Right Livelihood Award Recognizes CNIC Executive Director Takagi Jinzaburo's Contributions to Humanity
Right Livelihood Award Foundation on-line: http://www.rightlivelihood.se/
Speech of Acceptance of 1997 Right Livelihood Award
Press Release by The Right Livelihood Award Foundation(1997/10/1)
World Prize for Takagi
-the People's nuclear conscience
Stockholm, Oct 1 - The Japanese scientist who gave up a shining career in the nuclear industry to become its fiercest critic was today named as one of five winners of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award for 1997.
The award - commonly known as the 'Alternative Novel Prize' - was given to Jinzaburo Takagi, director of the non-profit Citizens' Nuclear Information Center(CNIC), which he founded in Tokyo in 1975.
Takagi shares his award with fellow nuclear campaigner Mycle Schneider, director of the Paris office of the World Information Service on Energy, with whom he has collaborated closely for the past six years.
The two will share about USD. 60,000 from the total cash award of USD. 240,000.
Other recipients of the 1997 Right Livelihood Award are: *Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Burkina Faso), renowned African historian and political philosopher, *Cindy Duehring (USA), for putting her appalling experience of pesticide poisoning at the service of others and becoming a recognised international authority on chemical injury, and *Michael Succow (Germany), for safeguarding important ecosystems and areas of special natural value in Russia, his native East Germany and several former Soviet republics.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament on December 8th, the day before the official Nobel prizes.
Takagi and Schneider were honoured for their remarkable partnership in efforts to overcome the threat to humanity posed by the manufacture, transport, use and disposal of plutonium.
The Award jury said their work had "served to alert the world to the unparalleled dangers of plutonium to human life" and had enabled many people to challenge the secrecy and misinformation of the nuclear industry.
Jinzaburo Takagi was associate professor of nuclear chemistry at Tokyo Metropolitan University when he left in 1975 to set up CNIC.
Since 1988, his work has centred on the Japanese plutonium programme, on which subject he has organised a number of conferences, as well as proposing a moratorium on the programme.
These activities are widely believed to have contributed to the recent scaling down of Japan's plutonium programme - not least after a serious accident with the country's prototype fast-breeder reactor in 1995, which the authorities tried to cover up.
Takagi and CNIC became the public conscience on these issues and were widely quoted in the press as the scientists who could be trusted.
After years of struggle, Takagi is finally allowing himself some optimism.
He says: "I now think, for the first time in my life, that we will be able to free Japan and the world from the plutonium nightmare."
Working Towards a PhaseOut of Japan's Plutonium Program
The internationally esteemed Right Livelihood Award for 1997 was bestowed today upon CNIC representative Dr. Jinzaburo Takagi, and is shared with Mycle Schneider of the Paris-based World Information Service on Energy (WISE).
Called "The Environmental Noble Prize," or "The Alternative Nobel Prize," the award serves to support the work of people who "
to honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today."
The awarding of such an internationally-acclaimed prize to Dr. Takagi shows the global esteem accorded to CNIC's work. As such, it is with great honor that the award is received.
Japan and France are the two countries most ambitiously pursuing plutonium utilization programs. The fact that Takagi and Schneider are at the center of the worldwide movement opposing these programs significantly demonstrates the tremendous international concern and apprehension regarding the two countries' plutonium strategies.
In reality, this prize is not limited to the two persons receiving it. Rather, it recognizes the efforts of the many individuals and citizens' activities including Japanese NPOs--who have been active worldwide to oppose plutonium utilization. This award pays homage to the efforts made and success accomplished to date, but also is a huge encouragement lending inspiration for the NPO activities still to come.
Upon the occasion of this award, CNIC renews its deep commitment to continue working towards the complete cessation of the Japanese plutonium program.