Saturday, March 15, 2014
3.11 2014 - Atlanta, GA Report
We had a small gathering, about 12 or 13 people in Atlanta. The fashionable, uptown area of Atlanta is a confusing mass of highways and shopping centers and parking lots. Several of us had difficulty getting to the designated point, but we all found each other and had a good demonstration at a very busy intersection between two major shopping malls at noon. This was our game plan as the plaza in front of the Japanese Consulate’s office is not very populated or visible. It was a beautiful spring day, 77 degrees!
As you know, we had started arrangements two weeks ahead of time and made a solid connection with the Consul General who committed to send a deputy down to receive our letter. I was first to arrive and made a beeline to speak with security, following up on a positive connection made when I scouted the place two and a half weeks ago and at which they advised us to begin with the Consulate and the building manager would follow the Consulate’s lead. Security were making a beeline to me and we met in the middle. They told us we couldn’t be there. I told them the Japanese Consulate had agreed to meet with us and they said their orders were from the building manager. I was cooperative and moved to the public sidewalk which is actually not in view of the office plaza.
Soon after, Jude, our liaison with the Consul General arrived. She went up to meet with the Consulate and called us that they were ready to receive the letter.
A contingent of us walked from the rally on Peachtree Road to the office plaza and when we got there, Jude notified them that we were ready and they asked us to wait for them in the lobby. No photos please, but happy to receive letter (attached).
Security surrounded us at that point and told us to leave the property, and while we conversed about the twisted logic that their tenant couldn’t conduct their business in the lobby, heck, even in the plaza, they were telling us they were on orders from Property Management. We kept the dialogue going and very soon Deputy Consul General Yasakata Fukahori Ph.D. (Environmental Economics) appeared. Security then asked us to meet outside and melted away. Our contingent that was present for the meeting was dressed nicely and appropriately for the diplomatic nature of our mission and had no protest signs or any trappings of a demonstration. It was distinctly odd to have security running interference for the Japanese Consulate and I cannot speculate about what was driving it.
SO, we had a very productive meeting, Georgia WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions) co-led the initiative with Nuclear Watch South, presenting apologies, flowers, cranes and the letter. We spoke for quite awhile about the controversial nature of nuclear energy in Japan. It was disheartening, but not surprising, to hear Mr. Fukahori say, “Nuclear power is clean” and to articulate the agenda of industry and Prime Minister Abe. He said, “No pictures or media. Tokyo policy.”
And he said, “I see that you are sincere in your sympathy for Japan.”
I was proud of our group for rolling with the changes and adapting to the situation and we were satisfied to meet the goal of presenting the letter.
I feel this is the beginning of an annual tradition and we have a relationship with the Consulate upon which to build. Thank you for getting us into this Cecile, Chizu, Umi and all!
BTW the media did not show. But we ARE in Georgia Power and Vogtle Country!
No more Fukushimas!
* * *
NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH
P.O. Box 8574 | Atlanta, GA 31106 | 404-378-4263 | cell 404-432-8727
firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.nonukesyall.org
LETTER TO PM ABE:
2011 — WE REMEMBER TōHOKU AND FUKUSHIMA — 2014
March 11, 2014
Consul General Kazuo Sunaga
Japanese Consulate of Atlanta
3438 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
FOR DELIVERY to His Excellency Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
Dear Consul General Sunaga:
We wish to express our deep sympathy and support for the Japanese people, who are facing the nuclear accident in Fukushima even as they continue to recover from the Great East Japan (Tōhoku) Earthquake and tsunami of three years ago. We wish to affirm the celebrated technological prowess of Japan and her ability meet the challenge of containing and decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and to lead the world in deploying safe energy systems such as solar, wind and tidal power.
We believe that the primary focus of your government must be on mitigating the catastrophic radiation releases from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, preventing further disasters, and developing energy efficiency and safe energy sources instead of on restarting nuclear reactors and exporting nuclear technology. It is important for Japan to conserve its financial, managerial and regulatory resources in order to meet the supreme challenges facing the Japanese people. The following list includes our requests:
1. We call on you to abandon plans to restart nuclear reactors across Japan. We are also working toward the goal of moving beyond nuclear power in our own country.
2. Please expedite the stabilization of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s reactors and spent fuel pools.
3. Stop the flow of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. The ocean extends far beyond Japan. It is owned by the entire planet and is essential to life on Earth.
4. Please do not export nuclear reactors to other countries.
5. Please fully compensate all victims of the nuclear accident in Fukushima and provide medical treatment and relocation assistance for people living in contaminated areas.
6. Stop the incineration of radioactive rubble and waste throughout Japan, a practice that does not destroy the radioactivity but rather disperses it into the air, incinerator ash and other solid waste.
7. Please begin a robust food monitoring program for all Japanese citizens and restore strict limits on allowable radiation exposures, especially for Japanese children.
8. We are very concerned about the message that is being sent by the recently enacted Act on Protection of Specified Secrets, which discourages open discussion and transparency about the nuclear accident in Fukushima. This law is having a negative impact on the Japanese people, as well as the global commons and, indeed, the future of us all.
We speak with sadness for the people who have been forced to abandon their homes and hometowns and farmers who have lost their farmlands and their animals. Many people will never be able to go back to their homes and businesses because of radiation contamination. TEPCO and government regulators are responsible for solving this crisis and taking steps toward self-accountability regarding early decisions to locate the facility in an area known for earthquakes and tsunamis. We call on the Japanese government to stand with its people through this ongoing tragedy and to resist exploitation and capture by profit-making corporations and the international nuclear industry.
Radiation knows no national or prefectural borders. We must not allow another nuclear disaster. We urge you to exercise your leadership to achieve the goals of these eight recommendations.
With sincerest and highest regards,
Nuclear Watch South
P.O. Box 8574
Atlanta, GA 31106 USA
Becky D. Rafter, MPA
Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions
250 Georgia Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30312 USA