Australian news, and some related international items

Land Regulation Law to be fully enforced on January 20, including orders with penalties for areas near bases and nuclear power plants

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno at a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on September 16, 2022 at the Prime Minister’s Office.

September 17, 2022
On September 16, the government decided at a Cabinet meeting to fully enforce the Land Use Regulation Law, which regulates land use around important security facilities such as Self-Defense Forces bases and nuclear power plants, on the 20th of this month. At the Cabinet meeting, the Cabinet also decided on the basic policy for operation of the law, which stipulates specific activities to be regulated. In areas determined by the government, it will be possible to investigate the names and nationalities of landowners and issue orders with penalties for obstructing facilities.

 The Land Use Regulation Law was passed at last year’s ordinary session of the Diet. The Prime Minister has designated “watch areas” and “special watch areas” around important security facilities such as Self-Defense Forces, U.S. military bases in Japan, Coast Guard facilities, and nuclear power plants, as well as remote islands near national borders. In these areas, the government will be able to investigate the use of land and buildings, and order the cessation of any activities that would damage the functionality of the facilities, with penalties including imprisonment. In “special watch areas,” the government will also require prior notification of names and nationalities when buying or selling land or buildings over a certain area.

 However, the specific types of activities to be regulated were not specified in the article, but were to be determined in the basic policy for operation.

 The basic policy approved by the Cabinet…

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japanese food imports found with radioactive residues in Taiwan destroyed

Importers advised to return or destroy radioactive contaminated foods, though risk low

Fukushima foods

September 15, 2022

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s food authorities said Wednesday (Sept. 14) radioactive isotopes have been detected in six food samples from Japan this year.

Traces of cesium-137 were found in foods including konjac powder, blueberry juice concentrate, shiitake mushrooms, shiitake mushroom powder, and maitake mushrooms. The contaminated food products were imported from Gunma, Tokushima, Nagano, Yamagata, and Tottori prefectures, between March and August, wrote CNA.

Taiwan lifted the ban on food produced in five prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in February, which are Fukushima, Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki and Tochigi. The konjac powder from Gunma was the first radioactive contaminated product inspected from these areas since the removal of the ban.

Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅), director general of the Food and Drug Administration, said while the radiation levels of the questionable goods did not exceed those imposed by Taiwan, all were returned or destroyed by the importers at the advice of the authorities. The practice is in line with a resolution passed by the legislature, she added.

The scrapping of the ban has caused a stir in the public over food safety. The Tsai administration has promised vigorous inspection and the implementation of radiation standards on food imports stricter than those of the U.S. or EU.

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan Plans To Restart Seven Nuclear Reactors By Summer 2023

September 14, 2022

In Japan, a major reversal last month, the government now wants to restart more nuclear power plants that were idled after the 2011 Fukushima disaster and is interested in expanding investments in next-generation plants. Weeks after the announcement, Japanese broadcaster NHK commissioned a new survey that revealed half of the population supports the government’s initiative to expand nuclear power.

NHK found that 48% of the respondents supported Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s plan of developing next-generation nuclear reactors as a reliable, clean energy power source in the country. About 32% opposed the plan, and another 20% were undecided.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 9-11 via random telephone conversations among 1,255 adults and came two weeks after Kishida announced plans to examine the construction of new plants that would break more than a decade of energy policy following the Fukushima disaster, which led to a decade-long effort to eliminate nuclear.

Japan’s energy policy is coming out of a decade of paralysis with increasing political and public support. The prime minister announced the restart of seven nuclear reactors across the country by the summer of 2023, bringing the total number of operating power units to 17.

Kishida’s reasoning behind revisiting nuclear comes as Japan could face electricity supply problems due to soaring prices of natural gas and other energy products.

Uranium bulls should be jumping for joy at the prime minister’s statement last month:

“Nuclear power and renewables are essential to proceed with a green transformation,” Kishida said. “Russia’s invasion changed the global energy situation.”

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment