Friday, July 20, 2012

New "Hero" for Friday Protesters in Tokyo: Former PM Yukio Hatoyama

also known as "space alien" among his critics for his off-the-wall remarks in the past. True to this moniker, Mr. Hatoyama said he would go inside the PM's Official Residence and tell the prime minister to listen to the protesters, and he actually did (PM NOda was not there). Good for him on that.

According to the Jiji article below, Prime Minister NOda was as far away possible from Tokyo on Friday. He was in Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu. Noda has apparently been complaining to his guards that he cannot freely go out for a drink on Friday evening because of the protest.

From Jiji Tsushin (7/20/2012):


Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Democratic Party of Japan participated in the protest against the restart of nuclear power plants in front of the Prime Minister's Official Residence in the evening of July 20. Holding the microphone, Mr. Hatoyama said, "We have to respect a new trend in democracy that you are creating. We should stop the restart."


Mr. Hatoyama then declared, "I will go inside the Official Residence right now and tell them how you feel." He then walked inside the Official Residence, and asked Chief Cabinet Secretary Shu Fujimura that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda set up an occasion to hear what the protesters have to say. Mr. Fujimura answered "I will tell the prime minister." Of Mr. Hatoyama's request, PM Noda said to the press in Yanagawa City in Fukuoka Prefecture where he was visiting, "I want to listen to various opinions."


Asked why he participated in the protest, Mr. Hatohama explained to the press, "It is necessary to feel the new wave of democracy first hand." However, his party was not enthusiastic about his participation. "Should he be participating in the protest as the former head of the party and former prime minister?" (Koriki Jojima, chairman of DPJ diet policy committee).

By the way, Hatoyama, who voted against the sales tax hike and got his DPJ membership suspended for a few months, is a member of the group of politicians who wants to build nuclear power plants deep underground so that the plants could be easily buried should serious accidents happen.

Yasumi Iwakami did the interview with Mr. Hatoyama on July 18 and it was netcasted on IWJ's USTREAM. People have been tweeting "Oh he sounded so reasonable! Totally different from how the media has been portraying him!"

I didn't think much of him when he was the prime minister, and don't think much of him after he resigned. But I haven't seen the video yet. If you understand Japanese, you can still view it for free at IWJ, here

Whether it is Hatoyama, or Kamei, or other politicians at the protest (including Yasuo Tanaka giving out white balloons), the need to hold up the "higher authority" must be in the national genes.

I came across this tweet by one of the organizers while browsing tweets to find information on Hatoyama's appearance on the Friday protest:


Those people who criticize the way we do things at Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes simply ignore the fact that by doing it our way we've been able to gather so many people to participate. If they want to deny that fact, why don't they organize something on their own on Friday and gather more people?

"Success" seems to have gotten better (or worse) of him.


Anonymous said...

Good to see Hatoyama-san participating for a little while. It is a boost for the demonstrators. I hope they can convince him that the ONLY course forward is one with NO nuclear power - above or below ground, above or below the ocean surface.

Nuclear, as we have seen first hand, is catastrophically dangerous not only to individual humans, but also to our societies, our culture, our governments and on the very DNA we pass on to our children. The cost of a single accident is too great to accept or justify the possibility of even one accident. Yet Japan Inc now seeks to ignore that lesson and tempt fate by re-opening two reactors which are feared to sit directly on top of an active fault.

Nuclear is also no longer needed. Stanford University's Mark Jacobson's research has proven that modern computer science has enabled smart grid to manage non-nuclear, non-fossil fuel energy production in ways that would allow the state of California to supply ALL of its energy needs, 24 hours a day from solar, wind, and water resources. Certainly Japan could figure out a way to use smart grid to get rid of the nuclear plants which supplied only 30% of its energy consumption - and perhaps greatly reduce the amount of fossil fuels burned as well.

There is no future in nuclear. The sooner Hatoyama-san and those like him fully understand this basic truth, the better. Last night was perhaps a start.

Anonymous said...

Good political move by Hatoyama.

Perhaps the politicians are getting the message - if they don't get on board this steamroller, they will be crushed by it. It is absolute folly for political leaders in a democracy to ignore the strongly held wishes of the voting and vocal public.

Anonymous said...

Mark Jacobson? The one who says 130 extra cancer deaths worldwide most likely because of Fukushima?

Anonymous said...

Yes. That's the same one.

Hikarius said...

The Tweet of the organizer showed that they are in a mood of self-satisfaction. As said in previous comments. They do deserve some applause for managing to gather such a huge crowd but they have responsibility to think of a strategy to lead the movement to a new level, after the Ooi NPP to be fully operational, as it proved the "single topic" strategy ended up in a failure.

richard said...

i wouldn't be calling Yukio Hatoyama a hero.

"Mr Hatoyama's family founded tyre giant Bridgestone"

"had a prime minister for a grandfather"
July 29, 2010

"In early March 2010, Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama wrote to his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung. According to Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Mitsuo Sakaba, the letter showed Japan’s strong interest in the construction of nuclear power plants in Vietnam."

"Vietnam plans to build 13 nuclear power turbines in five central provinces from now to 2030. The first turbine of 1000 MW will be put into operation in 2020 and the second in 2021."

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