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ACTION ALERT- Do not permit Restart of the Sendai or Genkai Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear Wetlands

Nuclear Wetlands (Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps)

 

All of 48 nuclear power plants in Japan are stopped operation because of
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority(NRA)’s safety screening process.

NRA says it will prioritize this process for the Sendai nuclear power
plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan. And Japanese
government says when NPP passes this process, they will give a restart
permission to NPP owner.

In Japan, prefecture governor where NPP located on also have a authority
to give a permission to restart NPP. So now we conduct petition
campaign to asking 7 Prefecture Governers in Kyusyu area (Fukuoka, Saga,
Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima) about do not permit
the restart of the Sendai NPPs(Kagoshima prefecture) or Genkai(Saga
prefecture) NPPs.

You can sign the petition via online form. Please participate in this
action!
https://ssl.form-mailer.jp/fms/0e3164c3298231

Kind regards,

Hajime Matsukubo, CNIC

 

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Three Female Medical Students Who Destroyed Gender Norms A Century Ago

The Huffington Post  | by  Mallika Rao

Every so often, the same mysterious image seems to pop up on the internet. The black-and-white portrait looks to be at least a hundred years old, and yet, it is of an Indian woman, a Japanese woman and a Syrian woman, sitting in Pennsylvania.

women doctors 1885

From the Drexel University College of Medicine Archives and Special Collections.

The image — doing rounds this time thanks to Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi, a Ph.D. student who uploaded the photograph to her blog, having stumbled on it while researching 19th century ear surgery in the Drexel University College of Medicine online archives — is remarkable enough to warrant the fuss. The three magnificently dressed ladies were students at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, snapped at a Dean’s reception, in 1885.

If the timing doesn’t seem quite right, that’s understandable. In 1885, women in the U.S. still couldn’t vote, nor were they encouraged to learn very much. Popular wisdom decreed that studying was a threat to motherhood. Women who went to college, wrote the Harvard gynecologist Edward H. Clarke in 1873, risked “neuralgia, uterine disease, hysteria, and other derangements of the nervous system,” such as infertility. “Because,” went Clarke’s reasoning, in a classic bit of mansplaining titled “Sex In Education,” a woman’s “system never does two things well at the same time.”

So how did our seemingly non-hysterical trio wind up inside a medical school? And that too, from thousands of miles away?

In a report last year for PRI’s The World on the image — which seems to go viral annually — Christopher Woolf credits unsung heroes for making the situation possible: the Quakers, “who believed in women’s rights enough to set up the WMCP way back in 1850 in Germantown.”

“It’s a reminder just how exceptional America was in the 19th century,” Woolf writes. “We often spend so much time remembering all the legitimately bad things in U.S. history. But compared to the rest of the world, America was this inspirational beacon of freedom and equality.”

The first women’s medical college in the world, the WMCP was a magnet for ambitious ladies of all stripes. The three in the photograph — from left to right, Anandibai Joshi, Keiko Okami, and Sabat Islambouli — eventually became the first licensed female doctors in their respective countries: India, Japan and Syria.

2014-04-07-joshi.jpg

A close-up of Anandibai Joshi, one of three early foreign graduates of the WMCP.

Joshi is the best known of the three, perhaps because of how popular the medical profession is among Indians and Indian Americans. In India, Joshi’s life story became the basis for a 1992 novel and subsequent award-winning play (and was nearly turned into a movie). In America, the feminist Caroline Healey Dall wrote a biography of the young doctor as early as 1888, full of praise for Joshi’s “high-born consciousness.”

You can understand the fascination. On paper, Joshi’s life seems hugely regressive, but in reality it was anything but. She was married off at the age of nine, to a 20-year-old man. Unusually, he believed fervently that she should be educated, and took her lessons on himself.

According to Woolf’s report, what impelled Joshi to pursue medicine was the death of her 10-day old baby, a tragedy that struck when she was herself only 14. As she learned, and as Woolf points out, “medical care for women — even high-caste women like Joshi — was simply unavailable.”

Partly this was an issue of social norms, of women feeling incapable of getting gynecological service from men. In her application letter, excerpted in part at the PRI site, Joshi sells herself as the first step to a solution. Her purpose, she writes, is to return to India that she might “render to my poor suffering country women the true medical aid they so sadly stand in need of and which they would rather die than accept at the hands of a male physician.” (The full excerpt is a masterful example of the self-sale, and worth a read.)

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Another fragment of a letter Joshi wrote to an executive of the WMCP, asking for admission to the college, and financial assistance.

She was well-read, thanks in part to her husband, but not wealthy enough to actually travel to the U.S. and attend medical school. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History details the circuitous route the couple took to find a backer to send Joshi to America. Fittingly, it was a woman who stepped in: Theodicia Carpenter, a wealthy New Jerseyite who read of the couple in a local Christian paper, after they turned down an offer from an American missionary who promised funds only if they converted from Hinduism to Christianity.

Woolf details the hardships Joshi faced even after getting licensed. According to a Drexel archivist he spoke with, India’s first female physician died of tuberculosis at 21, too young to ever practice. As for the other two women in the internet’s favorite 19th century graduation picture, life wasn’t simple going for them either: Islambouli fell off the university’s radar after moving home, an indication that she likely dropped her career. Okami went on to become head of gynecology at a top Tokyo hospital, only to resign when the reigning emperor refused to meet her during a visit to the hospital, because she was a woman.

The WMCP graduates are the ones we remember though, and for good reason: in a few years, women doctors are poised to outnumber men around the world.

Read more here- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/08/19th-century-women-medical-school_n_5093603.html

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3 yrs after : Radioactive waste piles up in Tokyo area

 

ra-waste.jpg

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

 

Kikuji Enomoto wanted to live his retirement in peace while helping to beautify his neighborhood, but he is now stuck residing near more than 500 tons of radioactive waste.

 

The waste, consisting of incinerator ash, is being stored at the Teganuma disposal site, about 800 meters from Enomoto’s home in Abiko, Chiba Prefecture. It is part of the thousands of tons of radioactive waste that remain in temporary storage in the Tokyo area nearly three years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

 

Enomoto, 73, has run out of patience waiting for the prefecture to decide on a final disposal site for the waste.

 

He heads a group of 32 residents who filed a lawsuit in January against the Chiba prefectural government, demanding that the radioactive waste temporarily stored in their neighborhood be removed immediately.

 

“A major problem would arise if the incinerator ash leaked out due to the effects of a natural disaster and contaminated the surrounding rice fields,” Enomoto said.

 

The temporarily stored waste contains more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram and has been designated for special processing.

 

At the end of last year, 12 prefectures were storing a total of 140,843 tons of the waste. The basic rule is to have each prefectural government find a final disposal site for radioactive waste produced within its jurisdiction through garbage incineration or sewage treatment.

 

The central government plans to build final disposal sites in five prefectures–including Chiba–that have a dearth of storage sites, but no significant progress has been made. The other seven prefectures have still not decided how to handle radioactive waste within their boundaries.

 

Chiba Prefecture designated 3,612 tons of radioactive waste, mainly from the northwestern part of the prefecture, where many hot spots with high radiation levels were detected following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

 

The three cities of Kashiwa, Matsudo and Nagareyama incinerated a large part of that waste, producing 2,564 tons of ash that could not be sufficiently stored. The prefectural government allowed 526 tons of the ash to be brought to the Teganuma site at the end of 2012.

 

Incineration does not destroy radioactive substances, so the ash still falls under the designation for special disposal.

 

The central government plans to construct a final disposal site in Chiba Prefecture by the end of March 2015, the deadline set under an agreement between the prefectural government and the three municipal governments to end temporary storage at Teganuma.

 

However, the selection process has not gone smoothly, and the residents filed the lawsuit because they feared the temporary storage site would become the permanent one.

 

Enomoto, who has won an award from the Abiko government for his efforts to beautify the city, said the central government must become more involved.

 

“Unless a final disposal site operated by the central government is constructed, there would be no place to keep the incinerator ash,” he said. “I want them to take back this waste as soon as possible.”

Kashiwa Mayor Hiroyasu Akiyama stressed the urgency of the situation.

 

“If a location for the final disposal site is not chosen by around September, we will have to begin considering a temporary storage site for the waste that will be returned,” Akiyama said.

 

The Tokyo metropolitan government has designated about 982 tons as radioactive waste. All but one ton is now being temporarily stored at a land reclamation site.

 

“We were lucky to have a disposal site surrounded by the ocean,” an official in charge said. “There has been no strong opposition from residents. We want to now wait for the central government to take care of the matter.”

 

Saitama is the only prefecture in the greater Tokyo area that has not designated any radioactive waste. But that does not mean there is no such waste in the prefecture just north of the capital.

 

In fact, the prefecture is temporarily storing 245 tons of incinerator ash with radiation levels that would qualify it as radioactive waste at its sewage processing facility in Toda.

 

Saitama Prefecture has not applied for the designation to avoid being obliged to process the waste within the prefecture.

 

“If we received the designation, we would have to ask a municipality to bear the burden of being chosen for the final disposal site,” a prefectural government official said.

 

An official with the prefectural government section in charge of sewage management said if radiation levels of the waste decreased to a certain level, it could be turned over to a company handling industrial waste for transport outside of Saitama.

 

Read more here —
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201403070026

 

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Joint Statement on the occasion of Official Visit of the PM of Japan to India

  •  No nuclear deal was signed but the intention to do so in
  • the future is there.
  • The relevant part of the Joint Statement dealing with Nuclear
  • Matters –given herein

 

(January 25-27, 2014)

 

Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Japan

Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Japan (Photo credit: franz88)

 

January 25, 2014

 

 

 

  1. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries, while recognizing that nuclear safety is a priority for both Governments. They welcomed the substantial progress made since their last meeting in negotiations between India and Japan on an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and directed their officials to exert further efforts towards an early conclusion of the Agreement.
  2. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) at an early date. Prime Minister Singh reiterated India’s commitment to its unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. They also reaffirmed their commitment to working together for immediate commencement and an early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). They also supported the strengthening of international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. They recognized the importance of an effective national export control system conforming to the highest international standards. Prime Minister Abe recognized India’s sound non-proliferation record. Both sides expressed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the international export control regimes: the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement, with the aim of strengthening the international non-proliferation efforts.

 

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Stop the India-Japan Nuclear Agreement: Fukushima Survivor’s Open Letter to Both Prime Ministers

 

collage poster

Yukiko Kameya: A Fukushima evacuee

Yukiko Kameya: A Fukushima evacuee

双葉町避難民より日印両首相へ私は福島県双葉町から避難し、親戚のいる東京までやってきた、毎週金曜日脱原発のデモへ通っている者です。今度の日印原子力協定において二国間の首相にお伝えしたいことがあります。私は福島第一原発から1.2kmのところに住んでいました。

私自身が避難した当時、私たちは放射線量の一番高いところに向かって逃げていたそうです。それは東京に来て分かりました。未だ福島に残っている人には知らされていません。

今58人の子供の甲状腺がん患者が確認されています。心筋梗塞などによる突然死、自殺、まだ続いています。白血病を発病した人もいますが原因は伏せられたままです。

安倍首相へ

・日本国として相手国に責任がとれますか?
「私が安全を保証する。状況はコントロールされている」「汚染水はブロックされている」
と言葉でいっても実際に何もできていない、根源である核を他国に持ち込む、
ということの意味を今一度考えてください。

両首相へ
・しっかり情報を開示してください。
議員の方も原発について、被ばくについてよく知ってください
放射能は見えないので影響がわかりにくいし、ニュースを聴いているだけでは右から左です。世界中の放射能医学関係者を集めて、知識を終結させ、国民に共有してください。

・国民の意見を聞いてください。
民意をまず確認してください。自分の国で暮らし、国のために働き、生きている人々がどうなってもいいのか。貧困を一時的に改善するために今生きている
国民の命を犠牲にするのか。

実際にどういうことが起こっているのか、事実を知って、もう一度考えてください。

2014/1/24
亀屋 幸子

To Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh,

I am an evacuee from Futaba-town, Fukushima prefecture and now living in Tokyo, a place that I have relatives and go to Nuclear-free demonstration every Friday.

At this time, I would like to tell you, both countries’ Prime Ministers regarding India-Japan Nuclear Agreement.

I lived within 1.2km from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant. I’ve had heard that at the first time we evacuated, was the place of highest radiological dosage. I could heard because I evacuated to Tokyo. People in Fukushima are still uninformed.

Currently, 58 children has been confirmed to have a thyroid cancer.
Sudden death from myocardial infarction(heart attack),suicide is still happening.
Also, it has been confirmed that some people have onset of Leukaemia, but cause is still be concealed.

To consider above, can you take responsibility for India as a representative of Japan?

“The contaminated water is entirely blocked ” “I can assure you that there have never been, and will never be health problems” “The situation is under control”
Those your words have not been in reality yet, and think once more the meaning of bringing nuclear, the root of above disaster to another province.

Consult the will of the people: Firstly, seek the judgment of the people.
Please consider you sacrifice the people who lives in your country,
lives for your country, alive as your nation to improve poverty only as a temporal measure.

Disclose the information: Please let all the people acquire knowledge about radiation and exposure. Radiation is invisible, so your attention easily go to right to left just hearing news. Summon radiologist from all over the world then concentrate their knowledge,
share the people.

Please think again with knowing facts what is really happening now.

24th,Jan,2014
Yukiko Kameya

 

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Gangsters and ‘Slaves’: The People Cleaning Up Fukushima

By Michael Okwu, Al Jazeera America

08 January 14

 

n the depths of Japan’s nuclear crisis in March 2011, a small band of workers at the Fukushima power plant stayed behind, stomaching daily doses of deadly radiation to bring the plant under control after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns. They became known as the Fukushima 50.

“We felt we had a responsibility to put things right,” nuclear engineer Atsufumi Yoshizawa told America Tonight. “And we felt that we were probably the only ones that could deal with the situation.”

The courage of employees like Yoshizawa made them heroes in Japan, and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the stricken power plant, showcases them as symbols for what the company represents. But there is another group of workers that TEPCO rarely mentions, workers who continue to undertake the largest radiation cleanup in history, but are subcontracted into a system that leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. These workers put themselves at great risk every day, for minimum wage, only to be fired when their radiation levels get too high.

America Tonight gained rare access into the dark underworld of Japan’s decontamination industry for this look at the conditions of the workers at its center, and those who profit from their labor. Nuclear gypsies

J-Village used to be Japan’s national soccer training center. Now, it’s where workers gather before heading into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant – the frontlines of an ongoing nuclear disaster. In Japan, they’re known as “nuclear gypsies,” an army of about 50,000 itinerant laborers recruited at low pay to clean up the radioactive debris and build tanks to store the unending flood of contaminated water that’s generated to keep the reactor cores cool.

Most of them are subcontractors, unskilled and poorly paid.

“They’re, in many cases, living sort of drifter-type lifestyles,” said David McNeill, a journalist and author who has been following the plight of these unsung heroes of Fukushima. “They move from job to job. They’re unqualified, of course, in most cases.”

One of those workers, who had never before spoken to media, told America Tonight about the big promises – and the big risks – of the job.

“My job was to help workers remove their gear when they came back from dealing with contaminated water and debris, and to check them with a Geiger counter for contamination,” explained Tanaka, who asked not to be identified by his real name, like all the workers interviewed by America Tonight, for fear of retribution.

For this work, Tanaka was compensated roughly $100 a day.

Subcontractors poured into Fukushima Prefecture after the earthquake and tsunami triggered the catastrophic nuclear disaster. After all, there’s plenty of money to be made in the estimated $150-billion cleanup effort. As McNeill put it: “There’s an enormous amount of money being scattered around.”

The resulting network of contractors and subcontractors is labyrinthine, making it almost impossible to track the taxpayer dollars siphoned into the cleanup. Reuters counted 733 companies performing work for the Ministry of Environment in the 10 most contaminated towns and nearby highway.

But it appears that very little of that money ends up in the hands of the people on the ground. Hiroyuku Watanabe, a councilman in Iwaki, a city near Fukushima where many laborers find lodgings, said some earn as little as $60 a day.

“For people in Japan who live like me and work various places, it’s hard to find work that pays $100 a day,” said Tanaka, who has spent most of his life traveling Japan as a laborer. “I get housing, and was able to save more than usual.”

“TEPCO is God. The main contractors are kings, and we are slaves.”

Tanaka

‘Nuclear gypsy’

But the risks were also higher. Tanaka was shocked to find radioactive hot spots in the area he worked, marked with tape but never decontaminated. Training and protective gear were also in short supply.

“The training didn’t teach us the dangers of handling radiation, so there were some people who worked with their bare hands,” he said. “They would contaminate not only themselves, but would spread particles to others.”

Subcontracted workers endured worse conditions than those directly hired by TEPCO, Tanaka said. For example, TEPCO employees received charcoal filters, while workers at his subcontracting company only got dust filters, like those you’d buy at a convenience store.

“TEPCO is God,” Tanaka said. “The main contractors are kings, and we are slaves.”

Tanaka was fired after his company’s contract wasn’t renewed. Like many nuclear workers approaching their radiation limit of 50 millisieverts a year, it is unlikely that Tanaka will ever be hired at Fukushima again. He’s since lost his apartment, and is crippled by fatigue.

“I can’t say whether radiation is the cause, but since used-up nuclear workers don’t get any compensation, I’m worried about my future,” he explained. “So some of it could be psychological.”

Gangsters

The subcontracting system and high demand for labor that gave rise to nuclear gypsies have been a boon for one group: organized crime.

The Yakuza is one of the largest criminal organizations in the world. Enmeshed in right-wing politics, the Japanese mafia often target low-skill occupations.

“The Yakuza have, historically, been deeply embedded in the structure of the construction industry,” explained Takeshi Katsura, a laborer who also helps workers exploited by the Japanese mafia.

Finding thousands of bodies to fill some of the most undesirable jobs in the developed world, particularly in a country with an aging population and growing labor shortage, is tough the legal way. And many of the estimated 50 Yakuza gangs in Fukushima have leapt to the task of supplying workers to the labor-intensive effort to decontaminate the prefecture.

“To quickly gather 4,000, 5,000 decontamination workers in Fukushima, you need to do it the traditional way,” said Katsura. “Using the Yakuza.”

The decontamination industry is particularly appealing for criminals, because of the extra government-funded $100-a-day in danger pay per worker. And Fukushima laborers in the grip of organized crime are even less likely to receive their fair share.

“The government says it will pay $100 a day, but I initially got $20,” said Sato, a worker who was lured to Fukushima by the government’s promise of extra cash. “The contractors and subcontractors took the remaining $80.”

“It’s the structure that’s evil.”

Takeshi Katsura

When Sato complained, he was told his contract had changed, and that he now owed money for food and lodging. He later found out that the president of his contracting company was a former leader of the Fukushima branch of a right-wing group.

Sato was lucky. Others who complain and quit like him have faced violent retribution.

“I’ve had workers tell me that they’ve been beat up and been told, ‘I’ll kill you,'” said Katsura. “Threatened with, ‘You know what will happen to you.'”

In January, October and November of last year, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of illegally recruiting workers for the government-funded cleanup, reported Reuters. In the October case, the recruiters rounded up homeless men at a train station and sent them to work for less than minimum wage. The workers were at the bottom of a complex ladder that led all the way to Obayashi Corp, one of the 20 major contractors heading the decontamination effort, and the second largest construction company in Japan.

Critics say the subcontracting system allows TEPCO to turn a blind eye to these abuses and wash its hands of worker safety.

“It’s the structure that’s evil,” said Katsura. “Because workers are hired through subcontractors, wages are skimmed all along the way, and the worker at the bottom actually doing the work sees their pay go down.”

In an interview with America Tonight, TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono acknowledged that the ultimate responsibility for working conditions lay with them.

“If there are labor practices that are occurring that violate the law, there’s a legal process to remedy those situations,” he said. “However, it is our responsibility to improve the working environment inside the plant. We’ve made a lot of progress, but we do aim for an even higher level of improvement.”

But any improvements will be too late for the many workers who feel they no longer have a future after toiling in the contaminants of the Fukushima Daiichi plant and the surrounding countryside.

“When they needed people, they used subcontractors to hire us,” said Tanaka. “When our services were no longer needed, I’m among the victims who are thrown away.”

 

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2 years after nuclear disaster, Japan spawns freaky fruits and veggies

It might be wise to steer clear of vegetables from Japan’s Fukushima area for, oh, say a few hundred years. A Korean website assembled this image collection of produce from towns and villages surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. And they are NOT pretty pictures. From Siamese-twinned corn cobs to what can only be called peaches with elephantiasis, the region’s agriculture appears to have taken a heavy radiation hit from the nuclear disaster in 2011. It’s not clear yet what effect eating the produce might have on the population, but you never know. It could be pretty dangerous, but you never know — in an ideal world, maybe it could give you superpowers.

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source- http://now.msn.com/

 

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Why India Trails China- Amartya Sen

 

MODERN India is, in many ways, a success. Its claim to be the world’s largest democracy is not hollow. Its media is vibrant and free; Indians buy more newspapers every day than any other nation. Since independence in 1947, life expectancy at birth has more than doubled, to 66 years from 32, and per-capita income (adjusted for inflation) has grown fivefold. In recent decades, reforms pushed up the country’s once sluggish growth rate to around 8 percent per year, before it fell back a couple of percentage points over the last two years. For years, India’s economic growth rate ranked second among the world’s large economies, after China, which it has consistently trailed by at least one percentage point.

The hope that India might overtake China one day in economic growth now seems a distant one. But that comparison is not what should worry Indians most. The far greater gap between India and China is in the provision of essential public services — a failing that depresses living standards and is a persistent drag on growth.

Inequality is high in both countries, but China has done far more than India to raise life expectancy, expand general education and secure health care for its people. India has elite schools of varying degrees of excellence for the privileged, but among all Indians 7 or older, nearly one in every five males and one in every three females are illiterate. And most schools are of low quality; less than half the children can divide 20 by 5, even after four years of schooling.

India may be the world’s largest producer of generic medicine, but its health care system is an unregulated mess. The poor have to rely on low-quality — and sometimes exploitative — private medical care, because there isn’t enough decent public care. While China devotes 2.7 percent of its gross domestic product to government spending on health care, India allots 1.2 percent.

India’s underperformance can be traced to a failure to learn from the examples of so-called Asian economic development, in which rapid expansion of human capability is both a goal in itself and an integral element in achieving rapid growth. Japan pioneered that approach, starting after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when it resolved to achieve a fully literate society within a few decades. As Kido Takayoshi, a leader of that reform, explained: “Our people are no different from the Americans or Europeans of today; it is all a matter of education or lack of education.” Through investments in education and health care, Japan simultaneously enhanced living standards and labor productivity — the government collaborating with the market.

Despite the catastrophe of Japan’s war years, the lessons of its development experience remained and were followed, in the postwar period, by South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and other economies in East Asia. China, which during the Mao era made advances in land reform and basic education and health care, embarked on market reforms in the early 1980s; its huge success changed the shape of the world economy. India has paid inadequate attention to these lessons.

Is there a conundrum here that democratic India has done worse than China in educating its citizens and improving their health? Perhaps, but the puzzle need not be a brainteaser. Democratic participation, free expression and rule of law are largely realities in India, and still largely aspirations in China. India has not had a famine since independence, while China had the largest famine in recorded history, from 1958 to 1961, when Mao’s disastrous Great Leap Forward killed some 30 million people. Nevertheless, using democratic means to remedy endemic problems — chronic undernourishment, a disorganized medical system or dysfunctional school systems — demands sustained deliberation, political engagement, media coverage, popular pressure. In short, more democratic process, not less.

In China, decision making takes place at the top. The country’s leaders are skeptical, if not hostile, with regard to the value of multiparty democracy, but they have been strongly committed to eliminating hunger, illiteracy and medical neglect, and that is enormously to their credit.

There are inevitable fragilities in a nondemocratic system because mistakes are hard to correct. Dissent is dangerous. There is little recourse for victims of injustice. Edicts like the one-child policy can be very harsh. Still, China’s present leaders have used the basic approach of accelerating development by expanding human capability with great decisiveness and skill.

The case for combating debilitating inequality in India is not only a matter of social justice. Unlike India, China did not miss the huge lesson of Asian economic development, about the economic returns that come from bettering human lives, especially at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid. India’s growth and its earnings from exports have tended to depend narrowly on a few sectors, like information technology, pharmaceuticals and specialized auto parts, many of which rely on the role of highly trained personnel from the well-educated classes. For India to match China in its range of manufacturing capacity — its ability to produce gadgets of almost every kind, with increasing use of technology and better quality control — it needs a better-educated and healthier labor force at all levels of society. What it needs most is more knowledge and public discussion about the nature and the huge extent of inequality and its damaging consequences, including for economic growth.

 

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#India – Anti-nuke activists urge PM not to sign Nuclear Agreement with Japan

By Newzfirst Bureau5/27/13

New Delhi – In the wake of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan, hundreds of people from across the globe have appealed him not to sign the IndiaJapan Nuclear Agreement.

Singh will be visiting Tokyo on Monday, 27th May in a trip that was scrapped last year after a general election was called in Japan.

With an aim to expand the partnership by discussing a wide range of issues including politics and the economy, it is expected to include the signing of infrastructure projects deals worth $15 billion, say reports.

“We stand in complete opposition to the India-Japan nuclear cooperation agreement that is currently under intense negotiation. The governments of both countries must refrain from promoting nuclear commerce, jeopardizing the health and safety of their people and environments.” reads the petition addressed to the both Indian and Japanese authorities.

Referring the Fukushima accident and post-accident impacts, the petition further reads thatIndia must behave responsibly and should rethink its use of nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy currently provides less than 3% of its total electricity and can be easily replaced, freeing the country to embrace renewable and sustainable alternatives, it adds.

Petitioners have also appealed the Government of Japan to desist the Nuclear Export Policy, through which it exports nuclear technology to other countries.

“The current policy option of exporting nuclear energy to countries like India, Vietnam, Jordan etc… are totally unjust while Japan is reeling under the huge financial losses posed by the Fukushima accident and its citizens are observing massive protests to demand a nuclear-free future and the victims of the triple meltdowns remain uncompensated.” the petition says.

(IANS)

 

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Tarapur Atomic Power Project Real TRUTH Revealed by Villagers

Tarapur Atomic Power Project Real TRUTH Revealed by  Palghar Villager Villagers

India’s Arabian Sea coast is home to the 1400 MW Tarapur Power Station near Mumbai, India’s largest operational nuclear plant that in 2011 was also identified by a government expert panel as the least prepared of the country’s atomic power complexes to handle a scenario like the one at Fukushima in Japan in 2011.

 The country is also in the process of setting up a 10,000 MW nuclear power complex at Jaitapur that has faced local opposition.

But though the subduction zone – where tectonic plates meet – to India’s west, near Makran along the Pakistan-Iran border is closer to India than the one to the east that was the epicentre of the 2004 tremors, the Arabian Sea has long been considered less vulnerable to large earthquakes and tsunamis.

India’s Arabian Sea coast is home to the 1400 MW Tarapur Power Station near Mumbai, India’s largest operational nuclear plant that in 2011 was also identified by a government expert panel as the least prepared of the country’s atomic power complexes to handle a scenario like the one at Fukushima in Japan in 2011.

The country is also in the process of setting up a 10,000 MW nuclear power complex at Jaitapur that has faced local opposition.

But though the subduction zone – where tectonic plates meet – to India’s west, near Makran along the Pakistan-Iran border is closer to India than the one to the east that was the epicentre of the 2004 tremors, the Arabian Sea has long been considered less vulnerable to large earthquakes and tsunamis.

 

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