Letter from Japan to the Prime Minister of India

Respected Prime Minister of India, and Chief Minister of Tamilnadu:

We are residents and organisations from Japan, and are intimately aware of the unpredictability and uncontrollable nature of nuclear power. We are the unfortunate witnesses of two nuclear holocausts. It is with pain that we see the Indian Government pursuing a dangerous path of constructing large nuclear power plants within even larger nuclear “parks” where power generation capacities are pegged at up to 10,000 MW.

We write this note with urgency to express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are peacefully protesting and fasting in Idinthakarai and calling for the cancellation of the Koodangulam nuclear power plant complex. It is important that you heed their protests. We read with dismay the letter of the Chief Minister which acknowledged the people’s protests and even extended support to it, but failed to appreciate that the protestors are calling for a cancellation of the project and not to have their fears allayed. Indeed, their fears can never be allayed at least as long as Chernobyl remains a no-go area nearly three decades since the disaster, and while the memories and stories of the unfolding disaster in Fukushima are fresh and ongoing.

India has suffered a Bhopal disaster. Japan suffered the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan did not learn its lessons and pursued “peaceful” uses of nuclear energy. The result was the disaster in Fukushima. One mistake of this kind is enough for the world. It may seem like a waste of money to cancel a nuclear power plant that has been constructed. But as Japanese, we know that the magnitude of human lives and environment wasted in the event of a nuclear disaster dwarfs the dollar investments made in construction of an inanimate concrete and steel structure.

We hope that as prominent leaders of a great democracy, you will respect the sentiments of your citizens and cancel the Koodangulam power project.

Respectfully,

On behalf of the listed organizations and individuals

Mr. Sugio FURUYA
Secretary General, Japan Occupational Safety and Health Resource Center (JOSHRC)
Japan Occupational Safety and Health resource Center (JOSHRC)
Takeshi YASUMA, Coordinator, Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution (CACP)
Japan Auto Workers Network (JAWN)
Tokyo Occupational Safety and Health Center (TOSHC)
Shuji KAWAMATA, Journalist
Kansai Occupational Safety and Health Center (KOSHC)
Toshimi MASUDA
Hirohiko TAKASU, Project Director, Research and Education Center for Fair Labor, Hitotsubashi University
Uiko HASEGAWA, Organizer, NGO e-mirai Vision
PARK Seung-joon, Associate Professor, Kansai Gakuin University
Ryota SONO, Action in front of TEPCO!
Association of Support for People in West Africa
Association of Institutions for Community and Occupational Health Care
Ryuta SAITO, Jujo-dori Clinic
Japan Association of Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Disease Victims and Their Families
Naoka KANEKO
North East Asia Information Center (Hiroshima)
Jubilee Kansai Network
Hiroko UEDA, Postgraduate Student, Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Social Sciences
Toshio HIRANO, Kmeido Himawari Clinic
Citizen Network for Wiping Out Asbestos (ASNET)
Masazumi HARADA, Ex-professor of the Department of Social Welfare Study, President of the Institute of Minamata Sudy, Kumamoto Gakuen University
(as of 18:40, Japan Time, September 20)
Hideki SATO, Minamata Disease Victims’ Mutual Aid Society
Shigeru ISAYAMA, Collaboration Center for Minamata Disease Victims (NPO)
Yoichi TANI, Solidarity Network Asia and Minamata

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