Yamaguchi City, Saturday, January 29, 2011
Five young men (2 aged 19, 3 aged 20) are in the ninth day of a hunger strike outside the Prefectural Government offices in Yamaguchi City to protest land fill and sea reclamation work in preparation for construction of a nuclear power plant on the coast of the environmentally sensitive Seto Inland Sea. (See translation of their statement after this press release and photos at the bottom.) The Seto Inland Sea is sometimes referred to as Japan's Galapagos because of its rich environmental diversity.
They plan to continue their hunger strike at least until the tenth day (Sunday 30th), when they will conduct a one-hour sit-in from 12 noon outside the Prefectural Government offices. The sit-in will be joined by Diet Members from the Social Democratic Party and other supporters. Beyond Sunday, their plans will depend on their physical condition.
In October some of the hunger strikers joined the 800-kilometer "7 Generations Walk" from Kaminoseki to Nagoya, where COP 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity was being held. Along with other activists from Japan and abroad they protested the threat posed by the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant to the biodiversity of the Seto Inland Sea.
1. Video of hunger strikers
2. COP10 International Appeal Against Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant
3. Article about Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant on Convention on Biological Diversity COP 10 NGO web site
4. "7 Generations Walk" Japanese web site and English YouTube video
5. Hunger strikers' Japanese Blog and personal statement.
Naoya Okamoto (Kin-chan), Hunger Striker
Philip White, Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Phone: +81-3-3357-3800
Five Hunger Strikers' Appeal Against Construction of the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant
We began a hunger strike on the afternoon of January 21 to call for the temporary suspension of land fill and sea reclamation work at the proposed site of a nuclear power plant at Tanoura, Kaminoseki Town, Yamaguchi Prefecture and for reconsideration of the approval for this work.
We decided to take this action because we do not want the radioactive waste that will arise and the radioactivity that will accumulate in the sea and the atmosphere as a consequence of constructing and operating this nuclear power plant to be left to our own and our children's generations.
Radioactive waste continues to release radioactivity for thousands of years, but no means of disposing of it has been established. Furthermore, although nuclear power plants can only be operated for about 40 years and the buildings themselves become radioactive in the process, no safe method of decommissioning them after they are shut down has been found.
Nevertheless, they are going ahead with a plan to construct a new nuclear power plant at Kaminoseki Town in Yamaguchi Prefecture. To construct a new nuclear power plant when there is neither a method of disposing of the radioactive waste that will be produced in the process of operating the plant, nor a method of decommissioning the plant after it is shut down is to bequeath the problems to generations of young people to come.
None of us are residents of Kaminoseki Town, but the problems of this nuclear power plant are by no means problems just for Kaminoseki. They are problems for the whole country.
We want to inform as many people as possible about this issue and to communicate the reality of what is now happening at Kaminoseki and our feelings about the matter to the Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture, who approved landfill and sea reclamation work at Tanoura, Kaminoseki Town, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
This hunger strike will only become meaningful if it captures the attention of people throughout Japan. We need your strength. If you agree with the sentiments expressed in our appeal, please forward it to as many people as possible.
And if you have some time, please phone or fax the Yamaguchi Prefectural Government Office and Chugoku Electric Power Company, which is proceeding with its plan to build a nuclear power plant at this site. Please ask them about our hunger strike.
Tel: 083-933-2570 Fax: 083-933-2599
Chugoku Electric Power Company
Tel: 082-241-0211 Fax 1: 082-523-6185 Fax 2: 082-504-7006
Of course, we welcome anyone, regardless of age or gender, who wishes to join our hunger strike.
We repeat, we need everyone's strength for this action. We are laying our bodies on the line in order to communicate our feelings. We ask for your support.
Naoya Okamoto (Kin-chan, age 20)
Gen Matsumura (Gen-chan, age 19)
Kanta Yonehara (Kan-chan, age 20)
Ereki Kobayashi (Gin-chan, age 20)
Rei Funamizu (Tama-chan, age 20)
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