Wednesday, June 22, 2011

National Policy and the Principles of Autonomy, Democracy and Openness

On Monday, June 20, the TV channel of NHK BS premium aired the program "Superb feast of beauty: Kaii Higashiyama's journey. Part 2: Challenging Kyoto." In this program, Higashiyama's painting works made in Kyoto were introduced, and a few commentators analyzed them. After seeing the program, I wanted to see those paintings again in the book "Kyoraku Shiki: Kaii Higashiyama Shogashu (Four Seasons in Kyoto: Kaii Higashiyama's Small Picturebook" (Shinchosha, 1984) and went to the drawing-room to bring the book from the bookshelf there. Then, I found the book entitled "Nuclear Power Generation" (edited by Mitsuo Taketani; Iwanami, 1976). I browsed some of its pages and found the following passages:
[. . .] So long as she neglects the autonomous effort of developing her own reactors by keeping the lines of importing mass produced power reactors of light water type, Japan should be unable to be freed from the global strategy of the US to sell enriched uranium. (Page 197.)

The factor that is mainly giving damage to Japan's current nuclear policy is the fact that, regardless of the presence of the three nuclear principles incorporated in the Atomic Energy Basic Law, the principle of "openness" has been ignored and the principle of maximum confidentiality has been kept. This has irretrievably impaired the integrity of the Atomic Energy Commission and electric power companies.
Further, the principle of "democracy" has clearly been violated. Scientists and engineers convenient to the Government and industries have been employed as members of Commission, etc., and their views have always been found faulty. On the other hand, those who had decent views and criticized the national policy have not been employed as such members. (Pages 201–202.)

Essentially, there is no other way than faithfully to keep the three principles of "openness", "democracy" and "autonomy" in order to amend Japan's nuclear future and to convince the people of the country. (Page 204, the last sentence of the main text.)
Those words were written about 20 years after the introduction of nuclear reactors into Japan. For the additional period of about 35 years from that time, the nuclear policy was run without correcting its ignorance of the three nuclear principles. This is considered to have led to the severe accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The three principles, though incorporated into the Atomic Energy Basic Law but always violated, should be quite sad, if it had a mind. The importance of the same three principles is not limited to nuclear power policy. Autonomy, democracy, and openness must be respected in all areas of Government's actions. The national policy that ignores these principles would collapse sooner or later.

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