Tuesday, June 12, 2012

R.I.P. Kazuo Hizumi, Lawyer and Journalist Who Wrung Out Truth From TEPCO

At 8:28PM on June 12, 2012, he was finally released from the pain from his terminal gallbladder cancer. He had just turned 49 the previous day.

I do not know him personally, but he was one of the several independent journalists I started to recognize in the early days of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident when he was a fixture at TEPCO's press conferences. In May last year, he was diagnosed with the terminal case of gallbladder cancer and was told he had 6 months to live. If anything, that spurred more activities from him. He continued to attend the press conferences, and co-authored a book with another independent journalist (Ryuichi Kino) who was (still is) a fixture at TEPCO's pressers titled "検証 福島原発事故・記者会見――東電・政府は何を隠したのか (Investigation: Fukushima Nuckear Power Plant Accident Press Conferences - What did TEPCO and the government hide)". The book was published in January this year.

TBS Television will air a documentary on him on Saturday (June 17), which was made before his death. As the webpage that introduces the program says,


After the start of the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant accident, Kazuo Hizumi attended the TEPCO's press conferences every single day, questioning TEPCO and the government officials who tried to minimize the accident. As both a lawyer and journalist, Hizumi's questioning was sharp, pressing TEPCO and the government to disclose information that directly affected ordinary citizens, such as the discharge of contaminated water and low-level radiation exposure.

That's how I remember hearing him in the TEPCO press conferences that I watched via the net on USTREAM, thanks to another independent journalist Yasumi Iwakami.


Anonymous said...

Condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Kazuo Hizumi.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”
― Margaret Mead

Anonymous said...

Arigato Mr. Hizumi for your voice in the storm.
Peace be with you.

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