On yesterday’s second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, green parties from seven nations in the Asia-Pacific region made a joint statement calling for the phasing out of nuclear power.
The Green Party Taiwan (GPT) held a live online press conference with the Asia Pacific Greens Network (APGN) at its office in Taipei, in which it issued a joint statement called “Post-Fukushima: Pathway to a Green Economy.”
The statement said the global impact of the Fukushima disaster highlighted the responsibility of all nations to ensure the safety of their citizens and protect the planet for future generations.
The party said that of the 59 nuclear reactors being built at present around the world, 40 are located in the Asia-Pacific region, and called on the people of the region to support sustainable green economies.
GPT spokesman Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) said the government and Taiwan Power Co (台電) warn of power shortages should nuclear energy be phased out, but this scenario is based on overestimations of future electricity consumption.
The government should improve efficiency in the use of electricity and develop sustainable green energy, he added.
Conveying the words of Greens Japan’s steering committee member Rikiya Adachi, Pan said the mistakes made at Fukushima should not be repeated, and that nuclear power plants should be shut down and not allowed to reopen.
“The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is still dangerous … It is said that it will take at least 40 years to decommission the plant,” the Greens Japan statement said.
“Radioactive contamination was widely spread around Tohoku and Kanto regions, and ‘hotspots’ have even been confirmed around Tokyo. Millions of people are forced to live their lives exposed to radiation in the air, soil, water and food,” it added.
Meanwhile, a publisher announced that a textbook for Taiwanese junior-high school students will include an advertisement produced by the Interchange Association, Japan to thank Taiwan for its support in 2011.
The ad will appear in the section on civil participation in the textbook on society, Kang Hsuan Educational Publishing Group said.
Starting next year, the textbook will be available to students in their final year of junior-high school, the publisher said.
To mark the first anniversary of the disaster, the Interchange Association’s Taipei office last year produced an advertisement featuring a group of Japanese students from the affected areas expressing gratitude to Taiwan for its generous donations and assistance.
Following the earthquake and tsunami, Taiwan donated about US$260 million in relief and reconstruction aid to Japan, 90 percent of which came from private donors. This was the highest amount from any country.
The thank-you ad by the association serves as a good example of the importance of civil participation, the textbook publisher said.
The association’s Taipei office said it is pleased the advertisement is to be included in the textbook and again expressed gratitude for Taiwan’s support following the disaster.
The association represents Japanese interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties.
Additional reporting by CNA