If You Love This Planet, Dr. Helen Caldicott

Kono Taro on Japan’s reaction to the Fukushima nuclear disaster


Kono Taro

Kono Taro

This week, Dr. Caldicott speaks with Kono Taro for an in-depth look at Japan’s reaction to the Fukushima meltdown. Mr. Kono is Director General of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s International bureau and a fifth-term Member of the House of Representatives in Japan. He is especially critical of the government’s pursuit of a so-called ‘closed’ nuclear fuel cycle whereby plutonium is extracted from spent fuel by nuclear waste re-processing within Japan. Mr. Kono also opposes the building of new nuclear power plants as the government has not dealt with the nuclear-waste issue. Some of the topics Dr. Caldicott and Mr. Kono discuss are the Japanese government and industry reaction to the Fukushima disaster, how Japanese citizens are dealing with the after-effects of the meltdown, the likelihood of birth defects post-Fukushima, radioactive food, whether Japan will continue to rely on nuclear power, the threat of future earthquakes on the island, whether or not Japan has any interest in building nuclear weapons, and the Chinese military presence in the vicinity of Japan. Relevant to this conversation are the articles Japanese Govt Kept Secret Worst-Case Scenario Post-Fukushima, Cesium from Fukushima plant fell all over Japan, Fukushima cesium ‘equals 168 Hiroshimas’, Helen Caldicott, M.D.: After Fukushima: Enough is Enough, Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation, Women Fight to Save Fukushima’s Children, and Japan must say no to nuclear!

2 Responses to “Kono Taro on Japan’s reaction to the Fukushima nuclear disaster”

  1. TokyoTom Says:

    It’s a bit of a shame that Dr. Caldicott didn’t bother, when bringing on a member of Parliament, no less, to figure out what was his first name and what was his last.

    Mr. Kono was quite a gentleman about it, but the host continually called him “Kono” without adding Mr., as if it was his first name!

  2. Gen Kanai Says:

    Dr. Caldicott, thank you for your interview with Taro Kono. He is one of the few politicians in Japan who has been speaking out against the nuclear power industry in Japan long before the Fukushima disaster.

    Regarding your questions on the Chinese government’s increasingly belligerent tactics in the South China Sea, a recent audio report by Mary Kay Magistad on Public Radio International’s “The World” is quite timely and I hope will provide some initial guidance on how the Chinese Navy (and it’s unofficial surrogates in the form of Chinese fishing boats) are over-reaching national boundaries. This is the issue that Taro is concerned about and the Chinese Navy’s actions are a concern for all of the regional nations.