Fukushima Mon Amour

shhhh….if you are very quiet you will hear the sound of footsteps.  it is the mainstream media tip toeing as quickly as possible out of the back door like a thief in the night.  in one hand is a day-glo flashlight emblazoned with the logo of GE shining their motto, “We Bring Good Things To Life.”  in the other is a purloined gunny sack filled with gold, silver and any meaningful coverage of the nascent popular movements which have begun to emerge in the wake of the radioactive meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.  less than two months have passed since hydrogen explosions blew holes in the walls and ceilings of four of the six reactors at the mega-complex, lying just 140 miles north of Tokyo, and already there is a chilling blackout of reliable information about either the long-term ecological consequences of the contamination that has leaked from the facility or the growing voices of dissent among those demanding an immediate end to nuclear energy as a viable solution to the global energy crisis ~ a crisis, of course, brought about by our society’s voracious consumption of fossil fuels. 

in particular, almost no news has reached North America about the unprecedented outrage being expressed among virtually all sectors of Japanese society.  these voices are standing together in opposition to the policies of their government as well as the corporate conglomerates who dictate that country’s energy policies.        

On April 10th, an historic gathering of forces took place in cities across Japan.  Old and young united in an outpouring the likes of which, according to one Japanese anarchist who participated in the Tokyo demonstrations, had not been witnessed for years:

Yes, the manifestation in Koenji was incredible. We are still shocked at the number of participants, 15,000!  This was a bigger march than has happened here in Japan for decades. 

It is important to note that the demonstrators, on the whole, were not organized by corrupt politicians or unions, but were simply individuals.  I could feel the power of the barricades for the first time in Japan. 

As you know, in Japan the police control of the streets is very strong and our movement was not big enough to confront them.  They made us march in a “line” on one side of the street (“to protect the equal rights of traffic”!).  But the people took this opportunity to claim at least one entire side for the first time in thirty years! 

Not only the police but also we ourselves, the organizers, did not exercise control of the movement of the people.  It was an Anarchic Zone (mutual aid) Temporarily created by the people.  This was a real “manifestation.”

There was a lot of graphic art at the protest, very well made, that provided a strong visual presence: it was an inspiration for everybody!” 

to date, 80,000 people living within a 12 mile radius of the Fukushima complex have been displaced.  it is certain that they will never be able to return in their lifetimes.  and the ring of fire around the disaster site is expected to grow wider with time.  in truth, there has yet to be an accurate accounting of the long-term impact from the radioactive soil within this zone surrounding the accident site.  neither is there a system in place to regulate or monitor the sale and distribution of contaminated food products.  at the moment the question of how much this disaster will cost and who will pay for it should be the least of anyone’s concern.   

resistance within Japan to the Nuclear Power Industrial Complex ~ the web of nepotism that binds companies such as the Tokyo Electric Power Company to the industry regulators in charge of overseeing operations at nuclear facilities and the politicians in charge of extending them licences ~ hasn’t only been limited to the individuals most immediately effected. David Wagner, reporting for the Huffington Post, tells us the story of Toshiso Kosako, a radiation safety specialist at the University of Tokyo who recently created a national scandal by resigning his position as special advisor to Prime Minister Kan.  Kosako went public with the government’s lack of transparency about the true risks of the leak and their willingness to save face by exposing huge swaths of the population, particularly school children, to doses of radiation “twenty times the internationally recognized annual allowable dose for adults.”   

meanwhile, the mainstream media continues to be complicit in the Fukushima debacle by weaving a narrative that goes something like this: the situation in Japan is regrettable ~ a sad tragedy due to a set of highly unusual, extraordinary circumstances.  the crisis has peaked and will be brought under control in no time…weeks, months, top.  politicians are being held accountable, the industry is repentant.  they are double checking under the hood,  wiggling spark plugs and testing the suspension of plants across the country.  the incident, after all, is not as bad as Chernobyl.  we all paid a price for coal.  we paid the price for oil.  it was worth it.  remember when we relied on wood?  are you ready to put up with the smell of horse manure on main street?  didn’t think so.          

behind these self-serving platitudes, however, there is a hidden transcript whose seal is about to be broken.  it is one of pitchforks and burning torches. 


~ by dAlton Anthony on May 7, 2011.

4 Responses to “Fukushima Mon Amour”

  1. Bravo, Dalton! Thanks.

  2. excellent writing, bro! thanks. what’s the old anarchist’s name? then again, maybe as an anarchist, one needn’t ask… peace!


    • i actually translated this quotation myself from a letter sent to a Latin American anarcho (they call themselves “libertarian” but this should not be confused with the US libertarian movement) list-serve. so now it has moved from Japanese to Brazilian Portuguese to English! and yes, this is an anarcho-open source citation. but to answer your question, the person who provided the first translation is Marcelo Yokoi, a Brazillian activist. i am sure you can find his contact info through google…he’s very engaged.


    It is a BIG SECRET!

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