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


8】 Superficial society and the real society behind it


In thinking about this issue of nuclear power vs. public opposition, the most important point is realizing the enormous difference between superficial society, which we see as normal citizens, and the actual reality behind it. What makes seeing the reality difficult is that the behind-the-scenes society is actually much less visible. Yet it is more “real” than is the superficial society based on legal rights.

As I explained at the end of PART 1, one of the representative examples is the legal structure of the Security Treaty (the entity enjoying the “reality” of political power) being above the Constitution of Japan (the supreme law in the superficial society).

You might say about this situation, “It’s ridiculous. It’s all messed up.” And I agree. However, judicial rulings are given, power is exerted, and daily economic activities are carried out in the real society?pragmatically, according to what works to the advantage of powerful interests?according to this ridiculous legal system. Therefore, discussing or complaining about the superficial society will end in vain unless we reveal, clarify, and correct the real structure, making it right in terms of the principles of the superficial society, the rule of law based on human rights.

There is, however, another more complicated problem in this process, beyond what I explained in PART 1. The problem in PART 1 was the relation between the legal structure under the Security Treaty and the legal structure under the Japanese Constitution (the former being superior to the latter). Though it is obscure and not clearly visible to the public, it is clearly stipulated. Therefore, it will be evident to anyone looking into it step by step. However, the more complicated problem is that there is another hidden legal structure, which is not documented at all in the legal structure under the Security Treaty.

That hidden structure is the “legal structure under secret treaties.” In negotiations with the U.S. government, the most important agreements that Japanese negotiators have signed have been secret agreements. They cover matters that the authorities cannot possibly reveal to the Japanese people, but that must be followed according to the dictates of U.S. authorities.

These secret agreements are as effective as treaties under international law. In other words, as I showed on PART 1, they are above Japanese domestic laws, and the Sunagawa Case made them superior to the Constitution of Japan. Such secret “supreme laws” have piled up for about 60 years.

Unless we take into account this legal structure under secret treaties, we cannot figure out why violations of human rights cannot be stopped in Okinawa and Fukushima, why the courts give incomprehensible judgments, and why Japanese politicians do the opposite of their campaign promises after election victories.