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Japan: legitimate self-defence or militarism?

Japan's prime minister is attempting to revise constitutional pacifism to allow for strengthening of armed forces. Dear all, Below please find the link to an opinion piece, just published on Al Jazeera, that I co-authored with my colleague Celine Nahory in regards to the latest developments in Japan - namely the publication of Prime Minister Abe's plan to re-interpret war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constit ...

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Japan in danger to lose its constitutional article for the rejection of war

After the horrors of World War II Japan installed article 9 in its constitution which generally renounces war as a means of conflict resolution and this way forbade the building up of an army. In fact Japan possesses so called “self-defense forces” but this article helped to keep Japan out of wars in the last decades. Now political forces try to change this paragraph in order to give Japan the possibility t ...

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Ex-Japanese PM on How Fukushima Meltdown was Worse Than Chernobyl & Why He Now Opposes Nuclear Power

Three years ago today a massive earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coast, resulting in an unprecedented nuclear crisis: a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. As Japan marks the anniversary with continued uncertainty around Fukushima’s long-term impact, we are joined by Naoto Kan, Japan’s prime minister at the time. It’s rare that a sitting wo ...

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Energies Clash in Tokyo Election

TOKYO, Feb 7 2014 (IPS) - Tokyo, one of the largest and most energy-guzzling cities in the world, is set to hold elections for a new governor Feb. 9. Analysts say it could prove crucial in stopping the Japanese government from restarting some nuclear reactors this year. It could also mean a big push for renewable energy. Professor Yurika Ayukawa, a climate change expert at the Chiba University of Commerce, ...

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When pacifism is turned upside-down – Reflections on Japan’s new foreign policy

With his second term in office, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo of Japan and members of his administration have outlined a vision for Japan’s foreign and security policy based on ‘pro-active pacifism’. In his address to the UN General Assembly in September 2013, Abe elaborated that he “will make Japan a force for peace and stability, just as it has been until now” and pledged that “Japan will newly bear the flag ...

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Japanese regions transition to 100% renewable energy

Tokyo, 31st January 2014: Local governments across Japan are seeking to supply their regions with 100% renewable energy, three years after the major earthquake which resulted in a nuclear disaster. At the Community Power Conference in Fukushima, the Founding Partners of the Global 100% Renewable Energy Campaign welcome the decision of Fukushima prefecture to be entirely energy self-sufficient by 2040 using ...

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Fukushima hero dies of cancer as radioactivity problems far from over

Masao Yoshida has died of cancer of the oesophagus. He was 58. He had led the efforts to stop the radioactive leaks at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami induced a triple meltdown. He famously disobeyed orders from his Tepco (Fukuyima's plant's owners) bosses and pumped massive amounts of sea water to cool down the reactors, which experts credit with stopping a ...

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Japan’s Election – International Petition Asks Prime Minister Abe not to Amend Japan’s Peace Constitution

Japan will hold elections of the Upper House of the Diet on 21 July 2013. Several parties, notably Prime Minister Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, have made constitutional revision a priority. If they obtain a majority – and they are in a good posture to get it – they will push for amendment of war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese constitution to seek Japan to be allowed to exercise collective military a ...

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Radiation exposure around Fukushima and as far as Tokyo higher than admitted by Japanese authorities

For readers interested in the Fukushima disaster, Pressenza recommends you watch this 30-minute video Symposium: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident In this video filmed at the symposium, Arnie Gundersen presents his findings concerning the Fukushima Accident. The findings show that the population of Japan have been exposed to levels of radiation far higher that the aut ...

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Nuclear sabre-rattling in North East Asia: Can Godzilla be tamed?

Godzilla, a giant monster mutated by nuclear radiation, first appears in a 1954 Japanese science fiction movie by the same name, ravaging Japan in a symbolic warning about the risks of nuclear weapons. For a couple of decades Godzilla was very popular, appearing in more than 28 films as well as many video games, novels, comic books, and a television series. Then, as a fragile détente developed in the region ...

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