Failure of Government's alibi set up : An employee of an Electric Company gives his opinion at the people's opinion hearings

Original text from Ryusaku Tanaka Journal 15.07.2012 http://tanakaryusaku.jp/2012/07/0004711怒号が飛び交う傍聴席に静聴を懇願する細野環境相。=15日、仙台市。写真:田中龍作=

Hosono, the Minister of the Environment asking anxiously to the audience to listen, descended into a chaotic clanging match.= July 15 at Sendai City: Photo by Ryusaku Tanaka
It was an event only held for the purpose of Japan's Nuclear Power Village more than any other nonsense. The "opinion hearing" to listen to people's voice about the percentage of nuclear power plants in total power supply on 2030 was held in Sendai City on July 15. In the first place, the setup of   "Percentage of nuclear power plant" is suspicious. There's only three choices: "0%","15%","20-25%". It was decided with the lead of METI (The Ministry of Economy and Industry). The Japanese people character trends to prefer the middle course than the extremes. If it is "15%" as the plan scheme, it means that 20 to 24 nuclear power plants will still be in operation in 2030.
There can be the options of "0%","5%","10%" but 2 of 3 choices means the continuation of nuclear power.

In the salutation of Goshi Hosono, the Minister of Environment and also Vice Chairman of the meeting of Energy and Environment, we could see that his position was to carry through the nuclear power. 
"It will take time and cost to switch to clean energy. If clean energies are not enough advanced, we will depend on firepower and it causes global warming. Production costs will increase and we are concerned by the fact that the wealth will flow into other countries". The Minister Hosono earnestly emphasized the economic potential. It was as if to say: "We need Nuclear Power". 9 people selected by lot from public offering made opinions presentations. Three people were for "20 to 25%", two people "15%" and four people were for "0%". It was planed to be three persons for each choice but by mistake, "0%" became four people.

Among the people up for "20 to 25%" which is the concept of active promoters of nuclear energy, there was an employee of the Tôhoku Electric Power Company, the active promoter of nuclear energy. This person pretended "qualification as an individual" but at the opinion presentation he repeated, "As our company…".
"From the moment of choosing people, it's just fake!" the audience roared in anger.

Minister Hosono stood up and begged to people, "Please listen with some order. Please calm down and listen" but the audience roared again. "It was already wrong the lot to choose people!" …The audience kept roaring also about the woman scandal of Minister Hosono. The conference room became tumultuous and the opinion hearing was temporary suspended.
105 People who won the lottery were hearing. (175 people applied - 130 people won their seat - persons present on the current day -105 people).

The next person who made the opinion presentation was an employee of material maker living in Tokyo. He sang the praises of PM Noda who decided the restart of nuclear power plant. "I found the message of PM Noda, I have to restart nuclear power plant to protect people's life was so dynamic. I think other politicians should learn from him". After the opinion hearing, he didn't avoid my question about his relationships with the makers of nuclear power.
A citizen of Sendai presses the employee of Electric Company (to the left) "What do you think about the tragedy of Fukushima?"=Photo by Ryusaku Tanaka 
I couldn't find absolute proof of prearranged performances at the opinion hearing. But is there a set-up that is so obvious like this? It was a sloppy event from the beginning to the end. The Government (National Policy Unit : NPU) have passed the whole task onto Hakuhodo (Advertising Agency) and Hakuhodo contract it out to a subcontractor event company for the actual work. There were only three people from Hakuhodo.
The words of a local housewife who stood for "0%" expressed the situation the most clearly. "I heard that there will be an opinion hearing but it was too long before i was finally heard. Some people don't have internet although you say you broadcast the footage on the internet. There's so many people who think seriously about the nuclear power problem even if they don't have internet".
The opinion hearing had been held in 11 difference places all over Japan and the government will decide the policy by the end of August. People who give their opinions are only 99. And the time period is less than a month. It's too quick and dirty after the experience of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. "Nuclear Policy decided after having heard people's voice"… It's already ruined but it's obvious that it will be used by the government to establish their alibi.
Courtesy : Ryusaku Tanaka / Miyako Suwa

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