Japan Reacts to Fukushima Crisis By Banning Journalism

George Washington's picture

2 weeks after the Fukushima accident, we reported that the government responded to the nuclear accident by trying to raise acceptable radiation levels and pretending that radiation is good for us.

We noted earlier this month:

Japan will likely pass a new anti-whistleblowing law in an attempt to silence criticism of Tepco and the government:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is planning a state secrets act that critics say could curtail public access to information on a wide range of issues, including tensions with China and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.


The new law would dramatically expand the definition of official secrets and journalists convicted under it could be jailed for up to five years.

In reality, reporters covering Fukushima have long been harassed and censored.

Unfortunately, this is coming to pass. As EneNews reports:

Associated Press, Nov. 26, 2013: Japan’s more powerful lower house of Parliament approved a state secrecy bill late Tuesday [...] Critics say it might sway authorities to withhold more information about nuclear power plants [...] The move is welcomed by the United States [...] lawyer Hiroyasu Maki said the bill’s definition of secrets is so vague and broad that it could easily be expanded to include radiation data [...] Journalists who obtain information “inappropriately” or “wrongfully” can get up to five years in prison, prompting criticism that it would make officials more secretive and intimidate the media. Attempted leaks or inappropriate reporting, complicity or solicitation are also considered illegal. [...] Japan’s proposed law also designates the prime minister as a third-party overseer.


BBC, Nov. 26, 2013: Japan approves new state secrecy bill to combat leaks [...] The bill now goes to the upper house, where it is also likely to be passed.


The Australian, Nov. 25, 2013: Japanese press baulks at push for ‘fascist’ secrecy laws [...] Taro Yamamoto [an upper house lawmaker] said the law threatened to recreate a fascist state in Japan. “This secrecy law represents a coup d’etat by a particular group of politicians and bureaucrats,” he told a press conference in Tokyo. “I believe the secrecy bill will eventually lead to the repression of the average person. It will allow those in power to crack down on anyone who is criticising them – the path we are on is the recreation of a fascist state.” He said the withholding of radiation data after the Fukushima disaster showed the Japanese government was predisposed to hiding information from its citizens and this law would only make things worse. [...] The Asahi Shimbun newspaper likened the law to “conspiracy” regulations in pre-war Japan and said it could be used to stymie access to facts on nuclear accidents [...]


Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan president Lucy Birmingham: “We are alarmed by the text of the bill, as well as associated statements made by some ruling party lawmakers, relating to the potential targeting of journalists for prosecution and imprisonment.”


Activist Kazuyuki Tokune: “I may be arrested some day for my anti-nuclear activity [...] But that doesn’t stop me.”


Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Meiji University in Tokyo: “This is a severe threat on freedom to report in Japan [...] It appears the Abe administration has decided that they can get a lot of what they want, which is to escape oversight, to decrease transparency in the government by passing a law that grants the government and officials broad authority to designate information as secret.”


U.S. Charge d’Affairs Kurt Tong: It’s a positive step that would make Japan a “more effective alliance partner.”


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “This law is designed to protect the safety of the people.”


See also: Japan Deputy Prime Minister talks about “learning from the Nazis” — Previously said to let elderly people “hurry up and die” (VIDEO)

Rather than addressing the problems head-on, the Japanese government is circling the wagons.

Unfortunately, the United States is no better. Specifically, the American government:

As we noted 6 months after Fukushima melted down:

American and Canadian authorities have virtually stopped monitoring airborne radiation, and are not testing fish for radiation. (Indeed, the EPA reacted to Fukushima by raising “acceptable” radiation levels.)




The failure of the American, Canadian and other governments to test for and share results is making it difficult to hold an open scientific debate about what is happening.

Earlier this year, the acting EPA director signed a revised version of the EPA’s Protective Action Guide for radiological incidents, which radically relaxing the safety guidelines agencies follow in the wake of a nuclear-reactor meltdown or other unexpected release of radiation.  EPA whistleblowers called it “a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace.”

As we noted right after Fukushima happened, this is standard operating procedure for government these days:

When the economy imploded in 2008, how did the government respond?


Did it crack down on fraud? Force bankrupt companies to admit that their speculative gambling with our money had failed? Rein in the funny business?


Of course not!


The government just helped cover up how bad things were, used claims of national security to keep everything in the dark, and changed basic rules and definitions to allow the game to continue. See this, this, this and this.

When BP – through criminal negligence – blew out the Deepwater Horizon oil well, the government helped cover it up (the cover up is ongoing).


The government also changed the testing standards for seafood to pretend that higher levels of toxic PAHs in our food was business-as-usual.


So now that Japan is suffering the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl – if not of all time – is the government riding to the rescue to help fix the problem, or at least to provide accurate information to its citizens so they can make informed decisions?


Of course not!


The EPA is closing ranks with the nuclear power industry ….


Indeed, some government scientists and media shills are now “reexamining” old studies that show that radioactive substances like plutonium cause cancer to argue that they help prevent cancer.


It is not just bubbleheads like Ann Coulter saying this. Government scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and pro-nuclear hacks like Lawrence Solomon are saying this. [Update.]


In other words, this is a concerted propaganda campaign to cover up the severity of a major nuclear accident by raising acceptable levels of radiation and saying that a little radiation is good for us.

Any time the results of bad government policy is revealed, the government just covers it up rather than changing the policy.


All-In-One-Chunk: How to Reduce Your Risk of Radiation from Fukushima

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
steveo77's picture
Large Mass of Possibly Radioactive Flotsam Spotted in Hawaii, aka We Killed the Pacific

Read the article below.   They have found massive amounts of debris like this in Hawaiian waters, stretching in lines for miles.  From the Kauai Newspaper Article--"the line was between 10 and 20 yards wide, up to two miles long"



rwe2late's picture

The US government pressuring of Japan to "re-start its nuclear program"

is just part of a much more sinister and dangerous policy,

which includes the re-militarization of Japan.

The Asia "pivot" to confront China, the thirst for armament sales, the desire for overseas US bases...


Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

What army? Japan doesn't have any youth to staff an army. For the record, they sell more adult than baby diapers, so good luck with that. 

ebear's picture

Global "Research" ...LOL!

and I quote:

"The only social force able to prevent war is an independent movement of the international working class to abolish its root cause—global capitalism and its outmoded nation state system—and reorganise the world economy on socialist lines for the benefit of all humanity."

so... how's that working out?


rwe2late's picture

 Try to make the intellectual effort to separate your disagreement with any politics of the website,

from the argument regarding US/Japanese policies,

and recognize that your political opinion does not make the circumstance of Japanese remilitarization vanish.

That will work out best.

ebear's picture

Consider The Source  (Journalism 101)

That works even better.

rwe2late's picture

 But what works best is not allowing your prejudices to get in the way

of discovering the facts.

"Considering the source" is too often just excuse for wilful prejudice.

steveo77's picture

I hate those ignorant sheeples.   sad

bugs_'s picture

banning journalists is like banning the Yeti, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, El-chupacabre,  and The White Cheetah.

Uncle Remus's picture

Except all of the latter have much more credibility.

Motorhead's picture

Yep'per, pretty much a no-brainer then that things are REALLY fucked up with Fukushima and radiation levels.

Some of these scum bags need to go to the gallows.

Peter Pan's picture

The North Korean leadership must be rolling in laughter as it watches the so called free world copy its tactics.

Pretty soon we will have mass gatherings where people cry at the words of Obama.

If only the old Communist Russia could have held on a little longer it might have been vindicated.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

Any wealth in Russia is firmly in the hands of the Oligarchs.

Consolidation of weath is the goal of those who push communism.


The US is just a bit slower to reach this goal.

Peter Pan's picture

So if you can't print the truth and you can't broadcast it, what is left in terms of the common good and the common interest?

One day the Japanese people are going to wake up from the elections of the previous day only to find out that the result cannot be be made known because it is a state secret.

So the two questions are WHAT is a state secret and WHO decides that it is a state secret?

buttmint's picture

...anyone have spreadsheet or database showing the movement of American nuke-associated engineers, physicists and scientists away from the Pacific Northwest from the day and date the tsunami hit?

This would be a nifty 'back of envelope' checksum to determine how much those in the know knew to clear out of harm's way. Just an idea......

emersonreturn's picture

buttmint an equally interesting spreadsheet would chart the path of fallout from hanford and now fukus and the number of cancers directly beneath.  

Ryan Langemeyer's picture

There seems to be a pattern to this secrecy thing? Does anyone else see a pattern here? Maybe I'm just carzy, but it sure looks like a pattern. The US does it, Canada does it, England does it, Australia and New Zealand do it, the European Union does it, and now Japan is doing it. Is this like.... I mean, could this be....... a ....... conspiracy?

No, no, no, it can't be. It just can't be.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Of course, ... since the foundation of the social pyramid system is lies, backed by violence, in order to control people by keeping them ignorant and afraid. That has not changed for thousands of years. What has changed is introducing atomic energy that is billions of times bigger than chemical energy into the social pyramid systems, resulting in a society that has become trillions of times more psychotically insane than ever before. Since the social pyramid systems were able to dominate the whole world, the same systems of lies backed by violence control everything that happens ... such as developing atomic energy in the most suicidal ways possible, since that made sense to the military imperatives, which were behind the monetary systems.

Since I am Canadian, I will mention some Canadian social facts below, as symbolic of how the current political systems naturally think that making the truth criminal to reveal is a good idea.

The government of Canada PRIVATIZED Atomic Energy Canada, through an omnibus budget bill, which was Prime Minister Harper's fifth budget, that contained a variety of fascist plutocracy stunts. That budget bill amended some five dozen laws, including giving the environment minister the power to bypass environmental assessments on major projects, as well as that legislation paved the way for the privatization of Atomic Energy of Canada, which turned the assets over to Lavalin, which is notorious for being one of the most corrupt corporations in the world.



"... Canadian company ... has now been declared by the World Bank as the world’s most corrupt corporation and blacklisted in dozens of countries. According to the blacklist of the World Bank released two days ago, out of the 250 companies, 119 belong to this one Canadian giant, LNC-Lavalin, which has the highest number of corrupt and fraudulent companies. ... The Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group Inc appears on the list 58 times as a Canadian subsidiary and 14 times as an American company, with many more SNC subsidiaries named all over the world." ...



In many parts of the world, governments cap liability for nuclear power accidents. In Canada, the legislated limit is $75 million. Of course, the Harper government, through an omnibus budget bill, privatized Atomic Energy Canada, selling its assets to SNC-Lavalin for a pittance, while the public kept responsibilities for its liabilities. (Canadians have managed to combine the worst traits of Mr. Burns and Homer Simpson, regarding their atomic energy.) For decades, Canadians spent billions of dollars subsidizing atomic energy, then practically gave away the good things accumulated to a private company for almost nothing, while the public was left holding the big bag of radioactive toxic waste. Such a classic example of privatizing the profits, while socializing the losses! Of course, Lavalin has already been in conflict with the previous worker's unions at Atomic Energy Canada, for wanting to cut costs. 


Atomic energy is the leading edge of the basic problem: Neolithic civilizations were controlled by the people who were the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence. Therefore, OF COURSE, a corrupt Canadian government turned over control over atomic energy in Canada to the most corrupt Canadian corporation, inside of an overall almost completely corrupt political system, where practically nothing can be done to prevent that from automatically getting worse. In that context, there are no good reasons to believe that the mass media will ever do anything but continue to lie by omission about these problems.  Although atomic energy is literally billions of times bigger than anything before in human history, all the decisions regarding the development of atomic power were made by those people who were selected by the history of militarism to be the best at deceits, BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY THAT EVERYTHING ELSE IN OUR CIVILIZATION ACTUALLY HAPPENS.

Therefore, we have a fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system being used to decide to subsidize atomic energy, because of the history of the desire to build atomic bombs. From a philosophical point of view, atomic energy totally transforms common sense with respect to the ideas which support our present religious and political concepts. However, despite that being the case, the vast majority of people still think in the same ways as they did before atomic energy was realized, and therefore, its theory proven to be correct. The develop of atomic energy is first and foremost of the ways in which pumping up the social pyramid system, to amplify it to astronomical sizes with scientific technology, has made society become totally insane! The history of militarism reached the point during the 1960s when any real world war would become almost omnicidal, and therefore, suicidal to start. However, the runaway development of the established social pyramid system has continued to select for the most psychopathic and sociopathic people to be able to consolidate ever more control over a globalized civilization. ...

We have no way to fully understand how this will play through! George Orwell's 1984 was prophetic, but the reality in 2014, after atomic energy has been added into the mix, is trillions of times worse than ever before, because, as Orwell stated, speaking the truth in a time of universal deceit is a revolutionary act, which, naturally, the state punishes!

The only genuinely workable solutions would require a prodigious series of political miracles, because enough people would have to start thinking about politics is radically different ways, nothing like anything in any of the prevalent religions and ideologies that dominate the world today. The philosophy of science is actually what needs to change the most in a technologically based society. However, that philosophy of science has just as much become a victim of domination by the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories as has everything else.  Superficially, it should be obvious that, as Einstein said, the splitting of the atom has changed everything, except the way that we think, and therefore, we drift towards unparalleled disasters. HOWEVER, NOTHING LIKE THAT HAS HAPPENED IN ANY SIGNIFICANT WAY YET ... INSTEAD, WHAT WE SEE MORE OF ARE STORIES LIKE THE ONE ABOVE, ABOUT MAKING THE TRUTH BECOME CRIMINAL TO REVEAL.

Oldwood's picture

The truth is hurtful and harmful. Try answering your wife honestly to any question she asks about her weight or appearance. You need to be strong (or stupid) to be honest as it is far too painful for most, and we always punish the one who delivers the truth more than anyone who might be responsible for the issue.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

And as "We The People" continue on our journey of shamelessly looking the other way and doing nothing to stop it.


As unpleasant a read as this is, thank you for this information.

pupdog1's picture

The Japs learned this approach from the best in the business. Eh, Cl@pper-san?

'Cept our motherfucking squids don't have the common decency to fall on a sword when they get caught.

The Heart's picture

Well, if there is an uncovering of the cover ups, what do you do?

Cover up the cover-up by making it illegal to speak about the cover-ups.

"This is a feeble attempt by the Obama Administration to justify its own wrong-doing with the IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups. Instead of holding those responsible for the unlawful targeting scheme accountable for their actions, the Obama Administration is determined to further limit the free speech of Americans by attempting to change constitutional practices that are decades old. With this move, the Obama Administration opens a new front in its war against political dissent. We will file comments with the IRS opposing these new regulations," Sekulow said"


harleyjohn45's picture

Its simple, don't talk about it and the problem will disappear.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

and saying that a little radiation is good for us.

This whole hormesis thing is pretty much just irreproducible results.  That one outlier in one arm of the japanese radiation study that showed a benefit (the hormesis event everyone seems to think is real), was zeroed out by the other arm of the study that showed a HUGE increase in cancer from low does of radiation.

Ann Coulter is a rather attractive blonde and I will just leave it at that.

google cursing fish cafepress

Oldwood's picture

I know its making me feel warmer all over.

williambanzai7's picture

For those of you who are interested, my Mom used to say Japan is a country run by criminals pretending to be legitimate. And she meant.

To get a feeling for the depth of this in modern Japanese cultural stoicism, I suggest one of my favorite movies, Kurosawa's: The Bad Sleep Well. I saw this movie when I was a kid and it represents the epitome of corruption. 

massornament's picture

"a country run by criminals pretending to be legitimate"

My god, what country--past or present--isn't like that?

SafelyGraze's picture

Corruption Movies As Forms of Contolled Opposition for 200 dollars, alex.

"he directed prince of the city and serpico"

"and network"

umm ..  "who is anderson cooper's step-father?" 


Fishhawk's picture

The crime never caused any bureaucrat jail time, it was always the coverup.  So the best defense for the criminal cartel is to simply avoid the coverup, by jailing any media types who try to expose the original crime.  All governments are criminogenic.  Plan accordingly. 


George Washington's picture


As William Black told me today:

In criminology jargon: they created an intensely

Milestones's picture

The concept of Nation/State is now obvious to all Japanese and Americans/ IT IS AN OUT AND OUT FRAUD AND LIE and does not exist other than in news media bull shit. The NATION is about people who generally live in that countries borders. The STATE is those who control the levers of power and can and do project the power of the nation both internally and externally without the peoples necessary approval and support.

This world has slipped into the most dangerous time in history under the control of a a handful of CROOKS  whose history of decit and skulldugery is unsurpassed by anything our planet has wittnessed earlier.


Sorry for the disjointed post. I am a gradfather holding my helpless granddaughter-- I AM P I S S E D!!!        Milestones




Son of Captain Nemo's picture


If I could "up ^ arrow" a thousand times for what you just said I would!


I'm all for blogging as a tool to share candid views and opinions, but at the end of the day if you aren't willing to take the next series of steps and the risks that come along with them which means action through deeds -none of it changes.

A blogger of his day Thomas Paine so eloquently put it into words when he wrote about the sunshine patriot -These are the times that try mens souls which was written when the American Revolution was at it's weakest stage and facing it's worst crisis from the Crown.  His words were amazing because it asked each man and woman were they strong enough and did they have the conviction and courage to see through their hardship and sacrifices, or were they prepared to do just give it all up? 

Needless to say these words are timeless and are the crossroads of where we are right now in the same war for independence.  I would like to believe we still have a spark, but regrettably we are the worst kind of cowards in every measure with no equal.  Why we are willing to show up in Washington D.C. in the millions for the inauguration of a President that has delivered the opposite of everything he promised and worse violated his oath of office, but cannot again show up "in the millions" to challenge the direction and demand answers for the crisis we are now in from our elected representatives shows the depths of our dysfunction as citizens.

If anything requires our involvement and undivided attention for each and every American in this crisis we now face it is stopping the wars of choice that we have created in the Middle East along with a solution for the Japanese with the full support and intervention of an American Government that gave them that technology and trappings of that legacy both in war and in "so-called" peace.


Oldwood's picture

What we lose sight of is that the revolution wasn't so much against Britain but against any "government" that was ultimately unaccountable to it's people. Our myth of democracy has created a opaque veil to what amounts to the dictatorial powers that possess us.

GreatUncle's picture

U.S. Charge d’Affairs Kurt Tong: It’s a positive step that would make Japan a “more effective alliance partner.”

ALLIANCE PARTNER? Is this no more than an admittance that the US government deceives its population and hence an alliance with another nation prepared to do the same is very welcome. Find that a rather amusing indictment of political policy. Even more entertaing is a politician who must speak and when they open their mouth a queue forms of lonely feet that have been watching and waiting for the poltician to speak. If the politician did not speak they could be accused of torturing all those feet in waiting. Akin to putting one's foot in ones mouth.


Oracle 911's picture

Well the Japanese rice and vegetables are mostly OK, anything from the north Pacific is potential hazard especially from the Japanese shores is hazard respectively.

pupdog1's picture

Buy Thai hom mali (which means the best grade) Jasmine rice. Best in the world, and best of all it doesn't glow in the effin' dark.

Several brands are available.

Costco, amazingly cheap.

buttmint's picture

pupdog..agreed, Thai Hom Mali Jasmine rice grown in Isaan region of Thailand is the best. However---the Chinese have an operation where they produce counterfeit sacks and sell their crap rice at the premium Thai Hom Mali price.

China-- the biggest of the crooks out there. Google up "japonica rice." This is the specialty sushi-used rice the Niponese revere so much, except their rice sources now are, errrr 'compromised.' Japanese growers discovered their sushi rice grows even better in the area about Chiang Rai, Thailand and this is where safe production has shifted to. The Japanese rice growers pay the Thai farmers a premium to grow this special blend.

apberusdisvet's picture

There will be little animal life left on the planet after 50 years of uncontrolled emissions.  The circulaion of air and water globally will ensure this.  This problen cannot be fixed by any known technology.  Oh, and btw, reactors 1,2, and 3 have already melted down.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Oh but it's getting so much better with the clean up.

Trust us!

Luckhasit's picture

Not soon enough.  This is the wilcard.  If its as bad as we speculate, as that glob sinks through mantle pray to whatever God you like that it doesnt hit an aquifer.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

It's also probably why the Japanese Government with Uncle Sam's generous support in the role of "Iago" whispering in it's ear to start something with China over those little islands.

If it's this bad and moving steadily towards contemplating evacuation within 100 kilometer radius of the sites, if you are totally warped in the head as the two leaderships clearly are, in the infamous words of a true fascist Rahm Emanuel -"Why let a good crisis go to waste"?

stant's picture

been praying for a meteor for sometime myself. selected targets i know is a bit much to ask.

LawyerScum's picture

you just need one of those natural disaster control boards that Ming the Merciless used in the 1980 classic Flash Gordon.

DeadFred's picture

I'm betting most of your target list is coastal so you only need a couple of ocean strikes... No on selective but yes on effective.