Decision to discharge sewage a Japanese-American deal shrouded in darkness
Illustration: Chen Xia / GT
Two months ago, Japan announced its decision to discharge more than one million tonnes of “treated” wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. The unilateral move, which is very likely to cause serious danger to the maritime environment, food security and human health, has sparked concern and opposition from regional stakeholders including China, South Korea and the islands. of the Pacific. Interestingly, however, Western countries that have always paid close attention to environmental issues have not yet opposed Japan’s decision or even expressed any form of concern. Even more inexplicably, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken backed the move by “thanking” Japan for its “full transparency” in its statement.
All over the world people are irritated and confused. Historically, proposals for a “Green New Deal” arose in the 2000s in the United States and have always been supported by American Democrats. Most recently, Biden convened the Virtual Leaders’ Climate Summit, promising to restore America’s leadership on the climate agenda. People are almost convinced that after joining the Paris Agreement, the United States finally decided to take on certain responsibilities for planet Earth and human beings. The illusion is quickly shattered and thus sparks speculation: is the Biden government really concerned about the environment? What is the rationale behind his endorsement of Japan’s irreversibly harmful behavior? Would the United States have reacted differently if other countries dumped, for example China?
One of the most stimulating facts is the timing of Japan’s announcement: just days before Prime Minister Suga’s visit to the United States. After ten years of cheating, evasion and cover-up since the Fukushima disaster, why has Japan suddenly dared enough to make all of its selfishness and immoralities public? Japan would not have fought the world alone if it had not known that someone would hold the candle to the devil. Analysts, including some in Japan, correctly believe that the intention behind Japan’s announcement of its pre-visit bombshell is to make it part of the exchange of political benefits. It becomes entirely plausible that the Japanese government explained its plan to the Biden administration sufficiently before the announcement.
You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. The United States is eager to do Japan a favor, as the latter is seen as a pawn in the Biden administration’s pressing need to “compete” with China. Biden must ensure that Japan, located in Asia-Pacific and having a deep interest in its cooperation with China and the United States, falls to the American side to become a pioneer in efforts to contain China. What other benefits did Biden promise in Japan? Maybe the approval of the nuclear landfill is just an appetizer.
Japan is no less desperate than Uncle Sam. Procrastination and incompetence have made nuclear water a puzzle and time bomb for the Japanese government for ten years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. Calculations of political benefits discouraged Suga from investing money in safe disposal. Yet it is evident that the simple and inexpensive solution for nuclear wastewater disposal will be under pressure at the national, regional and international levels. Since Washington is the only presence that can influence Tokyo, only the support of the Biden administration can make the plan come true. What a perfectly mutually beneficial affair! China faces and the yen is saved. As for the Earth and the environment? Why bother? It seems that for the Biden administration the so-called environmental issue has a ‘nationality’, as British video blogger Barrie VVeiss ironically commented: ‘Solar panels made in China are bad, but Japanese nuclear wastewater are good.
The unanimous tolerance of some Western politicians and media for Japan’s decision has exposed their double standards. Geopolitics weighs more than the lives and health of people. The fatal blow to the fishing industry is negligible as long as no politician is forced to resign. The human rights of ordinary citizens can be treated like filth in the face of political interests. And it is far too early to think about future generations. Environment? It only becomes a problem when it can be exploited to attack China. Chinese solar panels should be boycotted and sanctioned. A round of applause for the Japanese government to treat the Pacific Ocean like its trash.
As Japan rushes to make specific dumping arrangements, there is every reason to expect more Japanese-American deals hidden in the dark. Apart from Uncle Sam’s nod and smile, nothing matters to the Japanese government, whether it be the objections of locals or the legitimate concerns of neighboring countries. Known for its “know-how,” Japan is likely to spare no effort to devise a plan to minimize the negative effects on the US Pacific coast, even at the expense of other countries in the region which, unfortunately, will not even receive no typical Japanese excuses. “
The author is a news watcher. [email protected]