Wednesday, 30 March 2016 13:08

"The mice will prevail"

Written by  Urs Fitze

Japans voters may elect a government strongly pushing atomic energy. But that does not mean, that there is no anti-nuke-movement.



  In Inawasheiro in the north of the Fukushima prefecture, Kaoru Konta, a doctor, has observed a gradual increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer. All the while, posters advertising the region as a tourist resort are pushing for a return to normality. Konta's husband is appalled that a nuclear energy proponent won in the gubernatorial elections. "How can it be that the people voted against their interests?" he wonders.

  Eiji Oguma, a professor of historical sociology, regards this as only somewhat contradictory. There is no doubt, even among supporters of the ruling LDP party, about the will to phase out nuclear energy. Sooner or later, even the LDP cannot make this disappear politically. In Tokyo, a colourful, heterogeneous movement is keeping the resistance movement going. They have demonstrated every Friday since 2012, and have also occupied a piece of pavement in front of the administrative building of the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) has been active for over 40 years, and Nuke Info has become the most important source of independent information.

  General secretary Hideyuki Ban puts the will to phase-out nuclear energy in perspective: the only thing that was clear is that no nuclear power plants should be built. Everything else was left up in the air. In the port city of Iwaki around 50 kilometres south of the destroyed nuclear reactors, people have to learn to live with radioactivity up to twelve times higher than normal. But while monitoring food sold in stores works well, picking wild berries – much loved among the population – remains a major problem. Measurements conducted by the independent Tarachine radiation measuring centre reveals dramatically higher levels at times.

"It would be primarily up to the authorities to do more," says co-CEO Ayumi Nozaki. Yet here too, as in all of Fukushima prefecture, the motto of a "top-down" normality applies, one that seeks to downplay the consequences of the disaster. Kazumi Watanabe rented a vacation home near Inawashiro and offers convalescent weeks to families from the contaminated areas. She receives state support but only because they are officially deemed English-study weeks.

"Japan doesn't like to create great politicians, but it has an incredibly competent and wise population," says Eiji Obuma. People make themselves highly pragmatic on their way towards a country without nuclear energy. Politicians, bureaucrats and the nuclear industry are being condemned to extinction just as the dinosaurs once were because they cannot adapt to the change. The mice will prevail."

Read more:

Kaoru Konta, Family Physician: "Never give up your dreams."

Setsuka Kuroda, anti-nuclear activist: "Stop it at once and for all."

Oshidori Mako, Comedian and Journalist: I'm being followed."


Movie Fukushima

A fishermen excapes the tsunami sailing out to the sea, returning, his town is destroyed

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Who we are

Founded in 2012, the Association for Sustainable Journalism on the Internet is committed to high-quality, independent on-line journalism that stands the test of time. The association promotes and runs journalistic websites dedicated to topics that are hardly covered any more in conventional media. Its members include journalists, photographers, designers and web designers.

Pressbüro Seegrund, which was founded in 1989, is firmly established in the media landscape. Its focus is on feature reports, reportage and non-fiction books. It has launched a number of online magazines in recent years including,, and the latest creation:


Association for Sustainable Journalism in Internet,
Neugasse 30,
CH-9000 St. Gallen


Pressebüro Seegrund,
Neugasse 30, PO Box 445,
CH-9004 St. Gallen,
Tel. +41(0)71 671 10 73,,


Website design and programming:
Eveline Arnold Ukaegbu, Proclamation,
Zypressenstrasse 138,
CH-8004 Zürich,


English translation:
Elana Summers


Russian translation:
Alexej Scherbakov


Local interpretors: Galina Kovalch (Belarus),
Irina Gasanova (Ukraine), Chikako Yamamoto (Japan)


Martin Arnold, freelance journalist, author and media entrepreneur for the past 30 years
Urs Fitze, freelance journalist, reportage on politics, the economy, science, travel and the environment" target="_blank">,



Our Aim

Without provoking or causing a scandal, wants to shake things up a bit by encouraging society to reflect on a subject that affects all of us: nuclear power. It is a subject that polarises, turning opponents and supporters into ideologues. And it is a subject that divides the informed and the uninformed in a way that creates intentional and unintentional dependencies. Against the background of the current debates on the 'energy transition', we want to contribute a critical discussion for all those who want to more know about nuclear power. And we want to do our bit to overcome the deep ideological divide that separates supporters and opponents. When it comes to this subject, the truth very quickly becomes relative – or is made relative. You move around in an area where experts, opinion makers, ideologues, affected persons, victims, lobbyists, politicians and world saviours jostle against each other. Everyone should be able to have their say, to tell their truth. The truth of the radiation victims as well as that of the power plant operators, the supporters and the opponents. The second objective of the book is to explore the many facets of truth – and remain receptive to all those who want to make it comfortable for us.

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