Christian Network (CNFE) - the Accident
Christian Network for a Nuke-Free Earth (CNFE)
How should we, as Christians, take the Fukushima Nuclear Generator Accident?
December 25, 2011
Since March 11th of 2011 we, who are living in Japan, have been thrown into the deep mire of indescribable anxiety and agony. We have felt that our world has completely changed. Therein we have wondered what to talk about and to what extent our talk has validity. But thinking our silence will make the situation worse, we want to dare to talk about the situation we are facing at present. Please feel free to give any comments you have. We are flexible enough to accept any comments to us.
How should we take the Fukushima nuclear generator accidents?
Looking back our long history of human beings, we used to make use of a very simple means of getting energy. But since the industrial revolution, we have been depending much on fossil fuel like coal or petroleum. Such fuels have done a certain amount of damage to the ecosystem around us but the harm cannot be said to be a vital one. What has given the mortal damage to the system is the use of nuclear fission. Before the World War II, the use of nuclear fission was attempted only in laboratories but humans have begun to make use of it as arms. Nuclear weapons have been developed by the USA and after the domestic experiments, the Atomic Bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 600,000 Japanese in an instant. But without evidencing any sense of remorse of what they are doing, the world powers have begun to compete with each other in making nuclear weapons thinking the arms as the best means to conquer all the world. As a consequence, we have become heavily dependent on the arms so that we potentially face days of massive destruction. ‘ Now we are living in an era when we are possessing the deadly weapon which we can drop on human beings and can kill tens of millions of human beings. But in a sense, we are dominated by the weapons and are segmented into a very small portion by nuclear fission.’ (Mitiko Ishimure )
Atomic energy was originally developed from nuclear weapons, the control of which is almost impossible for human beings. In spite of this fact, right after the 2nd world war, because our country had to secure energy for our economic growth, Japanese political parties, business circles, academic communities, and mass communication circles have began to campaign in a body for the development of nuclear power plants, strongly asserting that the plants were absolutely safe. Because of this propaganda, the workers in the nuclear plants have been forced to work in a constant danger of being exposed to radiation and the local communities have been completely destroyed as a result. We should remember that the site of these plants had been originally blessed with abundantly rich natural resources.
The afore mentioned circles and political parties have completely ignored the Chambly nuclear power plant disaster which occurred in the year 1986 and which sent shockwaves around the world. And on top of that, they tried to hide many minor accidents which had occurred in the Fukushima nuclear power plant and many other power plants in Japan before 11th of March, 2011.
The Fukushima’s great disaster has had such a long history of accidents leading to the hydrogen explosions and the meltdown. No solution has so far been discovered to its radioactive contamination of sea, ground and air. Inhabitants living within many kilometers of the plant have lost the right to their peace of mind and their very livelihood. Moreover, the pollution has begun to have a great impact not only on the neighboring countries like Korea and China but also all over the world. Similar disasters can occur in any parts of Japan at any time because our country is notoriously situated upon an earthquake-prone terrain. Almost all Japanese are aware of the news that the land has been polluted by iodine, cesium and plutonium so that the young Japanese parents are quite afraid of their own children’s future.
Because of the possible earthquakes, Hamaoka nuclear power plant has stopped its operation at present and many similarly very dangerous plants other than Genkai First Nuclear Plant have been stopped because the pressure containers of the nuclear reactors have become fragile owing to the nuclear fission. The high-level radioactive waste, which is called deadly ashes, and which is constantly emitted from the operation of the generators, will surely continue to emit radioactivity for over several hundred thousands years. This is predicted to endanger our ecological systems.
The late Professor Jinzaburou Takagi called Chambly ‘The Last Warning to Human Beings.’ Our country was going to build many other nuclear generators and in terms of the number of these reactors Japan was going to be the top country next to the USA, the number of which was going to exceed that of France. If Japan continues to build reactors, our country will be the main and serious cause of the downfall of the world, the hypocenter of which would be Japan. The recent accident which occurred in Fukushima can be said to be our final warning.
Our Aim: In Order To Become a Nuclear Power Plant-Free Country
1. Christians in Japan constitute a minority of the population. In spite of this fact, we want to raise fundamental questions of the meaning of the various social phenomena from the Christian point of view. We also want to ask a radical question of the meaning of life from the point of view of the Old and New Testaments. Following the footsteps of Jesus Christ, who has a compassion for those miserable people who are trampled under the feet of the wicked, and who finds a true value of the human life, and who can see everything in this world from the wide perspective, we want to find ways as far as possible for solidarity with persons of other religions and the people in general.
2. Our former Prime Minister Kan has the policy of getting rid of the nuclear power plants as soon as possible on 19th of July, 2011 but the President of the Federation of Economic Organization strongly opposed his idea stating that the economic growth of Japan will be slowed down. However, we have to make a clear break with such a short-sighted idea of economic growth. What is necessary for us now is to stop building new nuclear power plants and to do away with non-operative power plants one by one according to how dangerous they are and to begin to develop alternative means of producing energy. Surely, this will in the long run increase job opportunities.
Saving energy is also necessary. If we think of only the technique and practice of saving nuclear energy, we will be going the wrong way. Rather, we should remember the old Japanese wisdom of enjoying the changes of four seasons which we have inherited from olden times. For example, watering gardens, using folding fans, wind bells, bamboo blinds and sliding doors, and taking a rest under a tree, etc.
This is a good chance to think anew that what has been considered to be a symbol of prosperity is nothing but a castle on the sand which is governed by a lot of basic human greed. Therefore, it is a good and historical opportunity to take this Fukushima accident as one step towards liberation from the pursuit of wealth.
3. Internationally, we demand our government to halt the plan to dump the used nuclear fuel in foreign lands in the name of peaceful use of atomic energy. We also want to announce internationally the fact that digging uranium mines has been causing serious damage to the health of the native people around the mines.
4. The Fukushima nuclear generator accident has raised a most radical and fundamental question as to how the political, economic and cultural development of Japan should be. We Christians, who have witnessed such an accident, must recognize the fact that we are among those who have unwittingly cooperated in building such a society, and who have played the role of the persons who have done a great damage to the people inside and outside Fukushima and to its neighboring prefectures.
Even if the accident had not occurred in Fukushima, our country would inevitably be destroyed by nuclear generators. We take the accident as a serious warning to us Japanese. Now we seek from our Father the forgiveness of our sins. We must make up our minds not to cause any more damage to our ecological environment which has been created by God, and by which our life has been generated. Now we must recognize the fact that we have lived together with the following creatures and natures: the sea, the sky, the mountains, the land, the air, the groundwater, domestic animals, shells and shellfish, and negligibly small living creatures. Above all we must recognize the fact that we have been supported by such weak persons like old people, handicapped people, infants, women and foreigners. In view of these facts, we must make up our minds to start rebuilding Japan using non-nuclear energy.
5. As the sufferers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the responsible persons concerned for the Fukushima disaster, we want to announce to the world the message of anti-nuclear generators and to ask the Korean people and also the government of Japan to give up the idea of exporting the nuclear generators to the world so that other countries would not become the cause of radioactive accidents like Japan. We also want to ask the Christians in Asian countries like Vietnam, Mongolia, China, India and the Philippines to unite with our sincere hope by joining our anti-nuclear generator movement. Also we want the entire world to join our movement to stop the nuclear generators. We are looking forward to hearing your view.
The participants of this appeal are on an individual basis. They do not necessarily have to be representatives of United Church of Christ in Japan, Denominations or Organizations. Anybody is welcome .Of course, we are open to persons of any nationalities.
28th July, 2011
Christian Network to Stop Nuclear Generators
Mr. Choi Seungkoo, c/o 215-0055, Kawasaki-shi, Kawasaki-ku, Ogawamachi 11-13, Kawasaki Church, Japan
Christian Network for a Nuke-Free Earth (CNFE)