【PART 2】 The Mystery of Fukushima: Why Japan Cannot Stop Nuclear Power Plants?

 

23】 It is the government that decides what is necessary. Our law says so!

 

As people say, “God is in the details.” The essence of something can sometimes be seen symbolically in its parts. What I thought was symbolic in this violation of human rights in Fukushima was a bureaucrat’s remark over “Nuclear Accident – Children and Victims Support Law”

This bill covers Fukushima residents who voluntarily evacuated to protect their children and residents living in contaminated places outside of Fukushima and having received little aid previously from the government. It was passed unanimously in both houses of the Diet under highly irregular nonpartisan legislation. And it raised people’s hopes of changing things for the better at that time.

However, the Japanese government unbelievably let it gather dust on the shelf for over one year, and never took any concrete action.

Meanwhile, on March 19, 2013, diet members supporting this bill (Children and Victims Support Diet Members’ Association??) had a meeting. There, Kuniko Tanioka (one of the writers of the bill and a Diet member at that time) insisted that there should be opinion hearings from victims — to consider why they were trying to pass this law before making a draft of the bill’s basic policy.

In response to her, Counselor Yasuhisa Mizuno of the Reconstruction Agency said in a forceful tone, “First of all, read our law thoroughly. The government takes necessary measures. It is the government that decides what is necessary. Our law says so!”

Nothing can provide the true picture of Japanese government and its bureaucrats better than this remark. It is indeed the small thing that symbolizes the essence of the bureaucratic attitude. Counselor Mizuno doesn’t understand the basic structure of modern society at all. He thinks that the people, and even the Diet member who wrote the bill as a representative of the people should follow decisions by politicians. This is the essence of the “governing act doctrine.” People’s human rights would never be protected with this doctrine.