Mainichi: “Nuclear devastation” for Japan, in peace time — Fukushima disaster “the same as war” -Buddhist Nun

Published: August 26th, 2012 at 1:43 am ET


Title: Complacency perished in the Fukushima nuclear disaster
Source: The Japan Times
Date: Aug. 26, 2012


Japan, complacent beneath the American nuclear umbrella, has in fact contributed remarkably little to the cause of nuclear disarmament. Note, besides, [Prime Minister Yoshihiko] Noda’s reference to “nuclear devastation in war,” and what that leaves unsaid — namely, nuclear devastation in peace.


“In my mind, Fukushima is like a third nuclear victim, following Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” added Fukushima evacuee Sachiko Sato.

Nuclear devastation in peace is war, a 90-year-old Buddhist nun named Jakucho Setouchi goes so far as to say. Setouchi is a writer of considerable reputation whose collected works, published in 2002, run to 20 volumes. Speaking to Shukan Asahi magazine, she said, “The earthquake and tsunami were natural disasters, but (Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant) was a manmade disaster, and therefore the same as war.”


“The atmosphere today,” says Setouchi, “is exactly like 1941, ’42.” Back then, the public and mass media bought the official line that Japan’s victory was assured. In our own time, the public and mass media bought the official line that the safety of nuclear power was assured.


Future historians looking back on our time may conclude that the nuclear accident changed Japan not much less than the atomic bombs did. There’s a lot happening, where little was before. The weekly Shukan Gendai talks to three female lawmakers who lately bolted the governing Democratic Party of Japan, largely over its decision to reactivate two nuclear reactors in Oi, Fukui Prefecture. “Foreigners think the Japanese are sheep,” said one of them, Kuniko Tanioka. “But we’re raising our voices now, saying no to nuclear power, no to reactivation.”


“Perpetrators of the subway sarin affair were given death sentences,” she says. “The top people in the company that caused radiation contamination are still in their executive boardrooms, drawing high salaries. That’s odd, isn’t it?”


h/t Anonymous tip

Published: August 26th, 2012 at 1:43 am ET


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33 comments to Mainichi: “Nuclear devastation” for Japan, in peace time — Fukushima disaster “the same as war” -Buddhist Nun

  • ML

    The US, and Japan, have a legal system that is divorced from justice. Therefor if a wealthy corporation causes mass random murder AND destruction of future generation's genes, there are no laws against it. Murder is murder whether it is one or millions. Governments that have supported nuclear power plants and the nuclear weapons material these power plants created have engaged in mass random murder (because there is no such thing as 100% containment). And these governments do everything they can to hide this fact. These are not my ideas. These are from John Gofman, PhD, MD

    • Maggie123

      It's worse than "no laws against it" — we have laws that can be construed to *support* the right, even the obligation, to disregard murder and destruction! (Generally – the corporation is *required* to maximize profit; war is viewed as both profitable and "more efficient use of time/resources" than the slow progress of peace talks.)

      I recently came across this quote and thought it a good general one for current times:

      "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." (Frederic Bastiat, 19thC economist)

    • andagi andagi

      Dear ML,
      'These are from John Gofman, PhD, MD.' Yes.

      John W. Gofman, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, Emeritus,UC Berkeley, 1918 – 2007"

      'I had made one mistake. If the Department of Energy or the AEC gives you money on a sensitive subject, they don't mean for you to take the job seriously. They need you–with your scientific prestige–so they can point to you. "We have so and so studying the problem." Studying the problem is marvelous. But if you want the money and the continued support, you should go fishing or play golf. My mistake was I discovered something. . . . '

  • arclight arclight

    Nuclear Power Is Incompatible with the Way of the Buddha

    Buddhists Must Send a Message

    Q: After the nuclear incident at Fukushima happened last year, Rev. Kono, as the President of the Japan Buddhist Federation (JBF), made the following comments in August about nuclear energy while considering the people who had become victims of the incident: “Who is making sacrifices to ensure our convenient lifestyles? Each person, individually, must think more about their responsibility. So that this kind of incident does not happen again, we all must adjust the way we look at our daily lifestyles.” Rev. Kono, then, in yourrole as the Chief Priest of the Myoshin-ji branch of Rinzai Zen in September issued a declaration calling on the abolition of nuclear power and then further in December helped to draft the JBF declaration entitled “Appeal for a Lifestyle without Dependence on Nuclear Power.”

    Japanese Buddhists’ Increasing Involvement in
    Anti-Nuclear Activism

    • Maggie123

      “Who is making sacrifices to ensure our convenient lifestyles? Each person, individually, must think more about their responsibility. So that this kind of incident does not happen again, we all must adjust the way we look at our daily lifestyles."

      I am so pleased to know of this statement. Thank you for sharing news of Buddhist activism promoting this awareness.

      • arclight arclight

        hi maggie
        the nun in the article is an amazing person too!

        Setouchi Jakucho Takes Japan Back 1,000 Years
        By Kaori Shoji
        Published: January 23, 1999

        "….He seduces everyone, including his stepmother at the age of 12, and his adopted daughter when he was 27. Genji literally spends the entire tale flitting from one lady's chambers to the next; "hot stuff" as Setouchi describes it.

        "But it wasn't pornography," she adds. "All sexual acts are concealed under layers of robes or behind tastefully decorated screens. The sex in 'Genji' is very subtle and nuanced. The reader must guess what's going on, though it was always the same thing. If you know what I mean." She grins wickedly.

        If Lady Murasaki was all for delicacy, her modern translator is exactly the opposite. …"

        "…."It was rape, really," Setouchi says. "But then women of that era couldn't hope for much better. Relationships began when a man broke into their chambers and ended when he stopped coming around. And remember that all marriages were arranged by the parents and used as political leverage."….."

        "…In fact, she said, all those options make some women unhappy. "As for myself, Buddhism means that I would continue to exist in the secular world but that inside, I would be dead. I cry and laugh like anyone else but at the same time I'm detached. Like none of anything matters, and I'm not here at all. This is freedom you know, real freedom. I suppose that's what Genji's…

    • m a x l i

      @arclight, nice to see that many individuals or groups are getting involved in anti-nuclear activism. But those japanese buddhists you mentioned need to educate themselves better, I dare to say, and choose their words more carefully to help the course. By making a declaration entitled “Appeal for a Lifestyle without Dependence on Nuclear Power” they are still falling for the nuclear baloney and against their intention helping to spread the nuclear propaganda. Why? Because there is no dependence on nuclear power. Nuclear power is satisfying only about 2 percent of our energy use worldwide, if you count in things like fossil carbon, biomass, wind, solar… for heating, cooking, transport… This means we could get rid of it in a very, very short time. Japan has already demonstrated this, Germany is following Japans lead… (It will be less easy for France.)

      While being a friend of modesty and an enemy of consumerism myself, I think calling that "we all must adjust the way we look at our daily lifestyles" will not go very far. After we all become environmentally enlightened consumers, they will instead produce more weapons, cause more wars and mayhem and make us, the taxpayers, pay for more destruction, reconstruction, re-destruction, re-reconstruction…, to keep the economy growing in order to continuously and accumulatively fill their pockets with virtual money.

      • m a x l i

        Why 'virtual' money? Well, it is growing in numbers, but its value is going down to zero, when there is no fish, chicken, apple or grain of wheat left in the world, that will not kill you. I puzzles me why they can't realise this!

        • arclight arclight

          hi maxli
          thanks for the response

          i will try to respond

          you make some good points.. i think that like the local and international NGO`s that have to work within the remit of the corporations and governmnet so does the buddhist federation of Japan.

          but it poses some interesting questions when corporations hold sway over the institutions of religion or belief.. i say institiutions not individuals who might have more passionate and blinkered aims..

          its obvious that buddhist views are highlighted against the masses of people against nuclear too!

          information is the key to your problem of aims being co-opted and watered down.. our fight is with PR media cut and paste and can be achieved by an individual with a computer.. as the seriousness of the situation becomes all too aparent as it is already, people will seek knowledge of this and will find bloggers ready to help.. imo

          then we will see how the Japanese Government will backtrack again and invest in renewables like they should have last year, they would be creating jobs, closing coal fired plants and stimulating the economy and futures prospects.. its only a matter of time

          unless japans studies in belarus were to copy the political suppression

          24 November 2011
          Belarus activist conviction “politically motivated”


          • arclight arclight

            and they are many ways to quite voices

            11 August 2011
            Belarus must free activist held on tax evasion charges


            Jailed Belarus opposition activist is forcibly fed in prison clinic

            April 02, 2012

            VITSEBSK, Belarus – Jailed Belarusian opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka, whose health has deteriorated due to a lengthy hunger strike, reportedly is being forcibly fed in a prison psychiatric clinic in the eastern city of Vitsebsk.


            of course japan could head this way.. they have already covered up the data from belarus and only need to begin the belarus style government

            its with the japanese people to decide what they want, but they might need to hurry up a bit

            "…Sites such as No TPP for Japan nor the World, Stop TPP!!, and a TPP resource page roughly translated as “Even a Monkey Could Understand TPP” are just a few examples of Japanese language sites that have recently popped up advocating for opposition to these agreements. To a great extent, the language and awareness around their impact on digital freedoms draw inspiration from the successful anti-ACTA campaign in Europe. There are weekly anti-TPP rallies held every Tuesday in front of the Prime Minister’s office, and Anonymous Japan has called for a massive rally to take place at a large public park in Tokyo on September 9.

            • arclight arclight

              "…Restrictive copyright policies are not new to Japan. It’s clear however, that ACTA and TPP would further thrust them towards the dark path of copyright policymaking that will function to empower private corporate interests, intimidate Internet users, and freeze innovation—all to the detriment to social and economic progress. Fortunately, the Japanese people are taking notice and are quickly moving to action….."


              and lastly,i dont think the public diplomatic pronouncements are keeping up with the real ground swell of public opinion.. many people are just starting to realise how the media has manipulated them and this will promote quicker change too!

              its the military industrial comlplex that likely want them reactors on.. imo and the IAEA too! they are gonna run out of money soon. imo

              but they are soon to be history..


              • m a x l i

                @arclight, interesting, that you bring up Belarus. Belarus is the country hardest hit and suffering from radioactive fallout from Chernobyl in neighbouring Ukraine (as you most likely know.) I sometimes wonder, if gliding into an oppressive, fascistoid regime is the 'natural', most likely development for any country, after it is devastated by a nuclear catastrophe. Now we see first signs of that in Japan. In a free country of free spirit, free thought and free speech you could not find anyone to clean up the mess, could you? I sincerely hope, not to collect more 'samples' (apart from those 2) in coming years, to corroborate my theory.

                Yes, they will be running out of money and will be history soon. Mining company BHP Billiton announced this week that they now give up ("shelve") a gigantic, since a long time planned, uranium mining project in South Australia ("Olympic Dam Uranium Mine Expansion"). Surprise! I guess, they figured out that soon nobody wants uranium. Of course they don't tell their reasons openly. Now everything in the global nuclear village is about keeping up the facade and give the impression – there is nothing wrong with nuclear – as long as possible. That is why two reactors needed to be switched on again in Japan – a symbol and a message. Nuclear power was never about electricity; now it is not even about money anymore. Now everything is about escaping liability and criminal prosecution as long as possible.

              • pierre

                "Yes, they will be running out of money and will be history soon."

                but they print money, don't they?
                or is there a limit to the shenanigans?

                it's nice to breath some fresh air here at ENEnews though. hope springs eternal, like a Fukushima…..

                • m a x l i

                  @pierre: There is a limit. We've come to the limit when there is not tree standing, no fish swimming, no child crying… But it is in our hands to stop before that. Everything changes when we start to ignore the lying thieves and begin to print our own, different kind of, differently constructed, money.

  • Sickputer

    "Foreigners think the Japanese are sheep,” said one of them, Kuniko Tanioka."

    SP: I don't think your citizens are sheep…my animal metaphor is more like rats on a sinking ship. You still have your wits and some teeth so use them.

    "Perpetrators of the subway sarin affair were given death sentences,” she says. “The top people in the company that caused radiation contamination are still in their executive boardrooms, drawing high salaries. That’s odd, isn’t it?”

    SP: I think it is difficult to punish a few spineless nucleocrats with death because there were a huge number of people promoting nuclear energy. In a similar situation the Chinese authorities would have no qualms with killing some selected scapegoats.

    Better to take the nucleocrat's money… That is more hurtful to them than death.

    • arclight arclight

      morning sickputer

      my take on this is that there was no retribution/punishment as opposed to no execution, the mention of the executions were to give context, i think?

      but reading some of Setouchi Jakucho`s other "racey" stuff, im not so sure now! 😉

    • Maggie123

      My first flash of thought in reading "“Perpetrators of the subway sarin affair were given death sentences,” … “The top people in the company that caused radiation contamination are still in their executive boardrooms, drawing high salaries. That’s odd, isn’t it?”" was that she was suggesting harsh penalty, even death, for 'top company people'

      This "didn't compute" from what I assumed her position, and was quickly replaced with a thought that she's pointing out our (cultural) biases and inconsistencies. She's dropping a hint that we might want to take more seriously the monumental nature of the harm we enable when we're not paying attention to our own role as "guardians".

      I didn't think she meant to suggest an action – only that we should realize our own unwitting participation.

      That made more sense to me … my take.

    • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

      Let me remind you, Chinese buried the de-railed train while there were people inside :O I'm not trying to make Japanese or any other countries look better but I'm just sayin' because they are currently building many NPP. And do they care people more than money? Why do they sell so many poisonus food e.g. plastic milk and many other food products too many to mention.

      Some Japanese have started not to buy from certain companies that are linked to nuclear and since energy companies like money very much that's where it hurts the most. People have got power….if they all gang up and not give that money by converting to solar energy or become self sufficient. Nuclear/weapon industry must collapse.

  • Maggie123

    Thank you Admin for all you do – and a special thank you for this post. I really appreciate having Buddhist input – very much – and hope from time to time we'll have more.

    • arclight arclight

      nice link to a nice article, and a TV station!


      Japan must thoroughly re-examine nuclear energy policy
      by Rev. Tetsuen Nakajima, Asahi Shimbun, June 15, 2012

      "…Tokyo, Japan — When I was a student, I was only interested in literature and the arts. Then in 1963, a friend took me to a peace march against nuclear weapons….",10950,0,0,1,0

  • arclight arclight

    and a really lovely picture of her here imo

    90-yr-old novelist/hunger-striker Setouchi Jakucho protests Japan's nuclear re-starts

    (Courtesy of Fukushima Diary)

    Following up this article..JP Prime minister confirmed the necessity of restarting Ooi nuclear plant
    89 years old Buddhist nun / writer Setouchi Jakucho joined hunger strike to protest against restarting Ooi nuclear plant on 5/2/2012. Anti-nuclear organization has been holding hunger strike since 4/17, in front of Ministry of economy, trade and industry.
    She becomes 90 years old on 5/15/2012. Her doctor warned her it could be fatal, but she joined without informing her doctor of it. She says, she can not die with leaving the country killing people with nuclear.
    Her comments are like these below,…….."

  • arclight arclight

    and calling all european buddists! support the Japanese Buddhist Federation!

    "… Rev. Tetsuen Nakajima: One part of the ethics that is taught in Buddhism is to learn about the pain and suffering of others and accept that as one's own. In that sense, people should not pursue their own happiness by having others make sacrifices…"


    (on topic admin 😉 )

  • Maggie123

    Hi Arclight – Thank you for a treasure trove! I've saved this page of your notes so I can refer back to links tomorrow and in next few days. I'm so looking forward to doing so! IMO none of this of off-topic. It's at the heart (literally, figuratively) of what I want to carry with me as I process and respond to Fukushima, and all else going on.

    Now – just a touch OT – your enthusiasm for Setouchi Jakucho leads me to think of Irena Sendler, (died at age 98 in 2008). Perhaps you know of her. There's one photo of Irena that I find particularly compelling but there are many of her, and I couldn't find a link that featured the one I wanted to share, (face only, smiling, looking up to left, taken during her last years, very elderly, and an astonishingly wonderful "shine".) Hooray for these women and their wisdom! I so benefit from the 'contact'!


      agreed Maggie…all good posts…

    • arclight arclight

      @ maggie
      i hope this is the picture you are referring to!

      and then this

      "..There were several ruses by which the children were saved. Mrs. Sendler was a social worker for the city, with a pass that allowed her to enter the ghetto. “The Jews were all disease carriers, as far as the Nazis were concerned,” Professor Dwork said. “They put up quarantine signs throughout the ghetto.” Forgeries of the government pass allowed other members of Zegota to enter the ghetto as well. They went in day after day to persuade Jewish parents to let them rescue children…"

      thought this reminded me of my poker playing irish granny! 😉

      if i missed, well it was very interesting search anyway! 🙂


      • Maggie123

        The typepad, (billtammeus.typepad), photo is the one that particularly strikes my heart – it seems to radiate bright joy, (and the heart of a poker playing irish granny)! Actually, I did find it in my search, and only *after* posting you to realized I'd 'rejected' it because I'd been looking for one with text accompaniment. Silly me – given that the photo was my search target! (Interesting brain activity that I'd actually have '2 targets', photo + text, but think of myself has having only one (photo)… tangly to describe but demonstrates consciousness can be a funny thing.) I'm glad you found the search interesting. I've not checked today's ENE headlines so am doing that next. I develop too many plans … am thinking of a quest to locate "grandmother leaders" from around the world. Need to do other stuff already abandoned too long! Good to share, thanks!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    July 2 2012
    Japanese Buddhists’ Increasing Involvement in Anti-Nuclear Activism,10975,0,0,1,0

    Buddhists worldwide are active in the battle against nuclear power.

  • Anthony Anthony

    “The top people in the company that caused radiation contamination are still in their executive boardrooms, drawing high salaries."

    Unacceptable as they have failed in their duty. Logically they should be replaced and relieved of decision making authority. For them to remain presents a conflict of interest for the company.

    If I poisoned the world and caused a great harm on my people, to continue to draw big money becomes an unforgivable indiscretion. Their greed is showing.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    "Nuclear devastation for Japan".

    And next time it can be anywhere, because nuclear reactors are unpredictable, and uncontrollable. A fact proven by past and present nuclear disasters.

  • minkxy minkxy

    I want to add to the nuking of Japan in WWII. Here in USA we,too, were victims. Their testing was done right here in our land. It has been obvious the ruling people really don't have an allegiance to any country in particular. I feel nuclear technology is creepy and prehistoric. It reminds me of the machine used in the movie "exorcists". The one used to scan the little girl. Let alone the GROSS technology is in the hands of people who do not care about us, our future, and the entire planet health.