Drafted at the April 19, 2017 Public Gathering
No Nukes and the U.S Japan Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
Shinzo Abe – Prime Minister
Fumio Fujita – Minister for Foreign Affairs
Hiroshige Seko – Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Hirokazu Matsuno – Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Yoshiaki Oka – Atomic Energy Commission of Cabinet Office
the Representatives of the Interfaith Forum for the Review of National Nuclear Policy
Rev. Hiroaki Osada – Jodo Shin Otani Pure Land Buddhist Denomination) Secretary
Rev. Hidehito Okochi – Jodo Pure Land Buddhist Denomination)
Rev. Takumi Okayama – Jodo Shin Otani Pure Land Buddhist Denomination)
Rev. Shingo Naito – Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church)
We, the Interfaith Forum for the Review of National Nuclear Policy, are a network of religious professionals (Buddhist, Shinto, and Christian) from all regions of Japan concerned about the atomic energy policy of the Japanese government. In 1993, we came together in Tsuruga at the imminent opening of the first fast breeder reactor Monju and have continued on to this day. Since that time, we have made proposals numerous times to the government. This time, we are making a proposal to have answered the following questions about the United States-Japan Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, which is scheduled to terminate and be automatically renewed in July 2018.
- The US-Japan Nuclear Cooperation Agreement has been renewed many times since its inception, but neither its configuration nor contents have changed. For the upcoming end of its validity, we ask is there not the possibility for a real review of its configuration and contents? In this way, shall we consider whether we can truly draw upon democracy instead of allowing its automatic renewal? (to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cabinet Office).
- Taiwan has recently decided to phase out the use of nuclear energy. In 1955, Taiwan was brought into a nuclear cooperation agreement with the US (just like Japan) and from that time questions continued on. However, they have considered rewriting the contents of this agreement towards abolishing nuclear energy, which reflects the views of a large number of citizens. Cannot Japan follow the same process? (to the Cabinet Office)
- From February 23-24, the Japan based NPO Citizens Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) in collaboration with the U.S. based Union of Concerned Scientists held an international conference on the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Co-operation Agreement and Japan’s Plutonium Policy (Japan Pupo 2017), which a large number of people attended. We understand that outside of Japan the trend towards reprocessing nuclear fuel is facing huge difficulties and being increasingly abandoned. However, the Japanese government has declared that it will continue the nuclear fuel cycle despite the failure and decommissioning of the Monju reactor. This includes research into fast reactors, even though a great increase in costs is expected. Next year, we feel there should not be an automatic renewal of the Agreement. Instead, should there not be a major review of the contents of reprocessing policy and the nuclear fuel cycle? (to the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
- In the US-Japan Nuclear Agreement that was written in 1988, Article 11 speaks about compliance that is “consistent with the objective of preventing nuclear proliferation and with their respective national security interests…” At this time, the law concerning security had been achieved from the basis of the US-Japanese military alliance as the result of collective self-defense. Looking at the stockpiling of plutonium by Japan from a global standpoint, won’t there be anxiety that this huge amount of plutonium could be diverted for military purposes? From this situation, many countries may also seek to reprocess plutonium for military purposes, and this will be very destructive for nuclear non-proliferation and peace agreements as well as regional stability. (to the Foreign Ministry, Cabinet Office)
- In Article 12 of the existing accord, there are some extremely disturbing contents, especially section 3 which refers to Japan detonating “a nuclear explosive device”. Furthermore, when reviewing all of sections 1-5, if these types of scenarios such as detonation of nuclear devices and non-compliance come to pass, it is mentioned that both parties can adjust and reconcile or even terminate. However, wouldn’t it be better to rewrite the contents so that these scenarios absolutely do not come to pass? (to the Foreign Ministry)
- Concerning the Nuclear Agreement, what do you think of re-confirming that “the importance of research on and development and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes”, as stated in the Agreement’s preamble? If this concept is reinforced, how do we understand that as a mandate for the use of nuclear energy? Specifically, if we forbid the use of nuclear energy for military purposes, wouldn’t it be fulfilling the duty of this country’s sovereignty to eliminate nuclear reprocessing? (to the Foreign Ministry, Cabinet Office)
- To not automatically renew (extend) the present U.S.-Japan Nuclear Agreement in July 2018
- To revise the Agreement’s contents to move towards a policy of abolishing nuclear energy by listening to the wishes of the Japanese people and protecting the national sovereignty of Japan.
- To advance preparations for swift, short term action in working with the United States on these above questions and concerns.
- To establish and make open to the public a preparatory committee for a comprehensive review of the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Agreement by reflecting on the wishes of the wider Japanese citizenry (and to not allow individuals who can make profits relating to nuclear energy to be members of this committee).