U.S. base issue and NPP issue have the same root
Y: I mentioned the exclusion clause in the Civil Aeronautics Law, but there are also exemptions about radioactive substances. Presumably the following laws were formulated at the time that the Japan-U.S. Atomic Agreement, which is very similar to the Japan-US Security Treaty, was concluded.
Air Pollution Control Act, Article 27-1: “The provisions of this Act shall not apply to air pollution from radioactive materials or the prevention thereof.”
Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, Article 2-1: “The term ‘Designated Hazardous Substance’ as used in this Act means any substance, including but not limited to lead, arsenic, trichloroethylene, and similar substances (excluding radioactive substances).”
I assume these were formulated as the agreement was concluded.
T：They are all exempted.
Y: Water Pollution Control Law, Article 23-1: “The provisions of this Law shall not apply to water pollution caused by radioactive substances or its prevention.”
Moreover, the Environmental Basic Act, Article13 states that radioactive contamination is regulated in the Atomic Energy Basic Law, but nothing is regulated there. This way of manipulating the legal system nullifies all nuclear disasters. I discovered this when farmers in Fukushima asked the Ministry of the Environment to take action regarding their contaminated fields. The surprising answer from the MOE was “we have determined that releasing radioactive substances is not against the law” based on the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act Article 2-1.
H：The MOE exclude all the radioactive substances so the release of them is not illegal.
Y: This Act has been partially amended, but on June 27, 2012, one year and three months after the nuclear disaster, the Atomic Energy Basic Law was amended,
Y: and a strange Article 2-2: “Ensuring security in using nuclear energy should contribute to national security” was added.
H：A security issue of the NPP becomes an issue of national security.
Y: That is a bizarre article.
T： They added the element of national security.
H：Utilization of nuclear energy is an issue of national security.
Y: Because of the Sunagawa final judgment, therefore, the Constitution has no authority over the Act anymore. What this new article means is that the Act cannot be regulated even if the Japanese government injures the people’s security or health. The people cannot say anything.
T：It means that regulation becomes a matter to be decided by the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee, right?
Y: Essentially, yes.
H：To wrap up today’s episode, we have been talking about why Japan still has U.S. bases and NPPs. All these issues are determined by the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee and not adjudicated by the Constitution.
How I lost office could have been related to the development of this policy. There is, in addition, a legal structure to protect NPPs. Let’s carry on with this next week.
Y: Since this is, after all, a structural problem, we need to work on the structure.
H：Thank you for this time today.