Sunday, March 11, 2012

Japan's Emperor Spoke At the One-Year Anniversary Ceremony, TV News Ignored His Reference to Radiation Contamination

So say many angry tweets in Japan. They say the TV stations edited out his reference to radiation contamination.

I'm not convinced that the allegation is valid, but the TV stations did have a choice which part of the Emperor's speech they would highlight in the news segments and they didn't choose the reference.

The Emperor of Japan attended the ceremony held in the National Theater on March 11, 2012, even if he had undergone a heart surgery and was still recovering. He delivered the speech addressing all the three components of the disaster that struck Japan - earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear.

But except for those who attended the ceremony or watched it live, or those who read the speech in the paper, people in Japan wouldn't know by watching the TV news that the Emperor spoke about the radiation contamination as the result of the nuclear accident and that he recognized it as a difficult problem.

The Emperor spoke for about 6 minutes, so there is no way that the TV stations would report all of the speech in the short news segment (2 to 3 minutes at most). But they chose not to highlight the radiation contamination part.

Here's what the Emperor said in the ceremony (nuclear part), according to Asahi Shinbun (3/11/2012):


Further, this disaster [earthquake and tsunami] triggered a nuclear power plant accident. People had to evacuate from areas made dangerous by the nuclear accident, where they had lived and worked for many years. In order for them to go back and live safely there, we have a difficult problem of radiation contamination to overcome.

Several people were indignant that the TV stations edited the Emperor's words at all to fit into the short news segments. I tend to agree with them. It was a 6 minutes speech, in his own words (unlike PM Noda's cliches written by his speech writer), and you can see he was talking to the people who perished in the disaster (unlike Noda who simply read the prepared statement without looking up from the piece of paper, from what little I've seen that was reported). They should have aired it in its entirety, for those who couldn't see it live.

ANN (TV Asahi) has the entire speech on Youtube, with the viewer count at 4,371 as of now. Other videos of the event has only several hundred views.


Anonymous said...

On this anniversary, I would like to thank and commend EX-SKF for being the reliable source of Fukushima nuclear information and providing a public forum where all of us can have a voice on such critical topic.

You've educated many of us with both Japanese and English news, with timely investigation and analysis. What I've gleaned here has been often invaluable. It has even saved my family and friends in Japan in some ways, because as you know, information on radiation reality and risk is scarce in Japanese language media.

Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

@anon - alll language media have been censoring. It's disgusting.

Trust no one.

Praise for this blog and it's brothers only, they are my only news source now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am aware of censoring on all media, inclduing CNN (I'm guessing the JP gov pressure and nuke industry financial power is why CNN rarely reports Fukushima since A. Cooper fled the radioactive plume last year, considering the importance of the topic.)

Anyway, I see serious violation of freedom of speech that is currently going on in Japan. The Minami-Soma lady blogger ("numayu") with radiation symptoms just closed her blog. Not even a cache left. I don't know if it's her decision or Yahoo JP's. But one thing is clear, she was under tremendous pressure from the big brothers of JP gov and TEPCO foot soldiers. They kept leaving really nasty sarcastic comments, attaking her personally, sometimes leaving innuendo comments implying her symptoms are in her head, etc.

The thing I noticed is that the Japanese in general are unwilling to take up on a fight against online bullies even for the lady blogger whom they liked, trusted, and admired. When someone writes a nasty baseless comment, rarely no one stood up, they all became cowards, kept quiet and went on their own business.

In the US (at least on the blogs I visit), other readers are more willing to stand up for the blogger when someone tries to bully or smear the blogger's reputation with misinformation.

Also in the US, we have more legal protection and means to enforce freedom of speech. At least, we can file a suit, we have enough lawyers who are willing to pursuit. In Japan, the plaintiff always has bigger financial burden than the offender. JP legal system exists for the powerful (EX: the JP courts have repeatedly rejected the pleas from Fukushima victims to relocate babies and children from high radiation areas. They said children do not need special consideration for radiation limit).

You've noticed, not many Japanese academics, famous industrial standards associations, and industry leaders are speaking up for the health and right of children and women victims. That's because the minority of them who do speak up are often threatened verbally and even reprimanded by their boss who benefits from connection with the government officials and big money utilities.

One elderly Japanese professor from Tokyo called me "a radiation paranoia" when I asked how the JP government was going to respond to Fukushima fallout effect on children. He then called international media and people overseas "paranoia for nothing" and began repeating the name-calling to others who're attending a conference in Germany last fall.

Only a few hours later, his wife (Japanese) approached me and said, "it is true, there is strong censorship in Japan concerning Fukushima and radiation, which is a taboo topic right now in Japan." She then begged me to tell her what I read and hear in the US media. I guess she knew that truth was hidden by the government and she wanted to know for the sake of her grandkids.

I still remember her shocking face when I told her about the likely breach of the nuclear containment vessels and fuel rods in the spent fuel pools, how these radioactive materials atomized and dispersed and how badly things are already contaminated. She was even more shocked when I told her that many people overseas already know this since last spring.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 10:04PM, what was the name of that Tokyo University professor? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it about time the Emperor stood up and looked after is damn subjects?? WTF! It is obvious he wants to. Toss these criminal politicians into prison, tell the truth, protect the people, build a future Japan with people committed to the truth rather than a pack of horse***te.
The people would rally behind. We are sick to death of the politicians. Going 'Emperor' doesn't mean Ameretsu god status. It just means uniting his people and making Japan a nation to be whole again.
Either that or we carry on with these muppets.

Inspire the next!

Little canary said...

Annonymous who wrote at March 11, 2012 10:04 PM.
You are so right, in general there are many taboos in japan and radiation is just one more.

You should start a blog of your experiences like with that "professor".
Yes, japan is a bit like the twilight zone series.

The reason why japan doesnt have celebrities, in general, that are not famous worldwide is because that censorship that stop them, as any modern civilization is quite controlled from the Top.

Again, Media there is more powerful than the Emperor just for the fact that this 6 minutes speech has been edited in short.

For what I understand

Anonymous said...

Where is the respect for the Tenno ???

He seems really to worry about his people !

It's a shame how the media and government act !

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