Japan Topics

See all of Democracy Now!’s coverage of Japan.

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  • 03_15_11
    One day before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and sparked a nuclear crisis, the U.S. Nuclear Regulator Commission announced it would renew the license for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Vermont state legislators had voted to close the plant when its license expires in 2012. The 38-year-old facility has had a series of radioactive tritium leaks and is almost identical to the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. “My heart...
    Mar 15, 2011 | Story
  • Kidbutton
    Japanese anti-nuclear activist Aileen Mioko Smith and nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen question whether Japanese officials are doing enough to protect civilians from radiation, including proper monitoring and widening the evacuation zones. Some 70,000 residents have been forced to evacuate their homes, and another 140,000 people have been ordered not to step outside. “You can’t protect the people from reality,” Smith says. And Gundersen says,...
    Mar 15, 2011 | Story
  • Japannukemask
    Japan’s nuclear crisis is intensifying. A second reactor unit at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station may have ruptured and appears to be releasing radioactive steam. The plant has been hit by several explosions after a devastating earthquake and tsunami last Friday damaged its cooling functions. It has sent low levels of radiation wafting into Tokyo more than 130 miles away. The company operating the reactors withdrew at...
    Mar 16, 2011 | Story
  • Amys_column_default_640x360_2014
    In the aftermath of the largest recorded earthquake in Japanese history and the tsunami that followed, killing thousands, the Japanese nuclear crisis has sparked global repercussions.
    Mar 16, 2011 | Columns & Articles
  • Powerplantbutton
    Fears of a full-scale nuclear reactor meltdown are increasing as Japanese authorities use military helicopters to dump water on the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The water appears to have missed its target and failed to cool the plant’s reactors and spent fuel rods. “The walls of defense are falling, with the melting of the cores, the collapsing of the—we’re expecting the collapsing of the vessels. And then,...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story
  • Resucebutton
    The official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami has risen to 5,000, and at least 9,400 people are missing. Some 850,000 households have no power, and 1.5 million houses lack running water. Food and gas supplies have been nearly exhausted. We speak with video journalist Tetsuo Jimbo, who is in Sendai, Japan, one of the worst-hit areas. He describes the destruction of Rikuzen-Takata, a city formerly home to around 20,000 residents, half...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story
  • Radiationbutton
    For more on the emergency response effort, we speak with Steven Leeper of the Peace Culture Foundation, which manages the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. “In Hiroshima, we are pretty sensitive to radiation issues, and we’re very sensitive to disaster issues,” Leeper says. “We are known as a place that knows about radiation. We have a team of doctors. They left yesterday to go up into that area with their equipment to try to...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story
  • Keiwobutton
    We speak with leading Japanese cultural anthropologist and environmentalist Keibo Oiwa in Yokohama. He is the founder of the Sloth Club, Japan’s leading "Slow Life" environmental group. “I’m realizing again that democracy is so hollow now. We do not have power,” Oiwa says. “We have been controlled by the government and the Tokyo Electric Company, a private company... We have to really look for a lifestyle and a way of...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story
  • Temp-image_2_1
    The Japanese nuclear crisis worsens as Japanese authorities race to cool the overheating reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. Earlier today, Japan raised the nuclear alert level at the crippled plant from a four to a five, on par with Three Mile Island. This decision has shocked many nuclear experts. “Our experts think that it’s a level 6.5 already, and it’s on the way to a seven, which was Chernobyl," says...
    Mar 18, 2011 | Story
  • Former presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate and nuclear critic Ralph Nader strongly advocates phasing out nuclear power in the United States by calling for public hearings on the status of every single nuclear power plant. "What we’re seeing here is 110 or so operating nuclear plants in the United States, many of them aging, many of them infected with corrosion, faulty pipes, leaky pumps and combustible materials......
    Mar 18, 2011 | Story