Sunday, August 12, 2012

Just In on Kyodo News: Over 80,000 Public Comments on Government Policy on Reliance on Nuclear Energy in 2030, Government Announced

It is just a headline at Kyodo News for now.

This is unprecedented in Japan. I've never seen such a high number of public comments on any issue. People are taking the system of public comments on government policies literally and seriously and flooded the government with more than 80,000 comments (letters, faxes, email messages, online forms) stating what they think of the three choices offered by the Noda administration on the future reliance on nuclear energy in 2030. The deadline to submit the comments were midnight on Sunday August 12, and as of August 11 the number was still 50,000.

The public comment system is meant to serve as a "token" democracy at best by soliciting comments from citizens on government policies.

The three choices of nuclear reliance were 30% (same as pre-Fukushima reliance on nuclear energy), 15%, or 0% of electricity to be generated by the nuclear power plants by 2030. It is pretty clear where the administration wanted to steer the opinions - 15%. Big mistake. Opinion polls indicate 0% is the most popular choice.

All those token (or sham) town hall meetings in select cities throughout Japan by the government (Goshi Hosono, as the minister in charge of nuclear accident, I think) but actually planned and carried out by one of the largest PR agencies in Japan (Hakuhodo) for the sum of 50,000,000 yen (US$640,000) did nothing to appease net citizens.

The government bureaucrats and experts with close ties to the government have said in the past that while the government may not pay any attention to the protests on the streets, it does care about the public comments which by law they cannot easily ignore. We'll see what the tenor of the comments are, soon enough.


Anonymous said...

a population of i think about 120,000,000 and only 80,000 comments, sad really..

Anonymous said...

Where are you from, anon above?

Anonymous said...

Last minute votes by every nuclear industry employee?

Where did they advertise this? Nuclear plant host towns? Far away Kumamoto?

Any chance of vote fraud? Someone votes in the name of a different person?

How do we know there was one vote per person?

Why didn't they ask me?

Whatever their survey comes up with, it's probably not to be trusted.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon above, this wasn't a vote. No one would ask you to vote or comment, you were supposed to find out about the public comment yourself. Public comments were submitted by citizens at the ministry's website, fax, mail, etc. I think it was by the Ministry of the Environment. I doubt that the 30,000 increase in one day was because of the nuclear industry employee. People were urging others to submit comments last night on Twitter. Actually, they were doing it for several weeks.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the kyodo story. It also mentions "...national policy minister Motohisa Furukawa ... plans to set up a group of experts later in the month to discuss how the government can appropriately put these opinions "into shape" to ensure fairness and transparency."

If they wanted to ensure fairness, they could have put it on a ballot and let the public vote. No, there is nothing fair or honest about this operation. Rigged and biased from the start.

Nancy said...

I have two worries about this and others have already expressed them. Did the nuclear ind. put forth an effort to get every employee to submit the survey? They have a right as an individual to express their opinion but a coordinated effort vs. the average percentage of the public who take the time to respond could skew the survey.
The process and expert review to give "transparency" isn't very transparent at all. National referendum as part of larger existing voting for elections would be the best option to get a public decision. Even that has its flaws.

Anonymous said...

Great article, that's why we come to your site ExSKF, you dig up the important gems of news. That is good news indeed, as well. What really makes me angry is I work hard to live, raise a family, live a decent modest life, and these scum are using tax money for such crap. I can barely scrape by while the rich are creaming off the top. A woman with a PhD from Tokyo University told me she wants her daughters who are students at a high level famous school, to either work for the UN or in Investment Banking! She is a good person but unknowlingly extremely materialistic. Maybe I can dissuade her (doubt it). I did tell her Israel did 911 and that the Holocaust was a fraud, that caught her attention.

Little canary said...

"...the government may not pay any attention to the protests on the streets, it does care about the public comments which by law they cannot easily ignore."

Which laws?
The law that elite follows are in contradiction to the ones we follow.

Also, their diplomatic status gives them immunity shield to keep their agenda going.

Anonymous said...

Please vent that stink from old fart anon at 6:37 AM

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