Okinawa Dreams Ok, back in print

The Ryukyu archipelago, better known as Okinawa has many nicknames: island paradise, prostitute daughter, internal colony, breakwater, keystone of the Pacific and home of the gods. For most of this century its people have had no voice, suffering tragedy and indignity. The most militarised community on the planet is now speaking out, saying no, wanting more. Okinawa Dreams OK is a unique collection of the voices and views of Okinawans, and those of the military who dominate their lives, in their own words. Free-traders, radical landowners, business tycoons, beachcombers, conservative politicians, karate masters, singers, comedians, independent filmmakers and just plain folk all want something they know they can get. Because they’ve already had it: their own freedom and independence.

One of the best books on contemporary Okinawa is back in print (available as an e-book as well) on demand, available from lulu.com.

 

Not nukes, but blame it all on tsunami?

Being a nuclear refugee from Japan, I took great interest in ‘Toxic radiation found at Japanese plant’ (SMH/the Age, July 7, 2013). While there wasn’t any new material in the article, it acts as a reminder that the Fukushima crisis is continuing, and the need to be vigilant and suspicious of corporate nuclear interests in Japan.

The latest admission by the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) that they have released more radioactive substances into the Pacific Ocean only confirmed what many have been suggesting for some time. However, the amount of harmful radioactive substances from the damaged reactors and spent fuel storages released into the environment is actually much larger than official reports have admitted.

It is concerning that the nuclear nexus of politicians, utilities and business, teamed up with technical and scientific experts, is so content on restarting Japan’s idle reactors. This nexus wants to paint the picture that the Fukushima crisis is over and well under control, even though they are yet to pinpoint the location and condition of molten reactor fuels.

The article casually mentioned that the Fukushima catastrophe was caused by a tsunami, which repeats the official line from Japanese authorities. Many in Japan, including fleeing workers at the plant, believe the reactors were, in fact, critically damaged by the 9.0M earthquake, before the tsunami struck. This is a significant point – under the official guidelines issued after Fukushima, utilities will be permitted to restart ten reactors if they are ‘tsunami safe’, even though the damage to them was primarily caused by an earthquake.

More significantly, and certainly more disturbing, is the article’s assertion that ‘the nuclear accident is not officially recorded as having directly killed anyone’. This is not correct – the government has admitted that there were at least 1,400 deaths from the nuclear accident. However, it is believed that many more have actually died as a direct cause of the nuclear accident but are officially been considered as ‘tsunami victims’, to lessen the political impact upon the nuclear industry.

Media reporting has played, and will play, a large role in this ongoing crisis. It is essential that the media creates a more balanced perspective and ensures they are not downplaying the extent of radioactive contamination in Japan and the adverse effects that have been caused by the nuclear industry.

(publised in the SMH on Jul 10, http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/captain-morrison-might-just-as-well-raise-the-jolly-roger-20130709-2po88.html)

永続的な経済へ

「パーマカルチャー」って言葉、聞いたことがありますか?日本でもかなり知られるようになってきたので、耳にしたことがあるかもしれません。でも、耳にしたことがある人でも、それがお金や経済とどう関係するのか、理解できない人もいるかもしれません。

パーマカルチャーはオーストラリアで70年代にビル・モリソンとデビッド・ホルムグレンの二人によって体系化された考え方で、そもそもはパーマネント(永続的)とアグリカルチャー(農業)という単語を組み合わせた造語です。1978年に出版された『パーマカルチャー・ワン』で二人はパーマカルチャーは次のように定義しています。

「動物と多年生植物を人間が利用するために組み合わせた、常に進化するシステム」
これは単年生の野菜や穀物の生産を中心に、数少ない作物の栽培と販売に特化する近代的な農業へのアンチテーゼであり、食料の生産を自然の中に見られるパターンを参考にデザインし、組み合わせていくことに主眼がおかれていました。たしかに、日本でも果物農家を除けば、たいていの農家は単年生の作物を育て、しかも「キャベツ」農家、「レタス」農家などのように特化しています。また、家畜農家は飼料はよそから買い入れ、植物の栽培と切り離されたシステムを営んでいることがほとんどです。今の農業は自然に見られるパターンからほど遠い形で営まれており、これでは永続きしないでしょう。パーマカルチャーは、人間が経済的な効率を追求するあまり、ばらばらに切り離してしまった要素を自然に見られるようにつなぎあわせ、それぞれの関係性を再構築することを提唱しました。 続きを読む

『調査報告 チェルノブイリ被害の全貌』

フクシマ直後から星川淳、益岡賢などの監修のもとで翻訳作業が進められてきたチェル被害実態レポート、Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment(エーゴ版はニューヨーク科学アカデミー)の邦訳が、チェルから27年目の4月26日、岩波書店より出版されます。ほんのちょこっとだけですが、お手伝いしました。フクシマ後の日本の将来の可能性を暗示する本です。是非、お求めください。

いくつかの章は下記で読めます。
http://chernobyl25.blogspot.jp/2013/02/blog-post.html

Shimoji speaks out

My mate got arrested in December for being anti radiation. He was quite upbeat when I saw him in Kyoto, only a few days after a 3 week long detention, early January. He was grateful to all those people who signed for the petition for his release. Here it is, in his own word, Shimoji explains what happened to him, why it happened, and what it means.

Thanks EJ for editing help. 続きを読む