JAPAN | ‘World Peace 7’ calls for nuclear-free Japan

Posted on July 11, 2011

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JAPAN | MAINICHI | 11 July 2011

Members of the “Committee of Seven for World Peace Appeal” issued fresh calls for an end to nuclear power plants in Japan and abroad on July 11, the four-month anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and subsequent crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The appeal titled “A farewell to Nuclear Power Plants” by the group, also known as World Peace 7, called for promoting renewable natural energy and strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency’s role to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants.

Four months after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, the committee said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ), “The nuclear fuel continues to be over-heated and cannot be controlled and stabilized” and “the highly polluted water used as coolant is still unmanageable.”

Physicist Michiji Komura, professor emeritus at Keio University and Musashi Institute of Technology, speaking on behalf of the group as its secretary general said, “Japan has not worked hard enough” to promote sustainable and renewable sources of energy as compared to Europe.

He criticized the government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan for being inconsistent in its policy statements by advocating the promotion of renewable energy on one hand and proposing the restart of idled nuclear reactors at the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture on the other.

Novelist and poet Takashi Tsujii, also known as businessman Seiji Tsutsumi of the Seibu group, said local government leaders in disaster-hit regions are demonstrating great abilities to deal with the disaster. He also said an overwhelming majority of Japanese are against nuclear energy, and that the quake, tsunami and the current nuclear crisis will provide Japan with a chance to fulfill its responsibility to create a new nation.

Inspired by the Bertrand Russel-Albert Einstein Manifesto following a 1954 hydrogen bomb test at the Bikini Atoll, the committee was established in 1955. Nobel laureates Hideki Yukawa, Shinichiro Tomonaga and Yasunari Kawabata served as members of the group. Among recent members were 2002 Nobel Laureate in physics Masatoshi Koshiba and novelist Hisashi Inoue.

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