Anti-nuclear event in Paris
A member of World Network for Saving Children from Radiation attended the anti-nuclear event that took place at the Bastille in Paris, France.
On October 13, I attended the anti-nuclear event at the Bastille in Paris, which was organised by Sortir du Nucléaire Paris (Phasing Out the Nuclear Age Paris) and Yosomono (Outsiders’) –Net. During the event, around 400 people were participating to demand a phase-out of nuclear power in France and Japan. The event involved not only the speeches made by the organisers, but a Mikoshi (portable shrine) attraction and Kansho Odori (traditional dance in Fukushima). As a speaker, Haruko Boaglio, a refugee from Fukushima who came to Paris immediately after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, talked about the experience she went through after the crisis and the activities of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Plaintiffs. Haruko said she had recently joined the Plaintiffs. I also made a speech, on behalf of Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation, about the current health condition of Fukushima Children. In the speech, I attempted to stress the importance of collective evacuation of Fukushima children, as the recent data shows the increasing proportion of children having abnormalities in their thyroids. (More information can be found on the Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trail blog) When I was making the speech, despite pouring rain, the patience and enthusiasm of French audience were remarkable. They also seemed to have enjoyed the Mikoshi attraction and the strange traditional dance of Fukushima, which the organisers said they sought to respond to Kansho Odori, symbolically danced by the women of Fukushima at a number of anti-nuclear events in Japan.
Nuclear power in France
Yuki Takahata, a leading member of Yosomono Net, said ‘we would like to connect this action to the other cities in Europe’. As the next event is planned to take place on November 11, they have already confirmed to have the same sort of action in Switzerland, organised by ‘Hydrangea Net (Yosomono Net Swiss)’ and there will be a call for the supporters in UK and Germany to join in. Yuki is concerned that the French parliament, whose Green Party is working as a minority party in the Socialist-led administration, makes the French citizens’ anti-nuclear movements less likely to reflect on the government policy-making decisions. France is the world’s most nuclear dependent country, having 58 power plants and relying on nuclear power for 75% of the total electricity production. Although Socialists have pledged to reduce France’s reliance on nuclear energy from 75% to 50% by 2025, the government policy measures are not concrete yet. French media, although it was lauded for reporting more detailed information than Japanese media after the Fukushima disaster, started to reduce the number of news after 2 to 3 months and now barely reports the issues with nuclear power. French citizens, however, have begun to lose faith in the "nuclear safety myth". An opinion poll conducted in June 2011 showed that 15% of the respondents required ‘an immediate shut down’ of power plants and 62% required ‘a gradual phase out’ within 25 to 30 years. The human chain event, stretching from Lyon to Avignon, where numbers of nuclear power plants are concentrated, took place on March 11, 2012 a year after the Fukushima disaster. 60,000 people participated in this human chain; it was the largest number in the history of the French anti-nuclear movement.
What can we do?
A recent press report reveals that Japan has postponed its decision of phasing out nuclear power by the 2030’s, due to pressure from high US officials. This news highlighted the dominance of US nuclear policies over the Japanese policies as well as the inter-dependency of the nuclear industry in both countries. Since Japan is revealed to be hugely influenced by the so-called “world nuclear village”, namely the advocates of “nuclear safety myth” in the world economies and nuclear industries, the course of nuclear policies directed by the pro-nuclear countries other than Japan such as France, US and UK are becoming more significant factors concerning Japan’s nuclear policies. In other words, the voices raised and actions taken by the people in these countries are almost essential to determine Japan to give up its nuclear power. This event taken place in Paris made it clear that the interaction of networks is crucial and serves to encourage mutual activities; it seems to be a good example of co-operation between the networks that deal with the same issues and difficulties in different countries.
Takafumi Honda World Network for Saving Children from Radiation
Kansho Odori starts at 7:00