New lawsuit filed against Sendai nuclear power plant – More than 100 Namie residents died during Fukushima evacuations

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A group of more than 1,000 residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday arguing that Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture violates their personal right and right to live guaranteed by the constitution and therefore is obliged to stop operations at the nuclear plant.

The suit was filed with Kagoshima District Court against the Japanese government and Kyushu Electric Power Co, the operator of the plant.

The suit will be joined by more than 1,000 additional plaintiffs later.

The plaintiffs argue that the central government has legal obligations to abandon nuclear power in order to prevent a repeat of the Fukushima Disaster.

Source: JiJi Press

Prime Minister Noda met Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura, Economy and Industry Minister Yukio Edano and Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosono on Wednesday night to discuss the restart of the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on his own responsibility if Fukui Prefecture and Ohi Town agree to it.

Fukui prefecture and Ohi Town have also been urging Noda to take the lead in the issue.

Source: NHK

Japanese mobile phone carrier KDDI says it will install 100 new mobile-phone base stations with solar power generation and battery storage systems.

This comes after the experience of the March 11th disaster last year, when conventional equipment in the affected areas failed to work for about one month.

Source: NHK


Rice farming is almost sacred in rural Japan, and the government protects farmers with tight restrictions on imports. Many farmers are too close to the nuclear disaster to return to the fields, but others have gotten the go-ahead, even with the risk their harvests may end up being too radiated to ship.

For their rice to be sold, it will have to be tested—every grain of it.

“All I can do is pray there will be no radiation,” Ogata, 58, said last week, wiping his sweat during a break in his 1.5-hectare paddy 60 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. “It’s not our fault at all, but the land of our ancestors has been defiled.”

A handful of farmers are giving up on growing rice. Some are switching to flowers, which don’t require radiation checks. Others are suing Tokyo Electric Power Co, the utility that operates Fukushima Daiichi, for damages.

Fukushima farmer Shoichi Watanabe is angry he even has to worry about radiation.

“See how peaceful this place is,” he said, pointing to paddies filled with gently croaking frogs. “I want to say at the top of my lungs that we would not be going through all this suffering—if only Tokyo Electric had done its job right.”

Source: Japan Today

In yet another sad reminder how the March 11, 2011, disaster in Japan continues to claim victims, a 62-year-old evacuee from Fukushima Prefecture made a brief visit to his radiation-contaminated home, walked to his shuttered shop, and then hanged himself in a storage space.

After the wife reported him missing, officers and volunteer firefighters in the town of Namie organized a search, police said.

The following day, firefighters found the man’s body in his store’s storage shed.

Naka Shimizu, a local government spokesman and a friend of the victim, told CNN that when he heard the reports that the man was missing, he feared the man had killed himself.

“There are so many people (in my town) who have lost hope. This affects their health,” he said.

“The people of Namie are increasingly depressed about the future. We don’t have a clear future or see any achievable targets,” said Shimizu.

He said he knew of four or five people in Namie who had committed suicide and more than 100 who had died of illness during the evacuation.

Source: CNN

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