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After Fukushima disaster, readers split on the atom via The Japan Times

♢ Norma Field, a co-organizer of this site, contributed to the letter below with her colleagues:

Some readers’ views on Michael Radcliffe’s July 24 Zeit Gist article, “How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the atom“:

The ‘nuclear village’ voice

Michael Radcliffe’s Zeit Gist piece is misinformed, irresponsible and reactionary. Prompted, perhaps, by the “Flyjin” piece (“‘Flyjin’ feel vindicated, worry for those left in Japan ,” Zeit Gist, June 12) and the spate of antinuclear activity that has hit Japan, Mr. Radcliffe may have been moved to respond as he did as a gesture of support to an already beleaguered Japan. If so, the string of misinformation and unsubstantiated opinion end up dishonoring a nation desperately in need of new direction informed by the realities of the man-made disaster.

As the weekly Friday protests continue to grow throughout Japan, expressing not only desire for change in energy policy but for a more responsive political process, Radcliffe’s cheerful praise of the status quo is not only blinkered but also insulting to the mothers with children, office workers, seniors and students who are discovering new purpose as citizens.

Mr. Radcliffe’s yardstick for assessing Fukushima No. 1′s destructive capacity is effectively reduced to one outcome: immediately identifiable deaths. His rant revolves around this misguided measure, revealing a vision that recognizes only the ‘spectacular’ as index of reality. Following this logic, a year-and-a-half after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, Mr. Radcliffe would have counted only those who had died from the blast and its immediate effects, leaving invisible and uncounted tens of thousands of others who suffered myriad radiation-related afflictions as hibakusha until their deaths.

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  1. yukimiyamotodepaul says

    Thanks to journalist Dreux Richard, I am very glad to know that the Japan Times ran this highly important letter, replying to, or in fact redressing of, Mr. Radcliffe’s outrageous remarks.



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