Opposition to nuclear power plants grows in Japan

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Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 26 announced that the JCP is launching a signature-collection campaign calling for the total withdrawal from nuclear power generation.

Shii at a press conference in the Diet (Parliament) building pointed out, "The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant proves to the public the dangers behind nuclear power generation."

Although the nuclear power generation technology has not been fully established yet, successive governments have intensively built nuclear power plants in one of the world's most earthquake- and tsunami-prone countries by sticking to the "safety myth" without having devised adequate safety measures, Shii emphasized.

He then said, "The JCP will launch a national campaign urging the government to make a political decision to break with nuclear power generation and to formulate a timetable to establish a Japan without nuclear power plants. As one of the ways to help achieve this, we are starting a signature-collection campaign calling for a total withdrawal from nuclear power generation."

Asked by reporters about cooperation with civic movements calling for a halt to nuclear power generation in many parts of Japan, Shii stated, "Even if there is a difference between the JCP and these movements in regard to how to break away from nuclear power generation and reliance on nuclear energy, we will seek cooperative relationships with people who share the fundamental demand of a total 'withdrawal from nuclear power generation.'"

Japan Bar Assn. calls for end to nuclear power plants

The Japan Bar Association at its general meeting in Tokyo on May 27 adopted a declaration calling for the phasing out of existing nuclear power plants in Japan and a stop to the program to construct more nuclear reactors.

The declaration requests that the government separate the nuclear safety regulatory body from the nuclear promoting ministry and agency, and promote renewable energy sources as a main pillar to energy policy based on the principle of sustainability.

Residents near Hamaoka plant file lawsuit

Residents living near the Hamaoka nuclear power station in Shizuoka's Omaezaki City on May 27 filed a lawsuit against Chubu Electric Power Company with the Shizuoka District Court, seeking a permanent shutdown of all reactors at the plant.

The group of plaintiffs consists of 35 residents, including two Japanese Communist Party members of the Kakegawa City Assembly, in Omaezaki, Kikukawa, and Kakegawa cities located within a 30km-zone of the plant. JCP member of the Omaezaki City Assembly Shimizu Sumio heads the group of plaintiffs.

They aim for the decommissioning of the reactors at the earliest possible date, arguing that the Hamaoka plant is located at the focal region of an inevitable Tokai earthquake.

At a press conference after filing the lawsuit, legal team head Tashiro Hiroyuki said, "We expect that this lawsuit will serve as a trigger to phase out all 54 reactors across the nation." Lawyer Ohashi Akio expressed his determination to fight in court by focusing on the right to exist in peace guaranteed by the Constitution.

Shunan City Assembly opposes Kaminoseki nuclear plant project

The Shunan City Assembly in Yamaguchi Prefecture convened an extraordinary session of the assembly on May 27 and unanimously adopted a written opinion to call for the cancellation of the Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc.'s project to construct a nuclear power plant in the neighboring town of Kaminoseki.

The opinion argues that if an accident occurs, the city's agriculture, fisheries, and industrial sectors will face business suspension because part of Shunan City is within a 30 km-zone of the plant construction site.

It urges Yamaguchi Governor Nii Sekinari to request the electric firm to withdraw from the project.

The construction work of the plant has been under suspension.

Story originally published by Japan Press Service. Photo: Petition campaign. JPS

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