Australian news, and some related international items

Tokyo Olympics part of propaganda strategy to downplay Fukushima nuclear disaster, as Olympics have been previously used to downplay Hiroshima bombing.

Billions watching the games are imbibing the idea that, protests notwithstanding, Covid, Fukushima, the atomic bombings, and rising nuclear dangers today pose no impediment to normalcy

Olympics row: Tokyo dubbed ‘nuclear games’ as Fukushima disaster overshadows sport

JAPAN has been accused of recklessly using the Tokyo Olympics as part of a propaganda strategy aimed at downplaying the seriousness of 2011’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.

By CIARAN MCGRATH , Aug 2, 2021  And Alyn Ware has questioned the wisdom of holding some events in the city, given the fact that the clean-up operation at the plant continues more than a decade later. Mr Ware, the co-founder of the Global Campaign for Peace Education, will outline his concerns at a webinar this afternoon to mark the release of a new online documentary, Nuclear Games, which suggests nuclear issues are consistently downplayed by governments including Japan’s.

Prior to this, he penned a piece for The Nation in which he claimed the Olympics had become inextricably intertwined with what he termed the country’s “nuclear politics”.

Mr Ware cited the ongoing controversy surrounding the decision to stage the games in the city in the first place, given the spread of Covid cases in the Olympics Village, suggesting misgivings had been largely ignored.

He said: “But the tone-deafness of these Olympics goes back further – to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“In 2019, then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dubbed the Tokyo Olympics the ‘Recovery Games’, meant ‘to showcase the affected regions of the tsunami’ and the nuclear meltdown of 2011, which continues to pose threats today.

That’s why some Olympic events are being held in Fukushima’s Azuma Stadium, and why Olympic torch runners have been routed through Fukushima prefecture, hitting what the official Olympic website calls ‘places of interest’ near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

It started at J-Village, a former logistics hub for crews working to remediate the stricken reactors, now a sports complex, where Greenpeace detected a radiation hot spot in late 2019.

“It passed through Okuma and Futaba, where the plant is located, and other nearby towns long abandoned after the disaster.”

Mr Ware added: “This is intended to project an image of recovery and normalcy to the world.

“But it’s government propaganda, deaf to citizens’ concerns, and blind to ongoing threats. Fukushima Daiichi continues to leak radioactivity. New radiation hot spots and other impacts are being discovered all the time.”

Such an approach had been used before, in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Mr Ware pointed out

He explained: “Yoshinori Sakai, born in Hiroshima on the day the atomic bomb was dropped, lit the Olympic flame.

“A scant year and a half after the Cuban missile crisis, this gesture soft-pedalled the dangers of nuclear technology, nuclear weapons, and the burgeoning arms race.”

Mr Ware argued: “Billions watching the games are imbibing the idea that, protests notwithstanding, Covid, Fukushima, the atomic bombings, and rising nuclear dangers today pose no impediment to normalcy.

“This should be countered with factual context and truth-telling.”

Nuclear Games uses manga and interactive content to offer viewers a crash course in issues including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Chernobyl disaster and North Korea’s nuclear program.

Mr Ware stressed: “We urgently need remedial education on nuclear issues.

“Most millennials believe nuclear war will occur within the next decade, yet they also rank nuclear weapons as the least important of 12 global issues.

“They’re both justifiably anxious and badly misinformed.”

Achieving what he called “basic nuclear literacy” was more crucial now than ever, Mr Ware argued.

He said: “Nuclear dangers are more acute than in 1964, the risk of nuclear war is growing, and the arms control regime is failing.

“This year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock ahead to 100 seconds before midnight – closer to the zero hour than during the Cuban missile crisis.

“Nuclear weapons states are turning away from arms control and embarking on a second Cold War–style arms race.”

Referring to recent alarming revelations, he said: “As China builds missile silos and Russia builds new types of nuclear weapons, the United Kingdom and Pakistan are expanding their nuclear arsenals, the United States is spending billions to ‘modernise’ its arsenal, and other nuclear powers are following suit.”

Mr Ware concluded: “US Senators Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley and their colleagues on the Nuclear Arms Control Working group recently called on Biden to guide the Nuclear Posture Review towards a pledge of no first use and the elimination of new types of nuclear weapons.

“But such things can hardly compete with a two-week Olympic media blitz that normalises nuclear disasters and shrugs at rising nuclear dangers, which illustrates why we need a new drive for mass nuclear literacy.

“With arms control in retreat, an informed citizenry could be our last, best line of defence.”

August 3, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: