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Prof Mitsuhei Murata: A Plea for a Total Ban on the Use of Nuclear Energy
Published on by LoveLifeNoNukes
Mitsuhei Murata, Former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, addresses attendees at the Coalition Against Nuke's Sep. 20th Congressional Briefing, hosted by the Congressional Office of Congressman Kucinich (D-OH). Entire Transcript of Speech is available below and at the following link:
A Plea for a Total Ban on the Use of Nuclear Energy
By Mitsuhei Murata, Former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is for me a great honor and a real pleasure to participate in this memorable event.
In 1956 the cold war was at its height, nuclear war was menacing mankind and my prize essay alleged that the world was "on the verge of total destruction."Today the consequences of Fukushima threaten the world. Unit 4 contains 10 times more cesium 137 than Chernobyl. A strong earthquake could mean collapse.
The Japanese people realize from experience that nuclear energy generates unacceptable calamities. The collapse of unit 4 could be one. Japan must assume the historic role of promoting denuclearization, both civilian and military. Ignoring the conditions of the Fukushima nuclear reactors continue to be promoted at home and abroad. Fukushima must not be forgotten. In the name of the victims and 170,000 refugees, I call for a total ban of nuclear energy. The world must realize that any radioactive contamination creates immense and permanent harm for mankind and the earth.
1. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima are no less dreadful thanatomic bombs. Nuclear reactors are potential “super bombs." No single weapon can compete with the potential damage that can be caused by Fukushima unit 4 or reprocessing plants.
2. The Fukushima accident could have been more catastrophic for Japan and the world. The still present danger of a collapse of unit 4 after an intensity 7earthquake must be broadcast the world over.
3.Sound judgment would not have permitted construction of 54 nuclearreactors in a Japan menaced by frequent earthquakes and tsunamis.Only the lack of ethics and responsibility made it possible. Money and thecorruption of power plant management sow the seeds of catastrophe. This is not limited to Japan.
4.The same technology that produces nuclear energy produces nuclear weapons. The proliferation of nuclear power plants leads to the proliferationof nuclear weapons, as we are seeing today in North Korea and Iran. There is no way to ensure the safety of future generations except to eliminate the use of nuclear fission technology across the planet.
5. The lack of ethics and responsibility is highlighted by the absence of a solution for nuclear waste that threatens future generations. The Japanese “nuclear village" or nuclear dictatorship envisions the restarting and export of nuclear reactors, thus regaining the offensive for the Japanese nuclear industry. This is immoral. It shows no sense of international or inter-generational responsibility. Alas, I fear it will last.
6. Japan should warn the world of the consequences of not heading towardsdenuclearization. Eight years ago, I predicted that Japanese electriccompanies would decide Japan's fate. Two years ago at the World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War ( IPPNW) in Basel, I pleaded for mobilizing human wisdom to avert the ultimate catastrophe a nuclear calamity could produce. Sadly, these warnings did not deter my fears.
7. Considering the worldwide consequences of a nuclear accident, countries not possessing nuclear reactors should urge denuclearization, be it military or civilian. Countries already opting for nuclear energy should do so as well.
8. Originally, Japan had a maternal culture characterized by harmony and solidarity. After the Meiji Restoration was introduced to Japan, a paternal culture characterized by competition and confrontation in military form. History shows that paternal cultures end in catastrophe. Fukushima is the result of the supremacy of economy, another form of paternal culture introduced after WW2. The Maternal culture of harmony is the remedy forthe paternal culture of power.
9. Nuclear accidents cause limitless consequences unacceptable to human society. Fukushima is a reminder that the possibility of such a disaster should be completely zero. The great principle of a world without nuclear weapons and reactors should not be forgotten. The transition to maternalcivilization is a prerequisite for this vision.
10. Today mankind faces a crisis of civilization. The true cause is lack of ethics. Fundamental ethics would prohibit the abuse and exhaustion of natural resources leaving, permanently poisonous waste and enormous debt in its wake. Global ethics requires maternal culture, respecting the environment and interests of future generations. 3 transitions are necessary: Turn selfishness to solidarity, greed to contentment and materialism to spiritualism. Natural and renewable energies could amply supply the needs of such a civilization with a transitional period supplemented by fossil fuels. We must prepare to make the short term sacrifices in our lifestyles for the long term safety of mankind and the earth without nuclear energy.
11. The proposal to hold a UN Ethics Summit now draws more global attention. The trinity of global ethics, maternal civilization and true denuclearization should become a reality. President Obama's vision of the 'World without Nuclear Weapons’ needs to become the 'World without Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Reactors." The UN Ethics Summit is the first concrete step. I ardently hope that President Obama takes the initiative to realize this Summit and create an International Day of Global Ethics to serve as a yearly reminder. Initially, controversy over content should be carefully avoided.
In concluding, let me say the following.
The critical situation at Fukushima requires the mobilization of human wisdom on the widest possible scale. The pressing need for setting up a neutral assessment team as well as an international technical cooperation team is evident.
The fuel rods in the decaying cooling pool of unit 4 must be moved to another place as soon as possible. It is a global security issue requiring maximum efforts which regrettably are not being made.
More and more Japanese are awakening to the real dangers of nuclear accidents and nuclear reactors. Japan is thus heading steadily towards establishing zero dependency on nuclear energy.
"The will of heaven and earth" is my translation of "Providence as philosophy,"protecting mankind and the earth. It will help achieve true denuclearization, civil and military, in due course. The rage of those who lost all will continue to enliven anti-nuclear movements in Japan and eventually abroad.
Japan must now contribute to the realization of true denuclearization. Then the victims of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima will not have suffered in vain.
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