The news from the Fukushima disaster only trickles into the US media market, but what we do hear is devastating. Birds dropping from the sky, deformed fish and insects, and let's not forget the implications across the Pacific: "The Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel released model simulations on the long-term dispersal of Cs-137 released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima on 7/6/2012. According to their simulation, the West coast of the North American continent will be the most contaminated by Cs-137 in 10 years" according to environmental scientists around the globe.
And what is the feeling from Japanese officials? They're ready to restart their 50 nuclear reactors, of course! At least 170,000 Japanese citizens think this is a really really bad idea, however, and took to the streets in protest:
"Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in central Tokyo Monday in the biggest demonstration so far against government plans to restart the nation's nuclear reactors, which were gradually shut down in the wake of last year's March 11 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
"With local temperatures breaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) on a sunny national holiday -- Marine Day -- organizers claimed 170,000 people from all over Japan, including some who traveled by bus from the Fukushima district, gathered to attend a good-natured rally starting at Tokyo's leafy Yoyogi Park.
"'Politicians say they are putting people's lives first, but those are just the words they use for their strategy and don't carry any substantive meaning,' said Goro Nakazawa, 33, a musician from Tokyo's Koenji neighborhood. 'In the name of the economy, this kind of tragedy (at Fukushima Daiichi) has happened...Life is more important than the economy.'"
Life is more important than the economy. You might say "life is more important than capitalism." And I thought American politicians were slaves to their corporate masters. This ubur-utilitarianism is an American import the Japanese never needed.