Thursday, August 2, 2012

PM Noda to Meet with Organizers of Friday Protest Against Ooi Nuke Plant Restart, as Early as on August 3

Just like this sometimes-cynical old-timer (I presume; at least he doesn't seem to be in the same generation as the organizers of the Friday protest) has astutely predicted, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan had already coordinated with current Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda so that PM Noda would meet with these young organizers as representatives of anti-nuclear movement, even before Mr. Kan met with the organizers on July 31.

Now, Asahi Shinbun says PM Noda will be happy to meet with the organizers on Friday August 3. Oops. The government is moving in quickly. The meeting was supposed to be sometime next week.

I wonder what these "single issue" organizers will say to Noda. Saikado Hantai? Do they have any other game plan? ( This will likely be the last meeting if

From Asahi Shinbun (8/2/2012):


Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has decided to meet with the members of the citizens' group who has been calling for a protest every Friday at the Prime Minister's Official Residence against the restart of KEPCO Ooi Nuclear Power Plant (Ooi-cho, Fukui Prefecture). The coordination is under way to set up the meeting on August 3, the day when the next protest is planned.


Prime Minister Noda will meet with the representatives of "Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes", which is made up of 13 different citizens' groups and individuals. So far, the prime minister has declined to meet with the protesters, saying there is no precedent to do so. He has so far declined the request for a meeting through the bi-partisan group of politicians called "Zero Nuke Plant". However, as the protest is growing bigger in size and there is criticism within his administration that [PM Noda is] not taking people's wishes seriously, Mr. Noda has had a change of heart.


However, the prime minister has no intention of reconsidering the restart of Ooi Nuclear Power Plant, and he is expected to ask for understanding of the government's energy policy review.

Whatever that means. One of the organizers has tweeted his thinking on the demands that his group would make. The demands are:

Stop all nuclear power plants immediately and decommission them.
Stop all restarts immediately.
Scrap all the new constructions of nuclear reactors and plants immediately.
Withdraw immediately from nuclear fuel recycling business immediately.
Scrap the appointment of the members for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Help the victims of the nuclear accident.
Make people accountable for the accident.
Improve the work condition of the plant workers.
Remove excessive police presence in the protests at PM's Official Residence.

(Sarcasm hat on.) I can almost hear the dialogue...

Friday Protest Organizers: ... ... [plug in the sentence from above.]

Prime Minister Noda: Thank you very much for your comment. We will try our best to come up with a plan to operate nuclear power plants safely to protect the way of living for the Japanese people. (Noda repeats the answer for every single "request".)

(Sarcasm hat off.)

There are many tweets praising the organizers for this "achievement" of securing a meeting with the nation's prime minister.


Anonymous said...

It would be more colorful if, while the 13 apostles talk with Pilate on the 3rd, some 10,000 believers were making "noise" outside.

Anonymous said...

I understand the cynicism, and you're probably right.

But assuming for a moment that Noda's mind is open to listening, then the biggest challenge for the anti-nuke speakers will be to dispell the powerful myth that big power plants are vital to provide baseline electricity load. There may have been some truth to this many years ago, but it is simply not true anymore now that smart grid and distributed power production technology exists.

The organizers who meet with Noda must be prepared to provide a compelling argument for a way forward without nukes. If they only make demands, and offer no workable solution, any executive would see them as childish noisemakers engaging in wishful thinking, and dismiss them.

Are these organizers up to the challenge? I'm not sure I could do it. But I do know of three people who could. Is it possible to invite some experts to this meeting? People like

Jonathan Schell (phone +1 212-822-0266)
Arnie Gundersen (phone +1 802 865 9955)
Mark Jacobson (phone +1 650 723 6836)

Organizers of the Friday demonstrations could invite them to attend the meeting with Noda - even if it is only by conference call at such short notice.

At a minimum, the persons attending should prepare by reading the following if they have not already done so (and bring copies for Noda and his crew):

1. Jonathan Schell's essay (in Japanese also) from

2. Arnie Gundersen's book at福島第一原発-―真相と展望-集英社新書-アーニー・ガンダーセン/dp/4087206289/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342905902&sr=1-1

3. Jacobson studies:

I'm not optimistic that Noda will listen with an open mind, but I'll be praying for a fruitful discussion.

Anonymous said...

No, the organizers definitely do not need "nuclear experts" to advise them.

"Nuclear experts" are biased in their knowledge and thinking about nuclear energy - that is because the entire system has been corrupt and dishonest for the past 50 years, and they were trained in the system.

The organizers need no more data than this: The risk of another catastrophic failure from a single nuclear plant outweighs any benefit to society that that nuclear plant might give to society.

That statement is proven true at Fukushima. It was proven true at Chernobyl. It will be proven true again whenever the next meltdown occurs.

Noda is speaking to them because he has no choice and must somehow slow the advancing protests. No doubt he has a PR plan in place to try to circumvent the organizers power - or perhaps he will arrest the organizers at the meeting.

No doubt this meeting is the most important meeting this year for not only the PM, but the leaders of every other country as well and the nuclear industry; as the protests will inevitably escalate worldwide.

What the PM apparently has not realized yet is, as sure as the radiation continues to release from the plant, the vengeance against those both responsible for the release of radiation and the coverup of the the release of radiation continues to advance.

His only real option is to admit the nuclear PR campaign has failed, and it is now time to get to work fixing the problem, rather than hiding it.

I doubt he is smart enough to realize it yet.


Nancy said...

Sounds like a good reason to make Friday's protest even larger. The protests are working. They are making the govt. squirm. If talking to Noda and having him feed the organizers BS in person is the end game it was all for nothing. I hope the statement from the organizers is that until the reactors are stopped permanently and the govt actually helps the people in Fukushima the protesting will continue and become wider. Not words, actions put into law so they must be done. Accept no quarter.

Anonymous said...

They need to tell Noda to Fuck Off , no negotiations until all debris is stopped from burning, all reactors scrapped, until then fuck the socipath poiticians...

Anonymous said...

I am afraid that no experts are needed, Noda is no idiot.
For the same reason it would be useful to have people outside screaming to stop the plants -- just to make sure he understands that we will not give up.
He might not give up either but he has to ask himself, is it worth?

Anonymous said...

I agree with people on "no expert needed" camp. Particularly when they have their own agendas to advance. Particularly when they are profiting handsomely from the tragedy already.

Gundersen's best-selling book in Japan is apparently so full of translation errors that it doesn't make any sense in many critical parts. They should have used this site admin as translator instead.

Anonymous said...

a full oiltanker needs at least 20 km to come to a full stop.
the "japanese nuclear oiltanker" got a big shove in the 60s and 70s and 80s ... maybe joe average in japan wasn't helping to push, but they sure as hell weren't stopping it.
so ... it's going to take time and effort to get this behemoth to come to a standstill. best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any sarcasm my prediction is this meeting won't go well. Noda isn't looking for reconciliation or meaningful dialogue he wants to say he tried but the protesters are being unreasonable. Hopefully the organizers don't accept BS promises of greater safety they need to realize this meeting is just one battle they haven't won the war. Unfortunately, I think the protester will ask for too much and Noda will offer too little I doubt either side will want to compromise so the meeting probably won't get very far. This is how I see the Japanese government responding to these demands.

1)Stop all nuclear power plants immediately and decommission them.

2)Stop all restarts immediately.

3)Scrap all the new constructions of nuclear reactors and plants immediately.

4)Withdraw immediately from nuclear fuel recycling business immediately.

It isn't going to happen, I think they'd be hard pressed to get one dangerous plant decommissioned for every relatively safe plant allowed to restart. As far as Noda's concerned all the plants are safe and the protesters need to prove him wrong. The sad truth is Japan is too heavily invested in nuclear power to drop it over night. The only reason nuclear power is cheap is because your children's children (& their children so on and so on) are supposed pay the actual cost. There isn't any money for mass decommissioning or waste disposal, this is part of the reason old facilities are getting license renewals at the drop of a hat and stacking used fuel like cord wood around the plant. Remember Fukushima's operating license was just renewed but the nuclear industry tried to claim that the plant was "old and worn out" when the accident happened.

Their best bet is to demand the most dangerous plants to be closed in order for a limited number of plants that are deemed relatively safe to restart (for now). Of course to make this demand they need an agreed list of plants they deem especially dangerous to the nation. If the protesters want to limit future nuclear development they need to demand a real voice in all matters nuclear. They are also going to have to offer realistic alternatives for lost power capacity and ways to pay for accelerated decommissioning.

Most of the other demands won't even be considered because once again they are too expensive. There isn't any money to help victims beyond the ridiculously low stipends they've already received. I don't see the government paying anyone fair market value for their losses out of the imaginary "insurance" fund the nuclear industry is supposed to have. Noda won't address these issues because it would put a spotlight on the true cost of nuclear power. Nobody of any consequence is going to get in trouble because those people never do. If some one goes to jail it will be some poor peon but don't hold your breath.

I will say one thing this does show that the protesters have the government squirming a little. I haven't seen the occupy Wall St. movement getting offers from the government for a meeting of any kind even if it is just a PR gesture to dismiss them. This is just the beginning the protesters will need to keep up the heat if they want any real change. My only fear is they may expect too much too soon.

Anonymous said...

@10:39 No expert is needed to talk with Noda: he knows what he is talking about and now we all know too, after 17 months of forced training.
Experts for dealing with the former Fukushima npp I do not know... Areva's help did not help a lot, the likes of GE already helped enough during the plant construction and in the following tens of years of maintenance. We are told that the goverment has set up a liason with Belarus, which has some first hand experience. I suspect however that getting of Tepco management out of the picture should be the first step.
As to myself, my only agenda is to figure out how to get clean food for my family and from Fukushima I suffered only losses...
Cheers, Beppe

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the nuclear village, the majority of Japanese are living in TV world and could not give a rat's fat about how much radiation is in their food. If Noda can figure out how to dupe the protesters the nuclear village can keep rolling merrily along.

BUT: I do think it is a good sign that protests are vocal, gaining attention and causing the illegitimate government of hostile criminal elites to squirm!

Anonymous said...

No Safe Dose: Japan’s Low-dose Radiation Disaster

Anonymous said...

Beppe et al

I think you're missing the point. Assuming for a moment that Noda is willing to learn something (I know, not a great assumption), but assuming he is willing to learn, then those who meet with him need to be capable of teaching him something. If you give Noda the benefit of the doubt, then the two things that he must be taught are:

1. Nuclear energy required perfection. People are far from perfect. People cannot be trusted to control it.

2. There are solutions available today, using modern technology, which completely bust the myth that large power plants are needed to supply baseload energy.

I don't know that the organizers of the protests, who perhaps like me have only thought about this problem for less than two years, would be as convincing as an EXPERT and PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATOR who has devoted much of his/her adult life to debating the issue.

Of course, if Noda is not willing to listen, and this is, as many suspect, it is only a publicity stunt, then there is no harm sending unprepared ametuer debaters into the fray to whine and moan about their feelings and convictions.

Without the competence to lead, coach, persuade or debate, the meeting is a pointless publicity stunt for both sides. No progress is possible.

Anonymous said...

Does it take more than a year to understand that the out of control meltdowns at Fukushima is an unprecedented catastrophe? It has brought the mighty country of Japan to its knees... and there is no end in site...

It takes 2 seconds to understand that.

And it takes 2 more seconds to understand that every other fission reactor on earth has exactly the same fatal flaw - that nuclear fission, once it is out of control, is impossible to bring back into control.


It's all those "professional communicators" and "nuclear experts" who were responsible for getting us into this mess.

Yeah, they'll try to baffle everybody with BS about contaminated water or " baseload" or Radionuclides or Bequerels vs Microsieverts vs. Rems, and some of those things might be vitally important once a meltdown has occured - but the bottom line is this:


There are those who would love to sidetrack this discussion into minutiea again - that's the industry's Modus Operandi and has been for years.

Don't fall for it people. The equation is simple enough for a 5 year old to understand


Anonymous said...

@anon at 4:46PM, Noda is not inviting these young, naive organizers to learn anything. In fact, he has picked the best target to make a good pretense that he has "listened" to the ordinary people, and to say that even if they couldn't come to an agreement at least we tried to reach out, etc. etc.

These organizers, quick to disparage and disdain anyone who don't agree with their "single issue" focus and anyone above 45, don't seem to have any skills in debate. For them, it is uncool to be skilled. The talking points that one of the organizers tweeted (posted above) are almost verbatim quote (copy and paste) of one of the "old-timer activists" they look down on.

Unprepared amateurs, or amateurs who disdain preparation, will represent people against nuclear power.

Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

Noda is not meeting "the organizers" to learn, nor to listen, I am afraid; he is meeting them for PR.
The organizers should meet him for the same reason; hopefully they will manage to get him to say something really gross in front of the TV. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon at 7:09:
James, couldn't agree with you more.

Generally, I'd like to say, the list of demands could have been shortened to this:
No operation of nuclear reactors until/unless the safe storage of all nuclear waste fully guaranteed.

That requirement alone would shut them all down world-wide for good.

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