Ryuchi Sakamoto and his anti-nuclear stance: is America a nuclear power?

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Ryuchi Sakamoto and his anti-nuclear stance: is America a nuclear power?

Walter Sebastian and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ryuchi Sakamoto is continuing with his anti-nuclear energy stance and pointing out the danger of nuclear energy which he is entitled to do so. However, ironically he moved to America a long time ago despite the thousands of nuclear warheads and being a nuclear energy power. It must have escaped him that he freely moved to this nation despite this reality and clearly this reality can’t have played an important part in his relocation. Not only this, earthquakes are a serious issue in America because of many zones in this nation which face this natural menace.

If Ryuchi Sakamoto is so principled about “the dangers of nuclear energy” then moving to America would imply that he doesn’t worry enough. Also, maybe having a huge stock pile of nuclear weapons isn’t the same?  Either way, if he wants to point the finger at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda; then clearly Ryuchi Sakamoto should look in the mirror?

Of course Ryuchi Sakamoto is entitled to reside anywhere he likes in the world and because of his talents he is lucky enough to have this opportunity. Yet clearly if he feels so unsafe with nuclear energy then it is ironic that he moved to a nation which uses nuclear energy. The issue in Fukushima shouldn’t be an “anti-nuclear football” whereby individuals distort the real picture because it is hindering the local economy.

In an article published in the Asahi Shimbun titled Japanese will have to continue raising voices against nuclear energy,” many negative comments directed at the political process were stated. For example Ryuchi Sakamoto comments that “I have always felt discomfort about the way decisions are made in Japan based on “the mood” rather than “logic,” and without proper discussions regarding principles.”

This is a strange comment to make because the nature of politics irrespective of the nation state often appears to disenfranchise many people. The war in Iraq wasn’t supported by many citizens in the United Kingdom, America, and other nations involved, because the “weapons of mass destruction” appeared “illogical.” After all, the United Kingdom and America not only have “weapons of mass destruction,” but both nations have companies which sell “weapons of mass destruction” and in the past both nations supported the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Therefore, why is Ryuchi Sakamoto singling out Japan when this comment could apply to a host of nations?  Further on in his article he comments that Feeling they can no longer trust those in government or the mass media, people have begun using dosimeters to measure radiation levels and creating databases by entering such information on maps. Young people have become connected through the Internet and have organized a new style of demonstrations.”

This is selective just like anyone because several members of Modern Tokyo Times have been in Tokyo when anti-nuclear demonstrations have taken place. However, Lumine 2 in Shinjuku which is a trendy fashionable company was busier in this single store on the very same day.  Therefore many “young people” are also unconnected in Tokyo and throughout Japan just like people all over the world who are unconnected by “so-called” major issues.

Ryuchi Sakamoto also commented that “Noda repeatedly referred to protecting the lifestyles of the people. But I wonder who he was referring to when he said “the people.” I took it to mean that he wanted to protect the people who were living in “the nuclear energy village.” This comment seems rather biased because many individuals who reside in Japan believe that nuclear energy is essential either in the short-term or long-term because Japan isn’t blessed with natural resources.

Of course, people will be divided on any important policy and for some individuals the nuclear sector is needed provided major safety measures are taken. Others look at the short-term reality and support this source of energy until a genuine alternative energy policy is implemented in the future. Also, many individuals will belong to the anti-nuclear camp like Ryuchi Sakamoto.

In Fukushima you have many vibrant areas like Koriyama which is very fashionable and a commercial power base in Fukushima Prefecture. Indeed, this prefecture is blessed with stunning nature and places like Ura-bandai (Urabandai) is a tourist paradise. However, because of a lot of enormous negative over-hype about the nuclear issue then many locals are suffering despite being no ill-effects in the vast majority of this beautiful part of Japan.

Therefore, when Ryuchi Sakamoto implied that Prime Minister Noda was only concerned about protecting “the nuclear energy village;” it could equally be implied that Ryuchi Sakamoto is only concerned about “protecting his own anti-nuclear objectives.” Given this, the continuing scare mongering about nuclear energy is making it even harder for the local economy of Fukushima and surrounding prefectures. Similarly, many tourists in international countries are not visiting Japan based on an enormous amount of disinformation.

Serious issues do exist in the immediate area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Yet, the vast majority of Fukushima Prefecture is not only open for business but you have so many great places to visit. It appears that local communities are also being manipulated by aspects of the “anti-nuclear lobby.” This applies to the nuclear issue being blown up to a point which is detrimental to the overwhelming majority of residents who reside in Fukushima Prefecture.

The events of March 11, 2011, led to nearly 20,000 people dying from the brutal tsunami which was triggered by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake. Vast numbers of homes were destroyed and whole communities were devastated by the forces of nature. The nuclear crisis that emerged because of the earthquake and tsunami created another terrible dimension. However, the real issue related to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was not the “nuclear issue” but the mismanagement of this facility and lack of real safety precautions during a time of crisis.

It may well be that Japan in the future turns away from the nuclear sector at home while exporting nuclear technology to other nations. For example Japanese companies will help Vietnam and many other nations to expand their nuclear capabilities.

However, if Japan does move away from using nuclear energy it must be based on an alternative energy policy which is in the interest of this country. In nations like the United Kingdom, America, France, and many others, the nuclear sector provides valuable energy. Also, nations like China, South Korea, and India, will expand this sector respectively in their own nations.

The nuclear issue will always divide people just like other powerful issues. However, the silent majority which isn’t anti-nuclear or pro-nuclear understand the benefits of the energy that it provides. It is also clear that many companies are worried about the rising costs of energy and future power shortages. Therefore, Prime Minister Noda was addressing a wide audience when he talked about the need to protect the interests of Japan.

Of course, individuals may disagree but when prominent newspapers give “a voice” to an individual who can influence people then this also can be deemed to be “manipulation.” Ironically, despite America being the most powerful military nuclear power in the world and using nuclear energy, this never stopped Ryuchi Sakamoto from moving to the United States. Therefore, if he felt so comfortable in moving to this nation despite this reality; then does this not distort his own “mirror?”

Ryuchi Sakamoto is perfectly entitled to be anti-nuclear energy and anti-nuclear weapons. However, to imply negatives about others related to this issue without focusing on his own reality is rather ironic.




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