The Historic Role of Japan for Denuclearization
The lesson of Fukushima
IC SAFER Background Information:
Opinion by Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland
Executive Director, Japan Society for Global System and Ethics
Two and a half years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, it is now undeniable that catastrophic nuclear accidents cannot be coped with by a single state, nor by electric companies.
The majority of the Japanese, including six former prime ministers (Kan, Hatoyama, Noda, Hosokawa, Koizumi and Murayama) have now come out against nuclear power generation.
Responding to the request made by some members of international civil society, I have recently sent out messages to President Obama and to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
I made the following plea to President Obama. (October 28, 2013)
“It is urgently needed to set up an international task force to assist Japan by deploying all possible means to reduce the risk contingent on the imminent first unloading of spent fuel from the Unit 4 under conditions of unprecedented complexity. This requires the establishment of a new system based on the full assumption of responsibility by the Government of Japan. The enormous amount of funding needed must be supervised entirely by the Government, not by TEPCO. This is a crisis of the whole country, not one simply of TEPCO’s management. One of the lessons of Fukushima should be the shift of priority from economy to life.”
I expressed my serious concern to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the Fukushima crisis as follows. (November 1, 2013)
“This is a national crisis that is now being regarded as a failure of corporate management by TEPCO. Yet, TEPCO and other electric companies are demanding restart of nuclear power generation.
I warned in 2004 that the fate of Japan should not be decided by electric companies. I am warning now that the fate of the world should not be decided by them.
This is a crisis affecting Japan as a nation.
It is a global security issue.”
I intend to continue to make my plea for the holding of a UN Ethics Summit and a shift from the present paternal civilization of power to a maternal civilization of harmony, which is a prerequisite for denuclearization, both civilian and military.
Ambassador Kennedy and President Obama are seen to represent a maternal culture of harmony and tolerance, which is now inherited by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Her taking office in Japan gives hope for the future.
In my letter of welcome to her, I asked for her cooperation in my fight for denuclearization. (November 25, 2013)
“Japan continues to suffer from nuclear injury. After Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima, it has become Japan’s historic role to contribute to the realization of true denuclearization, both civilian and military. It is the lesson of Fukushima.
I am convinced that, in our ongoing bilateral relations between our countries, denuclearization should constitute a central field of cooperation.”
Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.