Fukishama Teachers join mass Demonstration
Demonstration in Fukushima last Week
Teachers in the Fukishama region of Japan have joined other trade unionists in protests against the continuing nuclear emergency
The teachers who are members of the Fukushima Prefecture Teachers Union are fighting to hold the government and the power company TEPCO responsible and accountable for the nuclear disaster in Japan which is cantaminating food, causing thousands of workers to lose their jobs and their livelihoods and not least means that many thousands of children are attending schools with radiation levels much higher than the previously accepted safety standards.
The protestors say that TEPCO and the government put the interests of shareholders and profits before the interests of the people of Fukushima and in particular the children. I am pasting below a statement from a committee which is calling for international solidarity:
Don’t restart Nuke Plants now shut for routine maintenance!
Stop and decommission of all nuke plants immediately!
TEPCO and the State should take full responsibility for all disasters!
June 24, 2011
International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba
What is developing actually in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant is: a complete meltdown of the first reactor—the nuclear fuel has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and the outer containment vessels causing destruction of concrete-made foundation. Thus all the facilities are now sinking down onto the ground. Though the facts are completely and maliciously concealed by the TEPCO, similar dangerous developments are suspected also for the second and third reactors.
The only effective measure to control the present critical situation of the nuclear plants seems to be a construction of a thick retaining wall of concrete reaching to deep underground ("underground dam") to stop contamination of groundwater and to prevent leaking of contaminated water into the ocean. Quite outrageously, TEPCO flatly refuses to take this measure, insisting that this operation would cost 100 billion Yen, causing the increase of utilities’ debt and that it would work on stockholders negatively who fear lowering stock price! They explain that contamination of the ocean will take place only after a year because the speed of the groundwater is estimated 5~10cm per day. Kan administration supports this absurd view of the TEPCO and clings to its discredited Road Map for the Disaster Control.
The TEPCO recently checked the degree of internal exposure of a part of the workers who were involved in the emergency operation to put down the hydrogen explosion. Upon the request of the workers to let them know the result of the measurement, TEPCO answered: "We can’t tell it to you now. For the publication of the result in future, we can’t promise you". Evidently the result of the measurement must have shown a high level of radioactive exposure exceeding the official limit recently raised for an emergency situation by the nuclear authority.
On the other hand, ISHIHARA Shintaro, Tokyo Governor, shamelessly insists, "What happened in Three Mile and Chernobyl were man-made accidents, but Fukushima is totally beyond expectation", "Japanese people must restrain selfish interest in order to achieve restoration". ISHIHARA Nobuteru, Liberal-Democratic secretary general and Shintaro’s son, expressed his fear at people’s mounting anger, "It is quite understandable that they have been driven into a mass hysteria after the tremendous accident".
The most outrageous and astonishing example is offered by KAIEDA Banri, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, who urged the restart of the operation of 21 nuclear reactors which have been shut for routine maintenance, under the pretext that the following five nonsense requirements have already been met: installation of large type drill for boring of the reactor building in order to prevent hydrogen explosion and introduction of heavy machinery to get rid of debris etc. He proposed this just at the precise moment, in which Fukushima Daiichi accident is developing into the world worst disaster ever in the history.
"If only there had been no nuke plant", with these last words, farmers commit suicide one after another, fishermen look up the sky with a sore heart and numerous workers are thrown on the street due to the closure of stricken factories. 300,000 school children in Fukushima are forced to radioactive exposure by the administrative instruction that their circumstances are "free from dangerous radiation."
Is 100 billion Yen too expensive to save human lives? Are the stock price and the general meeting of TEPCO shareholders more important than human future?
Let’s crush a drive of outsourcing, casualization and mass dismissal of workers in pretext of the Earthquake!
We call on workers of the whole world to make a big step forward for the abolition of nuclear plants and nuclear energy!