information on the current protests going on in Japan against nuclear energy, click here. 

More than a third of Fukushima children at risk of developing cancer

July 20, 2012

Over a third of children in Japan’s Fukushima region could be prone to cancer if medics don’t apply more effort in treating their unusually overgrown thyroid glands and commit to international health aid and consultations, according to a new report.

The shocking new report shows that nearly 36 per cent of children in the nuclear disaster-affected Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths. This is an extremely large number of abnormalities – some of which, experts say, pose a risk of becoming cancerous.

After examining more than 38,000 children from the area, medics found that more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 millimeters on their thyroids, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey states.

In comparison, a 2001 analysis by the Japan Thyroid Association found that fully zero per cent of children in the city of Nagasaki, which suffered a nuclear attack in August of 1945, had nodules, and only 0.8 per cent had cysts on their thyroids, reports the Telegraph.

Radiation enters the body and is distributed through soft tissue, especially in muscle, and then accumulates in the thyroid. It is this accumulation that can potentially lead to cancer.

"Yes, 35.8 per cent of children in the study have lumps or cysts, but this is not the same as cancer,"says Naomi Takagi, an associate professor at Fukushima University Medical School Hospital, which administered the tests.

"This is an early test, and we will only see the effects of radiation exposure after four or five years"she added.

But some doctors are outraged that the results are not being sufficiently publicized. 

"The data should be made available. And they should be consulting with international experts ASAP. And the lesions on the ultrasounds should all be biopsied, and they’re not being biopsied. And if they’re not being biopsied, then that’s ultimately medical irresponsibility. Because if some of these children have cancer and they’re not treated, they’re going to die
,says pediatrician Helen Caldecott, as cited by Business Insider.

Source

Note: This horrifying news comes during an incredible time of mass protest in Japan as thousands have taken the streets to oppose opening new nuclear reactors. For more information on the current protests going on in Japan against nuclear energy, click here. 

Thousands protest Japan’s return to atomic energyJune 24, 2012
Around 20,000 people gathered in Tokyo to protest the Japanese government’s unilateral decision to restart two nuclear reactors. Many in Japan are wary of nuclear power, as memories of last year’s devastating Fukushima disaster as still fresh.
Slogans chanted by protesters included “No to the restart!”, while posters brandished “No nukes”. The rally, organized in front of the prime minister’s residence, was attended by a number of public figures, including Nobel-prize winning author Kenzaburo Oe, investigative journalist Satoshi Kamata and electronic music pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame.   
Activists promised to hold another anti-nuclear rally next week. 
Opposition to the government’s decision to restart the reactors just a month after the country’s last nuclear power plants were shut down has been on the rise. Activists managed to gather some 7.5  million signatures through an online petition.  
Last week, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gave the go-ahead to restart two nuclear reactors at the Oi plant in western Japan. The decision was taken in conjunction with local authorities, though Noda fell short on his promise to not act without public backing.
Source

Thousands protest Japan’s return to atomic energy
June 24, 2012

Around 20,000 people gathered in Tokyo to protest the Japanese government’s unilateral decision to restart two nuclear reactors. Many in Japan are wary of nuclear power, as memories of last year’s devastating Fukushima disaster as still fresh.

Slogans chanted by protesters included “No to the restart!”, while posters brandished “No nukes”. The rally, organized in front of the prime minister’s residence, was attended by a number of public figures, including Nobel-prize winning author Kenzaburo Oe, investigative journalist Satoshi Kamata and electronic music pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame.   

Activists promised to hold another anti-nuclear rally next week. 

Opposition to the government’s decision to restart the reactors just a month after the country’s last nuclear power plants were shut down has been on the rise. Activists managed to gather some 7.5  million signatures through an online petition.  

Last week, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gave the go-ahead to restart two nuclear reactors at the Oi plant in western Japan. The decision was taken in conjunction with local authorities, though Noda fell short on his promise to not act without public backing.

Source