In the press review of Thursday, April 15, we will discuss: the fishermen against the discharge of water from the Fukushima plant, the Olympic Games which can still be canceled and finally a mascot representing an element radioactive which is controversial.

The fishermen raise their voices

Fishermen and seafood industry workers have expressed their anger and concern over the Japanese government’s decision to dump waste and treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshi Kajiyama, has met Tetsu Nozaki, President of the Departmental Federation of Fukushima Fishing Associations. Nozaki sought to understand the government’s decision. Takeshi Takano, 70, fisherman at Ukedo fishing port, said : “I have the impression that in the end the decision to dump the sewage into the sea was taken by force without our having the opportunity to engage in bilateral discussions with the government and TEPCO (the operator control unit) ”. Also, following this terrible decision, about thirty people waved banners on which we could read “No to the dumping of wastewater into the sea” and “The Prime Minister should listen to the voice of the inhabitants”.

A possible cancellation of the Olympic Games

The Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party, Toshihiro Nikai, said Thursday that canceling the Tokyo Olympics could be an option. Indeed, the spread of coronavirus infections is forcing the organizers to think that it would be difficult to hold the event this summer. Japan has just entered “the fourth wave” and this jeopardizes the chances of maintaining the Olympic Games. The opening of this Olympiad is scheduled in exactly 99 days and the current world situation may not allow me to maintain them. Foreign supporters are already not accepted. The best would be not to welcome visitors for the health situation but Japan would then lose too much money and this would call into question the very usefulness of holding the Olympics. It was with this remark that Mr. Nikai, the number 2 of the Prime Minister’s ruling party Yoshihide Suga, caused trouble, during the recording of a television program that has not yet been broadcast.

Controversy around a communication and a mascot

On Tuesday, the Japan Reconstruction Agency published a leaflet and a video on its website presenting the radioactive substance tritium under the gait of a cute character. The purpose of this communication operation was to allay the concerns raised by the government’s decision to released radioactive water into the ocean, and to share information on the safety of treated water in a way that is accessible to all. However, this communication was withdrawn as of Wednesday evening, following criticism from local residents. Many felt that she was out of step with the harsh reality of the situation. In the flyers and video, the character explains that the discharge of water containing tritium is a common practice at nuclear power plants around the world. “The gap between the severity of the issues we face and the lightness of the character is huge”, said Riken komatsu, writer involved in reconstruction activities in Iwaki.


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