The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Japan on the 31st of August. On 1 September Mr. Modi and Japanese PM Mr. Shinzo Abe are expected to finalize the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. We, the concerned citizens and civil society groups of Japan, India and the world urge both the Prime Ministers to immediately terminate the negotiations.
This agreement effectively turns back the wheel of reckoning after Fukushima by rehabilitating global nuclear corporates in India which is violently imposing reactor projects on vulnerable people. Also, it sets an unacceptable precedent by legitimizing India`s nuclear weapons, manufactured by using international nuclear technology.
The nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant demonstrated to the world that once a nuclear accident occurs, it affects the society and our life far into the future in unexpected and dangerous ways. In the light of this accident, Japan’s plans to build new nuclear power plants are next to impossible, and even restarting the existing reactors is highly objectionable and untenable.
Given these problems in the domestic realm, Mr. Abe has looked abroad to salvage the declining nuclear industry of Japan. The Abe administration has negotiated nuclear corporation agreements with many countries, and currently possesses huge plans to export nuclear technology. Given the current situation of Japan, where people continue to suffer from the unfolding disaster in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, it is embarrassing that Japan that has experienced the accident and disastrous consequences of this technology is thoughtlessly exporting nuclear technology to other countries.
The Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement has multiple unacceptable implications. India possesses nuclear weapons, and had tested them twice without joining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Conclusion of the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement would be a de-facto legitimization of India’s nuclear arms. Furthermore, Japanese supply of nuclear technology will boost India`s nuclear arsenal as India would use imported reactors and fuel for its civilian reactors and its domestic uranium reserves would be entirely free for weapons production. It implies that by concluding this treaty, Japan would effectively be participating in India’s nuclear weapons program.
If we allow this agreement to be concluded, it would be a sin not only against Hibakushas who survived the a-bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki but would also undermine Japan`s role in the world for global nuclear disarmament.
Prime Minister Abe, you are traveling all over the world as an ambassador of the nuclear industry. Export of nuclear technology is the key for Japan’s economic revival in your worldview. You have the penchant for lecturing to the world about the lessons learned from Fukushima and Japan’s responsibility to provide safe nuclear power plants. However, if there is any lesson to be learned from Fukushima, it is not to continue with the oxymoron of nuclear safety but for detailed and immediate evacuation plans in Japan. We believe that our primary responsibility is to demonstrate that we can create the world without nuclear power, not to act under pressure from pro-nuke countries like U.S. and France. The lucrative nuclear market in India cannot be allowed to undermine these principles.
Prime Minister Modi, the Indian government has announced that the effects of Fukushima nuclear accident are not “really crucial.” Please visit Fukushima while you are in Japan, and see how people are suffering, see for yourself how this ongoing nuclear accident continues to destroy lives. If you can put yourself in the survivors’ shoes, you will give up your plan to promote more nuclear power. Invoking Fukushima is a cruel joke if you cannot stand on the side of the Fukushima survivors
We request both the Prime Ministers to stop any further discussion on the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, and withdraw from the negotiations. In the post-Fukushima world, it would be more prudent to discuss about creating a future without nuclear weapons and nuclear power out of pure human concerns is totally unacceptable.