New Delhi, June 26, 2013: Greenpeace organised a week long public seminar in three cities of Japan- Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka protesting against the Japanese government's plan to export nuclear reactors to India and other countries. The seminar was addressed by Greenpeace activists from many countries including India. Greenpeace India campaigner, Karuna Raina, while participating in these public engagements stressed the need of a strict safeguard regime on nuclear technologies and emphasized on more transparency on public safety issues.
The meeting was attended by Japanese civil society, anti-nuclear activists, media persons, bureaucrats, academicians and MPs. Citing Indian example, Raina highlighted the necessity of having a robust supplier liability law in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in 2011. Greenpeace Japan is campaigning for revising the Japanese law in the backdrop of Fukushima nuclear disaster, by introducing supplier liability provision for compensation in case of an accident. After Fukushima the Japanese lawmakers had recommended amendments in the Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage, 1961; but the proposed amendments are still hanging in limbo.
On the contrary, the Japanese government is engaged in bolstering international nuclear exports. Recently the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed atomic-power treaties with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Similarly, the Japanese PM during the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit to Japan last month, signalled at accelerating the talks to conclude a pact to facilitate Japanese firms to export nuclear power generation technologies and equipment to India.
" India had a bad experience on liability in Bhopal gas tragedy, many were left without compensation. Two years post Fukushima--Japanese government should be holding nuclear reactor equipment supplier accountable instead of promoting nuclear exports" said Raina. Greenpeace activists, including activists from Japan, India and Turkey also protested against Hitachi and Toshiba during their Annual General Meetings on 21st and 25th June respectively.
"The disaster at Fukushima should be a warning to the Japanese government and to other countries about nuclear power," said Aslihan Tumer, Greenpeace International nuclear energy project leader. "It is unethical to be selling the same product that has caused so much suffering in Japan. Greenpeace will keep working to try to win fair compensation for victims from the nuclear industry."
According to the news reports, in May 2013, Tokyo Electric Power Company had paid 2.3 trillion yen ($22.5 billion), about half of it to companies and business owners. That amount includes 1.6 million individual claims, mostly from voluntary evacuees. Because the amount of claims is expected to exceed the initial estimate of 3 trillion yen ($29 billion), the government has injected an additional 154 billion yen ($1.5 billion) into the compensation fund.
Notes to Editor:
(1) Pictures - Greenpeace is asking Toshiba shareholders to reject nuclear energy. Over 100,000 people have a signed an online petition to call on GE HITACHI and TOSHIBA to take responsibility of the faulty reactors they provided to Fukushima NPP). http://photo.greenpeace.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&STID=27MZIFVEAASS&CT=Story
For further details, contact:
- Sumit Saxena, media officer, Greenpeace India, 0956016334,
- Karuna Raina, senior campaigner, nuclear energy, Greenpeace India, 09650111955,