Freedom Socialist editorial
Japan: a nuclear crisis without borders
volume 34
issue 5
October 2013

The nuclear floodgates are opening — and that’s not just a metaphor. While U.S. politicians and CEOs do their best to rehabilitate the idea of nuclear energy (see related story), radioactive water is pouring out of the Fukushima nuclear plant and into the Pacific Ocean at the rate of about 300 tons a day.

It’s been two and a half years since a tsunami crashed into the plant, triggering a chain reaction that forced the evacuation of 160,000 people and contaminated air, land, water, and food. In that time, the operator of the plant, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.), has continued to lie about the extent of the disaster and evade real responsibility for fixing it.

Japan’s last working reactor is now offline for maintenance, but Premier Shinzo Abe is unlikely to give up his dream of rebooting the country’s nuclear industry. Before the disaster, nuclear power supplied a third of Japan’s energy. Now Japan is paying exorbitant prices for imported oil and gas — and, of course, the bottom line trumps any concerns about health and safety.

A permanent nuclear shutdown is supported by 84 percent of the Japanese people. Giant labor rallies on Nov. 3 and 4 will include this demand, and organizers in Japan are seeking endorsements from around the world. Get in touch by emailing

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