The Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy is to be automatically extended. The accord will see its 30th anniversary on July 16 and it will be mechanically maintained unless either one of the parties announces its termination. No developments are seen on both sides for reviewing the agreement, though it has controversies. Under these circumstances the bilateral arrangement keeps taking effect.
AGREEMENT’S TERMINATION AND DRASTIC CHANGE IN NUCLEAR POLICY ARE NECESSARY
Reprocessing Program ? Completely Collapsed
The extension implies Japan’s nuclear policy in the future. The bilateral treaty exceptionally authorizes this nation, which is a non-nuclear state, to extract plutonium through reprocessing of waste fuel and enrich uranium.
The Japanese governments and businesses have involved in the nuclear fuel cycle program, relying on these steps. Some concern in the US about a fact that Japan has accumulated huge amount of plutonium and demand to restrict its reprocessing activities. Construction of a reprocessing base at Rokkasho-Mura village, situated in the most northern region of the Honshu Island, has not been completed even though as many as 24 times of announcements were made for extension. Operation cannot be expected.
Japan keeps 47 tons of plutonium in stock, most of which is processed in the factories in the United Kingdom and France by the entrusted contracts (partially processed at the former facilities in Tokai-mura, Ibaraki Prefecture). The fast breeder reactor Monju is totally defunct and even its decommissioning plan cannot be practicable at the moment. As for MOX fuel, or mixed oxide fuel, which is a mixture of plutonium blended with uranium, not only increase risks and costs in the operation when it is used in the light-water reactors, but also massively produced are hazardous radioactive materials whose half-life are extremely long. Reprocessing and terminal disposal of these materials are more difficult. Electric power companies do not want to have MOX fuel, either.
Aims of Premier Abe
One and only use that a certain group of people welcome is to produce nuclear weapons. Premier Abe Shinzo, following his grandfather Kishi Shinsuke, admits nuclear arms as legitimate if they are prepared for self-defense. He has made constitutional a series of laws on national security which contain the controversial right of collective self-defense, thus he enforced to approve the so-called war legislation in 2015. Now he envisages amendment of the Peace Constitution in his concrete plan and builds up capabilities to wage a preemptive strike on the nuclear missile bases in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Taking advantage of DPRK, Prime Minister Abe incites sense of threats here, which successfully worked in favor of him in the general election last year. He now enhances military capacity and prepares to arm the country with nuclear weapons.
Japan is the sole nation that was attacked by the nuclear weapons, but Premier would not participate in the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, overriding the demand of people, including Hibakushas, or survivors of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Premier Abe generously spends his time in dining and playing golf with his intimate friends or colleagues of mutual interests and in travelling abroad. But he did not respond sincerely to the offer of meeting with Ms Beatrice Fihn, Secretary General of ICAN, or International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, an NGO which has won the Nobel Prize recently.
Premier emphasizes nuclear deterrent relied on the US nuclear umbrella, which in fact accelerates development speed of nuclear program of DPRK. Ms Fihn points out that some people find it right to repeat the same errors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki somewhere in the rest of the world.
After the mechanical extension of the agreement, another announcement may authorize its termination in six months. It is necessary to close the agreement immediately. And then the Japanese government should sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It should ban production of nuclear arms and suspend nuclear fuel cycle and uranium enrichment. It is vital to give up re-operation of nuclear power stations across the country and convert plutonium and enriched uranium into inoperable substances without delay to control and preserve under the strict surveillance (return to the United States what belongs to that country).
February 6, 2018